We’re a day late with the micros due to working last night on a flash for Finish That Thought, a Tuesday contest, but since she’s on the east coast, we get the prompts at 9pm Monday–when I would normally post the micros.
Both of my entries for this week’s Flash! Friday contest (for volume 42) managed to squeak into the winner’s circle. My android haiku “Fidelity” got a special mention, and my Japanese selkie-ish tale “True Skin” pulled 3rd runner up (4th place).
The photo prompt came to us from Shuji Moriwaki and made me nostalgic for my years in Japan:
We also had to include a death.
That picture is so evocative that it inspired over a hundred unique slices of flash. I was only going to write one again, but just had to sneak a haiku in as well.
Pinioned in the sand,
Salt-water crusted servos
Click. Eyelids open.
Azure Lotus 5,
Handcrafted in Sri Lanka,
Blue eyes keep vigil.
From passing ferries,
Tourists snap photos of her
They titter over
Her parasol parody
Against the tempest.
Bellows softly fold,
Exhale matcha-scented steam.
Internal clock beats.
Taiko thunders drum
Down another night; storm-tossed
Clouds sweep away days.
Mechanisms to stasis,
But software persists.
Her maker strove to
Prison her precision core
In a dollied shell,
The quaint satin frock,
His frivolous afterthought.
Click. Her smile locks shut.
Immune was he from
The pain that ever pulses
Through a well-tuned heart.
“Just a day,” he’d said.
She’d waved his ship from shore with
Storms don’t break ferries,
Besides the one that broke his
And shipwrecked her here.
On infinite loop,
She executes his last words:
“Wait for me, my dear.”
Through wind-lashed rains, Nori’s voice finds her, a reedy flutter against her eardrums.
“Even if you find it, he won’t take you back,” he insists.
Above the jetty, the sky curdles around her longing. Umi lets her gaze slide from the pewter swells to Nori’s shivering spectre. He lifts his chin. Obstinate, even in death.
A wave bursts against stone, washing a satchel into the shoals.
Nori’s embittered cry sends Umi scrambling over the rocks. Within the bag, she finds iridescent mail. Impenetrable and intimate as the pulse of the tide.
Nori was wrong. Storm-scaled, thunder-coiled, her beloved is still there, waiting for her.
As she slides into her shimmering skin, splinters of ice sink into her flesh. Her body elongates around sublimity. She plunges into his serpentine embrace.
Nori calls, “Did you ever love me?”
A surge shatters the breakwater, scattering his essence. Love. As if the human heart could fathom love’s abyss.
Twin serpents entwine across the deep.