Unearthly

A d’Verse prosery prompt

“Yours is lighter than the breeze,” she rasped, “You couldn’t possibly understand, you blighter.”

“My what?” the lad asked fearfully, but the crone continued speaking, her eyes and mouth twitching, as the child fought against his rusty shackles.

“I’d just as well never have anything to do with you brats! Most of the time, the damned beast is content to just lumber about or nap, and she leaves me in peace; but sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy… that’s when these infernal spasms start. You think I asked for this, Boy?”

“Please…”

“Stop struggling. It’ll be over snippety snap! She feeds on weightlessness; and she’s quite ravenous. Usually, she swallows them without even chewing!”

As the hag’s voice grated, the terrified schoolboy suddenly noticed her unearthly, inky shadow looming impossibly high above her, rushing toward him of its own accord.


It’s prosery time at d’Verse. The rules are simple:

  1. Use an assigned line in the body of your prose. You may change the punctuation and capitalization, but you are not allowed to insert any words within the line itself. You can add words at the beginning and/or at the end of the line; but the line itself must remain intact.
  2. Your prose can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction. YOU CAN NOT WRITE A POEM for this prompt. AND, your prose should be no longer than 144 words, sans title. It does not have to be exactly 144 words. But it can be no longer than 144 words.

The assigned line was:

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy

-Mary Oliver, ‘Spring Azures’ (a poem)

51 thoughts on “Unearthly”

  1. I love the way most of this tale is in dialogue, David, building up to the horror of the final paragraph. I was torn between horror and laughter when I read: “Stop struggling, Boy, it’ll be over snippety snap! She feeds on weightlessness; and she’s quite ravenous. Usually, she swallows them without even chewing!”

    1. Thanks, Kim❣️

      In truth, I feel like using dialogue is taking the easy way out with prosery prompts – because characters can say anything in any-which way, depending upon their intelligences, characters, backgrounds, dialects, etc…

      -David

  2. Shades of Baba Yaga, the crone stealing children and doing away with them. A fearsome creation. You tell the story as a story should be told, just the right story-teller tone.

  3. I admire the fact that you have really turned this prompt into a story, rather than an interior dialogue as I always seem to do. And a good one too, like an old and well-trodden tale. (K)

    1. Thanks so much, Kerfe ❤

      I don't think one is inherently better than the other, but my blog has a lot of omphaloskepsis going on so I really appreciate having the opportunity to write stories that have nothing to do with me 🙂

      Yours,
      David

    1. I don’t have any of her books, but I’ve read poems of hers online. She was recommended to me by a family member some months ago. Why?

      -David

      1. She happens to be one of my favourite poets, writing mostly about nature and from the heart. I must have nearly all of her books. Sadly she passed away in January 2019. (Your assigned line was what made me ask).

  4. Yipes! Not the time to have a philosophical discussion with or listen to the rationale of a monster! Break free and get out of there! Terrifying!

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