Neighbours

(UPDATE: The following piece was written for the Canadian University Dubai 100 Word Creative Writing Competition and won the 2nd place in the university category)

 

For six years, whispers travelled back and forth through cracks.

Gently lulling, softly comforting.

 

For months, voices painted images.

Of lands unseen, of lives not lived.

 

For six years, they created a world of their own.

Strangers to the eye, salvation to the soul.

 

For months, they spoke of their dreams and hopes.

Their greatest mistake, a secret no more.

 

For six years, their whispers travelled back and forth

Through cracks they didn’t know.

 

For months, hushed voices weaved their fates

Their stories turned into foes.

 

A single blade fell, silence dropped.

There was an empty room behind the wall.

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One Last Joust

 

(The following entry won 2nd place in the 18-21 Poetry category at Ink Inter-Writing Competition organised by Middlesex University Dubai)

She quoted the Bard

He replied with Keats

She snapped out Byron

He never missed a beat.

*

A quip of Charles

A snide dish of Frost

They bantered for a while

Yet not a word was lost.

*

He paused for a breath

She thought she’d won

But brows drew together quick

Tennyson wasn’t done.

*

He thought she had him

When she pulled out Tolstoy

So he turned to Dahl

His best mate as a boy.

*

‘That’s a bit rubbish’

She exclaimed as he droned

So she armed herself with Suess

In case she needed stones.

*

Her saber was Plath

His shield Longfellow

Her eyes red and intense

His voice mellow.

*

Quick on the attack

No sign of retreat

They plunged on through it

Long after the night’s defeat.

*

The sun danced on his lashes

When she finally stopped

They watched each other quietly

Arsenals empty, weapons dropped.

*

‘Well that’s over,’ he sighed

‘Is there anything we missed?’

‘No the book’s done,’ she heaved

‘All that’s left is the stupid quiz.’

The Wedding Gift

Twelve.

It dropped

Slow and steady,

Across the face as she watched

Hands binding her fate

As easily as he bound it on hers.

Eleven.

A keepsake, a charm,

Her something old

To go with the something new

On her finger

And something blue of his eyes.

Ten.

Cracked leather,

Scratched glass

Was loud against her pale skin

Yet soft in its tick,

And warning of fate to come.

Nine.

Unsure eyes

Met steady gaze

While the hands never ceased

Tracing paths

They moved on for years.

Eight.

Whispers of uncertainty

Were secrets

He swore to keep as he gave

Her his trinket

And another warm embrace.

Seven.

Hers trembled,

His calmed,

As hushed words were traded,

Muted, against the

Deafening clanging of hands.

Six.

As he reassured,

She watched

Them moving unwaveringly,

Bringing her

Closer to her chosen destiny.

Five.

Knock on the door,

Kiss on the head,

She could push back no longer

The veil was here,

The hands had moved on.

Four.

Flowers in one hand,

Strong arm in the other,

Her feet followed the rhythm

Of ceaseless ticks

And the drumroll of her heart.

Three.

Music was playing,

People were standing,

As he guided her along one last time

Down one last road

To her greatest dream come true.

Two.

Blue eyes-

Stunned and proud,

Refused to drop her nervous gaze as

Their light replaced

The weight of those ominous clangs.

One.

Vows done,

Applause had begun

And she forgot the incessant chiming

Of father’s favourite ticker

Just as a long hand reached out to twelve,

Starting anew,

Once again.