The below is in response to the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. This week, I was challenged by T with the prompt, “sticks and stones.” For the same, I challenged Bewildered Bug, with the prompt, “road trip.”
It’s a rod, I suppose. Purposeful, erect, unbending, secured in flesh, knotted in spine. It knows what it wants, even when I don’t, and so it stays. It glimmers like a Christmas tree, and sulks like stone in a cave; every time I smell its copper blood.
At night it calls me. Beckons as white-dressed girls jumping fences, dripping knives, blinding sun spinning close. I hear its heart music, an eons-old drum, from somewhere else in another time. An insistent beat each of us feel pulling our skin, and flooding our guts. You know, it says, you know. Listen to me.
I taste it too. Bitter almonds that erase my soul, bring necessary death. Then lilacs on my tongue, and stars in my throat. I’m once again alive and beating, bursting with tales of desert stumbles and black holes.
It’s like that.
It doesn’t matter who I am or who you are, the rod burrows and roots; grows slick with tears, and births and deaths and songs from sirens and rolling seas on fire.
It tells you where to go and what to do. A witch whispering, an angel plucking her harp.
I won’t lie. It will drag you to the fence and push you over, it will look under rocks, it will beat on the drum. Forever calling you back home and away again down uneven paths.
So bring your sticks, and bring your stones. Throw them on its fire, let it burn them to ash and fill you with smoke. What remains is the rod.
You’ve always known that much is true.
Put your ear to the door.
It’s the beggar that knocks.