Finish The Story — A New Dawn, Part 2

F7C858C7-5C5F-4B49-81D4-00ED4A80923BTeresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith, wasted no time in posting her first Finish The Story prompt of the new year. And she picked me to write the next part.

Here’s how Teresa got it started.

A New Dawn, Part 1

The snow pelted Jon in the face as he stumbled toward the trees. He looked back at the city lights and brushed his long, wet hair out of his eyes. The lights that once held such wonder and mystique now held only despair and heartache. He remembered the warm spring day he first pulled into the city and saw her on the corner waiting for a bus. Lacey would soon be his girlfriend, then fiancé with a little boy on the way. That seemed so long ago. A time when his life was perfect.

He turned back to the trees and allowed the dark to engulf him. Tripping and running into low-hanging branches reminded him he was still alive – for now. Blinded by the snow, tears, and rage, Jon pushed further into the blackness of despair.

Suddenly the ground gave way and he tumbled into a grove surrounded by dead trees. Blood poured over the side of his face and no matter how much he tried, he did not have the strength to fight to live. He only prayed, as he closed his eyes, that they would be waiting for him.

Robins and other songbirds stirred him. Warm rays from the rising sun warmed him, and as his eyes batted and tried to make out what had happened, a sweet voice laughed.

“Lacey?”

The voice laughed again as Jon rubbed his eyes and sat up.

“No silly,” the voice said. “It’s …”


And here’s my continuation.

A New Dawn, Part 2

“It’s Matilda and I am your guide.”

Jon could not see the source for the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around him. “My guide? Show yourself, guide. What is this place and why must I have a guide?” he asked.

The guide laughed again. “Oh Jon, everyone who comes here needs a guide. You’d be lost without one. You wouldn’t know what to do next. Besides Jon, you did pray for me. Don’t you remember?”

The last thing Jon remembered was falling down, tumbling into a glade, and feeling battered, bloody, weak, and hopeless. He touched his head, but there was no blood. He looked at his clothing only to discover, much to his dismay, that he was draped in a white silk robe and had leather sandals on his feet. “I don’t understand,” Jon said. “Where exactly am I and why am I dressed this way?”

“All in due time, Jon,” Matilda said in a smooth, calming voice.

“I demand that you show yourself,” Jon said. “Show yourself and tell me what this place is.”

“I am not like a child who should be seen and not heard,” Matilda said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. As to where you are, Jon, a smart man like you should have figured that out by now.”

“Am I dead?” Jon asked. “Am I in Hell?”

“You’re not in Hell,” Matilda said. “And neither are you in Heaven, Jon. You’re in …”


Now, according to Teresa, I’m supposed to tag another blogger who is supposed to:

  1. Copy the story as he or she receives it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag yet another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

The lucky blogger I am going to tag is Kristian over at Tales From The Mind of Kristian. I’m confident that he’ll do a bang up job with “A New Dawn, Part 3.”

Are Dead People Voyeurs?

CEB274F9-BD76-4B99-A978-93702D2271F0I was watching a TV show the other night when one character said to the other, “You’re father would be so proud of you. I bet he’s looking down from heaven right now with a big smile on his face.”

Yeah, right. Do people really belief that their dearly departed friends and relatives are looking down — or looking up, as the case may be — at them to see what they’re up to?

“Oh my God, Dan, that was the best sex ever. I bet your mom is looking down on you from heaven with a big smile on her face.” Oh wait, maybe it was Dan’s father who was looking up at him from hell and masturbating while watching Dan having a hot time with that blonde he picked up at that party. Hmm. Do the souls of dead people masturbate?

Do people really believe that the souls of their deceased loved ones are spending their days in the afterlife spying on their earthbound family members and pals? Do they do it all the time, or do they only do it when something extraordinarily good or bad happens?

And where’s the line? Are there boundaries, safe zones, where you can escape the prying dead eyes of the deceased? Like the bathroom, maybe. Is my mother watching me sitting on the toilet taking a dump and beaming about what a big boy I am?

Is there a statute of limitations? For example, are these dead voyeurs watching over us forever? Or are we sentenced to a finite number years after their death to be subjected to their constant observation? And how large is this circle of voyeurs? Just your parents or does it go back multiple generations and include more watchers than your immediate family and closest friends?

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in the notion of an afterlife. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from those who are believers. Do you believe that the souls of your deceased loved ones — your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and closest friends — are looking down at you, watching what you’re doing day in and day out?

I’m not trying to be an asshole. I really want to know what you believe. Tell me in the comments or write your own post and link it back to this post.

Thanks!

FFfAW — The Way Station

5C5CD5D3-3C20-4453-A922-519EC22F65AFJerry glanced at the piece of paper and double checked the address written on it to see if he was at the right place. He was.

Ignoring the signs saying “No Entry” that were affixed to posts leading up to the building, Jerry proceeded to walk toward the double doors at the building’s entrance.

Suddenly appearing out of nowhere, a uniformed guard stepped in front of Jerry and held up his hand. “Don’t you know how to read?” he barked.

Startled, Jerry jumped back, but quickly gathered himself and said, “This is the address I was given by the concierge.” He handed the piece of paper to the guard, who looked at it and then tore it up.

“What are you doing?” Jerry yelled.

“You cannot enter here.”

“Okay,” said Jerry. “Then tell me where I can enter.”

“There’s been a mistake,” the guard said. “Go back to the concierge at the way station and tell him that you must first be sent to purgatory before you can be permitted to enter heaven.”

(174 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: Yarnspinnerr.

Pop-Pop

CB14B430-5444-40A4-9239-9DDA097F89CDThe kids loved their grandfather, who they called “Pop-Pop.”

I was worried when he moved into our house after his wife died. I wasn’t sure how Jack and I and the kids would adjust to having a grumpy, old curmudgeon that was Jack’s father in our home. And how would the old man tolerate the chaos that two rambunctious rugrats could generate?

But Pop-Pop really surprised me. He was a pure delight to have around. He wasn’t at all the bitter old man I thought he was. He went out of his way to be funny for the kids and they adored him. And he was so appreciative that we made a home for him in our house.

“What was your favorite memory about Pop-Pop?” I asked the kids.

“It was how he would always roast pumpkin seeds for us on Saturday mornings,” Eddie said.

“It was when he’d come downstairs in the morning wearing his shorts and would have on one black sock and one white sock,” Edie said. “That was so silly.”

“I bet, now that he’s in heaven,” Eddie said, “he’ll be roasting pumpkin seeds for God and making him smile and laugh all the time.”


Written for today’s Three Things Challenge from Teresa. Today’s three things are grandfather, pumpkin seed, and white sock.

Time To Write — All the Signs

CDD9308D-2273-4576-86B0-278EDA2D484ADean had been planning the day for months. Everything, down to the last detail, had been accounted for. Because anything short of perfection would be failure.

The only wildcard, the one thing he couldn’t control, was the weather. Sure, he had a backup plan in case of rain, so that if Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, all would not be lost. Other than the perfection he was seeking, of course. But he knew that if it did rain on that day, it would have been an act of God that was responsible, nothing that he did wrong.

The good news was that summers in that part of the country were generally mild and dry. Rainy days were few and far between, so the odds for a dry, sunny day were clearly in his favor.

As the day approached, Dean double-checked and triple-checked every item on his list. He placed calls to everyone involved to make sure they all had their ducks in a row. Everything and everyone was lined up. Nothing was left to chance. If only it wouldn’t rain.

When the day he had been so meticulously planning for finally arrived, he could barely contain his excitement. Even the forecast called for sunny skies, with no rain in sight.

The period of tribulation had begun a few years earlier with the appearance the Antichrist riding down the escalator and with his subsequent rise to power. All of Dean’s careful calculations, all of the signs — the deceptions, the disputes among nations, the devastation, and the persecution of believers — pointed to the fulfillment of the prophecy on this day.

443101D4-82C9-4071-8A59-5979055CCC39It was finally time for the Rapture, the instantaneous transformation of his body, and the bodies of the Lord’s other faithful servants, to be lifted to join God and Jesus for eternity in heaven. He was ready and it would be perfect.

By nightfall, though, when nothing had happened, doubt began to creep into Dean’s thoughts. Had he miscalculated? Had he misread the signs?

But then it started to rain, and Dean knew that God was sending him a sign, telling him that, as He always does, God works in mysterious ways.


Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt.