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

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Quoting: Pray to Overcome Sadness

Use prayer to help overcome sadness. Talk to the Almighty in your own language. Tell Him how awful you feel. Ask Him for the strength to cope with your present difficulties, and to grow from them.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.180

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.

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Juan’s Prayer

Plaza España

Plaza España at night, found at Wikipedia

Rosita had been sitting at the edge of Plaza España in Guatemala City for hours. It was night, but she was oblivious to the passing cars or the bright neon lights which, to everyone else, were so festive.

The earthquake caused his beloved church to collapse on Juan during his prayers, though why he would be praying at such a strange hour was a mystery.

“Oh my dear husband, what will I do without you? How can I go back to our home in San Sebastian alone?”

“You won’t have to, sister. He prayed for me to watch over you.”

Written for What Pegman Saw. Thanks to Google maps, this week we are taken to Guatemala City. The idea is to use the prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 100.

I did some “Googling” and found that there had been a severe earthquake there just a few days ago. A man had been killed in neighboring San Sebastian when a church collapsed on him at about 1:30 a.m. Since the prompt was specifically Guatemala City, I set the scene with his widow at the Plaza España (keep in mind that Rosita and Juan are fictitious) where she had been staying with relatives. I’ve implied that Juan knew he was going to die and was praying for his dear wife to be cared for. His prayer was answered.

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

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.

You Can Never Go Home, Especially If You’re A Vampire

neighborhood

Image: University of Dayton

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

Can a vampire still love? I know that’s probably a hard question to answer. I feel the same way for my wife Janet as always. I feel the same love for my children as I did before I died. Perhaps that’s what’s driven me back home…to see them again.

I know it’s crazy. If I’m seen by my family or anyone I used to know, they’ll recognize me and I have no explanation for how I can be here, well, no sane explanation.

Can you imagine me saying, “It’s okay. It’s me, Sean Becker. Yes, I died, but you see, I was killed by a vampire, so guess what I woke up as three days after you buried me?”

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Prey and Prayers in the Night

alley

From the film “Red Fog” (2013)

From the Unlife and Curse of Sean Becker

Heaven help me, my name is Sean Becker and I’m a vampire. I figured I’d better write all this down. Maybe it’ll help someone else facing the life or non-life I have now. Maybe it’ll just help normal people understand that we’re not all monsters.

I’d been casing the Red Cross blood bank for days. I figured out their schedule. They ship blood out by all kinds of methods including car, bus, and plane depending on the need and the distance it has to go. Blood shipments are sent day and night. It was the night I was interested in.

But in the end, I couldn’t go through with it. Sure, stealing from a blood bank means I don’t have to attack anyone. It would be a victimless crime, right?

Wrong.

Blood being shipped somewhere means a hospital or other medical facility has requested it. If it didn’t arrive, it would mean I’d taken blood that was meant for someone else, someone who could die without it.

Attacking people for their blood is reprehensible, but I don’t kill for it. But I hate preying on the innocent.

So I’ll prey on the guilty.

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