The King’s Ransom

I hold him up at arm’s length, an offering to the gods, a tribute. He gurgles and squeals, wriggling in my arms. The sun kisses, then stings us. Beneath, his shadow wriggles along with him. I shudder, without a dark echo. That was the price for our freedom. Image credit: Photo by Riccardo Farinazzo on Unsplash

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Exit, Night

Night enters, rudely awakening fear while light peeks tentatively from other rooms. Fate reaches for the one match still housed within its book, lone survivor of smoking years. Phosphorus flowers into flame, snatching at the candle. Vanquished, darkness slinks away.

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