Friday, July 15, 2011

Entry #28

Hope Unplugged
by Catherine Vibert

God it was hot.

“They don’t have any medicine.”

“What are we going to do, don’t they have anything at the mission?”

“Nothing there or anywhere.”

Suni eyed her son sleeping so peacefully in her arms. The soft pink of his cheeks lifted in a dream smile. Her heart sank… if only she could keep him in that state.

But hope was lost when the grid went down, two years now.

A rogue tear fell onto his little face and his eyes shot open.

“Mommy, what is that light?” Lil Ed pointed to the red tinged thunderhead.

“What do you see my darling?”

“Wings Mommy, coming closer.”

Saul prodded the horse and the wheels jerked to a roll. Ed’s sweet face morphed into an anguished moan. Suni held him tighter as Saul reached over and pulled his family close.

Lil Ed stared at the clouds darkening the sky. He bolted upright, putting up his hand as if to ward something off. He screamed. The horse stumbled, struggling to regain footing on the crumbling highway.

“What is it Ed?” Suni’s stomach was in knots, he was so hot.

And then he was calm.

“Ok, I’ll come,” Ed wiped his mother’s tear, smiled, then his body slackened, falling into her arms.

“No, you can’t have him! Let go!” Suni screamed to no one.

Lightning struck the ground and the horse reared. Ed didn’t budge.

Rain and tears began to fall and took the heat from his cheeks.


Anonymous said...

So evocative, Cat. And hard to read, as a mother. The unbearable helplessness. Now I have to go hug the kids.

Beautifully done!

Catherine Vibert said...

Thanks j a! Hug your kids for me too. And let's hope the grid doesn't go down forever. :-)

Stephen Parrish said...

Powerful imagery. Well done.

Precie said...

Devastating. I'd say nicely done, but nice doesn't touch something this painful. Excellent.

Aimee Laine said...

I took me two read-throughs and a peek at the comments to understand Ed wasn't seeing whatever was 'real'. Now that I get that, I see just how painful that must have been for the Mom. Ouch. Very very ouch. :(

Catrina said...

Dystopian. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Great writing! I love the idea of a "rogue tear". Can see everything clearly and a great close.

Michele Zugnoni said...

Wow. This was powerful. I read three times, just to ensure I grasped every bit of your concept. You know what I liked best? The way you balamced description and imagery with character and dialogue. Stacked together, you've created a very provocative piece. The mother's pain was tangible.

Thanks for sharing!

Catherine Vibert said...

Thanks everyone! Especially to those double and triple readers here. I really appreciate the attention to the details. :-) There are so many great entries already, right? Wow! Love the response to the image so far.

lordportico said...

I had to read through it twice, carefully, before I got it. But when i did, Kudos! Very well done.

Aniket Thakkar said...

When lil' Ed said, “Wings Mommy, coming closer”, I feared what was coming, but it still didn't make it any easier to read. You always hit hard with colors in your paintings and you've hit hard with your words here.

You've outdone yourself with this one Cat of Arc. You really have. Its the best of yours that I've read, by far.

SzélsőFa said...

as others have said before me, it's like a rich painting, with the mother's pain being the most important element, but i admit i had to read the comments and the piece at least three times before i got it.

PJD said...

Not just hard for a mother to read. Hard for a father, too. By the way, I think you did a fine job with both parents, showing who they are through their actions.

I am not sure if you meant this or not, but I get that Lil Ed is a bit of a savior child, allowing himself to be sacrificed. Good work, Cat. Scores high on my short list.

fairyhedgehog said...

This does hit hard and I wasn't able to reread it for that very reason! Powerful words.

Margaret said...

I saw the whole scene happening before my eyes. The helplessness of the parents, the anguish, the pain.

Hard for any parent to read but harder if you've lost a small child.

Such vivid, intensive, excellent writing, Cat. Well done!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Vivid! I like how this story took me to a different place from all the others I've read so far.

Unknown said...

Nicely done, too bad he couldn't sleep and remain unaware. Whatever was out needed him awake.

Dottie :)

Old Kitty said...

So sad and very beautifully told, thank you. Take care

bluesugarpoet said...

Artfully written, Cat! I love the images you've created - seen and unseen. ~Jana

JaneyV said...

Cat - this is so painful and raw. You captured the desperation of the parents with touching clarity. I love that the mother shouted at the hallucinated angel. And when I say *love* I mean that it cut to my soul. Your last line is perfection.

Beautiful Cat.

Richard Levangie said...

A lovely entry, Cat. Fine writing, evocative phrasing, poignant.

To do so much with just 250 words!

Sarah Hina said...

This is my favorite entry of yours, too. As others have said, the sacrifice, the ambiguity, and the beautiful imagery all converge to make a memorable, soul-wrenching piece.

That heat in his cheeks...*sob.*

C. Sonberg Larson said...

A great story. The last line really lingers in the mind. Nice work.

Catherine Vibert said...

I really appreciate your comments everyone. I haven't gotten around to everyone's stories yet but I will before the weekend is up.

Katherine Tomlinson said...


Wendy said...

Wow, what a way you captured the intense despair and hopelessness. Powerful.

Anonymous said...

A devastating world where the only peace is death. You portrayed the sadness well. Solidly written!