Brevitas # 2

(Timed 15 minutes. The picture is “Hot Date” by Matt Waggle)

It was lovely, the way she burned. She lent a warmth to the walls and the windows and blended with the tablecloth he had bought from Vienna. The smoke curled in rings, like opium burning in the Orient.

He took another sip of wine.  1964; it had been a good year for sauvignon blanc. He was a man of exquisite taste, particularly with his women. He liked those with fire in them, whose eyes flashed, “No man can have me.” Separating true firebrands from imposters was like inspecting tanzanite, but he was well-skilled. He charmed them by provocation, making them feel loathing and fascination for him, until they could bear both his presence and absence no longer. And he was a handsome man, was he not? A connoisseur who excited the delicacies presented to him, making them want to be eaten.

He emptied his glass and leaned back, marveling at the colors before him. The clock chimed ten times and woke him from his thoughts. It was still early, and there were still many more women he could charm. The scent of burning oil stimulated him, sharpened his senses. He put his glass down and gave a last look at…her name had been Maria, hadn’t it? Then he started looking for his hat.


Brevitas # 1

Borrowing a writing exercise from Banzai Cat, who borrowed it from Gabe Chouinard. The point is to take a picture and do a fictional blurb about it. Timed 15 minutes.

(The picture is “COURSE” by Artur Golaski.)

It has been so long since we have seen the sun. The fish have made their nests on our skin while we carry our own young upon our back. What more is needed other than salt to preserve life? The city is dead and all we can do is look out the balcony and wait for our husbands.

The gardens are gone. Once upon a time we saw our husbands striding across our lawns towards our arms at dusk. We were dressed in all our finery, in gold and satin, our children in their best linen. The city had sunk at three o’clock in the afternoon. The water flooded our halls and chased the furniture out of our rooms. In an instant the salt had fallen upon us and in a hundred years we have become pillars, beautiful in our complexity. The colors grew from us and our former selves began peeling as we became brittle porcelain.

Do the cracks hide our emotions? Has humanity utterly abandoned us? Our faces are frozen, our histories sleeping for eternity in our little caves and pits. We are the remnants of our race, stilled by water. But life still grows around us and so the world changes and ages and changes again, while we look out the balcony and await our husbands’ return.