I haven’t had opportunity to take part in Friday Fictioneers for a while, so I’m enjoying getting back into the swing of things this week. The photo is courtesy of Peter Abbey To take part in the 100-word story challenge visit Rochelle here. My story is below the picture.
A HOUSE DIVIDED
The lush Georgia countryside stretched and drowsed along the river. Union troops who had crossed the enclosed bridge lay behind trees and bushes, rifles ready. Their informant had guaranteed the Rebs would be hauling cannon and ammunition across the bridge just before sundown.
Bennett tasted bile; his heart pounded. From the time he’d made his choice, he’d known this moment was bound to come, but he wasn’t ready. Men and wagons approached the bridge, unaware, steadily making their way across. Leading the contingent was the younger brother he’d helped raise. Tears traced Bennett’s dirty cheeks as he aimed his rifle.
I have taken considerable liberty this week in responding to the prompt at “A Dash of Sunny.” It calls us to look at light and darkness and to write about them in any way we feel led. I have written an entire novel that focuses on the battle between light and darkness, looking in depth at the root sources of both.
As with all my inspirational novels, the theme of Racing Toward The Light is based in the Christian faith, and this particular book allows the reader to delve into the earthly lives of the characters of the story, but also into the spirit realm, where those forces of light and darkness dwell in all their fullness, and from which they influence and control earthly beings.
Since Racing Toward The Light fits this prompt so perfectly — and since it also fits the season of Halloween, when the world focuses on those forces from the dark side of the spirit realm — and since the E-Book version of the novel goes on sale at the Amazon Kindle store today — I thought I’d give you a peek at the official book trailer, in which I personally read an excerpt from the first few pages.
Maybe I can whet your appetite enough that you’ll hop over to Amazon and purchase a copy. And even if you don’t, it’s fun to share this much of it with you. The printed version came out about 5 years ago, but I’m excited about the digital version because so many people from around the world can download and read it now without dealing with exorbitant shipping costs.
So if you’re ready for a fresh, enlightening Halloween experience, come walk through this journey with Noah, as he struggles to find a way to overcome his own fear and weakness in order to commit himself to fighting a new battle with forces from beyond this world. Experience the power of God as angels and demons engage on the spiritual plane while believers discover the truth about their position of authority and their victory in the name of Jesus Christ and His blood.
In the 1930’s songwriter Lew Brown said, “Life is just a bowl of cherries.” He evidently considered that description accurate enough to turn it into a hit song.
A few decades later, Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” (Well, it was really his mama who said it, but he believed it. By the way, you don’t want to know what I think of that piece of condescending, cinematic buffoonery. Ooooops, I think I just told you. But I digress ….)
This week, after having to stop what I was doing and clean up my floor — twice — I decided I might as well throw in my two cents’ worth on the subject of life. Personally, I’ve about decided that life is like puddles of spilled coffee. They are an aggravation. They are messes that have to be cleaned up. But neither of those facts keeps me from wanting more coffee. They do, however, keep me working harder at trying to keep the coffee in the cup for drinking purposes, rather than using it to mop the floor.
No applause please. It’s just another pearl of great wisdom from my pet oyster.
Hey, the new book trailer for the novel Slate is now available on YouTube. Take a peek and then pass it on to some people you know who enjoy reading inspirational novels.
And another thanks to so many of you who were great support and help when I was writing this one, one chapter at a time, right here on the blog. It was a struggle giving birth to this particular novel, but I have great hopes for its future.
Instructions this week include choosing one of five pictures provided by the prompt hostess and writing a poem or prose piece based on that photo. However, my poem was actually prompted by one particular tree near my home, so I’ve used a picture of it here instead of one from the original challenge post.
To take part in this challenge visit “A Dash of Sunny.”
MY HEART BELONGS TO AUTUMN
Leaf by tender leaf,
I watch this stately monarch
Dressing up for fall.
Gold, russet, yellow,
And brilliant red — her choices,
For she loves them all.
Hour by passing hour
The change begins subdued but
Then bursts into flame.
I revel in the site.
My heart belongs to Autumn.
It’s joy calls my name.
The troubles that have pressed
Throughout the year now ending,
Though they’re present still,
Are vanquished by the power
Of Autumn’s golden glory
To subdue all ill.
My heart belongs to Autumn.
Indeed, it always will.
This week’s prompt delves into the various aspects of loss and the volatile emotions it can cause — and considers the possibility that there is a strong connection between loss and madness. I’m offering two pieces for this challenge. The first is a poem that considers loss without the madness — although making the decision to let the wrong person go from our lives could very possibly help keep us from going mad. The second piece is a work of prose that I actually posted in the past in connection with an entirely different challenge, but it seemed to fit this one so well that I thought it deserved a second bow. It does include a degree of madness connected with loss
Let him go.
It’s time to admit you’ve been a fool
And take possession back of your own soul.
At first encounter
You saw the good was mixed with bad
The right choice then by now would make you glad.
But foolish child,
You were intrigued, so closer crept
And threw out counsel that you should have kept.
“Do not touch.”
Three words so easy to understand;
Unguardedly, you opened heart and hand.
It’s harder now,
But still you have to make the choice.
And this time listen to the wiser voice.
You call it love,
But such a love that’s unrequited
Just leaves the soul living life one-sided.
He claimed to share the love you feel,
The danger of forbidden fruit is real.
Let him go.
And pray the feelings soon will die.
To hope for more would be to live a lie.
Let him go.
I’ve thought about you countless times this past year. I sometimes wish I hadn’t been so hasty to make the decision. There are days when I wake up thinking how good it would be to still have you beside me for a few hours. And, of course, every time I make the curried chicken casserole I think about you. It’s downright lonely in the kitchen these days. And I don’t even cook most of the time. I do carry-out.
I don’t order from our favorite Chinese place, though, and I don’t go in there anymore because they almost always ask me, with sadness in their eyes, how I’m doing now that you’re gone. That gentle couple who own the place really got to like you. I think you were probably their favorite customer during the three years we ate there. I miss the Chinese place, and some of the other haunts we made our own. But I’m finding new interests and new friends, and things will work out.
But — sometimes — on a summer evening — when the windows are open to the gentle night air and someone’s laughter floats across the breeze, it reminds me of your laugh. I think that’s one of the things I miss most about you. You were so abandoned when you thought something was funny. You never held back.
But then, as well as I can remember, you never held back on any emotion. And that fact, of course, is what finally led me to make my decision. You just couldn’t seem to hold back on your feelings for all the other men in your life — even my best friend — a man I’d thought would have my back through thick and thin — especially after all we’d been through together in the war. But you were just too much for him. He fell just like all the others. And so I made the decision.
Yeah — as I consider it all again now — I know it was the right thing to do. It put a stop to the hurting for me and for all the rest of ’em too.
The only thing is that — on nights like tonight — with the fragrance of the roses you planted drifting in from the garden — and the radio playing an old song we used to dance to — well — I have to admit to myself at least — I do feel just a little sorry that I poisoned you.