Saturday, June 24, 2006

Entry #22

"The Keeper of Souls"
by Robert Rohloff

A rugged cross stands beneath the darkened sky, its roots buried deep into the rancid soil. Thin snakes, protrude from the crossbars, and stretch transversely into the dead heavens. In the year of 1886, the great white army butchered my people, and let their corpse rot into this lifeless garden beneath the symbol of Christianity. My spirit stands guard for the souls of those small children and women that died that day. My loved ones bodies have long since turned into human dust, their souls have departed, but mine is still here. My place of duty is hour upon relentless hour, day after day, month after month, and year after year on these bare horizons, with cold winds, snow, heavy rains, and scorching heat.

That day I held my daughter’s lifeless, tiny carcass of flesh and bones in my arms while I cried. My young beautiful wife laid by my feet in a ball of blood soaked buckskin. Her interrogating eyes were open wide, asking why this massacre of the cruelest form took the breath from so many women and children.

Suddenly, a shadow fell across me. I looked up. It was a tall, thin, colorless man with yellow hair upon broad shoulders, sitting upon a great white horse. The stranger lacked a mouth or any face features, and his eyes were full of dread.

Everything went silent when he pushed a steel blade into my throbbing heart. My throat tightened, my eyes got heavy and closed.

Dead is dead.


Bhaswati said...

Powerful piece of writing. I liked this.

Scott said...

Ouch. I hope to goodness this is complete fiction, and that you've never had to live even a fraction of the horror depicted here.

Anonymous said...

I like this piece. Has a poignancy and think the last line is perfect and ends it well.

I have a problem with this sentence: "Her interrogating eyes were open wide." I know what you're trying to get across-she's asking for answers from him with her dead eyes, but the image doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece. Captivating.
Is she asking for answers from him or is she asking for answers from us?

Jade L Blackwater said...

Very strong - I love that the main character continues to stand watch, both as told in the story, and as the teller of the story.

Anonymous said...

Robert, eerie description of death. Metaphor makes action. Nice concept!