Quoting: Who’s Calling Whom?

When we pray due to suffering, we usually think that the suffering comes because of external situations and hence we have to pray.

But this is not correct. The very purpose of the suffering is that we should pray. By pouring our hearts out to the Almighty, we become closer to Him. Hence the suffering is a tool for our elevation.

Sources: Nachalas Yosef, Torah, p.125; Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s Gateway to Happiness, p.255

Advertisements

Pushing Back Darkness

light and darkness

© Silvia Grav

“A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness.” -Jewish proverb

Racquel always felt nauseous when she tasted darkness. Other people think the dark is quiet, serene, and cool, like a summer’s evening, but it was really bitter, hot, and moist like a swamp, and tiny, beastly things swarmed unseen in the ebony abyss. If she wasn’t careful, she could swallow them, and even one would torment her for days before being eliminated into the toilet.

She wasn’t always like this. It used to be that light was light and dark was dark. The sun rose, she turned on a lamp, she walked into her office building, there was always light. Then the sun set, she left work, went home, went to bed, and turned off the lamp on her night stand. Then it was dark. There was no good or bad to it.

But then things changed.

“If you don’t learn to turn off the lights, our power bill will be through the roof.”

“Shut up, Jason. Shut up, shut up, shut up!” She wanted to scream at him but she never did. Racquel passively nodded her head, and holding back her tears, she’d turn off the lights, one by one, and go to bed. She hadn’t been afraid of the dark since she was very little. Why was she afraid of it now?

Continue reading

Angel in the Wind

Empire State building

© Jill Wisoff

“They’ll be better off without me.”

Anne McCoy kept telling herself that looking at the view from the 86th floor observatory deck of the Empire State Building. As far as the despondent woman was concerned, this would be the last thing she’d see this side of eternity.

As she launched herself into thin air, she heard a voice.

“Your life is worth more than you can imagine, my daughter.”

Then a sudden gust of wind blew her up and back, and in a moment she had returned to the observation deck, with a broken hip and a new, grand destiny.

I authored this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The photo is unmistakably the Empire State Building, and looking up specific incidents on that site, I discovered that on December 2, 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto a ledge on the 85th floor by a gust of wind and was left with a broken hip. I changed the name of the person and a few of the circumstances to create my wee tale of survival and redemption.

Oh, in Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob wrestled with an angel, and among the other consequences, had his hip injured and walked with a limp for the rest of his life. Somehow, it seemed to fit here as well.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

If You Don’t Believe In Me

destroyed church

St John Church in Benwood, West Virginia (Photo: CNS)

Darwin Oliver Starling stared down at the smoldering ruins of the Vatican from the window seat on Flight 3076 which had taken off from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport ten minutes ago. Police agencies all over Europe had been investigating for a week, but so far had no clues as to the method used to initiate such mass destruction, or who had perpetrated such a heinous act.

“Heinous.” Starling whispered the word to himself. It was the worshipers of the Christian God who were heinous, and the Secret Order of Athéiste had been dedicated to wiping them from existence for the past two-hundred years.

It wasn’t just the Catholics, of course. In spite of what the news and entertainment media seemed to be pushing on the uninformed masses, Christianity wasn’t represented only by a bunch of child-molesting Priests, and American southern televangelists with big hair and greedy pocketbooks. They were everywhere.

Continue reading

The Moon At My Shoulder

moon

© Justin Peters

“I must be dreaming. I mean, you can’t be God.”

“Yes, you are dreaming and I am a manifestation of the Almighty that won’t totally blow your mind.”

Lucas Todd still felt like his mind was being blown. He’d just been accepted into UCLA’s Astronomy and Astrophysics graduate program. Ever since his Dad told him about watching Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon on television, he wanted to go there, too.

NASA’s manned space program had gotten pretty disappointing since then. His Dad always thought he’d see a permanent Lunar Base or maybe even a colony being established during his lifetime, but poor Dad died of cancer last year. Lucas didn’t want Dad’s dreams to die with him.

If either NASA or a private space agency was going to establish that Moon Base, then Lucas was determined to be a part of it

“I mean, I don’t even believe in God, well not really.”

Continue reading

Without God

vampire verona

Found at “Book More Brides”.

The Fifth Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker

“I tell you I turned him, so he’s mine!” Dolingen screeched, her piercing voice terrifying Sean.

“I spilled first blood, marked him for our kind. How dare you challenge me!”

Marishka and Dolingen were more like animals, rivals vying for a single mate,ready to kill for him. The scene was made all the more surreal by the sparely placed halogen lamps, normally used for emergency lighting in any other environment, providing the only illumination in their makeshift crypt.

“Wait! What am I, fresh meat?”

They both turned toward Sean as if noticing him for the first time. Fangs bared and hissing like twin feral cats, they clearly thought of him as property and all that needed to be settled is who took possession.

Antonie had first laughed at this sport like a mad Nero holding the match that ignited  a burning Rome. Then he crossed his arms and seemed content to be casually amused by their display. As the two female predators began to slowly advance on the object of their struggle, the Romanian waved his arms and then a dozen family members immediately advanced to restrain the both of them.

Continue reading

Halloween 2017: Rising of the Ancient

tomb

Image: tvtropes.org

I originally wrote this over a year ago and thought it might be appropriate to present it again, this been Halloween and all. Remember, on Halloween, not everything is as it seems.

Adam and Sarah Hartley cautiously began their descent into the tomb. The illumination from their flashlights revealed the ancient stone steps leading down into the darkness and into history. They also believed they were being led downward into the ultimate enlightenment.

The Hartleys were the world’s most famous married Biblical Archeology team. Well regarded by both other archeologists and Christian researchers, they were credited with several important finds between 2020 and 2045, including the true burial-place of the Apostle Mark. It was long supposed that his body was stolen from Alexandria in a barrel of pork and was put to rest in the city of Venice, but the Hartleys discovered a codex that revealed this to be a ruse. The following year, they located the remains of Mark in his original tomb on the outskirts of the modern Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Now, Adam and Sarah are in Egypt again, this time investigating what could be the most important find of their careers. If the scroll they had discovered and translated last year was right, it would be the most significant discovery of the last two-thousand years: the true final resting place of Jesus Christ.

For the full story, click here.

Day Three

shadow man

Image: jimharold.com

The worms are back, eating me inside. I can feel them nibbling, inside my back, my right side, feasting on my flesh, my organs.

They’re doing something to my skin. I itch all the time, especially when I’m trying to sleep.

Sleep seems hopeless. I lie awake at night scratching and worrying and feeling myself being nibbled away at. When I feel myself about to drift off, my wife tells me to stop snoring. Then I can’t sleep.

I go out to the sofa. It’s an old sofa. It endured our children growing up. Now it sags and endures me. It’s no use.

I get up and try to read, do something productive. That’s when I realize how tired I am. How I wish I was asleep. I can’t concentrate.

I try to talk to God, but my mind wanders. I read the Bible earlier when my mind was clearer. Glad of that because now when I try, I end up reading the same verse over and over again.

Continue reading

The Listener

clouds

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I always feel better when I talk to you. I don’t know what’s kept me away so long. Well, I guess I do. The same things in my life that I should bring me closer to you. My worries, job pressure, my son’s relationship with that horrible woman, all the things I am absolutely powerless to change.

I guess it was looking up, seeing the sunlight filtered through the clouds, it reminded me of you, reminded me we haven’t talked in a long time.

I’m back, God. I need you to listen. I need your mercy. We all do.

Written in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ writing challenge. Based on the photo above, the author is supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine came in at 99.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Prayer

church

© KayllistisQuill.com

Gary was the only one in church. Everyone else was dead or changed. He was temporarily safe. They dared not enter a Holy place. But soon hunger and thirst would force him outside to forage. If he prayed hard enough, maybe God would have mercy. His wife and children were killed in the first attack, but his little granddaughter Lisa was changed and part of the Zombie horde. “Please save her, God.”

A voice whispered, “He did, Papa. That’s just my body, not me.” Gary wept as his family in Heaven reassured him they were safe and waiting for him.

I didn’t find any flash fiction writing prompts in my email inbox this morning, so I decided to go looking for some. I found three at KayllistisQuill.com. The instructions say to pick one of the three photos and write a 15-minute story. I decided to change things slightly and do the usual “100 words” limitation. I also decided to write three different stories based on the three photos presented. This is number one.

This story is exactly 100 words long.

The next story in today’s series is Over the Edge.