For Vindication

This week, something totally different. Think of it as a gift. I’ll let you decide whether or not it’s the literary equivalent of a lump of coal.

A little over a week ago my sister introduced me to the poet Tony Hoagland. (You can check out one of his poems, “Beauty”, here.) His work is remarkable and (quite literally) inspirational. I’ve been toying with the idea of dabbling in poetry again since reading some of his. That said, I haven’t written poetry in years. I won’t make the claim that what you find below is good. Hell, I may be breaking all kinds of iron-clad rules for verse. I really don’t know, and I don’t see myself losing much sleep over it, either.

What I know is this was fun to write, in part because it just flowed. I saw the story taking shape and I didn’t have to do much but allow it. That’s a rare enough treat for any writer, so when it happens to me I never fight against it. I just assume Vye is with me and I go.

As is sometimes the case with my Friday fiction, this one is based on a prompt, courtesy of The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘vindicate’, ‘paint’, and ‘crow’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.

for vindication

Not for justice,
but vindication
painted in crow’s blood across
the milky white of her sun-bleached bones.

Searing red heat burns in his marrow,
a constant cry
robbing him of
That she should be taken–
he cannot abide this.

He hunts.

With tooth and claw,
with hammer and projectile anvil,
scratching his way from one to another,
introducing each to what he hopes will be a
fitting end.

But it’s not enough.

When they catch him,
he doesn’t fight.
He simply lifts the barrel one last time,
and fires.

Even that brings no peace.