Daily Prompts

Vigilante

Battle_Cape_icon

My husband was a chemist by day and a superhero at night.

His laboratory was his sacred space-even I wasn’t privy to its insides. No amount of coaxing made him budge. If I ever brought it up (innocently, I swear), he acted territorial and cagey. So I don’t any more.

To talk about me, I am a designer. In fact, I’m the mastermind behind all of my husband’s outfits when he goes on his night vigils. And let me tell you, they’re a rage. My husband is a huge hit with the ladies. When he zooms around in those suits, he’s hard to miss. And women are more than willing to throw themselves into danger.

Tomorrow is our anniversary, and I still don’t know what to get him. Over dinner, I asked “Honey, what do you want-” but he was already making a dash for the door. He was in the costume I only recently stitched, his golden cape trailing behind. He looked dazzling. “Sorry love, duty calls.” he said, giving me a quick kiss. “But, to answer your question, the clue is in the house.” he winked, shutting the door after him. I stared at my plate petulantly.

Before going to bed, I happened to pass by the lab. A pink heart-shaped post-it on the door caught my eye. I completely forgot about using this opportunity to sneak in.

“NaCl”.

That’s it? That was my clue? I knew enough chemistry to figure out that it was ‘salt’. My husband needed salt? Didn’t he make enough of that in the lab himself? Or was he subtly trying to tell me my cooking didn’t have enough salt?

That man is so frustrating.

I gave up and went to sleep. That night, I dreamt of all things salty. Food (yum), sweat (yuck). The beach.

The beach! He wanted me to take him on a holiday! What a strange hint though. He could have drawn some palm trees. Or waves. Anyway, I got it now. Sun, sand and salt. Perfect.

I woke up in excitement and radiated infectious energy. Gave the sun a run for its money.

I was humming in the kitchen, when my husband returned home. I ran to the door and threw myself in his arms. “Happy anniversary!” I squealed. “I was just going to book tickets!”

“Tickets? What tickets?” he asked, dazed. “You want to go to the beach, right? Isn’t that what your clue meant? NaCl?” I said, in an excited rush. “That was real clever of you, to link the sea and salt like that. I always knew our chemistry sizzled.” I oozed.

My husband’s face went blank. Then he burst out laughing. His body was spasming, and tears soon began to stream down his face.

I sat, puzzled. He finally held me close and said “I really meant ‘Not another cape, Louise.’”

I should have just gone in, when I had the chance.

 

Via Daily Prompt: Territory

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Daily Prompts

Catch the Wind in your Snails

Time was racing along, as usual, and a mother somewhere was trying to restrain it-she didn’t want her baby to grow up. Not yet. Being a cowboy’s wife, she was adept with the lasso. So she made a loop, and flung it around Time’s neck. Time stopped, coughed a few seconds out, wriggled out of the noose, and hurtled along. In the war against Time that she lost, her baby had begun walking, when she swore that a few seconds ago it had only been crawling. She threw her hands up in despair.

Time suddenly tripped over something, and fell flat on its face. In that moment, all the clocks and watches of the world also lost their sense of balance. Dusting itself off, Time got back on it’s feet, annoyed, and looked down at the cause. It was a tiny snail, trudging along, struggling with the weight of its own residence. Snail looked up, to see Time towering above it. Time felt a little bad, and offered to help carry it. “Whaaaiii, thaaank youuu, kiiind surrrr. That would reeealllly taayyyk a looooooooaaaaaad off maaaiiii baaaaaack!” beamed Snail.

Snail and Time walked beside each other, with Snail jabbering nonstop. Time couldn’t decide what was slower, Snail’s speech or his motion. Time didn’t want to fall asleep, so it began inspecting the insides of Snail’s house. It had a small bed, some pots and pans and a kettle. It didn’t look like Snail was employed, so having an own house proved to be handy. Avoided the hassles of paying rent.

Soon they reached a clearing, and Time bid Snail adieu. As Time continued onward, it was feeling very sluggish. The hours and minutes were all in deep slumber, and try as it might, it couldn’t rouse them into full functioning. Time watched in horror as people’s lives were thrown in disarray-all because it slowed down for a while. Lovers were ecstatic, but employees waiting for their lunch break were angry. Time had to protect its ears against the rumbles of their hungry bellies. But Time smiled briefly when it saw the mother it rudely brushed against. She was now laughing gaily, out on a walk with her baby. It hadn’t grown up. Yet.

Time scratched its head, wondering how to resolve the problem, until it was lightly shoved from behind. “Movealongnow. You’reblockingmypath.” whispered someone in one breath. Time looked behind to behold Wind. Time grinned broadly. It was time for the helper to become the helped.

So Time hitched a ride on Wind’s back. The exhilarating speed at which they traveled was like a splash of cold water to all the arms in Time’s body. Startled, they realigned themselves and began ticking furiously. Time saw lunch being shovelled down like snow being cleared off the driveway in winter. Couples said goodbye, already looking forward to their next rendezvous. And the mother’s story…was bittersweet. Her baby grew up and she grew old. But in the end, she would’t have had it any other way.

Time whooped-its temporary vertigo was suspended permanently.

Time usually prefers solitude to company, but today it made two friends. Both of which who taught it the importance of giving and taking.

 

snail

Via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

Daily Prompts

What do you mean?

I’m all things unnecessary:

The extra word rejoined

When the conversation is long over,

Saying ‘god bless you’ half an hour

After you’re through sneezing.

I’m found among the extras, like

Sugar added to the iced tea

That’s sweet enough and

The kindle version of the book

You already have as a paperback.

You should know by now that

I’m below average and

People can’t find purpose in me but

They indulge in actions and thoughts

That typify me anyway.

Like complaining about things that won’t change-

Take traffic

And population

Or stupidity, as examples.

 

 

I love how you run around in circles

Trying to find meaning in me.

 

camus

Via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

Daily Prompts

B’older’

That morning, I broke the perfume bottle. The powerful scent swirled around me, and for a minute, I nearly considered swapping my clothes for the fragrance that clung to me like second skin. Plus, summer had set in. I doubted whether the world was ready to accept my summer body, so I reluctantly dressed myself.

I put on eye makeup, a little too dramatically because I couldn’t very clearly see what I was doing. When I put my glasses back on, I gasped, but I didn’t have time to look any less than a scaled-down version of Cleopatra. I stared at the mirror a while longer, looking at the salt-and-pepper on my head. I sighed, and walked out the door. Feeling defiant and a little risky, I ditched the elevator and took the stairs.

At work, I attracted a lot of stares. Some of my colleagues came up to me and said “Wow, you look stunning. Do you have a hot date tonight?”, or “Damn girl, that eye makeup is on fleek!”. One lady even complimented my dress and asked if she could borrow it someday. I looked down in horror, because I was wearing a blue summer dress with puffed up sleeves-looking like a ready-to-eat popcorn packet. And the blue was a queer shade, a blue that was neither dark nor light. A blue that couldn’t make up its mind.

The men also paid special attention to me that day. They milled about me, like mice enticed by the cheese in the mouse-trap, but are somehow smart enough to avoid it. I was feeling very flustered by the end of it all.

All these fickle symptoms of youth, I tell you.

I went home that night and took a long shower. I lay in bed for a long time, thinking over the day’s events. Then I fell asleep, a wrinkly me in a wrinkly bed, dreaming of my 65th birthday that was due in a week. I was hoping someone would get me 65 candles, because I still had life in me to blow out all of them in one go.

grandma

Symptom

Daily Prompts

Statutory Warning

writer1

 

Somedays you’ll walk in on me-

Hunched over pen and paper.

I’ll look up crossly,

And you’ll shut the door hastily because

You caught me

Tainting virgin sheets.

 

On other days you knock

At the doors of my heart though

I remember handing you

The keys.

But I forgot I changed the locks.

 

Then I cry in remorse

And you watch mutely as

Tears of ink come rolling down,

Leaving a trail of unsaid

Apologies-now written

On my face.

 

You decide to leave and

Take everything with you

But the words:

The words you leave with me,

And I accept that because

That’s what I wanted all along.

 

Acceptance

Daily Prompts

Dwarf

small

You were monstrous.

When you reached out to touch me

It felt as though I was a pineapple

And you thought it was okay

To be rough with me.

Pineapples are hacked before they’re eaten.

 

Suddenly everything looked so big:

The dividers on the road seemed like

A steeple-chase race for giants.

The plant in our garden

Became a tree overnight but

The little red flower had died and

You threw away the pot at sundown.

 

That summer it rained and you shut me out-

I don’t think my knocking did any good

Because it was too faint and your thick skull

Covered your ears, converting my noise

To an impenetrable silence.

 

Anyway, I climbed in through the tiny window

Because the doors were oversized.

I wondered why I was feeling so hot

Despite the rain.

It was because you were dry as a desert

And that night

I wanted to impale you in your sleep

With a cactus.

 

I couldn’t for the life of me

Figure out why everything looked so colossal-

I was constantly stretching,

Never reaching.

Then I realised

That the world looked this way to me because

You made me feel so small.

 

Minimal