She takes her first tentative steps onto the runway, foreign territory after a year’s absence.
The crowd erupts in applause at her appearance. She can read their thoughts in their expressions.
She’s beautiful again.
You can’t even tell she was sick.
At the end of the runway she pauses. Reaching up, she pulls the wig from her head, her smooth scalp reflecting the harsh scrutiny of the spotlights.
The expressions change to shock. The applause falters.
Someone is still clapping. One little girl is applauding wildly, a grin on her pale face, a bright bandanna tied around her hairless head.
I don’t often do these, but I thought I’d try this week’s Haibun Challenge.
So many terrible images slide across the screen. One cannot take in a steady diet of earthquakes, massacres, epidemics, famines. I am overexposed. My brain becomes numb and even that little voice that shouts that such numbness is bad—even it eventually falls silent.
I pass them on the street, holding out their hands for help, but my quick strides sweep me by. I have enough stress and pain and uncertainty in my own life without opening it up to more. One day, when my life is all together, when there is room for the pain of others to replace the troubles that now buzz around in my head.
Now I have cancer. My Facebook status announcing the earth-shattering news has a smattering of sympathetic one-liners (no likes of course) . . . and that’s it? Doesn’t anyone care?
souls like bumping boats
seek the free open waters
until storms threaten
Well, I’m back from my rather long wander around some Korean islands. It was a wonderful time of hiking, exploring and being alone. Thus, I’m a bit late doing the Fictioneers story this week, but better late than never. I haven’t read any of the other stories in the group yet, so I hope we didn’t have the same idea.
copyright Janet Webb
“It flies,” Rose said, looking out her window at the barn next door.
“Does it indeed?” her mother asked. “It looks rather rundown to me.”
“Well, it used to fly. Dr. Corbeau attacked it with his horde of bamboozles and smashed in the side. I’m going to build a better one though, with rockets, and I’m going to fly it all over the world, even to Easter Island! Do you think I can? Huh?”
“I know you can, dear,” her mother said, moving the pint-sized wheelchair over next to the bed. “Now let’s go. It’s almost time for your chemo.”