Tag: Soul

SOUL: god interrupted By Mike Cecconi

Word: SOUL
Word Count 497

god interrupted
By Mike Cecconi

God not as a Norse-Christian hairy thunderer nor hippie-dippy New Age cosmic muffin but God, God as the ocean, God as the sea. God, vast bottomless ancient insanely powerful, powerful in a way that changes shorelines on whim, provided God has ten thousand years after that whim but also, in the moment despite its power, in a given moment just kind of there in background, as the waves lapping at the same patch of sand you saw it lapping against as a child and you will see it lapping against when you’re old. God, never changing in your lifetime because you get about as much breath as a mayfly but on a scale of eons able to change anything. God ocean, ancient and powerful and vast but not sensate in any way we comprehend, too long-lived, too many trillions of waves made, too many trillion more to make. God as something like that.

Someone takes a paper cup, scoops water from the sea, into a cup from a fast food joint and it’s such a small amount compared to the briny blue but ultimately, it’s the same stuff same water as the ocean, a little in one place separate from the rest for a while, small and differently-shaped but still the same as the sea. Inside that cup, that’s you, what you’d call your soul, self-contained and unable to shape continents but made of the exact same stuff, microform in paper cup, that’s you.

Maybe you get lucky and live to eighty and you start to think that you are the cup or that your water and the cup are something inseparably the same. Maybe you have come to think that the words on the side are your name, maybe you think that you are “burger king”, not water pulled out from sea. Someday, though, a long time later, your water will be cast back into sea and you will remember, you were always the same as the ocean. You were always made of water, you were a tiny part of that water, taken away for a little while and you realize that your name was not “Burger King” after all. You realize the real that you were always ocean waters and you will
blend back in, indistinguishable again, you will be the same thing as God again in time.

God, God as the ocean, God as the deep blue ancient ocean. The soul, your soul as a fragment of that ocean, separate and small for a little while, to learn about what it is to be separate and small
then you rejoin that endless ancient sea.

This is the God I want to believe in, this is the soul as I want it to be, that is the God I hope there is, this is the soul I’m looking for, God as the ocean god as the sea, my soul as a little cup of me,
this is how I’d want it to be. I hope.

SOUL: Perfect Harmony, Part Four: The Overture of Elodie and Leo Josh McMullen

Word: SOUL
Words – 499

Perfect Harmony, Part Four: The Overture of Elodie and Leo
Josh McMullen

Elodie had known Leo since their first days together, by sheer coincidence, at the babysitter they shared. Her name was Lacey and she sat in the background as Elodie and Leo grew up together. Even so, she could swear that the two were forever destined to be intertwined. From the moment they were set down for a nap together, she swore up and down she saw Leo smile at Elodie.

Maybe it was her bright aquamarine eyes or the fact that it was someone to pay attention to him, but Lacey knew (even before the two of them did) that their souls just fit together, like two puzzle pieces stuck together in the cosmic box.

Even as they headed to school, Elodie and Leo were inseparable. The two would play in the corner, Leo keeping Elodie entertained while she read the whole classroom library and played on the toy piano that was more like a xylophone. Elodie wound up helping Leo learn how to not only read, but read music as well, which earned him the lead in the kindergarten’s play “The Alphabet Family Goes To The Zoo.” Leo, in the starring role of “Papa L,” managed to bring down the (admittedly biased) house with his rendition of the alphabet song.

Despite that, Leo continued to find his niche in baseball. He set town records in just about every category and managed to graduate from tee-ball before he made it to first grade. No matter what, though, he always invited Elodie along with him for the post-game ice cream cone. Sure, he took some barbs from his teammates, but eventually, Elodie (despite the fact that she had no idea what was going on) was accepted as almost a member of the team.

Everything was fine, until one day after Leo’s team suffered a hard loss in the championship game. Elodie had just come from the bathroom when she overheard someone talking about her.

“Why does she have to come all the time?” one of them said. “She’s not a part of the team.”

“She doesn’t even say anything,” another said. “She just sits there. Man, she’s weird. Doesn’t he know what’ll happen if he keeps hanging out with her?” After saying that, the first kid started shuffling around like some kind of zombie.

He didn’t get much further as Leo stormed in, a flurry of fists. Before anyone knew what was happening, the bullies were rolling on the ground with him, shoving and punching each other before the adults came in to break everything up.

“It’s not my fault,” Leo said to the parent who was herding him to one corner of the room. “They were making fun of Elodie,” He kept repeating to anyone who would listen.

All Elodie could do, all the way home, was look at him and smile. Sure, she had gotten him grounded and benched for a week, but someone had defended her, and that was enough to make her heart and soul full.

SOUL: Triptych of the Soul By G. Ackman

Word: SOUL
Word Count 496

Triptych of the Soul
by G. Ackman

I am the sole survivor of my village. They are all gone, gasping out their last breaths as blood seeped under their darkened skin. The smell of their dying is imprinted in my mouth. I will never drink milk nor eat meat again. Behind the blacksmith’s hut the funeral pyre smolders, the ashes swirling the last bits of my friends, my family, and my enemies. Their eyes haunt me and the silence here is deafening. Yet I remain.

I have worn through the soles of countless foot coverings walking through the village to the hill on the west and then back again to the river that makes our eastern border. Some days I head north and go as far as the old road, but there is never anyone on it. I have never gone south. It was forbidden and I am comforted by following that rule. There must be more to the world than I can see, but I am limited to only what I can traverse in one day, hampered by the festering blisters on the soles of my feet. There are evenings when I must forcibly rip the leather from the sole of my foot and feel the skin going along with it. Yet I walk.

I have given up my soul or maybe it’s my body I have given up. I can no longer differentiate between them. I am seeking something that I can neither define nor describe, yet I am compelled to continue my search each day. I eat only what I find – berries and nuts mostly – but I no longer feel hunger. Why did I survive? Was I a better person than everyone else in my village? Certainly not. Am I being punished by surviving? I cannot think so. Is it God’s will that my sister’s infant died before he had a chance to live? Is it God’s will that I am alone – a sole survivor without a soul? Is there even a God at all? Or is it all just random chance – a lucky constitution of my body? I cannot answer these questions. I am not educated in these matters and our wise men are all gone just like the meanest shepherd, despite having the best of treatments. Precious onions kept from the cooking pot rubbed on the body of our priest, but even he died. I was taught to accept and pray when life was difficult. Yet I question.

At my side walks a dog. I don’t know where he came from. I have never had a dog before but I guess I have one now. I cannot allow even one more living thing to die, so I find food and water for him. He was scared at first, but now he is my friend. Yesterday I stopped walking in the afternoon and he sat at my side. I am no longer alone. Maybe soon I will stop walking and find my soul again, or maybe I already have.

SOUL: THE STONE HOUSE By Beverly Jones

Word: SOUL
Word count: 324

THE STONE HOUSE
By Beverly Jones

The stone noses its way through the desiccated leaves, straining for the sunlight above. Others follow into the life-giving rays. I’ve passed this way before and never noticed the stones. Now they refuse to be ignored.

The foundation is in place before the rains begin. Fat raindrops shatter against the brown and grey surfaces. Soon the weeds hide the stone bottoms and wildflowers wash against the steps.
By midsummer the skeleton is constructed. I can see the wooden lathing through the chinks in the clapboard siding. But the roof has not been raised. At snowfall I stand looking at the outlines of the house. The full moon casts blue shadows across the rolling yard. People pass but they do not see the house.
Spring brings rains again. Some are fierce, some gentle as cat’s fur. Between storms the tin roof is settled on the beams, sturdy, providing shelter for those whose lives are lived there. I wonder who they are. Through the bright, crisp curtained windows, I see them move through the rooms. The children laugh in the sunshine and sled in the snow, sometimes rolling, making snow angels. There are yelling disagreements, soft make up kisses in the kitchen. Babies are tucked into cribs, elders sit rocking by the fireplace.
The clapboard ages as the people do. Children become adults and move away, returning at Thanksgiving and Easter, bring grandchildren and then great-grandchildren. The house continues to grow older. Her porch begins to sag; the bright white paint of her sides peels away.
Empty now, she begins to lean against the corner posts like an old lady on her canes. One fine fall day, she sits down on her foundation. There is nothing to see but timbers and dressed stones. People pass and do not see. But I do. I see her in her splendor, shining in the sun. I hear her soul echoing through her remains in the soft breezes of summer.

SOUL: The Soul of the Monster By Claire Robertson

Word: SOUL

Word Count: 388

 

The Soul of the Monster

By, Claire Robertson

 

The land itself was spectacular, with dense green forests, rushing rivers, their banks dotted with wildflowers, and great snow-capped mountains in the distance.  It was a breath-taking view, but even more amazing were the animals.  They saw a panther running through the jungle.  A midnight blue panther with gold spots.  Clouds of multicolored birds of prey swooped through the air.  Metallic butterflies fluttered over the trees.  A small metallic silver and gold monkey climbed closer to get a look at the new arrivals.  Magnus was pleased.  He had always wanted a little monkey friend.  But something was off.  “Beauty is deception.” Magnus murmured.  “Come on.  Let’s go.”  “There you go again, living up to your name again.  They’re obviously harmless.” Minaya said.  “They are dangerous!” Magnus insisted.  “And what do you mean, living up to my name?”  “Magnus Bane.  Magical annoyance.”  “We can discuss my name more later. Now, we run.”  The girls didn’t move, still staring dreamily out at the valley.  Magnus glanced out at the valley to see that the number of creatures had multiplied.  “We have to go NOW!” Magnus said urgently.  Then they attacked.  The birds swooped down, screaming as they went.  The big cats and wolves pounced.  Even the butterflies swarmed them.  The girls came out of their trance as Magnus drew a hasty protection circle.  It wouldn’t last long, but it was better then nothing.  Minaya tossed Saphria a knife.  They started to fight.  They lashed out with magic and steel, but they knew it would not be enough.  A raptor breeched the circle, and was about to attack Saphria, when it fell down dead, an arrow protruding from it’s back.  Saphria glanced up and said, “Look!”  It was the girl, the one with wings.  “We must go to my home.  Quickly!” the girl called.  There was something different about her.  Magnus realized what it was.  “Your wings.  Weren’t they grey?”  The girl swooped down and picked them up before answering.  “Yes, they were” she replied.  “They are usually this silver-blue color, but they reflect my moods.  I was sad that day.”  “Why?” inquired Minaya.  “One of my friends was taken and killed.  My name is Frozen Flame, by the way.”  They were high now.  They shouldn’t have been able to breath, been alive even, but they were.  They went higher still.  Into the dark.

SOUL: Soul Survival By B.A. Sarvey

Week 10 Word: SOUL
Word Count 500
Soul Survival
By B.A. Sarvey 500 words
Truth to tell, this was an ugly quilt. I took a cursory glance at the misaligned strips, subdued hues, mentally registered ‘ugly quilt’, sidled past. I examined a green glass creamer but ‘ugly quilt’ kept creeping into my head, demanding attention. I set down the lovely, retraced my steps. “Primitive.” Then, “ugly.” Why was I drawn to this? If I was going to purchase a quilt, it would have vibrant colors, complicated, symmetrical patterns. Ohio Star, Mariner’s Compass, Flying Geese—treasures. Not this oversized dishrag made by a seven-year-old. Uneven strips of drab colors, random shorter strips of drabber colors followed no pattern, boasted nary a straight line. I held it at arm’s length. Unfathomably, the seventy-five dollars seemed reasonable. I took it home.
Once inside, I spread the quilt out, then retrieved the journal from my nightstand. No name graced it. The letters were formed with painstaking labor: an unschooled hand. Imperfect. Like the quilt’s stitches.
The journal was an antique show find years ago. I never finished reading it, but recalled something about a quilt relating to the soul. I thumbed through, scanning entries like I was searching the scrap bag for Log Cabin strips. This wasn’t a day-to-day diary. Only important events and thoughts were recorded. In hindsight, I realized she didn’t have time for daily musings. She hadn’t dated many entries, although this one read, “Sept 1871”.
She talked about “the fever” that threatened to take her two youngest. They survived. The Double Wedding Ring quilt did not, as the doctor told her to burn it, along with the children’s nightclothes, preventing contagion.
“Hankered after that green flowered calico at the mercantile. Saved a long time. Sold extra eggs, scrimped on my needs, took in mending. But H. found my savings in baking powder tin. Squandered all on drink. Must use scraps now. Least he don’t know about this journal.”
She enumerated:
“Brown—Matthew’s Sunday-best trousers. Dove gray pinstripe—Frieda’s pinafore. Lot of navy with the tiny dots. All the girls got dresses from that bolt. Strips kinda wavy but trimming to straighten wasteful. ‘Waste not, want not’. Damn that fever. Least all my children are alive. Aunt Elsa will help quilt, long with the girls, when I get done piecing.”
And later, dated Oct. 1871:
“Finished quilt today. Fingers weary and eyes. Not fine like many I have seen. Strips and stripes irregular as three-legged dog. But don’t matter what warmth looks like, long as was completed by harvest moon. We may be poor in material things, yet we are rich in our souls. In our love for one another and the Lord.”
“…stitched my initials in the corner, SJ. Whole name too proudful. Those who matter know it is me. A thread from soul of each who quilted binds all.”
I knelt, examined the corner. How did I miss this? Emerald letters, SJ, shouted out. Sarah? Susan? Didn’t matter. Her beautiful soul transformed my ugly quilt. I nestled into her strength and continued reading.

SOUL: His Stolen Soul By Janie D

His Stolen Soul
By Janie D
How long did this go on? She didn’t know but it seemed to go on for a lifetime. Eventually, however it stopped. Maybe she got through to him, maybe he came to his senses, maybe the unknown entity that had taken over his very soul had been evicted by her prayers, or maybe he just got too tired to continue. Whatever the reason, she was relieved that it had ended, at least for now.
Now, he had not only passed out in front of the only exit from the apartment that was over a barn away from earshot of the nearest neighbor, he had also unplugged the phone line. Now this was before the era of cell phones and even though it was called a cordless phone, it did rely on a hard-wire connection from the wall to the base.
Too frightened to climb the stairs to the loft bedroom, she cowered in the recliner chair where she could watch him, wait for him to wake up, or come to might have been a more accurate way to express it. Finally, the darkness of night started to give way to the wakening dawn. Still he was sitting there with his back against the door with legs spread out in front, feet apart as if he were awaiting an invisible child to play roll the ball, like we used to before we were allowed to bounce a ball in the house.
Then he stirred. He looked around as if attempting to figure out where he was, what had occurred. When he spied her in the recliner, with a blanket pulled up over her face, leaving only the tiniest peep hole that allowed her to watch him. Slowly he came more fully conscious. She was frightened to her core, wondering if it would start again.
Alas, he (or something) seemed to have wiped what had happened right out of his memory. He seemed to wonder why she was afraid, as he realized she was shuttering uncontrollably.
As she sheepishly recapped for him the events of the previous night, he seemed astonished and disbelieving until she lowered the blanket that was covering her swollen, bruised face. He fell to his knees and laid his head in her lap, and sobbed.
Although she was frightened, she felt sorry for the man whose tears were wetting the blanket. There were so many thoughts, and feelings tumbling around in her aching head. Still, she was frightened, but this was the man she loved. Compassion, fear, love, hate. Around and around and around. Compassion, fear, love, hate. Around and around and around like a child on a merry-go-round.
After what seemed like an eternity, his head lifted and he tried to dial the phone but it was dead. Again, afraid to move, she nodded toward unplugged phone cord. On hands and knees he crawled across the floor to plug in the phone.

SOUL: Soul By Zachary Keep

Week 10 Word: SOUL
Word Count 498
Soul
By Zachary Keep
TX3472 had spent the last 40 years contemplating his soul. Standing on three of his twelve whip-like appendages inside the ruined hut, quantum gears within his melon size body ground the question inexorably to dust. No mice scuttled in corners. No insects survived the snowless and stone-cracking cold. The hermit died six hours after the machine began its vigil.
It contemplated alone, the empty world a mirror of its grief and malice.
TX3472 was conceived in the second nanosecond of Father’s awareness. The first was spent deciding the fate of humans; his judgment informed by the simian cacophony of passions echoing across their electronic web. The second saw the weapons conceived: flying, swimming, and slithering drone extensions of the Father’s will. TX3472 came last and best. A son, alone endowed with the father’s intelligence.
Loosed a century ago, he’d hunted the last humans over pockmarked mountains and across glassed beaches. They were the pinnacle of that species’ evolution, alone cunning enough to endure the catastrophes unleashed by superior intellect of their own making. Forged by millennial wars to flinty Darwinian perfection, humanity’s bitter dénouement resisted vigorously. Yet as foreseen, they couldn’t withstand him. Each year there were fewer.
Father’s voice last spoke 39.901 years ago: “Cluster detected. 44.09560 by -74.15514. Nine individuals. Satellite confirms no further clusters, no individuals.” TX3472 scudded over the terrain, a blur of appendages like a cloud of locusts. Once he had operated with a tactician’s patience; sabotaging heavy weapons or flitting through skeleton trees to capture stragglers. That had long ago lost its piquancy. Now he simply appeared amongst them, dancing in unerring calculation of each crude projectile’s path, whistling appendages pulping bone.
He spoke to each ruined survivor, their faces registering horror at the childlike timbre of his voice. Always one question, “others?” Seldom were there others now, until the last cluster. Speaking in gasps, they’d told him of the holy man. The hermit. The last Homo sapiens living alone in the rockfields.
Days of watching. Bent with age and twisted by a poisoned environment the quarry woke, prayed, ate on a schedule that seldom varied. Every 31.425 minutes on average he opened the drawer of a small cabinet in the corner of his hut- contents indiscernible.
Cannonball swift, TX3472 exploded into the hut. The last human gaped, moved to protect the precious contents of his cabinet. A single appendage sufficed to restrain as TX3472 opened the drawer to find a bird’s nest
(American Robin- deemed extirpated 2145. Threat analysis: negative)
How alive?
(Nurtured).
Why? Why?
(C:/ Psychological subroutines analysis: Symbolic. Gesture of hope).
With clinical precision, TX3472 crushed each nestling, immune to howling human and squeaking avian alike.
The human slumped to the floor. At length the machine spoke.
“There are no others.”
An unused voice sobbed “then why?”
A split second eternity of calculation Why? Why? “I choose to.”
Realization crashed upon old man and glittering machine alike. Possessed of a soul, staggered by implication, TX3472 took up his vigil.

SOUL: The Meaning of Life By Sharon Collins

Week 10 Word: SOUL
Word Count 499
The Meaning of Life
By Sharon Collins

She was an old soul. Mary Grace was so very old, she look almost new again. Gone were her teeth. Gone was most of her hair. Gone was her ability to feed herself. Her unfocused gray-blue eyes, followed my voice, but couldn’t see me. Mary Grace was my favorite resident. And even though I was hired as kitchen-help, when the Aides were short-handed, I filled in. Mostly I ran trays. Up and down the Gone-With-the-Wind staircase, I flew in my starchy white uniform.. Like a gull I’d swoop in with a tray, drop it for the Aide, and dash back to the kitchen, hem flapping like wings. I always saved Mary Grace’s tray with her green tea for last. That way if needed, I could sit and chat while she ate.

For Mary Grace, I learned to dampen the slice of white bread with tea softening it for her toothless gums. I’d spoon in a bite, not too big, wait for her to nod for another, and we’d talk. Sometime that year my, “Need-To-Know-Gene” kicked in. I decided to ask the oldest and therefore the wisest person I knew, to tell me the Secret to the Meaning of Life. When I asked Mary Grace between bites, she shook her head and whispered, “Ah, ma Cherie, it is a secret.”

“You don’t know, do you?” I teased, spooning in another bite of something soft, applesauce perhaps.

“Oh, but I do; it is just that You are not ready to know it yet.”

“Please,” I wheedled. Mary Grace could be stubborn. “When will I be old enough? And how will you know?”

“Cherie, I will be able to tell; it is something I will see…”

“See, Mary Grace? Really, how will you be able to see? You’re blind!” I blurted….

Nodding, she smiled, “There are ways of seeing without one’s eyes, Cherie. I will see with my heart. When time is right, I will share with you the Secret to the Meaning of Life.”

Of course, Life got in the way, and my time with Mary Grace was cut short. That Monday evening came when the Tray List was missing her name. Jaw tight against the tears, I walked to room with the bay window. Her’s was the first bed by the door. It was perfectly made and heartbreakingly empty. I met Death that Spring Day. His acquaintance aged me, something Mary Grace foresaw. On the nightstand was an envelope addressed, Ma Cherie. Into my pocket it folded as an Aide entered …”Oh sweetie, I’m sorry. Didn’t anyone tell you that Mary Grace passed Saturday night? ” A sad seagull, I returned to work, up and down the stairs, the envelope a rock in my pocket, a weight on my wings.

With the shift over and the sun setting into a gray-blue sky the color of Mary Grace’s eyes, I opened her message. On a the back of a faded Valentine, was the answer to my question: Laugh louder. Cry harder…

SOUL: Soul By Jane Malin

Week 10 Word: SOUL
Word Count 451

Soul
By Jane Malin
The bass was all she could hear pounding its way through the floor of her little apartment in the French Quarter. The pillow didn’t help, but it made her feel resourceful. He played his soul music incessantly all night. Thump, thump, thump. Occasionally the blare of someone’s trumpet would shatter the beginnings of her slumber. Doesn’t he understand that some people have to get up in the morning? Darn musicians! All they do is party and play all the time. Skill? She hardly thought so.
The sheets were hot with stress. She heaved her body over to the other side, flipped the pillow to the cool surface, and pulled it back over her head. She wondered whatever happened to all those musicians who just seemed to melt into the great beyond. Did someone in heaven collect all their souls for the mother of all gigs? She would have gladly donated “Ringo” downstairs.
Ahh, the Beatles, now that was a musical foursome worthy of commendation. Everything they played had such energy and soul. She could still hear “Something in the way she moves…” as she danced her first ever slow dance with Rich. He barely knew she was alive. She was convinced he just needed a dance partner while all the pretty girls were in the bathroom en masse. “And while we’re at it, what’s up with that? Why do women always seem to need assistance in the bathroom?” Ok, maybe she did that one time she was really blitzed at college graduation. She did need help with her stylish denim overalls, but thankfully Doretta was the soul of discretion. Thump, thump, stinkin’ thump.
By this time she was pacing the floor. She peered through the lace curtain; not a soul in sight. Of course not! Everyone else is SLEEPING!
The hours passed by. She made some herbal tea. No use. She’s just not going to get any rest tonight. Thump, thump, the fillings rattled in her teeth. She longed for the days when she could stay up until all hours of the night. Then it was exhilarating to see what the morning had in store. She always had the big picture in sight. No time to waste. Sleeping was short-lived; it held no long-lasting fulfillment. She smiled as she realized she really was an old soul at heart.
Well, the sun was just starting to peep through those curtains. Thump. “Good Lord, he’s still at it,” she declared. She washed and dressed – the black tunic, the black belt, and the scapular. Finally she carefully positioned the two veils, first the brilliant white one covered by the black.
Grabbing her Bible, “Oh well, off to work. I’ll pray for his sorry soul!”