Saturday, February 04, 2017

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Post 1441. Sunday February 5

The Sunday Whirl and Sunday's Whirligig




I can still see myself standing in that neglected cemetery deep in the countryside. Weatherworn gravestones poked from the tangled undergrowth, reaching for the gathering storm clouds overhead. A chill wind sent a flurry of rotten brown leaves twisting and swirling twixt the crooked monuments. It seemed they once buried the bodies of soldiers there, those that hadn’t survived the ravages of war. Row upon row.  

An old woman knelt before an overgrown grave. I watched as she traced the carved letters; I shuddered as her fingernails scratched green moss from the cold grey stone. Her fingertips bled, but she appeared to feel no pain. A priest appeared at her side, his black robe billowing in the breeze; he clutched a handful of fluttering papers from which he mumbled a prayer. He crossed himself and wandered away. I sat alongside her and placed my arm on her heaving shoulders. She gazed into my eyes and mouthed thank you, then gave me a withered flower. The sun broke free and a hummingbird hovered above us. It sang. We smiled. I fell asleep.

I must have slept for hours. I was indoors, the dying embers of my log fire glowing in the grate. It had all been a dream.

Then I saw the withered flower on the rug at my feet.

 



The given words at The Sunday Whirl are stone, dreamed, bled, carved, body, brown, prayers, papers, fingernails, doors, fire and soldiers.

At Sunday’s Whirligig, we have poking, pain, proper, hummingbirds, heavy, heard, country, compare, can, survive, sky and storm.

Of the twenty-four words, I employed twenty-two.


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12 comments:

  1. What a great twist at the end Keith; and well done for including 22 of the 24 prompt words I have given up that marathon task preferring to write separate pieces.

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    1. Yes, it was a bit of task! But they did knit together quite well.

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  2. Such a beautifully descriptive story. Never once did I think it was a dream, until the end.

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  3. This is a much more sombre tale than you usually tell. Do you still have the flower? Pressed in a book, maybe?

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    1. Variety is the spice of life! And to answer your question...no!

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  4. wow, Keith, very descriptive and surprise ending :)

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  5. Excellent!! This brought to mind a visit with my husband to the cemeteries where his grandmother and grandfather are buried, stones slowly settling into the ground, no family anywhere near to pay a visit now and then. We spent the afternoon cleaning them and honoring their memories, and I know it brought back all the sadness of a small boy who once stood graveside as those burials took place.

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  6. This reminds me of a very moving experience I had last November. I volunteered to lay wreaths on war veterans' graves. Organized locally by the Middletown Ohio Civil Air Patrol, it's called Wreathes Across America. I only wish my partner had joined me. I got pretty cold, which served to remind me what vastly worse conditions many of those men and women faced in service to the United States. Blessings to you and yours, Keith.

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