Sunday, August 01, 2010

24/7, Divination 1

Dice Prompt 1

I am participating in Folded Word's writing month event, called "24/7," during August. Participants spend the first 24 days of the month writing short works, then spend the final week in revisions. The second part of this entry gives more details.

I'm not required to give a central theme to the entries, but I chose the theme "Divinations" and am using a pair of dice to generate prompts (values shown below). My prompt for August 1 is to write divination-themed flash fiction that uses water.

Divination 1: Wishing Well (285 words)

The fountain in the town square fills with coin. Copper clanks against silver; silver chimes against gold. They cobble the marble bowls, climbing cherubs' legs, slipping down lions' gullets. They shoot prisms of light into the crowd, bedazzling in the hot sun.

Across the square a dry choir rasps from the church; out here we treasure our saliva more. Some watch for clouds that scud by. Others pass around pictures of pools and seasides and lakes, of plump toddlers laughing open-mouthed in the safety of water wings. We pray as we lick the sweat from each other's skin.

No animals have come around for days. No pigeons despoiling statues. No dogs sniffing for handouts. No cats yowling in the night. Even roaches, who survive almost anything, lie dead of thirst.

We humans, who survive in spite of ourselves, keep vigil, emptying our pockets of what we once thought valuable. When the frenzy hits us, our weak arms flail as one and the bright din sounds like rain. The coins sparkle like water. The delirious shuck their clothes and dive naked, screaming in the grip of burning metal. The less delirious tend to the wounded, counting their scars to foretell the weather, reading hope in the shapes of absent flesh.

Some of us dream while awake, splayed on the empty road, cooling ourselves in puddles that aren't there. I read the signs and predict that I will die happy, filling with clear waters that reflect the world upside-down. Showers will spurt from underfoot; the sun will drain into the sewer. I see droplets pulling against gravity, can swallow the possibilities as mulch crunches underfoot and tendrils sprout, the green canopy of my deliverance light with dew.

Droplet on Pine Needle
Droplet on pine needle. Photo taken in my neighborhood in July 2009.

Key to dice values:

Blue Die
1 (CE logo). Twitter poetry (140 characters or fewer)
2. Twitter fiction (140 characters or fewer)
3. short poetry (8 lines or fewer)
4. prose poems (under 100 words)
5. micro fiction (40-100 words)
6. flash fiction (101-500 words)

Purple Die
1 (CE logo). Birth
2. Water
3. Air
4. Earth
5. Fire
6. Death

My Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition, defines "divination" as 1. the attempt to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means; 2. augury; prophecy; 3. perception by intuition; instinctive foresight. One meaning of "occult" is "hidden." That gives me a broad range of interpretation.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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Anonymous Peg said...

The photo is gorgeous! And within the story, this line stood out to me: "Showers will spurt from underfoot; the sun will drain into the sewer."

12:59 PM  
Blogger e_journeys said...

Thanks, Peg!

9:59 PM  

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