Tag: Spirit

SPIRIT: Sunlight’s Spirit *In response to Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer In a Day” By B.A. Sarvey

Word: Spirit
Word count: 500
Sunlight’s Spirit
*In response to Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer In a Day”
By B.A. Sarvey
Dear Margot,
It seems a lifetime ago, that day we awaited the sun. I hope you’ve forgotten the childish incident on Venus. I hope it doesn’t haunt you, as it has haunted me these past fifteen years. I am the boy who shoved you into the closet. I am the boy responsible for depriving you of what you wanted most—a glimpse of that bright penny in the sky.
I write to ask your forgiveness, selfishly unburdening myself. What began as a careless prank any nine-year-old boy might have played, became a life-altering event—a prank born of innocent ignorance, spite, jealousy, potentially perpetrated by any one of us. But it was me. You talked of the sun like it harbored your very spirit. At nine, the rest of us had never seen it, could not imagine the reality of it. We scoffed at your shy comments. ‘What do you know? You act as though you’re special, superior. Like you own The Sun. We bet you’ve never actually seen it.’ Despite sharing five years of schooling, we didn’t know you any more than we knew the sun. We resented, envied, ostracized you. Nobody thought to befriend you.
Afterwards, I couldn’t admit, even to myself, that I was smitten, my actions guided partly by an awkward attempt to make you notice me, impress you, as inept male-children often try to do. Your pale hair enchanted me; your aloofness spoke a challenge. Young though I was, I was torn between worshipping your differentness and wanting to yank it from you, remove the vulnerable piece so you would be like the rest of us: Acceptable. The gray rains inundating our daily lives were just that—part of our lives. But you inexplicably shied away from rain, feared water spattering your head as though it would shatter you.
In the end, I shattered you. Sorry is inadequate. The prank was never meant to go so far. Excitement over the sun-event made us forget you were locked in the closet, Margot. I remembered too late. The sun had come and gone. Opening the door, I saw your spirit ebbing, puddling on the floor like so much rain. You wouldn’t, or couldn’t speak, didn’t look at me, couldn’t hear my apology.
The sun-event was disappointing, as such anticipated things are—imbued with exaggerated expectations. Deflated, none of us could imagine why you placed such enormous weight on such brief respite, viewed from underground. The next day, you were gone. Withdrawn from school. Soon after, returned to Earth. But never gone from my thoughts.
Six months ago, I emigrated to Earth. Earth-dwellers are accepting of me, as we never were of you. In contrast to Venus’s ash-colored world, Earth’s hues and sunlight astonish me. I understand, now why your spirit was entwined with sunshine. I don’t expect you to forgive me. Why would you, when I cannot forgive myself. Still, I reach out in friendship, as I should have before, wishing you well.
Sincerely,
Rupert 67A

SPIRIT: Are You Kitten Me?! By Peg Scarano

Word: Spirit
Word Count: 474

Are You Kitten Me?!
By Peg Scarano

When we first moved to our neighborhood 36 years ago, there was an elderly lady and a cat that lived three houses away. I’ll call her, Mrs. K, and her cat, Cat. During the warm summer nights when our bedroom windows were open to let in the cool breezes, we would hear Mrs. K, in her high, piercing voice call Cat. “K-I-T-T-YYYYYYY! K-I-T-T-YYYYYYYYY!” It was like clockwork, between 10 and 11 p.m. every night.

One winter, after we had lived there around 12 years, Mrs. K. passed away. She was the first one on our street to leave us since we moved there and there was a sense of emptiness in the neighborhood. Her house was sold to new neighbors by spring and life moved on.

It was a warm July night and we had had friends over to enjoy some adult beverages while sitting by the pool. When everyone went home, I cuddled with a good book in the living room while my husband went to bed. I was just about to call it day myself when Rock rushed in and shrieked, “Did you hear that???” “What?” I calmly asked. “I just heard Mrs. K calling Cat!” “You did not. You had too much to drink. Go back to bed.” And so he did.

About two weeks later, we once again had a small gathering in the backyard with friends which, of course, included wine and spirits. This time I went right to bed and Rock decided to watch some television. I was just dozing off when I heard Mrs. K calling Cat! Oh my God! I jumped up, ran to the living room and screamed, “I just heard Mrs. K.!” He calmly responded, “You enjoyed too many beverages. Go back to bed.” And so I did.

While this may sound like we had a drinking problem, we truly enjoyed hanging out with our friends and enjoying some fine wine and adult beverages and a few weeks later, the same scenario occurred. This time, both Rock and I went to bed. I was just drifting away to dreamland when I heard, “K-I-T-T-YYYYYYYYY!” My eyes popped open. I didn’t want to look over at Rock, but I did and I could see the whites of his eyes. “K-I-T-T-YYYYYYY!” I looked at him, horrified. He looked at me, equally horrified. We ran for our robes and headed out the back door to see the ghost of Mrs. K!

I could end the story here – but I’ve been told ‘no cliffhangers are allowed’…

As it turned out, it wasn’t Mrs. K we heard for all those years. It was another neighbor who lived in a different house who was still very much alive and well and apparently, so was her cat. However, we will forever remember Mrs. K as her spirit lives on through this story.

SPIRIT: Spirit By Nan Ressue

Word: SPIRIT
Word Count 210
Spirit
By Nan Ressue
I envision that core strength of inner spirit as a small, golden, tapered flame, upright and glowing, protected on each side by cupped hands, pure and steady, inextinguishable. It is representative of truth, beauty, dedication, and goodness. It may be disfigured or diminished by painful circumstances but never destroyed. It is capable of rejuvenation through supportive love, well deserved success and happiness. Add this spirit to another of the same vibrational rate and there is deep joy. It is the place where you will find your lover.
A group of likeminded spirits will rise to many occasions and purposes with a rush of energy and unbreakable bonds of community aimed at the common good.
The community spirit expands and refines into the national spirit which has withstood world wars, Holocausts, and World Trade Center disasters, the invisible becoming powerful with our immeasurable depth of pride in our precious American flag.
And now the children of our nation have joined their spirits in a pledge to make their world safe from gun slaughter while the adults stand aside, stunned that youth has stepped forward to promote and demand changes that lead to that all important common good, accomplishing together what was impossible alone, convinced that the best is yet to come.

SPIRIT: Readying By Sharon Collins

Word: Spirit
Word Count 499

Readying
By Sharon Collins

The long-necked, honking-birds have finished journeying toward the Land of the Endless-Ice. The danger of river-floods is past and the humming-biters no longer feed on me and make me itch. My fingers are the color of the sky from picking berries that grow on the low bushes. The long days are very warm, and the short nights are only a little cold as I prepare to make my own journey to the Great Clan-Gathering. Sadly, I must journey alone, as Sister has been gone from me for three turns of the moon. I have wished and wished that she would return. I speak to Mother’s Spirit each darkness before I sleep. I share with her my wish. Each waking, before I open my eyes, I reach for Sister’s warmth beside me. When I find her missing still, I understand, but I am still very sad.

While I have waited for her, I have worked hard to prepare my trade-goods for the journey. For many sunrises after the mighty wave, yellow-brights swam to our beach. I wove three baskets from sea-grass to collect them and keep them safe. When I am most lonely for Sister, I spill them near the flames and watch them swallow and spit the firelight. They make me think of the small, dancing fliers that blink in the grasses after the sun as gone to sleep. I have washed each yellow-bright, and I have put the large ones together and the small ones together in their own baskets. I will trade them for a new clay bowl and a better cutting tool, one made from the shiny black stone with the sharp, sharp edges. I have also made a special basket for the yellow-brights with bumpy hides. From them, I will make another necklace and trade it for something pleasing.

I may trade it for another necklace of the pretty, white pebbles sometimes found inside the dark clams, the ones that taste the best. Or, maybe I will trade it for a firestone! I know of these magic stones which can be knocked together to create a newborn flame. Our Wise-Man had one. How good it would be to no longer fear that my fire will die. I have also my bone sewing-tools to trade, and of course, I have many white rabbit furs and even a little salt. In the time just after the mighty wave, I collected the salt drying on the stones at the waves’ edge. Mother told me the Clans of the Pine-Forest, the Grass-Sea, and the Endless-Ice, always desire salt from Clans of the Great-Water.

I feel very pleased with myself as I prepare my bundles and place them in the hide I will carry on my back. Smiling, I wrap myself in the brindled fur of Sister’s Mother and close my eyes. I will travel to the Great Clan-Gathering even if I must travel alone; even if I never have the chance to sing my own clan’s name in wolf-song.

SPIRIT: Confessions By Sam McManus

Word: SPIRIT
Word Count 500
Confessions
By Sam McManus
He wasn’t traditional in any sense of the word, save the sense of mortality he felt every second of every day. Otherwise he was as varied as you could possibly get, which was funny since he wore mostly black, some white, and a face generally wiped clean of all emotion. Some days he wished he were other than what he was, but those days were few and far between, neither stitched together nor well worn. For the past year he had been here, doing this, and he couldn’t see that changing anytime soon. He was nothing if not practical.
“He beats me with wooden spoons until I break,” she admitted to him on Thursday night. She always came on Thursday nights, with her high-pitched voice that would be comical except for the things that she said.
“It’s not that they hurt so much, at least at first,” she continued. “But the indignity of it all, that this man who says he loves me does things to me that are unspeakable. Except I speak them to you, and when I hear them out loud I shudder to think that I just take it all. I’m not an animal, and yet I let him treat me like I am.”
He sat there unmoving, unspeaking. She has told him horrible happenings before, about what goes on in her house that is not a home, and he feels for her. His heart went out to her as surely as if she were his own flesh and blood. Yet he sat there without one word touching his lips.
“I wonder where my sanity has gone, that I can sit there without crying, that I can lay over his lap without tears when he beats me raw,” she said, her voice low, tiny. “I should just leave, simply vanish one day and never look back, but I never do. I never have. I never feel one tenth as strong when I’m there as when I’m here. When I’m there I feel like I can never leave, like he has some demon’s hold over me that is too strong to shake. Am I making any sense here?”
This was not foreign to him. Pretty much every session went the exact same way, with the listing of abuses, with the abuses she piles onto herself in the telling, with the pain so deep down it’s hard to even hear it in her voice anymore. Then the questioning, the blame game that she always seemed to win, the reaching out to make some sense out of what had always been senseless.
“Am I making any sense here?” she repeated, her voice finally shaking with the effort. He too was shaking with the effort of restraint, but he answered her firmly, evenly.
“The flesh is willing, but the spirit is weak,” he replied, hardly recognizing his own voice. The words were typical. Her reaction was not.
“Maybe you’re the weak one,” she said. Then she got up from his bed.

SPIRIT: A Silver Lining in Paris By Sally Madison

Word: SPIRIT
Words: 497
A Silver Lining in Paris
By Sally Madison

The butler knocked gently at Elizabeth’s door. “Entre” she called out.

“There is a gentleman to see you, Mademoiselle,” he announced, as he averted his eyes from her, lying in bed, surrounded by pillows. He lowered the silver tray, so she could reach the calling card.

‘Lord Duncan? Why would he be calling at this hour? He should be sleeping, like everyone else who went to the masquerade ball last night. Oh, but he would have news of the events of the evening.’ She thought.

“Hand me my blue dressing gown, take my tray, send for my maid, help me up, hand me the cane.” The butler took two steps towards the wardrobe, stopped, took two steps towards the breakfast tray, stopped, and took two steps toward the door, then two steps toward her ladyship. Elizabeth giggled, as she watched his confusion. Embarrassed, the butler looked at her for direction. He smiled when he saw that she was smiling again, even if it was at his expense.
Elizabeth began again, “First, hand me my gown.” He brought it to her. “Now, please, help me to my dressing table.” He did as he was requested. “Now, please take the tray, send for my maid and show Lord Duncan to the upstairs drawing room.” The butler replied, “As you wish, mademoiselle,” as he bowed and retreated to the door.

“Lord Duncan, how good of you to visit this morning. I would have expected you to be resting after the ball,” Elizabeth greeted him.

“Mademoiselle, allow me to be frank with you. When I saw that you were not at the ball, I was concerned. Only illness or injury would prevent your attendance. Since I see you are in good spirits, I presume it was neither.”

“Oh, contraire, I am embarrassed to admit that you were right, it was injury that prevented my attendance. I shall be confined, recovering for some time. Tell me the news of the ball.” They chatted for awhile, before she finally came to her point. “Did Pierre introduce his fiancé?”
“He did,” Lord Duncan replied. She quickly averted her eyes. “My dear mademoiselle, did you have intentions?”

“You read me so quickly,” she admitted.

With great conviction, he bellowed, “Pierre is a cad! not worthy of you!” Surprised, she looked inquisitively at him. “Forgive me, I spoke rashly. Please, allow me to make it up to you. Since you are confined, perhaps I could come to visit, perhaps read to you?” he inquired hopefully.
“Yes, that would be pleasant,” she confessed.

Very excited, he began to take his leave, before she changed her mind. “Then I will see you on the morrow,” he said, as he backed away. “Drama, comedy, or Poetry?” he asked.

“Poetry”, was her response.

“Vigil or Shakespeare?”

“Shakespeare.”

While escorting the gentleman out of the room, the butler noticed the sweet smile on her ladyship’s face. He, also, recognized that same smile on the gentleman’s face, which made him smile, also.

SPIRIT: Spirit By Nan Ressue

Word: SPIRIT
Word Count 210
Spirit
By Nan Ressue
I envision that core strength of inner spirit as a small, golden, tapered flame, upright and glowing, protected on each side by cupped hands, pure and steady, inextinguishable. It is representative of truth, beauty, dedication, and goodness. It may be disfigured or diminished by painful circumstances but never destroyed. It is capable of rejuvenation through supportive love, well deserved success and happiness. Add this spirit to another of the same vibrational rate and there is deep joy. It is the place where you will find your lover.
A group of likeminded spirits will rise to many occasions and purposes with a rush of energy and unbreakable bonds of community aimed at the common good.
The community spirit expands and refines into the national spirit which has withstood world wars, Holocausts, and World Trade Center disasters, the invisible becoming powerful with our immeasurable depth of pride in our precious American flag.
And now the children of our nation have joined their spirits in a pledge to make their world safe from gun slaughter while the adults stand aside, stunned that youth has stepped forward to promote and demand changes that lead to that all important common good, accomplishing together what was impossible alone, convinced that the best is yet to come.

SPIRIT: Like a Natural Wolf Man By Mike Cecconi

Word: SPIRIT
Word Count 491
Like a Natural Wolf Man
By Mike Cecconi

So much of my writing starts by mishearing something and then the misunderstanding turns out to be more interesting than the original intent. I’ve written more than four hundred parody songs, sitting in a Microsoft Word file on my computer somewhere, because I mishear song lyrics all the time, doing other things distractedly, using split-attention as my excuse for muse.

I always hear the phrase “in the sky” as “in disguise”, for example. I don’t hear country bands growling about “ghost riders in the sky” I hear them sing about “ghost riders in disguise” and Norman Greenbaum doesn’t strum out a tune about “the spirit in the sky” he’s “going on up to the spirit in disguise”. I think it’s better that way, more dramatically interesting, anyway.

You have no idea how many parody songs I’ve wrenched out of mishearing the word “woman” as “wolfman”. American Wolfman or Girl You’ll Be A Wolfman Soon, Pretty Wolfman, You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Wolfman, reams of werewolf love songs cast to the wind like a wish made on a dandelion gone to seed.

My dad taught me that. My dad taught me to hear like that, think like that, to listen for the twist. Pretend to take a word with a double meaning as the meaning that obviously was not intended and see how that alternate interpretation plays out anyway. I’m just old enough where my first album was literally an album, a disc pressed in vinyl, a Weird Al record my dad bought me.

“Writers write” my dad told me, and God help me I’ve stuck to it. Even if it’s just ten bad jokes on twitter or two poems to be thrown out, I write every day. I take the things I willfully mishear, or I willfully misinterpret, and I put them down on electronic paper, into the social media cloud, so that I can look at them again a week later and see if they planted any seeds. One out of every eight or nine of them turns into something. One of every eight or nine of those things turns into something I’d hang my hat on. Writers write, writers write every little thing they think of down, then writers sort and writers rewrite rewrite rewrite. Some of those other lessons I learned from other mentors but without that first one, that my dad taught me, there’s nothing.

My dad’s gone now but the eyes he gave me are still in my head and the lessons are still in there too. This is what I can take on from him, the process he gave me to write with, whether he even knew he gave it to me or not, even though now he too is on up with the spirit in the sky.

On up with the spirit in disguise, rather. He’d like that better and, anyway, the spirit in disguise is a far more interesting concept, dramatically.

SPIRIT: Spirit By Anne Nassar

Word:SPIRIT
Word Count 445
Spirit
By Anne Nassar
“Vivian pursued a variety of feminine pastimes.”
For the first time ever, Alek thought about his mother’s life.
His mother made macrame plant hangers. She constructed wreaths out of fake flowers and plastic pinecones. She painted ceramic tabletop holiday ornaments: Easter bunnies, jack-o’-lanterns, snowmen. She pressed flowers in between the pages of books. She did crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. She played Pinochle with her lady friends.
“It was her beauty that initially attracted me to Vivian. But it was her joie de vivre that made me want to marry her. She was so enthusiastic about every little thing. She got so much out of being alive.”
His father had more to say, but he was choked up, and couldn’t go on. The priest stood up and clapped him on the shoulder, and led him to a chair.
Alek was for some reason reminded of the day when he’d come home early from school and found his mother sitting on the bathroom floor, crying. When he asked her what was wrong, she’d said, “I just don’t know what I’m here for. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
He thought she meant that she didn’t know why she was in the bathroom, and he was afraid she’d hit her head, or had a stroke.
“God has a plan for everyone. But I don’t know what he wants from me.”
Alek said, “You’re a good mom.”
“Oh, Alek, you’re a wonderful son. You deserve better than me.”
“You’re the best,” he said.
“I’m not,” she said, “a good mother sets a good example for her children. But look at me! I don’t contribute anything to society! I don’t do anything meaningful. I lead a silly, small life. You wouldn’t guess, but I’m an intelligent woman. It’s true: I have a master’s degree in Education. I taught school. But your father is so old fashioned! He insists that I stay home, and stew in my own juices.”
The sound of the priest’s booming voice brought him back to reality.
“In the name of the father, the son, the holy spirit, now and forever, amen.”
His mother had gone out sometime between nine, when Alek went to bed, and eleven, when his father got home. She had driven over the bridge and was headed east on 5S.
Where was she going? Alek wondered, to the store? To meet someone?
Between Herkimer and German Flatts, she had swerved into the left lane and hit another car, head on.
Was she trying to avoid a deer? Had she fallen asleep at the wheel?
He would never know, he realized.
He would never have any idea who his mother was.