Poetry corner: Jackrabbit haiku

Hurried rush and then

Jackrabbit frozen in place

Stillness here means life

 

Poem and photography (c) 2017 Michelle M. Welch

Author’s note: As the long agent/editor search for my last novel nears the end of my submission list, with no takers so far, and the worst case scenario I described when I started posting the related flash fiction for the project becomes more likely, I find that I and my brief bursts of flash writing feel more and more stale. I decided to give myself a little refresher by getting different creative parts of my brain going. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more poems and photos to the posting rotation. This and the next few were taken/written at the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, AZ.

Stories from Refuge – 58 – “They started spreading rumors right away.”

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report C-14, interview with Tee 68A, recorded by Beatrice 75C
RY 100.9.26

I lied about my age. That wasn’t really my fault. They put me in Confinement after the Revolution, not in the paramania ward with the rest of the Empaths, but in a solitary cell in Criminal. I was trained by PsyOp but they never deployed me, so when Civil Council undid everything to reassign people, they thought maybe I wasn’t like the rest of that older generation of Empaths, maybe they could do something with me, but they needed to check me to make sure. They needed to keep me away from the influence of people like Richard and Cleo. Then they cleared me but they thought other people wouldn’t buy it, because of my age. I trained with some of the last Empaths under the old Government. So I said I was born in 76 instead of 68.

I said I never worked with Richard, either. That was kind of a lie, too. He had his eye on me when I started training. I don’t know why. He scared me.

All right, I do know why. I just don’t want to talk about it.

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Stories from Refuge – 57 – “I guess I’m here to ask why the Commander did that.”

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-49, dialogue between L.O. and Tara Johnson, recorded by Tee 76D
RY 100.9.25

My brother got in trouble. That’s what I’m here to talk about, I guess. It was a long time ago, I was only twelve years old, but I remember the Commander breaking down the door. People try to tell me no, it must have been the bots who broke down the door, that’s what they did, and they roughed people up because they didn’t understand humans and how we don’t keep working after you punch us in the head or pull an arm off. But it wasn’t a bot. I remember it was a Commander, he had a human face under his helmet, and he looked me in the eye and asked where my brother was. I was too scared to say anything but my brother came out of the back room swinging something, it must have been some kind of weapon but I remember it being something stupid, like a broom or a lamp. The Commander turned on him and shot him right in the chest.

So I guess I’m here to ask why the Commander did that. Why did he kick down the door instead of sending his bots in? Why did he shoot my brother? But all I can…

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Stories from Refuge – 56 – “I know what it’s like for your brain to be the enemy.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-48, dialogue between H.B. and Cleo 59D, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.9.22

I want to know how she did it. How did she get in there and find it? I never thought about it. I tried to never…

I’m not gonna talk about it. You don’t get to hear that. It’s none of your business and it wasn’t hers, either. The people who did that to me… No. I’m not talking about it. Bad enough I’m having nightmares about it all the time again. I’d just gotten those under control, I was just where I could go one damn day without wanting to crawl out of my skin, and then she comes along and interrogates me and it starts all over again. So how did she do it? How the hell did she know?

[Recorder’s note: Cleo waits to respond until prompted by Councilor Booth.]

You know that’s not how it works, right? Everyone knows that’s not how it works. I didn’t read your mind. No one can read minds. I projected fear at you, and your brain came up with the thing it was afraid of. That’s not my fault.

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Stories from Refuge – 55 – “We were going to act out this plan and nothing was going to stop us.”

(c) Svedoliver | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-47, dialogue between M.C. and Jay 59A, recorded by Tee 76D
RY 100.9.20

It’s funny how you never imagine things will happen like they actually do. I never thought I’d be arrested that day. We planned everything perfectly. We’d been planning it for at least ten years, since all of us were in school. The biggest strike of the resistance, we said it would be. We’d get all the way to Section 1, bomb the Councilors out of their beds, and get away so cleanly that no one would ever find us. We had people embedded in Maintenance and Media Production and on the computer systems in Credit Processing. It was going to be perfect and it was going to take down everything we’d hated for years.

That really kept us going, all those years, that hatred. And we had the big plans that would justify it all.

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Writing lessons

Well, here we go. Image from IMDB.

After a long delay, I’ve finally finished watching Iron Fist, and after an even longer delay, I’m finally writing about it. Rather than simply make this a rant – my husband and I called this show our homework, what we had to watch to get ready for The Defenders, but we didn’t much want to do it – I’m going to try to make it something useful: a lesson in how bad writing can teach you about good writing.

So, some faintly spoilery observations about Iron Fist and various writing techniques:

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Stories from Refuge – 54 – “Playing along and staying quiet meant I would be safe.”

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-46, interview with E.M., recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.9.19

I never got arrested. Never had my mind messed with by Empaths, never roughed up by bots. When I was younger I though this meant I was lucky. It was a good idea, keeping my head down, being quiet. Playing along and staying quiet meant I would be safe, not like my dad and my brothers who were arrested when I was a little kid, or my best friend from school that I never saw again. I got good grades, I was on track to get a good job, I’d be able to afford a living unit in one of the quiet sections where they didn’t have riots or break-ins. That’s the best you can hope for down here, and I was hoping for it with everything I had.

It’s hard to pinpoint what changed. Everyone likes to point to something dramatic, like the kid who stood up on his desk and started screaming about injustice until the Commanders were called in, and he wouldn’t stop screaming so they had the bots come in and knock him down. That’s when it happened for my best friend – the one I never saw again – she was sure the bots had killed that kid and she said that’s it, she was part of the resistance now. I told her the kid wasn’t dead, he just got knocked out, and we were so close to graduation, and it would be stupid to get in trouble now. But maybe I did have doubts, even then, whispering so quietly in the back of my head that I didn’t know what they were saying. Maybe I just didn’t want to admit what they were saying.

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