Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Prompt: Awakening the Beast

She sleeps, dreaming. Buried so deep for so long, she can’t move, barely remembers movement. Light. Freedom.

What’s changed? Something. Some impulse felt from so far away. She might open an eye, though there is still no light to see. She might flex muscles long dormant, though there is no more room than before. She wakes. And waits. Something is happening.
Dara pushes past reaching hands, runs to the stable, wraps her trembling arms around her gentle mare’s neck. Pulling a bridle over the horse’s head, she doesn’t wait for a saddle. She leads the mare outside to the nearest mounting block and leaps on bareback. Before anyone can call her back, they are gone.

Back muscles roll and flex. Ahhh. Head lifts into an opening space. Eyes capture some dim light filtered in from far away. She breathes. Patience.

Dara returns when the mare can run no more. She brushes the coat to a shine and storms through the stable, scattering chickens and unwary stableboys. Still reluctant to return inside, she walks down to the riverbank and follows the slender trail wending past fishing holes and fallen logs where she has spent many hours reading and dreaming away from the critical eyes that follow her everywhere inside.

Flesh ripples, colors begin to glow in the lightening dark. An ancient song builds in her chest, her throat. She holds it in, breathes the memory of sound. Soon. Soon.

Dara finds the old woman’s lodge where it always was, hidden by ivy and hedges unless you knew where to look. She pushes through the thick brush and finds the old woman in her porch rocking chair, shelling peas in a large bowl. Dara sits at her feet and picks at the peas. She rests her head on the old woman’s lap, a spidery hand stroking her hair.

“I’m afraid,” she confesses softly. “I’m afraid of what will be.”

“Do not fear yourself, dear girl. You are what you are. You will be what you will be. Holding yourself back works no better than holding back the sun or the tide.”

“I’m afraid I’ll lose myself,” she cries bitter tears.
“I don’t want to change,” she pouts.
“I won’t know myself any more!” she wails.

“Nonsense, child. You will find yourself, save yourself. It’s time.”

She wipes her tears and nods, reluctantly hearing the truth in the old woman’s words. Kissing a papery cheek, she pushes back through the heavy greenery to the river’s rushing currents.

She lifts her arms to the sun.
She stretches her limbs into space grown vast around her.
She tilts her face to the sunlight.
She raises her head high on her long, slender neck.
She turns, a slow dance, small steps in the grass.
She stands on legs folded so long, flexes muscles, shuffles wings.
She opens her mouth to release the song building inside. A song she’s heard her whole life and never sung.
The colors burst forth, brilliant radiance like a living rainbow, dancing light reflected on the grass, across the water.
Wings burst forth, flex, unroll, wave in steady sweeps.
Tail lashes, sharp enough to cut blades of grass as it passes over.
Finally free, she flies.
Brilliant star sounding her ancient song of power.

Dogs in house:
Cats soundtrack
Time writing:
1 hour?
April word count:

I really wrestled with this. I have a vision in my head that won’t quite coalesce into words. I clearly have dragons on the brain! Perhaps in time I’ll get it right. Meanwhile, I think this morphed into almost a poem.

I’ll welcome any comments!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry so long to comment on this one -- this was the day I was at a conference until late and have only just now come back to catch up with everything I've missed!

    Anyway, this had a very otherworldly feel from the start. It was a bit confusing, but I just went with it, and then it made sense in the end. I wonder if some kind of alternating italics vs plain text might be good? But then you'd get the impression that Dara and the "she" were completely different, whereas here it is just a bit confusing and then meshes in the end. Hmm. I do like the poetry at the end. I might suggest going even farther into the poetic there if you can.