Orizuru’s Winter Carousel

painting of cranes, by Józef Marian Chełmoński used as microfiction prompt
Cranes by Józef Marian Chełmoński, 1870

As is their nature, in the cold of winter, they leave for warmer shores. Fortunately, I’ve committed to memory their aerial dance and play it back in slow motion- a frame a minute to allow me to meditate on the aching beauty of their elegant necks and snow-white and black-tipped wings that gracefully stretch for one thousand years and back, thrusting them forward like a ruby crowned dart, before landing with a victorious V, framing the clouds that keep them company.

By the window, I watch and wait, it is all I can do, weighed down by dust and branded by coffee ring marks left on the torn page of the lined notebook that was folded to give me joints with minimal range of movement. The sharp creases of my form serve as lines separating me from them. Pierced and suspended, I float on my winter carousel, replaying memories of the cranes to bide time until the taunting promise of flight that summer brings.

 

164 words for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #3. Of course critical feedback appreciated, Jane. I went a little abstract with this one and was aiming for poetic prose.

Postscript 08.04.17: Originally published 5th July 2016. Reposting as I am considering additional instalments (shout out to SB!).

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Gatekeeper

Garden_tailpiece_with_sundial

Well, it’s time to begin as the summer sets in. You could say it is my busiest time of year. No days off, and it’s when I’m closest to the workings of things, as the system literally revolves around me. I know, I sound like a seasoned bureaucrat, but I’m it, basically, with my relatively sedentary but global role (I won’t bore you with the details of the outermost corners of my reach). A creature of habit, I make my presence known from East to West, for the most part receiving a welcome – open doors, smiling faces, songs written in my honour and a hit that becomes an anthem for the season. I cross paths with birds moving this way and that, following my warmth and the harvest it brings as Earth rotates around me.

What keeps me going? what lights my fire? that’s easy, summer love. I guess I’m a romantic.

When the cooler months and all their darkness are shed, new layers are revealed. Kissed by my rays, and in keeping with the first law of thermodynamics, my radiant energy transfers to the warmth of a smile, crinkles in the corner of the eyes, a contagious joy that makes strangers take one another’s hands and decide to trust in the moment. Sometimes I see those summer lovers through the changes to follow- changes that are inevitable and start with the fading summer glow- clouds form, winds sweep away words no longer spoken, and the growing darkness begins a countdown, time divided and apportioned by my appearance and disappearance over the course of a revolution, till  summer sets in once again. Love that lasts through the seasons knows I am always here.

 

This is my response to Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes Prompt Challenge #11 (start with the first line of one of your favourite songs, max 300 words). I have previously written about a ‘favourite’ song. For this challenge, it came down to Gatekeeper by Feist or Off the Wall by Michael Jackson. I chose Feist’s Gatekeeper for being fresh as a ‘favourite’ as I only recently really listened to the lyrics and gained an even greater appreciation of it. It is lyrical perfection. ‘When the world is on your shoulder’ would have taken me down a different path- perhaps one to traverse in another post!