The puzzle looked like confused confetti so I jumped right in to set things straight. No piece was totally benighted because each had a right side though some of them displayed their wrong sides up. I was grateful for those few that had edges.
With all pieces properly placed (except for those the dog ate) the puzzle displayed an image of white puzzle pieces scattered on a dark table waiting for someone to jump in and straighten them out.
And that’s all there is to this confused tale. I’m still wondering why I jumped into that mess of confetti.
Who controls the whirlwind? All one can hope when the debris settles is to find something left of value.
When Benjamin saw the twister head straight for the farmhouse he yelled to his wife to get the children. While they were driving away she noticed that the tornado had changed direction as if it were chasing them. With the sound of the wind ripping trees apart Benjamin braked, turned into the entrance of a field, backed out to face the opposite direction, shifted into first, accelerated, shifted into second, accelerated, and shifted into third to accelerate out of the reach of the advancing wind.
If that twister really did want to get them it miscalculated since it left chickens, cows, sheds, tractor, cellar and the farmhouse, all of it, intact and untouched, but glowing with Benjamin’s and his family’s praise rising heavenwards sweetened with gratitude.
People faulted Blake as someone who liked to run around, a term that usually meant he couldn’t stop starting and stopping stuff, popping in here and then suddenly there, or jabbering about this and then that longer than most listeners, they in particular, could tolerate. He wouldn’t dream of denying their charges since he viewed his defects as features except when others exhibited them.
All this running around focused his waking hours on optimizing the quantity of funds he could turn over to questionable, but good enough, causes with little time left over to deal with his own problems. As his future turned into his past and the measurable score of his good deeds exploded, he anticipated that there would be an endless supply of more of the same in spite of knowing that entropy makes a mess of most things.
Reality intervened one day like a waiter bringing a tab he didn’t know he started. Trying to find something of value with which to pay the bill he was surprised to learn that the busyness of his effective altruism provided little, if any, positive value in his present situation to keep the demonic darkness from coming in and taking him out.
Whispers and Echoes recently published a 100-word story of mine called Spotting the Heretic. I am grateful to the editor, Sammi Cox, for selecting it. Submissions to this online journal are currently open.
Barry had a handful of chickens on his tiny homestead in the woods which were a handful too many for his dog, Fred. Things might have turned out differently for the birds if they had not taunted Fred while he was chained to his dog house. They knew just how far his chain would reach and teased him until he lunged at them only to be snapped back by the chain.
Things also might have turned out differently, or at least gone on precariously, were it not for Barry taking Fred on walks far down the forest trail and then letting him off his chain to freely romp about in the trees.
Early one morning before the sparkling dewdrops vanished Fred dragged Barry further down the forest trail than usual. Barry’s hypnotic dreaming of what he would do if only he had a homestead as big as this beautiful woodland area popped like a forest faery fantasy when he watched Fred run back to take care of those pesky chickens.
Jim waited for the gentle sounds of birds before getting out of bed. Later he walked through a park with tall trees and grassy slopes. Today he paused where the stream had been dammed to form a pond before crossing the bridge made out of wooden boards.
He knew this wasn’t yet heaven, but rather the beginning of eternity starting afresh each morning if he chose to persevere. Since he knew he had been healed he breathed freely in spite of the lingering manifestations of disease tempting him with doubt.
Jim indeed persevered crossing the narrow bridge of wooden boards powered by the gratitude of his praise.
George loved to run his mouth going after his targets with the punishing rhythm of a piercing sword. He didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because words, surreal as they might make things appear with new moon star light or full moon madness, weren’t really swords, or were they?
Regardless, he was so successful that some were afraid they would not be able to survive without getting the mark of George on their foreheads and so they took it. Eventually those with sharper tongues pinned George to the ground. They ran through their mouths loud, rationalized nonsense spiced with curses until he admitted defeat and took their marks.
As ancient prophecy foretold such troubles would continue until they were stopped by the Anointed King, but in the meantime one would have to put up with a succession of starry-eyed new moon Georges with full moon mad king aspirations who preferred wounding to healing.
Denise offers the prompt word “rhythm” to be used in this week’s Six Sentence Stories. As I kept altering this story it got to a point that I thought it might also work for Eugenia’s challenge this week where she offered the prompt word “surreal”.
Thomas enjoyed an ability to run off the neighborhood kids by just looking at them, but even he was surprised that Moshe’s one year old daughter was old enough to have the sense to start crying when their eyes met. Unfortunately not only was the girl precocious, but the memory of her eyes acted on Thomas like a match lighting up horrendous nightmares.
When Thomas was finally too afraid to go to sleep and ready to try anything he sought Moshe’s advice complaining about his dreams. With Thomas’s permission Moshe commanded, “All you demons influencing, tormenting, terrorizing or generally messing with my neighbor, Thomas, – LEAVE HIM – BaShem Yeshua HaMashiach!” Thomas fell to the ground screaming out demons like vomit.
After the demons left Moshe helped Thomas to his feet and explained to him the changes he would have to make to keep them from returning with reinforcements.
Thomas longed to live in harmony with his neighbors but none of them deserved it. Everywhere he turned they would rush off just as he was warming up to explain again what they were doing wrong. They reminded him of those rats in his yard scurrying from one neglected debris pile to another.
In the evening, feeding on beer and popcorn, Thomas set his thoughts on the day’s alleged news and contentious commentary until he could stand it no longer and let his wagging tongue off its leash. At such breaking points he would rise, pace the floor, open his mouth, and without a clear understanding of what his hardened heart was leading him to say curse the stale air of his living room. Demons loved to party there.
Seemingly faraway in time and space Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel and King Ahab and the wife of Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of the southern hill country.
She observed how her mother handled the problem of Naboth when he refused to trade his vineyard to please her father. In her husband’s name Jezebel directed two false witnesses to accuse Naboth of cursing God and king resulting in him being stoned to death. As her father took possession of the vineyard like windfall from the forbidden tree in the middle of the garden a prophet gave Ahab a piece of God’s mind.
That her mother got away with stuff like that bewitched Athaliah allowing toxic ingredients of cold-blooded manipulation to manifest. She was ready to usurp the reign of the southern hill country.