The open beams joined the walls showing the ceiling and the loft where they slept. These beams pressed low enough that Ben could reach up and touch them in their cabin in the Maine woods.
This morning like those beams his spirit pressed in on him, but Ben had no time for moody temptations. Toward evening as he removed his boots and outer coverings he felt a breeze of consolation. He knew that consolation would come if he were faithful which he was.
Rushing to him he lifted his three-year old son and smiled watching his wife add decorations to their small Christmas tree.
Jim opened the certified package from his friend, Steve, whom he had not seen in fifty years. There was a letter and a copy of The Imitation of Christ that Jim gave Steve decades ago. Steve saw the book while sorting through boxes and decided to return it after finding Jim’s address.
A few months before receiving the package Jim wondered how his life veered off course getting lost in a moral dessert. How did he get from being a teenager who could attend Mass with joy to become an old man who barely had a clue?
Jim cautiously opened the worn book and began reading smelling the fresh air of an oasis amidst its aging pages.
Joan was worried when she heard them clip phrases from her testimony before broadcasting it through their propaganda machines. That they got away with those distortions made her think the coup couldn’t be stopped.
However, Joan’s whistleblowing was the key to evidence that was now being confirmed. She couldn’t see what was happening, but then she didn’t need to. She only had to do her part which she did, and did well.
The republic successfully took it from there.
Linked to Six Sentence Story where Denise offers the prompt word “clip” to be used somewhere in a story of six sentences.
Stephanie suggested that her father visit the Nature Center at a part of the Forest Preserve that was further away than his normal trails. Every year when she was in middle school they took a field trip to that center and listened to the guides describe the wild birds and animals that lived there.
When her father reached the Nature Center he chose a loop trail realizing that he had been there before, long ago, with Stephanie when she was at a tender age, barely able to walk. He counted the decades and felt time disappear in his memory.
A healthy, but elderly couple approached and asked him how short the loop was concerned that it might go on for over a mile. He answered as one well-acquainted with this very short loop that even a child could walk saying, “It’s not long at all.”
The foreign interests used the pleasures of wealth and sex as the foundation of their plan to blackmail those with political, judicial or media power. The moral character of a good many across this spectrum was weak enough that they took the bait.
When the foreign interests informed those entrapped of the incriminating evidence possessed against them, they realized they were compromised. They should have resigned and faced the appropriate punishments exposing the infiltration of those foreign interests in the process. Instead they decided it was safer for them to do what the foreign interests told them to do.
That is, it was safer until those with stronger moral character exposed them and drained their putrid swamp.
I know she would have rather gone to some boutique, but I took her to the forest preserve at the height of autumn color. The interest in her eyes once we reached the maple trees gave me encouragement. And there were no bugs.
Walking down a short side trail almost completely buried in leaves she asked me if I knew where we were going. Admittedly if this were my first time down that trail I would have turned around, but I knew the trees here were particularly impressive. And I knew the way.
Linked to Six Sentence Story where Denise offers the prompt word “boutique” to be used in a story of six sentences.
A very short story of mine, one sentence long, was published as part of the Tiny Terrors theme in Whispers and Echoes. I am grateful to the editor Sammi Cox for selecting it.
The field was wide, but the path was narrow avoiding the mines. We could sense the shadow of death through the destroyed tanks on each side of us, but this was the only way to get there. Others depended on us and we depended on them to make the right decisions.
We made it through the field before sunset. Thanks to those who came before us and to those who came with us, we all did.
During the battle that continued for three more weeks, and long after that, I was not the only one who felt joy that in spite of being broken we were still found worthy to serve.
Linked to Six Sentence Stories where Denise offers the prompt word “field” for these stories of six sentences.
One of my micro-stories, “Door”, was published in Whispers and Echoes‘ Tiny Terrors theme. I am grateful to the editor Sammi Cox for selecting it.
“Any God Who makes a difference, any God Who really matters, doesn’t need the path of least resistance. He shows His presence best by choosing the weak and broken, putting them in danger and then protecting them Himself should they accept His assignments.”
Waiting in the bomb shelter Jeremy was worried because he knew he was, like the others down there, broken beyond human repair. He worried that he would not accept or even recognize any such assignment should one be offered to him and then shamed when he realized that the honor was passed on to someone else.
Jeremy felt Rachel shivering next to him inside her blanket. He opened his blanket and wrapped it tightly around both of them, holding her close, wondering, after doing so, whether it was possible in this awesome reality they were caught up in to accept and fulfill an assignment without even knowing it.
Linked to Six Sentence Story where Denise offers the prompt word “resistance” to be used in a story of six sentences.
“The Good Spirit knows everything about you and he’s apt to forgive you but you have to submit to him and want it,” the ancient guru who lived only on air and was said to float about the temple high in the mountain explained.
I was still curious and so while seated at his feet, I asked him, “And what about the Bad Spirit?”
“Ah, the Bad Spirit knows a good deal about you as well but he’s only interested in what he can use as blackmail to keep your mouth shut.”
He didn’t seem to have anything more to reveal and I couldn’t think of anything more to ask him and so I lowered the volume of the sound of my breathing and I sat.
When the sun set he suddenly twisted his head unnaturally in my direction showing his burning eyes and steamy horns making me jump wishing I never risked the arduous climb up this mountain and wondering if I could find my way back down in the dark.
“So, in your current circumstances, boy, which one of those spirits do you think it’s now safer to serve?”