Hoarfrost, Legacy of Shame


Absolute; Precede; Blip; Cabal (n))  a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles.); Paper; Asomatous (adj.)) Having no material body.); Hum; Stand; Above; Item; Opaque; Fremdschämen (v)) To feel ashamed about something someone else has done. )


The mother wore Fremdschämen

Like a locket beneath her blouse…

Unholy item, yet somehow sacred, an

Amulet warm against her opaque heart

Which—cut by her perfect hand from heavy 

Paper mysterious—made no hum, nor recorded a

Blip as she coldly stepped around, removed

From, her daughter—first-born child.

What shame had the girl brought on her?

Life-long enigma, this (held in confidence

Reserved only for the girl’s brother, the prince

Who looked to be his sister’s twin); though not

A figment of her imagination.  It was as

Absolute as the mother’s stone visage, had

Perhaps preceded the girl’s birth…how would she

Know?  But she felt its substance, an asomatous

Hatred standing above her every moment, waiting

For merest opportunity to demean, humiliate,

Castigate her with fearsome angry words which

Rang like razor-sharp clawed blows, stripping

The skin from small nebulous soul.

Time passed, the inexplicable cruelty grew

Heads and limbs, a monstrous entity which

Formed a shunning cabal—mother and

Siblings communicating secret looks—

From which the girl was silently excluded.

So it would remain…this unexplained, and wordless

Mutual agreement—banishment to tundra. 

Death claimed the mother, who bequeathed

The girl nothing…not one lone loving,

Or last remorseful, thought.

By then, the girl’s center had iced over—

Tears of wounding, grief, buried beneath

Decades of hard-packed snow, hoarfrost…

Incapable of loving, she wore the

Mother’s hand-me-down frowning rime.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Silence of the Banjoher


Today’s nonsense word is Banjoher.  For Example: ‘He decided that if he held the banjoher in his hand it worked so much better.’  Your task is to create a story in which you use the word ‘banjoher’ in such a way that clearly illustrates the meaning you are intending to give it.  Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver.

Marabella was a beautiful woman; well-read, talented, possessed of significant intellect and spectrum of interests—and she was lonely.  Her husband Conrac was a seafaring man, gone for frequent and lengthy periods of time.  He craved traveling to foreign ports, and the seemingly measureless miles of ocean between home and wherever he was headed next.  Did he love his wife?  Yes.  Did he love the sea, and where it took him, more?  Neither of them spoke entrance to such risky territory.  Was he faithful to his marriage vows?  Well, rarely do people answer truthfully…

Marabella decorated their home with the lavish, exotic gifts Conrac brought back; and she wore the jewelry he selected, whether or not it suited her.  She kept busy in his absence, filling her solitude with needlework tapestries and the poetry she wrote between books devoured.

Sometimes during long hours of a voyage, Conrac reflected on their relationship.  Years ago he’d fallen hard for her quiet mystery and mystique, as well as for her classically stunning features.  She had always loved him more silently than women who chatter on, he thought—even in their most intimate physical communion.  He was clueless how to bridge the distance he’d only now become aware had crept stealthily between them.

Marabella met his return with a warm embrace and kiss, appraising him with lingering sweeps of her dark-eyed gaze.  She asked if he was hungry, but he was too excited to show her his latest treasure.

Knowing her passion for music, he’d been delighted to find an odd instrument called a banjoher—somewhat similar in appearance to the mandolin she considered romantic.  The banjoher had five strings—and when he handed it to her, she discovered that no sound came from strumming it with her slender fingers.  She looked at him curiously.

“Kind of like you,” he said shyly—“exquisitely formed but the music is mute, enigmatic.  It must be imagined.”

She nodded, smiling graciously, and thanked him in her mellifluous soft voice.

Later, after he’d fallen asleep, she went out to the living room to look at the banjoher again.  Holding it delicately, she turned it over, caressing the light satiny wood.  She saw a small square of loose paper inside the heart-shaped opening.  Thinking it was just the manufacturer’s information, she shook it out.

In tiny print it told the myth behind the unusual stringed instrument.  Perhaps someone made such tales up, just like Chinese cookie fortunes, she suspected.  Nonetheless, it was intriguing to read that ‘a certain man’ crafted the banjoher for the woman he loved, who didn’t speak—in hopes it would unlock her words in song.  Sadly, it failed to produce the magic or miracle—and the man died, never hearing his darling’s voice.  ‘Still, the charm remains in each banjoher made, with potential to heal mysterious mute curse’, the thin paper promised.

Marabella sat with the banjoher held against her breast until dawn began to paint silk ribbons across the new day’s horizon.  Then, as though in a trance, she moved dreamily to her husband’s side of the bed.  She resisted the impulse to stroke the perfect planes of his brow, cheekbones and jawline.  Instead, she memorized the handsome youthfulness he’d retained for nearly thirty years…and how he lay so still, his breaths gentle whispers.

As sunlight broke through the mauve bedroom curtains, the room filled with coppery tang of blood that bathed everything—spattering splinters of shattered bone and banjoher. 

~ Fini ~

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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