Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #192

Nothing Less
by Jillian Partridge

Home. If home had a face, it would not be this. It would not be the dark, twisting oaks or the snow covered rolling hills. Why then do I feel safe?

Maybe the sunset comforts me; maybe the mockingbird song is a morning lullaby.

I wrestle with my thoughts in a silent prayer. Stay calm Julia I tell myself. Keep faith.

Kicking out the remains of the fire I reach for my backpack. No food, no water, no hope in this deserted land. No hope except for the Lord who has not failed me yet.

The sun reaches through the trees to point my way. A narrow horse trail snakes west out of the forest.

As my feet hit the dirt path the pounding became a chant. Lost. Lost. Lost. You are. Lost.

“The Lord will never leave me nor forsake me,” I said through gritted teeth.

The chant stopped, momentarily subdued.

Sighing, I continued to hike steadily and hoped to be somewhere safe by night fall.

The trees thinned and disappeared and a small market town appeared over the hill. 5 kilometers away and counting I heard the music and smiled. It was a wedding.

I approached cautiously, buying only an apple from a smiling vender.

“And who are you, child?” the plump balding man asked good-naturedly.

“I am nothing less than one with a bright future and a dark past.”


Laurel said...

I don't know what Julia is leaving behind but she seems optimistic! I wasn't sure about this:

Maybe the sunset comforts me; maybe the mockingbird song is a morning lullaby

Is she unsure about whether it's daybreak or dusk? I like the notion that she is so disoriented that her sense of time is out of kilter.

Bernita said...

It's always darkest before dawn.

Jean Ann Williams said...

I like the honesty of what it feels like to be lost. I like that she reached out to God and that she trusted him.

Good job!

Jean Ann

Preeti said...

Loved the fact that she kept the faith. And the last line says a thousand words.

Beautiful. Simple. Loved it. :-)

Deb Smythe said...

Hope and optimism win out!

Aniket Thakkar said...

This has to be the most satisfying end of the contest that leaves one content and uplifts your soul. Thank you for this.

lena said...

I like the hope in this one. With all the murders and suicides in the contest this one actually IS full of optimism.

laughingwolf said...

hope runs eternal...

Kartik said...

What a brave child! The kid doesn't just see the glass as half full, he believes in its sweetness and purity!!!

Craig said...

I liked the way she kept her faith. It's always hardest in those tough situations.

James R. Tomlinson said...

I guess the details of the past shouldn't matter if you're moving forward and not looking back.

PJD said...

An interesting look at faith guiding you out of your darkness. Watch the shift in tense about a third of the way through. Otherwise, I like this and how you've shown the journey without being overt about the message.

Anonymous said...


Something I Would Keep

The movement - I like that there's a going forward, literally, in terms of action, and emotionally, in terms of hope.

Something I Might Tweak

Pete caught it - the shift change after she chants "Lost. Lost." etc.

Aimee Laine said...

That was great! Love that last line!

JaneyV said...

Jillian - the child here shows incredible depth of maturity. I love that she (is it ok to say she - the child feels feminine somehow..) through her decision to leave her dark past behind she takes nothing with her but her faith and a determination that life will be better.

The optimism of the last line consolidates what has gone before.

Nice work.

catvibe said...

It reads almost like a kind of vision quest. Lovely.