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?”
“We engage them with intimidation and bait them with lies to trip them up and trap them in emotional and costly accusations.”
“That sounds, however, like something they could avoid.”
“Some of them can, but we have successfully undermined – made elastic – the ethical foundations of others so much so that we are able to keep a significant part of their population fearful and gullible about anything their media gives us the opportunities to tell them.”
“What backup is there if this doesn’t work?”
“As backup we have compromised key politicians, officials and professional leadership who can be blackmailed if need be to act in our interests and we’ve manipulated their radicalized stooges to foment social unrest – and, don’t forget, our scientists have now proven that they can engineer targeted and deadly viruses.”
“So, if what you’re telling me is true, as long as they keep shooting themselves in the foot, we have a chance to get our hands around their throats.”
Linked to Six Sentence Story where Denise offers the prompt word “elastic” which must appear somewhere in a story of only six sentences.
George and his wife escaped from their burning apartment. Local politicians, some of whom he voted for, and reporters, labeled the rioting a peaceful protest, but he couldn’t see anything peaceful about the looting of his small store while the police were told to stand down. It would take years for them to recover from this toxic self-righteousness.
Standing apart from the rioters in an alley George tried to identify the mistakes they made that led to their decision to settle in this city three decades ago. He couldn’t think of anything fundamentally wrong with their decisions. He might still be wondering how they could have done things differently were it not for a large kettle containing fluids that exploded, scalding him and his wife, bringing them to their knees and then laying them on the ground.
Linked to Six Sentence Stories where Denise offers the word “kettle” to use in a story having six sentences.
Gerald said the only problem with Tim’s life was that it had no twist to it.
This surprised him. He owned a multi-trillion-dollar company that gave the Moon a sustainable atmosphere allowing mass colonization. His manipulated philanthropic foundations kept the world rational during the Second Propaganda War. As he saw it, twist or no twist, someone should give him a medal (and many had).
Gerald admitted he couldn’t pin down precisely what bothered him about Tim except to say, “The only twist I see in your life, Tim, is that you were born, but that should have been just the beginning.”
We didn’t care that Jim was short on brains. We all liked him.
However, a few weeks ago he must have taken the wrong turn at a bend in some alley. He stopped clubbing and fooling around with us when we chased stuff that didn’t want to be chased. He even refused to help us tip dumpsters.
We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, but we all knew he was a certified idiot when he finally told us that he had smartened up.
Linked to the Six Sentence Story challenge at GirlieOnTheEdge where Denise offers the prompt word “bend”.