Orizuru’s Winter Carousel

painting of cranes, by Józef Marian Chełmoński used as microfiction prompt
Cranes by Józef Marian Chełmoński, 1870

As is their nature, in the cold of winter, they leave for warmer shores. Fortunately, I’ve committed to memory their aerial dance and play it back in slow motion- a frame a minute to allow me to meditate on the aching beauty of their elegant necks and snow-white and black-tipped wings that gracefully stretch for one thousand years and back, thrusting them forward like a ruby crowned dart, before landing with a victorious V, framing the clouds that keep them company.

By the window, I watch and wait, it is all I can do, weighed down by dust and branded by coffee ring marks left on the torn page of the lined notebook that was folded to give me joints with minimal range of movement. The sharp creases of my form serve as lines separating me from them. Pierced and suspended, I float on my winter carousel, replaying memories of the cranes to bide time until the taunting promise of flight that summer brings.


164 words for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #3. Of course critical feedback appreciated, Jane. I went a little abstract with this one and was aiming for poetic prose.

Postscript 08.04.17: Originally published 5th July 2016. Reposting as I am considering additional instalments (shout out to SB!).

45 thoughts on “Orizuru’s Winter Carousel

      1. So even when there was already an image? Interesting how different minds work. I imagined the painting to be a freeze frame (not sure I’ve used the right term) showing the stages of flight of the one bird – and from that, a story was born.

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      1. You’re either being self deprecating or having a dig at my story! Oh well, big market in childrens books- a gateway into all sorts of money making ventures- clothes, posters, ‘on ice’ tours, happy meal toys…


      2. I have serious problems with plots. I ‘got’ this idea, probably because it wasn’t meant to be obvious, and the intention was that the reader work it out for herself. Anything like thrillers, adventure stories, mysteries, espionage things, where there’s a plot to follow and a logic to events that’s supposed to be clear as daylight if you have the right cast of mind, I am completely lost.

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  1. Where is the epic trilogy to which this story is attached? You write the way the birds move, upwards, to a higher plane. It is wonderful to read a story that is as elevating as it is descriptive. Amazing work. xo

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      1. Your talent is enviable and speaks for itself. Remind yourself how blessed you are whenever you need a lift. We’re both in the same boat, on the quest for elevation. It’ll take some rowing but I hope you will feel better soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Such kind words, though I wouldn’t go as far a ‘enviable’ – anyone can do what I do, just depends on level of interest and investment of time. Thanks for the reminder about my blessings- yes, I have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks SB. Let’s row out of shit creek into clearer waters. I wish for you sunny days and smooth sailing 💕

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much- and it was a lovely day and a lovely message to see at the start of it (although I’m responding many hours later). I feel my mojo returning…only a matter of time before I post…catch yiu in your next post 😊

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