200 words or less: Holding Euphoria

When the child looked into the well, they saw nothing, for darkness had devoured it all.

A rope, in one piece that should have been two, looped around the pulley shaped lump of rust above the child. The child’s heart ached a cry so desperate that the child obeyed, extending the tips of their fingers to the paradoxical twine.

The child began to pull, coarse and dry caresses against their palms and fingers.

Through the nothing, something rose. The something rose until it rested on the well’s maw.

The something was a bucket. In the bucket was water as clear and clean as the air that the child held captive in their lungs.

Into the liquid, the child put their dry and raw hands, and their hands drank the water until the aridness was quenched and the roughness was smoothed.

The child tried picking up the water in their hands. They wanted to keep this feeling forever.

The water escaped through distracted and busy fingers, and was suddenly gone as the parched desert below swallowed it.

They ached again to feel the purpose and grandeur of the water, so they cast the bucket, to again quench and soften their hands.


To Shelve the Book

To shelve a book: like the end of a chapter in your own story.

To give the guiding words of another a home, until it is asked again to tell its story or bestow its wisdom.

To add another layer to the horizontal linear palette of colors which make up the painting of a library.

To say: “Thank you friend; for the conversation, the companionship, the stories, and the memories.”

Sadness: because the abyss-like ink, and the fine fibered paper, and the whisper of flipping pages, and the symphony which they all combined to conduct shall be put to rest; at least until the next time.

The victory of completion: because you absorbed, and savored, and pondered every word of a long wondered about thought that an author put on a piece of paper; because you watched a story unfold; because you learned a deep truth about yourself or those around you.

The displacement of time’s footprint, when the bones of the book nudge aside collected layers of dust as you push ever so gently, the new tenant of this sliver of long unoccupied space into position.

To see it from across the room, and ache for it’s old companionship; clamoring to again fall into the depths of color, and shape, and weight, and word which compose it.

To wake up one day, and say: “Hello friend” as it resides again in your hand. It answers back with a crack of it’s spine: “Come in, have a cup of coffee. Let’s catch up, it has been too long.”