Opus on 1st: Yellow

So, here goes nothing!  If you have your own Opus on 1st piece to share, please post a link to it in the comments section! 

yellow2

Yellow

He is silent at the table, staring down at the place setting.  She had thought it a good idea, but the China seems a mockery. 

She knows he knows.

The roast is warm, and the potatoes too, but still she is chilled by his strange presence.  If only he would just seem as distant as usual.  This odd attending splits her nerves like firewood.  The facts she’d recited like a rosary for the last six months trip like dominos. 

It’s fine, she reassures herself, taking a seat across from him.  It wasn’t wrong.  It couldn’t have been wrong when it’s been so long.  

She helps herself, and the serving spoon is shaking in her fingers.  Shit.  He continues to stare at his empty plate.  She wants him to speak—

—until he does. 

It’s her name, and it’s a whisper, and the quiet resignation of it seems to break apart every dish on the table, seems to shatter her eardrums.  How can a whisper have such talons?

It couldn’t have been wrong, not when it’s been so long.  Not when he cared more about the newspaper, the dry cleaning, the dog. 

The damn dog.

She wishes it was last week—last week, when everything was so perfect and she’d felt such freedom.  She had owned herself.  And now, today … she wants absolution.  Instead, his eyes are accusations, but not like bullets, more like questions.

“I forgot the wine,” she mutters, getting up from the table and going into the kitchen.  She comes back with the bottle, reaches for his glass, and with a shaky hand, she pours the white wine that is not really white but yellow.

Valuing the Arts, flash fiction

The woman spoke softly to the man whose fingertips were stained blue.  “Will you tell me about your painting?” she asked.

He blushed a little, unused to the questions of “outsiders,” but shyly revealed, “You know that long stretch on the horizon where the water and sky meet?  Fascinates me.  Haven’t been to the shore since I first came here, but I can still remember.”

At a desk facing a window, a girl was writing in a notebook.  The woman hesitated, unsure if it would be unwise to disturb her.  She crept closer and read over her shoulder.  A poem.  About love and pine trees and summer skies.  The woman looked up, distracted by a performance of some kind happening in the room across the hall.  Through the windows she could see them singing and dancing.  She’d forgotten.

french hornBut here in this room, in the far corner, a girl played a mournful tune on a French horn.  It stirred the air in this place.  For a moment, it almost made the woman want to cry.  But then she laughed a little to herself and said, “Definitely time to go.”  She retreated back across the room and dropped her visitor badge in the small basket at the check-in counter.

“So whaddidya think?” snarled the guard before pressing a button to open the locked metal doors at the entrance.  “You’d have thought those affected would’ve all died out by now, but they haul in more of ‘em every month or so.”

“It’s sad,” said the woman, then pushed open the doors of the asylum.

Drops of Jupiter, Revisited

drops of jupiter revisitedI’ve been to nine planets in twelve years, and it’s starting to show.  Long gone are the days of summer-acting, rain-walking, spring-listening, and June-talking.  The tiny drops of Jupiter in my hair and on my skin have lost their sheen.  Constellation stories are old, memorized.  The flashing waves of the sun, my old playground, hurt these tired eyes.

I remember when Venus was a show-stopper, when Saturn’s rings were my cosmic carousel.  In my moods, I hid in Neptune’s dark spot.  On cool nights, I’d put the top down and cruise the Milky Way, that galactic highway.

But tonight, I am resting in a crook of the moon, and from here, I can see evening lights stretching across the northern hemisphere.  I almost miss that particular gravity of home, can almost picture the lilacs that grew on the farm, a medley of purples for those two weeks that passed like a moment. 

May…  Minnesota…

The breeze would trip from spring into summer as it rushed across the newly-plowed fields and all the lakes and through the flames of the bonfire that lit the surrounding faces with an intense orange glow.

It’s so cold in space.