Rant ! Pic and a Word Challenge #235

Proxima Centauri b, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia, Spain
It’s like it’s Earth but it’s not Earth

She shook a little with her distress
Speaking between tightened lips
Just barely containing a primal scream

I don’t mind the old-Earth tenements
Their utilitarian simplicity
But why does every other building
Have to look like the cover
Of an Arthur C. Clarke paperback
Couldn’t we come up with
A more interesting ‘future’
Than one dreamed up by hack illustrators
Over two centuries ago

Jinessa was just getting started
When she goes full rant
You can either cower and exit
Or saddle up and ride it for the eight count
I struggled to get a foot in the stirrup
As her exasperation rose

Oh my gawd
But it feels like someone
Stripped the life out of the colour wheel
I mean I get it
Proxima is not good old Sol
But why does it have to suck
All the juice out of orange
All the indigo out of the sky
All the crimson out of my hair!

She’d wanted the change
As much as I did
Coming here was her idea
It took most of our combined savings
And a serious cut in our lifestyle
To pull it off
Those tenements she mentioned
Were functional and clean
But hardly the standard she’d lived in
All her deeply privileged existence

And why does the atmosphere have to smell
Like fucking plum pudding
What is up with that
Even a hamburger tastes like
A sickeningly sweet yet
Gaggingly pungent holiday desert
Why doesn’t it explain all that
In the brochures
How was it kept out of the news

But life with Jinessa was a bit of a rodeo
Whether it was staged here on Proxima b
Or back on Earth
Truth is I love this most about her
Well not so much the ranting
But the passion
The complete commitment she has
To wrenching every bit of life possible
Out of what she considers
An all-too-brief existence
She will not truck with the unpleasurable
And there is no such thing as mundane
In the world of Jinessa Hardesty

She’d moved on to how the water tasted
Like undistilled dishcloth wringings
When I heard the distinct sound
Of the eight-second buzzer
In my head
So I started the search for an opportunity
To get out of the saddle

This can be a tricky maneuver

The pauses in Jinessa’s speech are quick breaths taken in the middle of sentences rather than between them which completely disarms those who attempt to interject while she’s speaking as the only times her lips aren’t forming words are strategically placed at moments requiring what most would consider a rude interruption of her train of thought

I chose the moment beginning with
“Thankfully, a good oatmeal porter…”
And cut in with a whispered

We can go back

Then waited for the train’s inertia
To run out of track

…already tastes a bit like slurping
dishwater from a kitchen sink
or I’d have absolutely nothing to dri…

Wait. What?

This time I said it
With a wry smile
And a little gleam

We can go back

This completely derailed her


It took a moment for the train
To come to rest

…but we’re all in
We blew all our savings
To get here
And only barely make enough
Between the two of us
To live on

I took her hand
Partly because she seemed
A little unsteady
But mostly
Because I like holding her hand
And I wanted to feel the squeeze
She’d give mine in a moment
As I explained

As you know
If the company ran an operation here
They’d have gladly given me a transfer
What you don’t know
They only let me out of my contract
With the permanent stipulation
That if I ever wanted to come back
They’d pay the return fare
For both of us

And then came the squeeze
With just the right pressure to tell me
Her shock was becoming delight

Why did you never tell me this

Because it didn’t matter
Until now
And you didn’t need to know
Until now
I don’t want you to ever doubt
That I am fully committed to you
No matter where we are
Or how we are living
I came here expecting to stay here
Because we wanted to be here
I’ll stay here
Only so long as you’re happy here

She pulled me in
For a loud wet kiss
Then whispered
Close to my ear

My gawd, I love you

Of course
Jinessa being Jinessa
She couldn’t leave it at that
So leaned back her head
And shouted to the universe


She kissed me again
Then drew back
A rare tinge of doubt
In her eyes as she spoke

You know that a rant is just a rant
And that I’m happy to be
In your presence
No matter where that presence is
Here on Proxima or anywhere else

I chuckled
Caressed her cheek

I know
And I wouldn’t have your rants
Any other way

We embraced there for a while
In the wan light
Breathing fruity atmosphere
When the dishwater fountain
Sprang to life

I whispered

Shall I book the next departure

She hesitated

Let’s give it a year
The place might still grow on me

I laughed
I laughed hard
And so did she

The planet Proxima Centauri b
Circles its sun
Proxima Centauri
Once every 11.2 Earth days

Proxima Centauri b
Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

Taken during travels, 2019

Pic and a Word Challenge

Last week we spent a moment taking in our Presence. This week, let’s go on a good ol’ fashioned Rant, or find something else to inspire you in this other-worldly filtered photograph of Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in Valencia, Spain.

The Pic and a Word Challenge is a weekly creativity prompt offered Mondays.

Each week I provide a photograph of mine along with a single word. The challenge? Use the pic and/or word as points of inspiration to create something — a photograph, a painting, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, longread or just a few words. You are welcome to use these two elements (photograph and word) literally, thematically or metaphorically. If you create both images and words, all the better.

To participate:

  • Use any title you like
  • Your response can be words and/or images
  • You may use my image in your post, or any image you have created
  • Mention that you are responding to the Pic and a Word Challenge
  • Add a link to this post in your response

To help us find your response — whether on WordPress, Instagram, Flicker, Tumblr, etc. — you can also:

  • Add a comment on this post to announce your response
  • Apply the tag/hashtag “Pic and a Word Challenge” or “#picandawordchallenge” to your post

Each week, I’ll list the previous week’s responses at the end of the new challenge. I may also share some on my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.

The previous challenge was: Presence
Shootin' the Shit, Bar Mendizábal, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Challenge #234 ~ Presence
The word for last week’s Pic and a Word Challenge #234 was Presence, along with this photograph of two women having a convo in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, Catalonia, Spain.

Four bloggers found their Presence this week. =) Thank you, everyone! ❤

View all the Pic and a Word Challenges, including the current challenge, on the Pic and a Word Challenge tag page.

Happy Creating!