Flash Fiction – “In the Gray of every Day” – 600 words – 9/28/2022

Herein lies a crippled horse. He struggles to find a way to walk. Tears have left him burning on a slope that moves his eyes always down. Why will he always look down? To feet that never move him. To scars that never leave him. They are remade to be ripples within hardening soil, though he stays at a land’s peak never comforted from either sunlight or from a soft breeze. Here, he has been cemented to stay. In this spot of a desolate world, shadows have replaced brushes while humid or frigid air has taken the place of any wildlife’s breath.

One step will bring him walking backwards.

Although, a cliff, displayed before him, compels a foresight of his motivation.

A winter has frozen over his soul, blanketing him in a comfort of cessation. One more pebble to toss overboard, into an ocean that has been recreated. This has been done more times than he has counted grains on an unseen shore. This has been done more times than stains have been set into his skin. With those recreated ripples, he can sense his memories. He can sense his eyes, his feet, that carry both his mind and body on a backwards trail. A backwards walk and view, of one that has lassoed his limbs to a crippled horse. A crippled horse that neighs, though has been beaten into a death-like, dream-like state. A carrier for an isolated form that wants to retreat.

Shards of his heart are strewn around. Everywhere, from a bereavement that has loosened contents from storms. All his wishes have melted with unfelt heat or have become unrecognizable ice statues in a more recognizable winter.

Love keeps him salient. Holy. As a man with bruises, scars, and a heart that leaks into an ocean like redrafted clouds, worded over with touches of his forsaken flesh.

Every now and then, his eyes dart upwards to a sky full of light. He notices a sun he cannot look at. He feels raindrops he often mistakes for his tears. To light, or to a sadness that engulfs him when he stands on a cliff praying for hours. To a soul that he hopes will come loosened from clouds to fall in his outstretched arms. To a beauty whose heart has been torn away and has torn open his own, letting flows out to grow nothing but coral and reefs deep in a sea that holds not his reflection. For a beauty whose hair bleeds forth its singular color in every shadow that twists and snakes in wind-sculpted sands. His hands pray, though his arms are reaching for a greenery from remembered eyes that he swears appear in all scents and tastes during when he thirsts.

Despite this risk forward, he will forever steady his stride moving backwards to a hailstorm, to a punishment of rain that falls to dance into becoming serpentine trickles running from his shoulders. All this deceptive outcome, where he stays to pray for a deity to turn around from where it turned its divine back. All for a form to come falling, as any raindrop, to his burning arms. They are longing, while being long, for a nimble form to come back as another echo from one of his many screams.

Despite this risk forward to keep his heart torn open to wind, love waits. It waits to keep itself floating on a lifeboat, of one that has no oars, though will be guided by wind in a random direction. He hopes, beyond a recurring numbness, that it will find its way past disguised lighthouses of suns that were fated to burn out, to crash within his arms and find its way to his heart’s bottom.

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