As a child, Christmas decorations made her sick with excitement. Now they made her sick for those gone missing since the lock-down. They showed up in little boxes the home projected onto a screen, but she knew they were impersonators. She watched, but refused to speak to those teary-eyed strangers. Her own family was naturally cheerful, even boisterous. “Lord, where are they?” Every day she recited their names, rolling them in her mouth like hard candy. Every day there was less of them to remember. But Christmas came. Her heart burned. There was a Light to investigate in the heavens.
I am the hollow woman. I swallow holes. I can see the gaps in your cabinet of selves better than you can, selecting your latest reinvention or falling back on an old. As you reach, I look at you and your emptiness becomes mine. For a split second you pause, as if aware of me.
I hold my breath in case you hear me.
I hear you.
You say, “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”
Then you glance in the mirror and see me, and are shocked. Why? We swallow being into nothingness. (Or are we swallowed?) We make perfect the meaninglessness of it all, call it life, and make it compost, a place for new beginnings and endings. A cycle. Endless. Bare. Signifying nothing.
I am the hollow woman. And I am not alone. Am I?
Written for dVerse’s “Prosery” which asks that we confine our prose to 144 words or less and use the following line from a Lisel Mueller poem: “there is nothing behind the wall/except a space where the wind whistles.”Click on Mr. Linky to join in!
A daughter born on the wrong side of the blanket given to a Count in marriage a political alliance for my father who gave my daughters away as hostages and another king’s son held as bond in my hands: my hands! O servants of the air! Promptly did I have his eyes put out. As promptly did Henry allow my daughters’ eyes blinded, their noses cut off as revenge – Do you wonder? So power-hungry progenitors bequeath the sacrifice of the innocent to this day.
Henry I was king of England from c. 1100– 1 December 1135. Historian Charles Spencer describes this brutally cruel event in his book The White Ship
“What are you thinking?” Avram asks me gently as we walk in the shadows of the old city. “’O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem!’”1 I quote. “Why so much suffering, Avram, the blood that has flowed across the centuries into this day?” “Our hands bear that guilt.” “And sickness, earthquakes, floods?” “Do you wonder nature suffers as part of the judgment on us?” “The curse!” I snort. Avram speaks quietly. “The Maker of the Universe has not left us without blessings, of which He is the foremost, or redemption, because of His love.” “I only see hatred.” “Then that is all you will find.”
1Luke 13:34 — “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!“
Psalm 69:32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. Acts 17:26-27 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us ….
Please no histrionics at the dinner table Wait till we’re on a flight to Tahiti Maybe the opera house in Sydney, The Tower of London with Yeoman Warders, On River Street in Savannah, Georgia, Somewhere in Portland or Philadelphia, Just wait till I finish my dinner in peace.
Lena rummaged through her backpack behind him. “Do we have to do this?”
Eli snorted impatiently at his best friend. “Don’t you want to know why kids from this school have gone missing? Mr. Drobkoni’s gotta be a vampire. I’ll stay here. You keep a lookout. Whistle when you see him coming.”
“Right-oh,” Lena said. “Here.”
Eli held the mirror so he could see over his shoulder.
Lena had already left.
She’s fast, he thought.
“What’s that?” asked Lena behind him.
He turned around quickly. “The dead travel fast,” he said, suddenly pale.
When I saw the “a vendre” sign, I had to have it! Carolyn would have understood. Her pink Cadillac had been a hand-me down from her sister who’d made a name for herself in Mary Kay sales. Carolyn drove the flashy pink Cadillac just to shock her preacher and her co-parishioners. To them, being too enthusiastic about God was just as vulgar as driving a pink car! But people like me who looked like they didn’t belong in a Manhattan church understood. Now as a missionary, I knew I had to spend my last dime on this welcoming pink boat!
Word count: 100
written for Rochelle's Friday Fictioneers
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