Saturday, August 14, 2010

24/7, Divination 14

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 14 is to write a divination-themed prose poem that uses death.

Flightless (99 words)

Perhaps the nest wasn't big enough for three; one hears of hatchlings pushed. The ground is soft, but it's a long fall, a tangle of downy bones. Blind eyes from which the light has fled. The mother lands, not too close, and then moves on as an alligator moves in. It's the law of the rookery, reptile protection for the living, doomed food dropped from above. Tourists stand safe on an elevated walk, ripped from our comfort zones, pondering fate. The remaining chicks stare at a corpse that looks like them. We stare at the helplessness that is ours.

Fallen hatchling at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, May 2006.

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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