End-of-the Year Two-fer

What can I say? The creative juices, they were a’flowin! So depending on whether you like verse or story or naught, read either or neither, with many thanks to our Friday Fictioneer hostess, Rochelle, who has kept us as a band of brothers and sisters in service to the muse the outgoing year through. Happy New Year and blessings to all! ❤️

Written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers   
Genre: Dystopic Fiction and Poetry
Word count: 100 words 
PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda  
Click on the frog and join the party!

The Dais of Gadolfo

When Ella awoke, she found herself lying full-length staring upwards at a fleecy caravan of clouds.

How had she gotten here?

“You have offended the Great Ones,” a voice intoned from the tower above her.

“Great Ones?”

“Citibank. Chase. Goldman Sachs. Amazon. Facebook. Twitter. Google. Netflix. Must I go on?”

“No. Please. I’ll reopen my accounts!”

She attempted to rise but found herself tied to stakes on a stone table.

The Dais of Gadolfo!

The Great Ones were making an example of her like the others for the world to see.

Above her, Gadolfo, a surgically-armed camera drone, slowly descended.

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Out of the Curse, a Promise

The old year’s streaking past us
Her tattered skirts raised high
There’s a trail of desolation
She’s in a hurry to get by.

Shops closed never to reopen
Livelihoods destroyed
Hosts of unsavory creatures
Circle over what’s bespoiled.

You can’t blame it all on Covid
But the contagion in human hearts
Stirring greed, cowardice, hatred
Like a cesspool of primeval rot.

This year’s humbling lesson
Shows how little we’ve progressed
The world still needs a Savior
And the heart his cleansing blood.

Looking up at clouds unfettered
High above Babel’s towers
A glimpse of lovingkindness
A promise of healing showers.

A Puppy’s Philosophy

Image credit; Rhaúl V. Alva @ Unsplash

My Christmas cheer will last the year
Though Santa’s hat fall off my ear
To be picked up and packed away
Or left abandoned, chewed and frayed.
What difference thus to outward fur
When hat on head makes not the cur
But hope in heart is what gives cheer
To puppy barks of “Happy New Year!”

For Sadje's What Do You See #62
and Melanie's Word of the Day Challenge "HOPE"

Year’s End: Share Your World

Melanie’s Share Your World 12-28-2020

Well, Santa’s reindeer have made it back to the North Pole, and we’re rushing into 2021 just around the corner. But 2020’s not done with us yet, so we’ll give it a last goodbye, with more than a hint of irony, on a “Share Your World” note. After all, for most of this year, we were physically avoiding sharing each other’s world, six feet apart, masked and socially distanced, though Melanie kept us connected by asking us to lay bare what lay behind our closed doors. So here goes with 2020’s last inquiries from our charming hostess!


Pick three words to describe this past year.   (please keep them PG. Thanks).
Dark. Devastating. Disillusioning.

What were the best books you read this year?   Or the best movie you saw?  
In fiction, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror anf the Light) simply carried me away! It’s a masterfully written journey into the world of sixteenth-century England and into the life of Oliver Cromwell. For me, it was an unforgettable ride, and Hilary Mantel is rightly hailed as having written as the literary masterpiece of our day. When I first began reading Wolf Hall, Covid-19 hit and it was disconcerting to be reading of how a far more dire plague affected people some five hundred years ago while undergoing one in our own time. Some thoughts on this trilogy in previous posts here: “Reflections on an Un-natural Decay.” and “Well Met, Jude: Mann & Mantel.”

A wonderful science fiction novel I re-read is The Understudy. It isn’t a Frankenstein’s monster story exactly but, dealing as it does with AI’s, it raises questions about what it means to be human, as I write about here.

In non-fiction, a Commentary on 1-3 John by Marianne Meye Thompson which I just finished, and Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves, which was an absolute joy to read.

Two movies that turned out to be unexpected treats: The Dead (1987) directed by John Huston and based on a James Joyce story from Dubliners and Greyhound (2020), a true story set in the winter of 1942 during the Battle of the Atlantic, directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks.

And I have to give a shout out to Mitch Teemley’s Healing River (2020), which as far as inspirational movies go, especially this year, ranks among the best. As I say in my review, “Healing River socks it to you with its fluid cinematography, character psychology, acerbic, no-holds barred dialogue and – here’s where the inspiration comes from – brutal honesty about what it means to be a Christian.”

Because there was lots of time for looking inward, what is one big personal lesson you learned this past year?
Putting your faith in people, government officials or health professionals/scientists, to act responsibly, is fruitless for any semblance of confidence or peace in the middle of a (manufactured or non-manufactured) crisis. Placing your trust in God is the one unshakeable source of strength.

Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds?
What societal bonds we had before Covid-19 were strengthened, but those we lacked were weakened. Those who thrive off of division were able to use racial and political turmoil to their own advantage and gain more power over social and cultural institutions as well as in government. Individual rights have shrunk accordingly. But I think we’ve discovered collectively what really matters in life, bonds of love that transcend all discord. I hope we never forget.

GRATITUDE SECTION (Optional of course): What is a New Year’s Wish You’d Like To Share With the World?

I am so grateful for the creative blogging community I have discovered during this year. Y’all inspire me no end! Thank you for the thoughts and encouragement you’ve shared with me this past year. May 2021 be fruitful and bring each one of you the desires of your heart! And above all, may you find “the peace that passes understanding”! Sláinte!

A Whale of a Dream

Lisa of Tao Talk asks: In the shadows, did you ever secretly wish you were someone else, either as a child or an adult? My answer? I can’t say that I have but like so many children, I’ve often wondered what it was like to be the big creatures of the earth, including the now extinct dinosaurs. Many of them seem like gentle giants, elephants for example. Others strike terrors, like lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But it’s the fantasy creatures that overtake a child’s imagination, like unicorns and griffins and flying horses and magical birds, like the phoenix. Underwater, it’s the music of the whales which seem to have dominion over most of the vast recesses of the world. They live in a universe of their own, unfettered and majestic.

Orca, 2020 by Angela Gram (b. 1985)

There’s an ocean of energy in swelling tides
dancing in atoms and planets and stars
but most of it’s not in the surface above
it rides in the universe of the heart’s designs
wanting the freedom of the sea’s vast lands
where Atlantis lies buried and canyons unfold
and gravity means little to eyes that glow.

Something is missing in the world above,
something that my mind’s eye sinks below
where dreams turn to dust and songs to wails
and gates are just openings to walls within walls.
So give me the sea and the skin of a whale
and tumble me down to the music below.