“Cold and Dark and Quiet” by Anonymous

I walk through the graveyard quite often.

It is always cold and dark and quiet.

It is not quiet when I start my digging,

but it stays dark.

I mound up spade-fulls of darkness in the darkness,

opening a way up to the skull.

The darkness disappears when the skull starts gleaming in the moonlight,

and the cold disappears when I start my skullduggery.

{Prompt: Base a short story around the work skullduggery. If you don’t know what it means, make up  the meaning for the purpose of the story}

“Untitled” by Oliver Robbins

His mind was blown like gale-force winds screaming ‘Get the hell out’. He felt everything on that mountain. He could feel the bee landing on a dead log on the other side. He could feel the worms trying to escape their mole enemies. He felt the grains of dirt churned, stamped, torn and swept away by the summer breeze. He saw everything, the elderly couple who live at the summit, the herd of deer crossing the foothills. He saw through the view of everything on this mountain at once. His skin tingled with the energy of the trees absorbing the fading sunlight. His mind burrowed, flew and swam through the bedrock heart of this mountain. It was a curse given to him by his uncle. This power made him responsible. His mind could be anywhere and everywhere in this mountain. His uncle however lost himself, his body rotted, became part of the mountain he guarded for many lifetimes.

“This Forest” by Anonymous

The forest did not grow out of the ground as much as it was pushed out; pushed out by the continuous death and renewal of the world it grew on.

This forest is dark and curly and gracefully tangled.

Eyes search through this forest and never find the same thing twice. Yet, this forest is all the same: the same being; the same sway; the same life.

My eyes don’t search through this forest because there is nothing more to find than the forest itself. They rest in this forest, this haven of comfort.

My fingers, though, search this forest. Search it for the softness of love and the silk of the soul. Sometimes they find a place where this forest has knotted itself like burled wood, and in a reversal of fate, I gently release it.

This forest moves with the wind.

Her hair moves with the wind.

“The Forest” by Ashley Armstrong

There were only a couple of them left — only a couple whole and still alive. They stood so much taller, and greener, like dying giants against a sea of empty dirt. The forest was almost gone, dotted with brown stumps, the trees used as timber. They had created a new town, but in doing so, had left the forest bare.

Birds had no where to rest. It looked desolate, and the air was empty of any kind of bird song. Only the vultures, with their red faces and pale eyes, had stayed, and their black forms crouched on the ground waiting for any straggling animals.

It wasn’t a forest — not anymore. Before, strong, thick rooted trees had stretched up to the sky. Their long green-tipped arms almost blotting out any view of the sun.

The trees were old, sturdy and tall — which had attracted the villagers. They were perfect, they thought, for building walls and fences and chairs. Perfect for being chopped down, cut, and carved. Too beautiful a tree to stay a tree. The forest was lumber now, polished and sanded, holding up roofs and keeping in warmth.

Every now and again, a bright plume of green would break through the deadness, as a new tree tried to sprout from an old stump. The new trees were wispy, but resilient, growing out of the destruction, creating a miniature forest. In the wind, what little leaves that could, would rustle and sigh. The last surviving true trees, looming above the new-comers, were full of knots and gnarls, and were undesired by the villagers. They stood, almost patiently, to wait for the birth of a new forest.

“Broken” by Ann G. Collins

the sun will rise on my healing heart

a new day will come,

whether I want it to or not

 

Nights that I wish would last forever

dissipate into bleeding colors of mourn

only etched expressions remain,

for I have been drained of all else

 

The dawn approaches quickly, and I have not slept.

Solitary in my bed, still

                             I wept

             I dreamt that you returned, but I could not

touch you, and you faded away.

I understand it now

how I will miss his touch, his smile

but I do not know what else I’ll miss…

It  was lost long before I let it go

Dip In!

Come one, come all! Dip your sight into the Ink Tank!, a place where thoughts are spilled onto pages (and screens) in inky blotches we call words. Stay; read a while; you may find these writings leave an impression on your mind as ink does on the hand that trails the pen…

“The Dress” by Ashley Armstrong

“Thanks,” she said, “it used to be a sheet. I got it at a thrift store, it was only a quarter.” It was a fairly simple dress, deceptively so. But the amount of manipulation she had to do to create a dress, something shapely and wearable, made her so proud whenever anyone asked, “where’d you get that?!!”

“I made it!!!” she would answer, smiling warmly. She was especially proud of the lace shoulder straps, cut from extras she had been saving from an older project. She didn’t know how she really did it, seeing so much potential in everyday objects, seeing what could be with a little effort. She thought most people were afraid of the effort, expecting things to be ready-made and handed off to them. No one made anything anymore, and it was a skill she really valued about herself. 

She found herself constantly looking at the world and thinking, “I could make that!” So she did. Her house was an explosion of half-finished projects and crafting supplies. She would often keep things others threw away, which sometimes made people dubious. But she was the one now with a little herb garden growing out of saved tin cans. She grew as many plants as she could, saving trimmings of vegetables and fruit seeds to grow anything she could. She wove hanging planters out of old t-shirts, and had a wonderful garden hanging in the sunny side of her small apartment. Making things, she thought, was good, taught you creativity, patience, and value most of all, it taught you about your own potential, how to execute a vision you had in your head and make real. 

The dress she had started as a challenge – she had never sewn something so large, or complex. She hadn’t really followed a pattern before, but she saw it as a first step to more creations. First a dress, then, she thought, I could make my own clothes! There was a rainbow of fabric out there, raw and untapped, that she could utilize. It was so freeing to think of herself, wearing something she made, answering, “oh this? I made it.”

And it was very empowering, a wonderful feeling. She impressed herself, making her dress. It was something she got excited to wear, something she almost felt a kinship with. It was so uniquely her, made by her own hands, that it came to be almost an extension of herself. She saved wearing it for days she felt were special, deserving the dress’s presence.

One day, she thought she had stained it. A hurrying stranger spilled coffee on it, just on the bottom hem, by her knee. She thought the dress was ruined. She looked up fabric dyes and then realized – the coffee! She let it soak in gritty water until it was completely renewed, It was a new dress now, changing form yet again due to her creativity. 

{Prompt: Pick a stranger you saw today. Zoom in on one thing you noticed about them, and then using that, flush out your first impression into a character.}