Micro072814: Just Joking

Once upon a time, a woman longed to have a baby girl to fill her home with flowers and pretty things, to provide the softness she did not see in her four sons.
She prayed in the way she had been taught, followed the rules her scriptures dictated, till her god looked upon her, pitied her, and gave her a daughter.
She did not know that a cruel joke had been played on her.
Her daughter grew up strong and boisterous, surrounded by rowdy brothers. She climbed trees and kept frogs as pets, rough-housed with her brothers and only slept when she knew her favorite toy car was cleaned and parked beside her bed.
Then something happened to her. A deep voice in the night, the forceful arms of older stronger muscles, a tearing pain, threats, violence… violence.
Violence was born. Her mother did not know that a cruel joke had been played on her.
Violence was nurtured, lovingly and in secret, for who dares to spread the shame to scorning faces, jeering tones? Violence grew strong, its thorns tearing, leaving long lines of scarred flesh that never really healed.
Eventually it reached out of her body, spreading little tendrils that ensnared one brother, trapping him and holding him down till its seeds had taken proper root. And thus it spread itself to each child, who held it and treasured it.
An explosion.
Bodies bleeding out, smoke billowing to the skies. Cries, terror, the horror of death etched so deeply by flying debris.
They say she started it, that the faithful prophetess told them this was necessary in order to put the World right, that’s what Violence had said.
That is why her mother sits there, her vacant eyes searching for the punch line, a search that will not find its answer in her sorrow or the tears she stopped shedding years ago.
Tell her the joke when you point at her and laugh.



Micro072514: Pictures

Once upon a time, a man took a picture. The colors were vibrant, bouncing off dark brown skin that shone with sunlight’s kisses and wrinkled upon itself with age. The deep set brown eyes leapt off the photograph, saying something profound, but the photographer did not hear it.
The photograph made rounds throughout the World, winning him accolades and praise that thundered from hands and eyes and wallets. They gazed upon the face, admiring the colors, amazed at the emotion the photographer had captured. They did not ask him what those eyes said and assumed it was a language, a thought, an emotion that required his interpretation. But he had not heard it. He would not have been able to tell them even if they had asked.
Had he asked that many-times-copied face a question, would he have understood the significance of the answer? Now we gaze upon it, gawking at the folds marking each passing challenge, each significant circumstance, every battle won, but we still do not know what those eyes are saying.
We are lost in a sea of forgetfulness, where intention convolutes messages seeping through eyes darkened by age. A sea that sweeps away whispers that ripple through skin reaching out to touch our own to reclaim us.
And yet we gawk on. Gasping demurely as laden photograph after laden photograph march in front of our drugged eyes, the last vestiges of a proud, hororable people fading away.