“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
We grow accustomed to Darkness. Darkness is in our hearts. Our minds. Our souls. Anybody who has not been tempted by Darkness is a liar.
Some of us grow up in darkness. Some of us grow up in Light, finding Darkness when we realize Light is not all there is in this world. This is the Darkness which crushes the soul, destroys the spirit, leaving nothing behind but despair.
Some of us live in Darkness all our lives, never finding the path out. Never seeing even a spark of Light, our eyes so blinded by Dark.
Some of us are created of Darkness, some of us of Light. But it is the Darkness which finds us in our hours of despair, when the pain is so all-encompassing we no longer believe in Light. Some of us never escape the Darkness and drown.
Some of us…. all of us…. grow accustomed to Darkness.
Today, we have a paragraph as a prompt. Do whatever you can with it. Reflect on it, twist it, break it into pieces and use a phrase or just write if you agree/disagree or whatever you think about it. As usual, there are no restrictions on length or format. Suit yourself.
“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
― L. Frank Baum, The Land of Oz
“Leaves of a tree, my butt,” grumbled the Flying Monkey perched in the tree. “Ill show him leaves on a tree.” But he wouldn’t. He was, after all, a kind Flying Monkey and not a bit of the meanness in him that consumed his brethren.
Still, he hated to be called a leaf as if he were no more than one Flying Monkey among a thousand Flying Monkeys. And he hated, hated, hated, being called common. Hadn’t he left the Witch’s Castle and set out on his own, searching for a kinder, gentler, place among the vastness of Oz?
No, he was a failure of a Flying Monkey; hadn’t he been told that all his life? Hadn’t the others mocked him and laughed at him as he helped earthworms across the Yellow Brick Road and rescued ladybugs from the dank of the Witch’s Castle?
Dorothy had been a single girl out of thousands. Toto a single dog out of thousands. The Scarecrow a single scarecrow out of however many scarecrows might be around; the Tin Man the single out of the world of Tin Men. And the Cowardly Lion. How many lions were there in Oz? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? And yet, he was the only one of them who was scared and kind.
Was he maybe the Cowardly Lion of Flying Monkeys? Was he one of a thousand Flying Monkeys who wanted to be kind to those around him? Did that make him common? A leaf on a tree who would live and die unnoticed?
Could he be instead the catalyst of change among the Flying Monkeys? Could he be that one unusual Flying Monkey in a thousand who didn’t die unnoticed? Could he be a hero?
Spreading his monkey wings, he flapped from the tree, racing after the unusual band.
Thank you Mike Vore for our photo prompt this week!
The Last Flight of the Daisy Mae
“Daisy Mae, huh?”
They were still dressed from the funeral.
She rubbed the truck door, rust coating her fingers, under her nails, wishing it would remain there forever. She was born after the war, grew up on her father’s stories of the Daisy Mae and the men who served her.
“My father always said the plane wouldn’t let them die.”
He’d never known Linda’s dad, but he knew the courage of war from his own time in the cockpit. In times of great need, fear turned into courage and courage saved men’s lives. Bound them together forever.
“He never flew again, not in the sky, but he flew in this truck. He said it held the memory of those who fought beside him that day.”
Without a word, he snapped to attention and saluted the truck, the courage of eleven men who experienced a miracle that day on the Daisy Mae.
Holding his hand, Linda cried.
This story is fiction, the rest is not.
Flight crew of the Daisy Mae, B-24D Liberator Bomber on July 24, 1943:
1st Lt. Joseph A. Gall, Pilot
Flight Officer John N. Van Horn, Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. Benjamin I. Weiss, Navigator
2nd Lt. Myron W. Jensen, Bombardier
S.Sgt. Arvid B Ambur, Flight Engineer and Waist Gunner
TSgt Thomas Wyckoff, Assistant Engineer and Top Turret Gunner
S.Sgt. Robert L. Patterson, Radioman and Waist Gunner
S.Sgt. Francis J. Perkins Jr. Armorer, Assistant Radioman, and Ball Turret Gunner
S. Sgt. Robert B Storts, Nose Gunner
S. Sgt. Earl W. Conley, Tail Gunner
Sgt. Joseph “Pop” Evans, Photographer
Daisy Mae down on the beach at Midway after a harrowing raid against Wake Island. Landed with no brakes – you can see hydraulic fluid blown back on the fuselage, around 13 gallons of fuel and 800 bullet holes.
Yellow. As in piss poor. Rubber ducks. The sun. Lemonade. Flowers. And dead if the man heading into the bank didn’t perform up to snuff. He’d wanted to kill the bait before, had argued for it, but had been overridden. Nobody wanted to listen. Nobody wanted to believe.
It was dangerous to use one piece of bait too long. Too dangerous, not only to the bait – which didn’t matter to him – but to the job. There was always more bait. There wouldn’t be another mission should this one fail.
He drew in a long breath, not looking at the asshole beside him or the rest of the team watching from above; strategically placed around the street corner on which the bank was situated.
“Good afternoon, Mr Marshall. I hope for a productive meeting.”
“I am sure it will be, Mr. Jenkins. I am sure.”
Listened to the sound of walking. The rustle of clothes. The almost silent breath. Checking the bait’s vitals on the machine beside him, he cursed. The bait was going to panic; he’d been waiting for this to happen. You don’t pluck bait from the street and expect them to function in the high-stress situation of a mission. This one had lasted longer than the others. He’d almost believed things would work out this time.
More fool, he.
The sound of a door opening and closing.
“This will be suitable for your review, I hope?”
More rustling. The thump of a briefcase laid upon the table.
“I will call you when I am done.”
“Very well,” the bank manager replied, clearly reluctant to leave. “Let me know if you need anything.”
“Thank you,” the bait said a moment later. “I’ll give you a call.”
Rustle of clothing and the squeak of door hinges opening and closing.