Tag: Blessed

BLESSED: Blessed With a Final Encounter By B.A. Sarvey

Word Count 496
Blessed With a Final Encounter
B.A. Sarvey
It was one of those waking dreams—you think you’re awake, can’t move. Realize you’re still asleep, dreaming of being awake, unable to move. Except he really was awake.
He could hear his son’s voice near his head. Didn’t sound right, but it was him, the words indistinct, strangled, reverberating like he was under water. A succession of not-quite-right voices that day. His bride, his other boy, his daughter. Talk, talk, talk. Long silences. More talk. He wanted to interrupt. Say something. Make up for the times he had said the wrong thing. Or nothing. But he couldn’t make his mouth work. Could hardly put a thought together, let alone sentences.
He drifted. Exhilarated. Those sharp curves, knee almost touching pavement! Skimming along. Freedom! His body one with chrome and leather, air whooshing over the windshield, drying his sweat, the Harley’s throaty growl vibrating through every cell. Going a tad-bit fast, but still careful. Maintaining balance. Been dying for months. But not today, glorying in life. Pain blurred like the trees.
Before the trip, he had the bike blessed. “Bless me Father, for I have sinned….” Was this Karma? No, he didn’t believe in that stuff. He believed in God the Father, the Son….
His son was mumbling something. Friggin’ kid—apologizing. What did he do this time? Bike gone, he sat in the garage atop an overturned bucket. Couldn’t make out the words. Speak up! I’m friggin’ deaf!
Why was everybody hanging around? Earlier, sitting by the ravine, adrenaline amplifying everything: odors of fallen leaves, damp earth, brilliant sunshine tempering the November chill. Slammer buck in his sight, twelve-pointer! And she started up, telling him it was okay to go, they’d be all right. Pulled his shot. Buck gone. What was she doing in the woods?
And then more voices. “You all have to leave so I can go!” he wanted to shout.
Waited for his bride and daughter to take off. Didn’t want them here for this. Besides, they had an appointment. He was supposed to go with them, but he couldn’t go until it was time.
At the workbench now, taking a shotgun apart, more mumbled apologies. Tried to tell the boys to take care of their mother. Probably didn’t listen. Wasn’t a blessed thing he could do about it.
Workbench gone. What the frig! Must be back in bed. And now it was time to join the girls. The one son was still sitting there. Sorry, kid. Can’t wait. A blinding flash, then wooly darkness. Singing. No. A steady lub-dub, lub-dub. Below him, a stranger rubbed a microphone-thing over his daughter’s swollen belly. A black and white image appeared on a small screen, tiny appendages, huge head. Ahh—a stem. All three of them—wife, son-in-law, daughter, in tears. He wiped his eyes, tried to get their attention. Nobody looked up at the ceiling.
“Too bad I won’t be here to teach him to hunt.” Then, everything blurred. And he was gone.

BLESSED: The Curse of a Blessing By G. Ackman

Word Count 499

The Curse of a Blessing
by G. Ackman

Darian had been blessed (or cursed as he believed) with this ability since his earliest memories. He had been a 5 year old who always knew where his shoes were and a teen who never lost his phone. Those were the positives about this. But they were far outweighed by the negatives. The mere touch of another’s hand and he knew – he knew all the silly ideas and fanciful crushes – and he knew all the nasty, hateful secrets that everyone keeps submerged beneath the surface of their own consciousness, those secrets we rarely even acknowledge to ourselves.

So Darian learned early on to avoid all human contact. He never shook hands or engaged in that overly effusive “man hug” back-slapping thing. He always wore gloves and long sleeves. But yesterday a chance encounter on a crowded el led him to this. He so rarely took public transportation because of the exponentially increased danger of touching someone, but a car whose repair bill exceeded his disposable income made the trip by el into downtown Chicago a necessity.

He boarded the Blue Line at Oak Park and just as he feared, it was already crowded and there were 17 more stops before Division Street, where his doctor was. At Grand Avenue, just 2 stops from his, he began to breathe a little easier. He had avoided touching anything recently touched by human hands, had not made eye contact with anyone, and had kept his gloved hands in his pockets. Then it happened. The tall man in a black leather jacket got on at Grand and sat right beside him. Darian pulled his arms in a little tighter towards his sides, but the crowded seats made that difficult. Just as he started to get up to head towards the door to exit at Division, the tall man reached for his briefcase and his hand grazed Darian’s jeans-clad leg. The briefest of touches, but that was all it took. Sometimes when emotions were especially strong, clothing was no barrier. This was one of those times.

Startled and overwhelmed by the array of violent images that pulsed through his brain, Darian stumbled out the doors and onto the platform, down the stairs, and stood at street level looking either drunk or crazy. He wasn’t either one, but he wished he were.

The man still sitting on the Blue Line train with its ultimate stop at O’Hare airport had a dirty bomb in his briefcase and intended to set it off in the crowded terminal. Darian didn’t get a look at the man’s face, knew nothing about him except his malicious intentions, could not make himself be believed if he were to report it.

Doctor’s visit forgotten, Darian began walking north out of the city. Could he get far enough fast enough? He found he didn’t really care. Thousands of people were about to die and he was powerless to do anything to stop it. This“blessing” of his had now landed him in absolute hell.

BLESSED: Blessed By Maggie Robertson

Week 18: BLESSED
Word Count: 337

By Maggie Robertson

It’s Saturday morning, breakfast time, and my cell phone rings. Normally I don’t answer the phone when making breakfasts for guests, but when I see the name, I answer the call. It is as unusual for Heidi to call on a Saturday morning as it is for me to answer my phone. It is her busy time, too. I figure it is most likely a quick question about a project we’ve both worked on, some urgent matter for which she needs an answer.

I am wrong.

A mutual friend lost her father to a tractor accident the evening before. We don’t know the details, only that he was a revered and respected farmer, much loved by all who knew him, and now he’s gone.

Sadness. My friend has lost her father. He was about the same age as my father is. Tractor accident. Sounds so preventable, so needless. But we all try to make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the moment. I was not there. I do not know what happened.

The rhythm of my world continues with business as usual. Making and serving breakfasts, morning conversations, clearing the table. Children show up for their turn to eat. Housekeeping crew arrives and starts their work.

My friend has lost her father. Her world has stopped, but not the world around her. Farms do not wait. Sickness, accidents, family tragedies; animals still need to be fed and watered, eggs collected, crops watered, vegetables harvested. It is not possible to lock the door and hang up a sign. The farm will not wait.

A wedding today. Chair covers, tablecloths, place settings. Arrival of the caterer, the DJ, the decorators.

My friend has lost her father. Her family is making arrangements, reeling from the disbelief at the traumatic events of the night before. Their community will surround them, will come together, will be there, but I am not able to go to her.

Sunday. Father’s Day. I am blessed to have someone to call.

BLESSED: Together By Peggy Scarano

Word Count 416

By Peggy Scarano

I did not have a name, because in order to have a name, someone has to really care for you. However, I had a friend. We did most things together. We would walk together, play together, sometimes eat and sleep together. We were both pretty lonesome and alone most of the time, so we always felt blessed to see each other. Sometimes we would go off on our own, but we eventually found each other again. Until one day – we didn’t.

I thought I knew what loneliness was before, but I really did not have a clue until that day when my friend didn’t come home. I wandered, instead of romped. I sulked instead of smiled. I sometimes did not bother to eat because it’s no fun to eat alone. I did not sleep well, and I didn’t care where I slept.

Then one day, I met a new friend. I was very skeptical and afraid at first. But my new friend had a kind tone and a soft touch. We started hanging around together, or I should say I started following my new friend everywhere. We built up a kind of routine. I followed my new friend to a new place where there were two meals a day, and we didn’t have to eat by ourselves. We would sometimes play together, sometimes go for walks, sometimes just hang out together and many times cuddle together.

My new friend would leave me every day, and every day I would wait and wait. I would tremble with fear. I cried to myself. I was so afraid my new friend would never come back, and I would be alone again. So each night when my new friend came home I would jump for joy! I would yelp with happiness! My whole body would shiver with jubilation.

I started smiling again, though very cautiously. I started trusting again, but very slowly. Finally, one day, my new friend came home and said to me, “You are mine! I am keeping you! I love you and your name is Finnegan!”

Now I was loved because I had a real name! I couldn’t believe it! You see, I am a dog. My old friend was a stray dog, just like me. But my new friend is a person, and she has a name too! And she makes me smile all the time, and I try to make her smile all the time, and we will always be together. I am blessed.

BLESSED: The Blessed Child By Sally Madison

Word Count: 483
The Blessed Child

Sally Madison

After the Yankees thought they had rousted all of the hideaways from the root cellar, Miss Mavis’ limp body was carried to her bedroom. Paddy, the mammy, assessed Miss Mavis’s bullet wound to the shoulder, and yelled out the window, “Old Rufus, you get those black feet up here, fast as if the devil’s fork was poking you on the back side!” Old Rufus, came up to the bedroom as fast as an ancient man can muster. “Old Rufus, you go fetch the water, is a boilin over da fire where I was cookin’. Bring it in da big bowl.”

With frustration and indignation, Old Rufus replied, “You gonna make me walk them stairs agin? I just got up here. Why didt you just say so out the winda’? Lord a mercy!” as he shuffled out the door.

While studying the wound, Paddy noticed a movement in the corner of her eye. Was Mavis’s hand moving? No. She focused on her wound again, studying the depth of the bullet. Again, she saw movement from the corner of her eye. “Oh, my Lord!” she exclaimed springing away from the bed as if it was on fire, with her eyes staring at the moving belly. “Lord a mercy! Old Rufus! You hurry those black feet. Those Yankee monsters done scar’t this poor chil’ right out of his mama!” Paddy yelled.

An hour later, Paddy had given her heart away to the tiny orphan. “You picked a fine time to make your entrance in da worl’, chil’. Ifin’ you made it this far, you must surly be blessed. The Lord must have big plans for you, little chil’.

After a few prayers, Paddy explained her plan. “Old Rufus, I heard the Massa’ say to the Missus, ifn it was to be a girl chil’, we not gonna name her after her mama, Sara, but after his mama.”

Seeing little Emily peaking in the doorway, Paddy introduced the newborn, “Missy, come here chil’. Miss Emily, meet yo new best friend and sister, Miss Margret.” The little Emily peaked into the red squiggling bundle, and then around the corner and saw her mother lying on the bed. She looked at her mother’s pale face, and ran from the room.

From the top of the staircase, Paddy yelled down, “Old Rufus, go fetch Georgy and Johnny to run to Mz Maddock’s place. We gonna need a wet nurse.” Old Rufus started out but stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes popped open. Paddy looked at Old Rufus, and then her eyes popped, too.

For a moment the seriousness the day slipped aside, as they both giggled when they realized that the boys had not come out of the root cellar with the others. “Sure nuf, those rascals done give them Yankees the slip.” Old Rufus said with a smirk of admiration. For once, the boys’ mischief had paid off.

BLESSED: Musings (The Tale of Willow Skye Cont’d) By Sharon Collins

Word Count 451
(The Tale of Willow Skye Cont’d)
By Sharon Collins

My name is Willow Skye and although I can speak but a single word, that word being, “Yes,” my thoughts are myriad. Neither I nor the Villagers know from whence I come. I know no mother, other than the River Maithair, yet I have her. I know no father, other than the Gate-Keeper, yet I have him. I know no kin, other than Widrick, that infernally bothersome Bee-Keeper’s Boy, and yet I have him too. My reality may be small but my dreams are large. I am both blessed and cursed, as are they. This geis lies not on me alone. It has spelled us all, the entire Village, whether they know or not.

Dark Forces have been at work ever since the Summer-Festival-Gift-Giving-Day when I turned eleven, and the Gate-Keeper’s eyebrows broke; changes have been happening around here. And I fear they have not been good. For the past eleven years, it is I who have been welcoming folks to the festival. I cannot remember the last time a Giver carried his own basket to the castle. Thank goodness they are barely heavy, and I can carry three or four at a time. No one bothers to stop and tie a grateful ribbon in Dame Willow’s hair anymore either. There’s n’ary a one left from long ago. And what is there, is nothing but faded memories. Folks have forgotten how to be thankful and it all stared with me saying, “Yes,” every time someone asked a favor. It seems getting one too many favors fractures folks. Sadly it’s all about the “getting” around here nowadays and not the “giving”. My days are filled with other folk’s chores: churning butter, scrubbing stoops, chasing chickens and children, wringing laundry, spinning wool, gathering kindling, gutting fish…it just goes on and on. And no one even says, “Thank you.”

Anyways, today is the Summer-Festival-Day; folks don’t even refer to it as the The Gift-Giving-Day anymore, and it’s my eleventy-ith birthday (which means I am twice eleven.) Both Toby and the Gate-Keeper passed last winter with the melting snows, and I now keep the Gate with the help of Himself, the ever-nosey, barley bideable, 19-year-old Widrick. I do believe Widrick thinks we live a fairy tale, and he’s my Knight in Shining Armor. The Kitchen-Cook gets giggly every time she reminds me, “That young rapscallion has set his heart on you, dearie !” I do dread the day he dares to ask for my hand. Of course I must say, “Yes,” but I will mean, “No!” Oh what a tangle my life has become. I wish it truly were a fairy tale; then this geis might be broken, and I could live happily ever after.