Life and Death

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise. We are an international community of writers who get together once a week to write flash fiction. Our lovely leader, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, posts the photo prompt on her blog, Addicted to Purple.

I’m glad to be back after a brief hiatus. On occasion, my muse goes missing and I have to chase after her (or him). Have I found my muse again? You be the judge! Tell me in your comments 🙂

path-dale-rogerson

Photo Copyright: Dale Rogerson

 

Life and Death

by Jan Brown

Jenny walked the long pathway. The rising sun lit the way, heating the cold stone. On each side, wondrous adventures loomed. Beautiful gardens, inviting beaches, sprawling cities. There were also darker paths with an edgy feel. Certainly riskier exploits awaited there! She longed for the exhilaration, the thrill of accomplishment.

Was she on the right path? So many choices–just like life.

Does He really have a plan for any of this? If so, Jenny wished He would just come out and tell her! But nooooooooo…He leaves it up to her to decide which path to take.

Just like life.

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…The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.  – Luke 1:78-79

To read other Fictioneers’ stories, click the blue froggy thing:

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Prayer

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by B. W. Beacham.

Photo Copyright B.W. Beacham

Prayer

by Jan Brown

The Shoreline Mission Shelter was destroyed by the hurricane. I wept when I witnessed the first responders removing Father Paul’s lifeless body. Most of the residents survived. But they still hadn’t found Lanie. Only her shopping cart was there, upended on what was now the beach.

Three days later, they found part of the structure a mile away, half buried in the sand. And under the heavy wooden beams—Lanie! “Where’s Father Paul?” she said in a hoarse whisper. “I need to thank him. If he hadn’t stayed and prayed with me these past few days, I couldn’t have survived.”

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To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:

NaPoWriMo 25 – Mother

Last night I learned that my friend’s mother passed away, and I can’t even think how to write a poem today, unless it is a poem that honors her and her life. I am not well myself, so I am of little or no help to anyone, but what I can do is write, and pray.

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem using anaphora. The Poetry Foundation defines anaphora as the repetition of a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect.

It is sad that we are so close to Mother’s Day. But I think the idea to use anaphora is perfect, because it helps to emphasize her role, her experiences, her impact.

Mother

by Jan Brown

She is the one who was born into beauty
Who lived through the ugly pogroms
Who gave birth in the displaced persons camp
And still carried on

She is the one who brought children to the new world
Who struggled in a strange land
Who grappled with a loony language (English)
And still made a life

She is the one who worked hard hours
Who created a home for her husband
Who gave life to her family
And kept it going

She is the one who loved them
Who loved them when they went to war
Who loved them when they were flawed
And when they were perfect

She is the one who loved them
Who loved them when they went to college
Who loved them when they were sick
And when they held on

She is the one who cooked perogies
Who made kapusta and babka
Who taught us to make the holidays flavorful
And made us smile

She is the one who loved and lost
Who suffered that loss that no mother should
Who grieved her son, not yet fifty
And still held up

She is the one who loved and lost
Who grieved her husband, together so long
Who carried on, alone and lonely
And still loved him

She is the one who is reunited
Who is greeted by husband and son
Who is greeted by saints and angels
And we will always love

Nephew

This is in response to the February 19th NaHaiWriMo theme of the day: “baby.”  It prompted me to think back to a horrible winter 32 years ago, when it was 25 degrees below zero (Farenheit) with strong gusts of wind at my mother’s graveside.

But the most wonderful nephew in the world kept us busy later at home. I remember the smell of the soy formula that he burped down the back of my burgundy tunic. I remember how he cried constantly, unless I walked him around the house, holding him up high. I remember his sweet smile when I did.

Thank you, Rob.

at the funeral

baby cries and coos

cycle of life

Another NaPoWriMo Challenge

This challenge is to write a poem in which every line is a declarative sentence, with the exception of the last line, which is to be a question. Hmmm….

The Obituary

by Jan Brown
 

“M. Jean Paul Thibault died suddenly on Saturday night.”

I never knew your middle name till I read the obituary.

But I had memorized every curve of your face, every line of your body.

“He left a wife and two children.”

If you had left them earlier, as you promised, you would still be alive.

If you had come with me to Paris, as you promised, you would still be alive.

“He died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident.”

I’m a little banged up, myself.

Shall I wear red to your funeral, darling?

The Enchantment

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo was provided by Scott Vanatter, used with permission (© Indira).

You can read other Friday Fictioneers’ work by clicking the link that appears below my story.

gnarled-tree

The Enchantment

by Jan Brown

As a boy, my husband would sit in his yard and talk to the tree. He was convinced of a spirit dwelling within.

His grandmother told folktales of Yakshinis, beautiful and powerful tree nymphs. Yakshinis could reveal treasure, cure illness, and teach you how to enchant the hearts and minds of your fellow man (or woman).

But my husband was never wealthy, and his cancer was never cured.

Did the Yakshini fail him? No, she taught him well! He enchanted my heart.

Now, I talk to the tree. With each breeze, its branches enfold me, telling me I am loved.

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Mississippian

Birdman Tablet replica

he writes on a tablet

bright white

rhythmically tapping out

deep thoughts on anthropomorphism

a birdman tablet carved into shell

by a native ancestor

he emulates

although the people became extinct

before his European ancestors

washed ashore

he ponders a metal plate

a mandala like the ones he saw

in South America

but in the center, a hamsa

the open hand, the evil eye

the same protective symbol

he saw in North Africa

if we are all connected

why do we fight

why are the treasures unearthed

from burial mounds

secreting bodies

sacrificed to war

annihilated

along with the culture

mysteriously abandoned

vanished

except for the tradition

of violent death

the one tradition we kept