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

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“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). 

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“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.”

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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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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Writing 101: Fiction – Part 1 – After the Plane Crash. #everydayinspiration


Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is finding inspiration through a photograph. Lol. A familiar writing past time via flash fiction. 

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The woods are still. The stillness makes me not want to enter them. I’ve been lost out here for days, walking through brush and fields of grass and flowers. But now the forest bids me welcome with its unnatural quietness.

It isn’t right a forest shouldn’t be so silent. “Hello?” I whisper and then scream again loudly, “Is anyone out there?” My words echo and the forest muffles the sound of my words until my screams are the same as my quiet ‘Hello.’ It’s been a week since I’ve been wandering alone.

My friend Danny was a pilot and he knew what he was doing when he flew; he had been a pilot since he was sixteen. But we crashed in the countryside and Danny died instantly. Escaping the plane, I ran for cover grabbing what supplies I could manage, before the plane exploded into fire and smoke.

I thought the burning plane would be a smoke signal and someone would see it and come searching for Danny and I. He had touched base with someone right before the plane crashed on his radio. Someone had to be wandering why Danny’s plane disappeared a week ago.

Infront of me the forest beckons, and to be truthful, I need to find food to eat. I don’t think I can last another day on rationed granola bars, peanuts, and chewing gum. Thankfully, I was able to put a package of water bottles from the plane into my backpack, before the plane exploded. I had been carrying the heavy load of bottled water for days, each day having two bottles. The water was heavy at first but getting lighter for me to carry as time passed.

 I stare at the entrance to this silent forest and I can hear my feet crunching and crackling the dead leaves and pine needles on the forest floor.I keep hiking through the woods, hoping to find some nuts or edible berries. But I’m not lucky enough to find any food sources, not even small animals. I was feareful of coming upon a mountain lion or a grizzly bear. But I would have heard a large predator in the silence of this forest. 

Darkness came, and I lay out on a tarp in a sleeping bag, but the night was cold despite the fact it was summer. I slept little, as I had everynight since the plane crash. Danny’s slack dead face haunting my dreams. “Danny,” I said screeching his name and waking up under a starlit sky before falling back into a restless sleep. I’m bruised and scraped all over from the crash. The ground feels painful to sleep on.

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The morning sun is brilliant. The sky a painting of rich pink and orange hues fading into a bright blue sky with cotton clouds. I can glimpse the dark forest ending. I wonder where I will end up next? My food is long gone and I have had to switch to drinking only one bottle of water a day. I feel dizzy and my head aches from a lack of food. Only the promise that this disturbing silence in the forest will end soon, makes me continue walking.

Finally, I come to a clearing and looking up at a clear blue sky, I thank God the forest part of the journey has ended. Ahead of me lay fields of a plant I vaguely recognize. Workers are busy in the field picking the plants. I can smell the acrid yet tantalizing scent of marajauna in the air from someone smoking it. I day dream of brownies with marajauna baked inside.

The workers stare at me curiously as I walk towards a magnificent old southern mansion, past the marajauna fields in the distance. I must have appeared frightening to the workers. I haven’t showered or changed my clothes for two-weeks. There has been no river to clean up in and no clean clothes to change into. The workers did their best to ignore my presence, but I’m not sure why they did.

I approached the mansion frustrated. But the front door swung open upon my arrival. A man greeted me cheerfully. I could tell he was staff. “Where am I?” I asked my voice raspy from not having used it for so long.

“Mr. Eric Dale’s house. He runs the fields and the workers, using marajauna for medicinal purposes and hemp products,” I’m assured. The staff member introduces himself, as Gregory, Mr Dales PA. I try to listen to Gregory’s words but having had nothing to eat for the better part of a week is catching up to me. I feel faint and sick, my head spinning.

I manage to rasp, “My friend crashed his plane here. I walked through fields and forest and now I’m here. I need something to eat. I need sleep and a bath. I need to get home. My friend Danny is dead.” 

Breaking into tears, I feel miserable and finally able to grieve for Danny if only for a few moments. Collapsing on the floor I hear a deep male voice ask, “Is she okay? She’s been out in the wild two-weeks. They’re people searching for her in helicopters. They found the plane crash.” 

Through a haze of fog and desperate hunger clawing at my gut, I hear Gregory calling for help from other staff. I can fight to survive no more. Fading into blackness, into dreams,  I see Danny smiling, animated, and joking right before the plane crashed.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.