Gritty Details

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday's Storyteller: "I love you very much, but do you really have to stand right where I need to see?"

by Belinda Roddie

I love you very much, but do you really have to stand right where I need to see? Right where the stampede leaves the sand kicked up in clusters of threes and fours?

Do you really have to block my view of the revolution - the one just outside my window? Can you observe their rallies better than I can? Can you take notes in your mind? Archive the slogans in your memories? Feel the fury pulse in your veins like overly oxygenated blood? Do you hear them condemn the emperor as well as I can from the corner?

I adore you with all my heart, but must you obstruct my line of sight when the phantoms are convening in front of the castle, and they have weapons sharper and stronger than pitchforks? I can hear their wailing, but watching them swarm will give me better context. Context that you deprive from me when you decide to sidle in front of me.

I am a phantom. My skin is cold from so many anxious nights. I want to punch the evil out of angry people's skulls. I want to poison the goblet of the king without being caught and condemned. You do not want to see me hanged in the gallows. But is how we're doing now any better?

Do you really have to hinder me from being part of the rebellion? You draw the white curtains across the windows, and the room is so dark. The revolution loses its audience, and so it dwindles into the ether. Torches go out, and the drawbridge is raised. The moat is refilled; its alligators snap their jaws eagerly. The great palace is gold in a landscape of dust.

You kiss me and try to convince me that this is not our fight to pick. Yet my bones are aching to participate in the fires started in earnest. Do not tempt me to live blindly - soon enough, the atrocities will force my eyes open.

But you keep yours shut. And I love you. But you stand right where I need to see, and you will not move away.

This week's prompt was provided by Arden Roddie.

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