Friday, July 23, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #26

Jewels of Pain
By Margaret D. Whittle


God had taken the one thing that was precious to her and destroyed it, so being the good little Parochial Schooled vassal that she was, in her mind she was just following his directive: An Eye for an Eye. There was to be no blame. There would only be retribution, which is what brought her to the church.

She threw the Molotov cocktail hard, fast and without regret. It arched high against the Sunday morning sky and since her aim was as true as her purpose, the crashing of the stained glass window came as no surprise to the parishioners gathered on the lawn, seemingly frozen in a tableau of disbelief.

The multicolored glass depicting Mary of Nazareth in the stable, gazing lovingly at her Child in his swaddling clothes, shattered in what seemed to be slow motion. The rush of heat from the subsequent explosion began to fuse the colors once in the pane, into brightly colored gems that began to fall tear-like on the earth below.

Topaz gold had been the color of her sons hair-Sapphire blue was the color of his eyes-Ruby red the color of the blood that ran down his face when the lightning bolt sent by God had struck him. Revenge while neither sweet nor meant to ease her pain, would serve as her return volley in the game of destruction being played.

18 comments:

Aniket said...

Wow! The wrath of a mother seeking redemption for losing her child, is so well told. Your words scream her strong emotions. I love your take and how you paced it. Superb writing.

Aimee Laine said...

Someone needs a lesson in anger management. :) Good job!

jelismorgan said...

I love how you infused the jewels into the character's last vision of her son. Very moving.

Peter Dudley said...

Clever seeing the broken stained glass in the photo prompt. I am troubled by the idea that a person would attack a church in retaliation for an act of God. I have no problems with blaming the church for acts of the Church, but... interesting story line. I see this as the beginning of a long and arduous struggle for this poor soul.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Very explosive-and quite a different concept. :)

Aerin said...

I have difficulty with this just because the woman really had been a good little "parochial schooled vassal" she would presumably know the actual words of the "eye for eye" phrase in the New Testament which is -" ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;"

Jade L Blackwater said...

A tense, elongated moment. Great descriptions. REALLY nice use of images/colors throughout to complement the emotions.

I feel you could strengthen this piece by taking out things that "seem" or "began", and letting them BE or DO. Let the parishioners be frozen, let the world crash in slow motion, let Mary of Nazareth be Mary of multicolored glass, let the colors fuse, let the gems fall.
(Unless, I suppose, your goal is to emphasize that things are not all as they seem?)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Very strong piece. The pain of losing a child can cause all sorts of insanity - temporary or not. Love the crashing window descriptions.

Not so sure about blood with lightning strikes, but I also haven't done much research on them. The ones I have heard about talk about an exit burn wound - not blood.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the premise to this story, very original. As for being a "parochial schooled vassal," - the tonal quality of it suggests otherwise; which, in turn means I disagree with Aerin. Good job!

Lee said...

Another excellent story entwining violence and religion. Well written.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Margaret!

Nicely done, lots of emotion transpires for the reader!

Dottie :)

McKoala said...

This wins my 'Best opening line' vote! (If there were such a thing.)

fairyhedgehog said...

I thought this held together really well and I especially liked since her aim was as true as her purpose

Joni said...

Beautifully crafted.

A very nice piece of writing.

Aerin said...

I'm trying to do a spreadsheet with body count, and can't tell if everyone was out of the church when she threw the cocktail or how many people would have been killed? TOTALLY not germane to the flash fiction; just for my accounting purposes!

JaneyV said...

I'm not bothered by any details because it is the sheer emotion of this piece that makes it so strong. I feel the woman's pain, I understand her desperation for retribution and the anger that she feels at the utter pointlessness of her son's death. She's not just punishing God she's sending him a message not to mess with her again.

Also I love the image of the melting stained glass. Powerful writing!

Laurel said...

Very emotional and the anger at God is more likely from someone raised in a strong faith background, I think. Once you accept the notion of an all-powerful God, the idea that when bad things happen it's His fault is pretty logical.

Not sayin' it's right, just that it follows from the original premise.

Vincent Kale said...

The last paragraph really pulled the whole thing together for me. The relation between the falling, melting, fusing colored glass and the child felled by "God's Hand" was striking.

So the score is 1-1. What's God's next move?