Event, Free Verse, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Poem: Free Verse – In Memory of Evelyn #amwriting #poetry #elegy


Credit: Amanda Eifert
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A few months ago a dear friend passed away at 98 years old. She was a grandma, my great godmother, and in these last few years, a genuine friend. I miss her very much and writing her letters to mail with a poem or small story. It was our thing and I visited her as much as I was able. The last time I saw Evelyn we visited a few hours in her room. Then,  I was leaving and I couldn’t get out the door to reach the elevators. Finally, I got to the elevators went out the front time and stopped. 

I looked back at the wonderful care facility she’d been staying in these past three years. She was in her own home until she was 95. I had this strange feeling that I woldn’t see her again. I gazed back deciding all I could do was hope that in a month or two, she would still be alive and well. I do wish one more visit might have been possible. 

She was a wonderful, outgoing, and opinionated person. She demonstrated great care with people and her hospitality is/was famous. She even drove big trucks and was a mechanic in her day besides working at the Woodwards Department store for many years. For much her life, she was a single mother. Evelyn had many talents, her cooking, her unpredictability, and a spirit that kept on shining and pushing through life’s miseries. 

R.I.P Evelyn. I’ve been trying to finish this last poem for you for a few months.  It’s taken me awhile to get right! I’m so happy you are with our Heavenly Father and no longer suffering in any way. 

——–

A monument falls, crumbles, 

Although, she was strong. 

An impenetrable force, 

A spit-fire, a trail blazer. 

You can press your hands against thick steel, rock, or concrete, 

Wonder how such monuments are designed, 

Buildings of beauty, fortified through time;

How could they fall? 

Then you realize that soft skin isn’t stone, 

And a woman isn’t a superhero. 

When you gaze into the past, into beloved photographs, 

You see how smooth marble crinkles, 

As fine lines, directions on a map. 

The most elegant calligraphy, 

Words muted in the unforgiving sun. 

And photographs appear in memories, 

The warming light of conversation, 

Over hearth: satisfying food and laughter. 

Yet, still I attempted to see how her puckered lips,

Were once plump, young, and beguiling.

Long gone are her cherubic child’s lips, 

Nearly a century ago. 

And flawless cream skin is marked, 

Lines settled in, can be followed, 

A pattern of an Autumn leaf. 

No monument left to be seen, no eyes sparkling, 

With a smile uniquely hers, 

Never to be repeated;

Only in whispers of genealogy. 

A monument stood and —

She was significant. 

Someone who was seen and not afraid to be, 

A grandma who paraded around, 

 In forty two pairs of shoes — probably more. 

Her body could be strengthened with steel, 

Knees and hips better off with fabrication; 

The real ones worn out. 

Do stone monuments feel the pain of lost children? 

Of polio’s grasp, sucking the life out of a small boy.

Of a little girl who passed away a whisper. 

And of one child who survived, 

A reader, a teacher, a traveller, a builder. 

One who is imperfectly perfect as her.

My godfather with his wife, 

My godmother, both I adore.

Yet, the stubborn cheerfulness, 

Of this monument lives on in her family, 

In her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, 

And beloved relatives and friends;

Partners who marked her life, always leaving early. 

Sisters and brothers, marrying others becoming new brothers and sisters, 

How she adored and missed all them all, 

Passing away before she could blink.

For the most part, she was unsurpassed in years, 

She mourned her family and friends gone first, 

But reunites with them now.

And when she fell, the monument’s pieces scattered, 

Although all feels lost,

She needed her relief in heaven. 

And no one ever thinks that day will come, 

Until it crashes upon those left behind. 

Monuments fall, it happens every minute of every day, 

For every type of personality, 

To each person someday;

Special and authentically themselves. 

It’s okay to morn the monument’s empty place, 

To hunger for her caring advice, 

Her kind words. 

The silence is hard, her not being, 

In her home or in her room.

Now she’s aged, is dust of the earth, 

She is the ideal of herself, the creator’s perfection. 

Her life was imperfect, as we all are, 

It was shadowed by pain and misery; 

Yet her optimism always pulled her through it. 

Remembering her and taking comfort within, 

Her greetings to all those she meets again. 

The suffering and sorrow has ended, so do not cry your tears. 

For every monument is eclipsed, 

Heaven’s radiant light filters into the cracks, 

Rebuilds the rubble. 

Her figure of faith and grace. 

The love she had, that does not die, 

But multiplies in eternity, 

Waiting for her family someday. 

And for her her dear friends. 

 When we arrive, 

She’ll wonder what took us so long. 

Offering a piece of pie, uncooked fresh blueberries in a crust, 

With soft dollops of whipped cream. 

Her timeless love in cooking, baking, hospitality, 

Everyone was always welcome, 

If you weren’t, she’d tell you so. 

True monuments may appear hard and resilient, 

Underneath they are as the rest of us, 

They are frail and human. 

Time will catch up with everyone, 

And we pray we can meet our deaths, 

Mansions prepared in the sky. 

God the only monument, 

 Not our crumbled lives. 

————

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: Ruthless #amwriting #flashfiction #chess 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——–

Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

———

“I’ve learned some interesting things about chess lately,” Karley said. 

Tyler smirked and made his first move, the frosted glass pawn advanced, “What did you learn?” 

“Well, way back when there was no Queen. Beside the King was an Advisor.” 

“That Advisor must have had a lot of power if in chess he could move any direction on the board, diagonal or straight. Why did the Advisor become a Queen?” 

Karley grinned, “Well, for one, Queen Elizabeth I. But around her time and after, there were many powerful Queens. The Advisor becoming Queen was meant to please Queens, rulers who weren’t male.” 

“Do you think Queens in the monarchy were as ruthless as Kings?” Tyler asked watching Karley bring out her Bishop. 

“Of course. Queen Elizabeth I had no trouble executing those who opposed her. She also never married. I think power was her raison d’être,” Karley said placing her finger on the clear glass Queen. 

“But yet the Queen still protects the king?” Tyler mused. 

“He doesn’t really get to move much, though, does he?” 

“No, just a space here and there.” 

“Checkmate,” Karley said. 

“What, what does that mean? How’d you do that so fast?” 

“It comes from Arabic and French. Literally, it means, ‘He is Dead’ or ‘The King is Dead.’ I did it so fast because I’m the Queen.”

” The Queen?” Tyler said confused. 

“Yes, we’re ruthless.” 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, History, My Thoughts, Nature, Poetry, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Wrapped Refrain, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Caged in the Keep”  #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

———

Credit: Majestic Golden Rose

———–

My prison or my home? I shall, 

Never know what these empty halls —

Are; if they contain friend or foe, 

If they care about me, don’t know. 

Married off to a stranger, not unkind, not cruel, 

Not a friend, not yet a foe, stately and no one’s fool. 

——-

Behind these walls, a sullen keep, 

I’m kept, without sunlight’s relief.

My thoughts aren’t considered, nor my —

Opinions valued, I’m defied.

No special princess, just his highnesses wife kept, 

Safe from the world, from experience, trapped, bereft. 

——–

Where did childhood’s freedom go? 

Where are the green fields, wild flowers? 

I just want outside but then you’d, 

Never find me again, I’d far go —

Back to my father, to a life of freedom glad, 

My prison? Tigresses caged attack when mad. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Actor/ Actress, Current Events, Flash Fiction, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction:  The War to End All Wars #amwriting #nonfiction #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting SPF.

——–

Credit: C.E. Ayr

———

What was it like back then? To finally be home? To say the war is done, the enemy is defeated. Hitler killed himself and the Russian’s have taken half of Berlin. The U.S. navy is done island hopping and Japan surrendered after two giant atomic bombs. There’s a Time Magazine cover of a small Japanese girl running, her skin peeling off. Was the message affective? There will always be new enemies and consequences of war. It’s masked beneath the happiness this man feels grabbing some girl he didn’t know, to kiss her in the streets. 

But how many millions were murdered in Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Austria, and the Ukraine? What about the Japanese internment camps and the humiliation suffered there? Think of all the soldiers who were victims. It I said there’s about 6, 000, 000 soldiers alone, who died in WWII; the war to end all wars? 

I wish I could be as happy as this young woman, kissing this soldier and kicking her foot up into the air. There is joy in the end of war but there is never justice and although there are times we ‘must’ go to war, I have learned war is not ‘just’ for anyone. We’re human so we war. It has and will always be. But I fondly wish to be this girl kissing the handsome soldier, innocent, excited, and not realizing no war ends all wars — not until eternity. 

Word Count: 179

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved 

Actor/ Actress, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, History, Memories/Childhood, Movie Reviews, Music and Performers, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Travel, Writing, Writing Challenges

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Clang with the Trolley #amwriting #JudyGarland #flashfiction


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.


Credit: Yinglan Z

Each Christmas it is traditional for my family to watch Judy Garland’s Meet Me in St. Louis. The more times I watch it, the more it and Garland’s dazzling voice pull me in. By now I know the songs by heart and if not all of them, then at least the well-known “Trolley Song.”

The scene of Judy Garland’s character singing on the trolley is what comes into my mind whenever I see one and why today, I feel that I need to ride the trolley, wherever it may be going. Sure, it may take me places I have no idea where I am or why I ended up where I did. But it will also lead me to unexpected and interesting city jewels, waiting for discovery. 

As Garland’s character in the movie  did not want to leave St. Louis but at the same time possessed a yearning to explore, I have a connection to the trolley and wanting to explore the city because of  Garland’s famous song and her character’s adventurous spirit. 

——

“The Trolley Song” — Judy Garland 


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Children/YA/Family, Fiction, Finish Off Fridays/Saturday Mix FlashFiction, History, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nature, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing, Writing Challenges

First Line Friday: Fiction – Stenham House #amwriting #fiction #FLF


Thanks to Dylan of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s FLF.

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Credit: http://bigproof.ru

——

“Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.” 

Lost in the forest Marybeth was charmed by the crumbling facade of the ancient mansion. She wondered what the house looked like on the inside as she slipped through the rungs of a creaky black gate.

“What’r you doin’ here, Marybeth?” her older brother Winston cried, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.

“Mom’s worried. Said you’d been out so long she was ‘fraid you were lost in the woods for good. You know you’re too young to be out here alone.”

“What’s in there?” Marybeth asked Winston pointing to Stenham house. 

” You don’t want ta go there, ” Winston said matter-of-factly. “Tommy Johnson went in there and never came out the same. He’s a touched now.”

“Well he still lives in the neighborhood,” Marybeth argued. “I see him at school. He doesn’t play with the other kids much but sits in a corner and reads. There’s nothing wrong with that. What happened in that house?”

Winston shook his head, “You’ll have nightmares Marybeth, I can’t tell you. Mom’ll kill me.”

“S’okay I’m a big girl now. I’m seven. I can handle it.”

Winston sighed,”They say a family was murdered there. An axe murder came in and hacked them all to pieces. Grandma, Grandpa, the parents, and worst of all the children. There were four of them and the oldest was eleven.”

Marybeth gasped, “That’s bad. I saw the curtains moving I think someone still lives there.”

“There was a fifth child, he was a tot. The nanny hid him but was butchered herself. Even though the little guy was adopted, he always woke up with nightmares about the murder, even as an adult,” Winston whispered. 

” He lives there now, I think.” 

“He decide to live there when he ‘came  an adult. It was the only way he could face his demons. That’s what Aunt Sally told me.”

“Does Aunt Sally know him?”

“Yeah, they were in the same grade.”

Suddenly the front door to the delapitated house flew upon. Winston and Marybeth saw a gaunt middle aged man standing at the entrance. He motioned them over but then the crows began to fly and circle around the children, diving at them and pecking them when they tried to reach out to the man. 

Marybeth screamed batting at crows as she ran all the way back home to the safety of her mother’s arms. Winston followed his sister, his screams even more terrified. 

He swore to his sister, later, he saw the man at the door to Stenham mansion disappear into thin air. Marybeth believed him and decided to stay away from Stenhem house until she was older and wiser. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.  

Animals/Pets, Books, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, History, Memories/Childhood, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, Nature, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Tale Weavers Fiction/Poetry, Writing, Writing Challenges

Tale Weavers: Fiction – The Wolff with Shamrock Eyes #poetry #amwriting #taleweavers


Thanks to Lorraine of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie telling an adult version of a fairytale.

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Credit: http://www.pinterest.com
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Red was tired, worn out from helping her mother clean up the summer cottage. They had scrubbed it from top to bottom. Now that Red and her mother, Anne, were nearly done, all Red wanted to do was sit back and watch a movie with a bottle of her favourite ‘Red’ — a nice Cab-Sav or a Merlot. 

Then, her mom appeared with a picnic basket, “Gina, I know you’re tired and we’ve been working all day, but I need you to take this basket of food down to your Grandma Addy’s house. She’ll be upset if one of us doesn’t at least pop by for an hour or two to visit.” 

Red crossed her arms, “Mom, all I want to do is put my feet up and rest. I came out here to relax with you, Dad, and Michael, not to work even harder than I do at the firm. Besides, no one calls me Gina, just you. Call my Red that’s my name , like my hair.”

“Well who do you think your beautiful hair came from? My mother, your Gran Adeline of course. I know you’re worn out but you’re younger and have my energy than I do. I still have to change the sheets and air out the upstairs bedrooms for your father and I, and your brother’s room needs new bedding as well.”

“Make him do it.” 

“Mike won’t care. I can’t have his room that way.” 

Red grumbled, “Grandma’s a fantastic cook, mom. She makes amazing food for herself. She eats whatever she likes and doesn’t have diabeties even at eighty-three. How about I give her a call and tell her I’ll come by with lunch tomorrow? She’ll prefer I call before showing up,” Red reasoned. 

“Err, Red, your Grandma isn’t always as healthy as she likes to think she is. I was down here earlier this year because she hadn’t been able to cook and do a lot of her usual activities. Her arthritis has been acting up. It’s not healthy for her to be too thin at her age and she refuses to take the steroids the doctor prescribed her. She needs the food tonight. I called her and she told me she’s been eating toast and jam for days.”

Red was shocked, “You should have said something earlier, I would have visited Gran Addy before now.” 

Anne shrugged in apology and Red gave her mother an angry look tbefore stockng out the front door to her Camry. It was red like her hair and practical. Red was nothing if not practical. It was why she was one of the best associates at her law firm. 

She drove as fast as she could down the dirt road to her Grandma’s quaint house. Red gritted her teeth as stones assaulted the sides of her car and sighed in relief when she reached her Grandmother’s front drive and bungalow. 

She picked up the picnic basket from her back seat and knocked on her Grandma’s aubergine front door. “Gran, are you there? It’s Red, I have food mom made for you. It ‘s delicious and should tide you over for a few days. I can bring more when I’m over next,” she yelled through the door. 

Red didn’t hear a response so she tried the door handle. When the front door opened easily Red grew cautious. She walked inside her grandmother’s front entrance, hanging up her vermillion jacket on a coat hook and putting most of the food away in her gran’s fridge. She put together a plate of chicken, potatoes, gravy, and cauliflower with cheese sauce for her grandma before heating the food in the microwave for a few minutes. 

“Adeline?” Red called. “Grandma Addy? I have supper for you from my my mom. It’s Red, Grandma? Are you okay?”

She walked down the hallway and knocked on her grandma’s bedroom door holding the tray with the steaming plate of food and a cup of her gran’s favourite tea. The door swung open on its own and Red realized her Grandma Addy wasn’t in her bedroom. But who was? 

Red shrieked when a half naked man came into view stretching his well defined arms and back in front of her grandma’s picture window. The man was covered with intricate tattoos, designs trailing up his well toned arms and back. 

He seemed to know she was there and when he turned around Red almost drooled noticing the attractive man’s six-pack abs and mesmerizing shamrock eyes. She had to close her own cerulean eyes to gather herself and not clumsily drop the tray of food. Red felt her grip wobbling as she tried to breath. 

The gorgeous tattoo covered man rushed forward to help her. Red noticed his dark hair and inhaled his fresh woodsy scent as he grasped the tray from Red’s shaking hands. 

“Are you okay?” he asked. 

“No! No I am not. What the Hell are you doing in my Grandma’s bedroom? Where is she? My mom sent me over here to bring her food. All she’s been doing is eating toast all week. So where is she? And who are?” Red yelled. 

The man tried to calm her rubbing her arms and hushing her. Red didn’t back down, “You have five seconds before I call the police and tell them you’re trespassing in my Grandma’s home. Guess what else? I’m a lawyer so I’m going to make sure we sue you for trespassing and anything else I can.”

The man sighed shaking his head at Red. She followed him to her Gran’s writing desk, tray in hand. His handsome face crinkled as he gave her a genuine smile and took the tray from her. Red started to shout again but the man placed his hand over Red’s mouth.

“Just give me five minutes. I’ll clear this all up.” 

Red wrinkled her nose and grasping his hand over her mouth, threw it away from her. 

“You!”

Then his hand was back over her mouth, “Okay, Miss lawyer. My name is Wolff, Axel J. Wolff. But everyone calls me Wolff. Your Grandma asked me to house-sit while she and my grandpa Reggie went to Hawaii. They used to go out before both of them married their respective spouses. But now your Grandpa and my Nana have died so Addy and Reggie are both enjoying life together. I’m not trespassing and your Grandma did call your mom to tell her to send you over with food for me. I’m pretty sure she wanted us to meet.” 

Wolff smiled then picked up the fork from the tray and started eating. “This is amazing. Not as good as Addy’s cooking but much better than my own. Did you make it?” 

All Red could do was stare at Wolff suspiciously. Something about what he said didn’t add up. Her Grandma always told her if she was going away. She would’ve mentioned something on their twice weekly phone calls. 

“Wolff,” Addy said. “If your Grandpa Reggie lives here, how come I don’t know you? My family’s summer cottage is not far from here on the lake and I remember your Grandpa and even your Dad here in the summer. But I don’t remember you?”

Wolff shrugged. 

“All the children and grandchildren came down here in the summer for at least a few weeks. I would remember you were Reggie’s grandson. Your Grandpa always gave me twizzlers, but I don’t recall you for some reason, why is that?”

The back of Wolf’s free hand grazed Red’s cheek. He smiled at her taking in her sweet appearance with a predatoral gaze. His eyes swept her face and down her body several times. Red felt her body flush responding to the hunger in his eyes. She couldn’t help but admire his fit body and perfectly structured face. Red bit her lip and Wolff echoed her reaction to him. 

” I saw you a few times growing up. You’re around ten years younger than me so that’s probably why you wouldn’t have seen me. Beside, most of the time I was away at military school and then I was in the marines for a while. We didn’t get much of a summer break.”

Wolff set the tray aside and stared into Red’s dazed eyes, “What big eyes you have, Gina. Do you believe me? About Addy and Reggie? 

“My name’s Red. Has been since I was eight. I hate Gina. I believe you but how’d you know my real name?”

“Addy of course. Red, would you like to keep me company?” His eyes travelled down her body and up to her mouth, devouring her as he went. 

“Whose the one with big eyes now?” Red asked.

“The better to see you with,” Wolff replied.

” I don’t know if I believe a word out of your mouth,” Red said observing  Wolff with careful curiosity. 

Then his shamrock eyes glimmered and he held out his hand to Red. His smile was indeed wolffish and Red’s pulse raced as he took her small hand in his own. 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Children/YA/Family, History, Movie Reviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion/Morality, Synchronicity Poetry - 8,8,2, -- surprise ending last 2 stanzas, Three Line Tales, Writing, Writing Challenges

Three Line Tales: Poem – Synchronicity – “Worth Teeth” #amwriting #poetry #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales.

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Credit: Carson Arias via UnSplash

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It’s called a Lego graveyard,

A container full of beheaded,

Small men —

—–

A variety of pleasant looks,

Others with face’s of ire,

 No heads.

——

The girl and boy they build fast,

Tear bodies from heads not knowing, 

Bad thoughts. 

—–

—–

A pile of joy for building kids, 

A sight of horror for parents;

Gold teeth. 

——

As Nazi’s removed in death camps, 

Nothing dulls pain of Jewish soul; just —

Worth teeth. 

——

A few years ago I saw an excellent movie made by and including George Clooney and some of the regular actors found in his movies — Matt Dameon (etc.) called The Monuments Men. “The film follows an Allied group from the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program that is given the task of finding and saving pieces of art and other culturally important items before Nazis destroy or steal them, during World War II (Wikipedia). 

One of the aspects of the film that overwhelmeingly struck me as awful was as these men went into underground mines and other places the Nazi’s hid priceless artwork, were barrels full of teeth with gold fillings that had been pulled from Jewish Concentration camp prisoners. This is just one mote terrible act of numerous actions done to Jewish prisoners slated to die by Nazis in death camps. Upon researching this, I found the practice by Nazi’s to be accurate even within the context of the movie.  I read that in some cases, the Nazi soldiers forced other prisoners to do this job form them and no pain numbing drugs or even alcohol was provided. 

As well, the movie is based on a fictitious novel but the story itself is based off of real life events that are to some extent historically accurate. In the film, these American men who reclaimed the art work left the gold filled teeth and of course that was the right thing to do. Anyways, in my warped mind, those barrels full of gold teeth fillings are what these lego heads reminded me of — sorry for the imagery! 

This article The Monuments Men (2014) compares the movie and the real life Monument’s men. It answers some interesting questions about WWII Nazi History and Hitler’s reasons behind stealing such a wealth of art.  

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reseved. 

Fiction, History, My Thoughts, Poetry, Quadrille - 44 Words, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Poem: Quadrille – “The Catacombs” #amwriting #poetry #dVerse


Thanks to Paul Scribbles for hosting the ‘underground’ poem prompt theme for this week.

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Credit: Paris Trip Adviser

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In catacombs roaming, 

Creature of the dark decay. 

Sun burns flesh from bones, 

Igniting funeral pyres. 

We all must wander, 
I choose the catacombs;

Underground inhaling,

Dust of rotting flesh. 

Piercing tranquility, 

Screams of dead long past. 

Lullabys send us to bed,

Before yellow sapphire rises. 

Waiting for pitch coal;

Good becomes evil too easily. 
———

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Fiction, Flash Fiction, History, My Thoughts, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Sunday Photo Fiction: ‘All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here’ #amwriting #flashfiction #Dante #TheInferno


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

——–

“THROUGH me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric moved: To rear me was the task of Power divine, Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” –  The Divine Comedy, The Inferno (Canto III. Lines 1 -9). 

——-

“Abandon all hope? How can this be right?  I didn’t kill anyone and I was no pervert. I stood for my political office. I did what I had to do,” Ker said. 

“How do you know it was the right cause?” 

“Well, I just do.”

“What about those you hurt along the way? Your wife, Meredith, who now rests in Heaven’s fold? You’re here at the gates of Hell at the river Acheron for a reason,” the wise Charon told Ker. 

“I didn’t mean to hurt her, to use her to get where I needed to go. I loved her, but I didn’t mean to leave her. I prayed and I apologized. I admitted my sins to a priest in confession. Yet, here I am in Hell at the Traitors’ Gate, why here?”

Charon sighed and whisked the regretful Ker’s soul into the boat. “I wonder Ker, where Midas will send you? Will you be in the eighth circle as a corrupt politician or the ninth circle for being a traitor to your wife, to your family? Will you spend eternity ‘a Judas?'”

Ker shook his head, “This is nothing but a dream. Dante’s Inferno does not exist. I won’t abandon hope, I won’t. Meredith is not dead and I’m not really here.”

“But you did stop hoping and you’re a traitor so now you face the Traitors’ Gates. You are one of them and that’s why this gate is where you will enter into the ninth circle of Hell.”

“What?! I’m so sorry, I mean it. I repent. I’ll do better and change my ways. Tell me this is just a dream, let me have another chance.”

Charon chuckled and shook his head wearily.”It seems someone up high is fighting for your soul, Ker, I don’t why because your soul is pitch black. Yet, you will have another chance. Remember you won’t get another.”

—–

Ker awakes suddenly whispering pleading prayers in words of Latin and Ancient Greek. He doesn’t know why he understands these prayers to God, but he does. Ker attempts to pick up his smartphone nearby but feels terrible pain whenever he moves. 

Then, his beautiful Meredith walks in the hospital room door. “Meredith? I thought you were dead. That you would never speak to me again. I thought you were in Heaven and I was in Hell, I dreamt it.”

Meredith smiled at Ker with love despite how he had treated her recently: “Who do you think asked God to give you a second chance? I gave up eternity for a later time, hoping you will be there with when I return. Now you must fulfill your promises made in front of Charon.”

“So, can you change, Ker? Can you stop being a traitor and fight for ‘the good’ in this world? Can you fight for me, for us, for our family?” Meredith asked. 

Ker was just grateful to be alive. He swore to do better in life, in love, and he did. 

——–

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