Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flickers of Faith

Majestic in movements brought forth,

Of one's soul beams beacons of light,

Reverent prayers whispered in hallowed halls,

Pressing dutifully on faithfully bended knees.

Remembrance of days long since convened,

Wisps of fragrance linger on ghostly winds,

Echoed chants praising Regina coelorum,

Solemn scenes pass painted glass of form.

Stately masses flow in faithful tide,

Reaching upward with spiraling longing,

In shadows of alters prostrate fall,

Harmonizing requests of loved one's fate.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Man Looking Back At Me

Rolling into what used to be a subdivision but was now just masses of wind swept rubble, Rob noticed the stranger sitting on the side of the road. Cutting the engine and coasting to a stop, Rob opened the door and got out. Walking around the car he stood above the man who sat idly drawing random runes into the dirt.
"Seems to me you're all alone, my friend." Rob stated matter of factly.
"What makes you think I'm all alone?" The stranger replied opening his duster to display a sawed off shotgun without even looking up.
"It just seems odd, you sitting here, in the middle of nowhere."
"It's because all that I ever had and all I will ever have is here. Here in the middle of nowhere, amidst this rubble and decay." Replied the stranger solemnly as he slowly raised his head to look at Rob. "Besides, why the hell do you care? I didn't ask you to stop. You could have just cruised on through heading out to wherever the hell you're heading to with no mind to me!"
"Listen, fella. I didn't mean anything by it; I was just stopping to see if you needed anything, a ride, something. You just looked like somebody that needed something, that's all."
"Where you headin' to anyways?" The stranger asked sharply.
"Rumor has it there were more survivors of the holocaust and that they are gathering out west. That's where I'm heading, hoping to find my family there. You got family? Maybe you could head out west, see if they are there?"
"They're not there. They're here." The stranger said pointing behind him amid the rubble of a collapsed home. "They survived the holocaust, same as I. Those that survived with us, left, looking for god knows what. But we stayed because this was our home, our life. Then one day while I was out scrounging for food, a marauding gang came, murdered my family for what little we had left. I came back to find them all dead. All I had left was gone. I buried them myself back there and I have no intention of leaving them. So I will sit here, and I will grieve until I have had my fill."
"We've all lost." Rob replied. "Everyone alive today has lost. In this we are kindred spirits, destined to try to find some semblance of what was. I hope to find my family and to find some piece of my former self. It is this hope that I hold on to. This hope is my beacon that I must follow to the end."
"And what happens when you get there and all you see it this!" the stranger exclaimed sweeping his hand across the scene of devastation surrounding them. "Then what? Then where will your hope get you?"
"I have to go. Why don't you go with me, try to find some hope for your own life?"
"Because I am a shell of a man. My spirit is broken; I am empty yet filled with agony. There is no hope left, no reason left. Every night I go to sleep I wish that I never wake, but every morning I am here. In my own hell. No, you go on. Do what you have to do, seek what you have to seek. I'll not be joining you." With that the stranger returned to scribing his random figures in the dirt as if Rob was not even standing above him.
Slowly turning, Rob walked back to the driver seat and got in. Starting the car he drove away, watching the stranger slowly disappear in his rear view mirror hoping who he just met, was not his future self.

Written for 3WW. The three words used are in bold. Thanks ThomG!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Life Was Simpler But Love Is Stronger

Rob scanned the horizon, desolate for as far as his eyes could see. Only the occasional wisp of smoke lazily spiraling skyward in the far distant could be seen. No movement of life. No birds singing or rustling of leaves or trees. Nothing but total devastation from east to west, north to south.
It hadn’t always been like this. His previous life had never prepared him for what he was experiencing now. He had been mildly successful. Married shortly after college he pursued his career with the same amount of energy and reckless abandon that most twenty-somethings do. Still young enough to believe they can change the world, not old enough yet to be disappointed by the cyclic burdens of daily pursuits. But still, he had tried to live the ideal life. Living within their means, he and his wife had bought a nice home, started a family with the birth of their two children and lived the dream. When he left for the business meeting half way across the nation, he had no idea it would be the last time he would talk to his wife, kiss his children or see his accomplishments of a middle class life.
Unbeknownst to him, powers larger and darker than he had ever imagined had invented a future. A future in which mankind itself had become the victim. He was one of the lucky ones. He was able to escape the rain of fire from above. He was able to escape the nuclear terror which had devastated the landscape and left the human race to teeter on the brink of annihilation. Information was non-existent. Rumors and myths were the words of the day. But rumor had it that there were survivors and that they were gathering. It was these rumors which drove him in his quest. He found it his sole thought to find his wife and children. This belief that they were survivors and were gathering with others was all he needed to continue.
Shaking his head, Rob returned to the present. Climbing out of his ride, he took measure of the situation. The world was now a dangerous place, where only the crafty and the hard could survive. Displayed before him were the wrecked remains of the opponent who would have seen him dead, for nothing more than the fuel and little food that his heavily modified car carried. But today was different. Today it would be Rob who would be taking the remnant fuel worth more than all the precious metal left on this god forsaken planet. Removing his newly acquired Desert Eagle from its holster, Rob strode to the driver side of the wreckage and surveyed the broken body of his adversary who lay moaning from mortal wounds. Driven by the animalistic desire to return to who he knew, his family and any shred of his former life, he raised his gun and squeezed the trigger. And to think three months ago he would have thought twice about swatting a fly.

Written for 3WW. The three words used are in bold.