Category Archives: Creative Prose (nonfic)

Writing Prompt: Song

She actually calls it “When.”

<blockquote>PROMPT: Launch from the sentence-starter, “When I hear that song…,” and keep your pen moving for 6 minutes.</blockquote>

When I hear that song, I cock my head to the side to figure out where it’s coming from.  I turn and I look at the sun, behind me, in the treetops, to figure out where it is coming from.  I can spin myself in circles searching for that sound.  It means love is at peace.  It’s a forgotten melody that we’ll only hear when we get there, to heaven.  It’s a voice, a helping sound, something that tells us where more is.  Yes, there is more.  Chiming notes stairstep their way up to that place when you realize where there is more.

Some people think of beauty when they hear an ocean roar.  I think of it when I hear that sound, that chime, that guiding musical light that is my stairway to heaven.  Bells couldn’t be prettier.  It’s probably angels’ wings.

When I get to heaven, I expect the air will be shimmering with rainbow light.  I could think of nothing prettier.  And I think that light will be Christ.

My favorite Bible verses are about light.

There is nothing more welcoming than being exposed by light.  Then ceasing to see darkness.  And I expect that’s what it will be like when I cross over.  I will cease to see darkness.

I won’t be the same.  I won’t be me.  I will be my glory-self.  We will all be our glory-selves.  We will hardly be recognizable without the taint of sin.

So chime on, song.  Chime on, bells.  Chime on, music.  Keep reminding me what I’m searching for.  Keep reminding me to turn toward the light.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


It was interesting writing this.  Normally I connect that phrase “that song” with my ex.  But not anymore.

I only see light.


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There Is More To Life.

I saw that.  The flicker of emptiness behind your smile.  You look so happy; you’re so fragile.  You’re a mom, a college kid, you’re on the search for love.  You see the apple and love its taste, but deep inside you waste.  You don’t believe in God at all, or if He’s there, unreachable.  You don’t believe He’d come for you; all that talk is trash.  Intelligent people know better, you know.  Because you’ve poked the holes, they’re everywhere. Nothing can stop the water flow now.  Emptier and emptier, your life unwinds.  How strange, to enjoy the present and yet loathe existence.  There’s nothing out there, nobody to hear.  It just doesn’t exist.

Yet I see that flicker.  The emptiness that you know shouldn’t be, can’t be, must not be.  A handwritten message on your heart says there must be more; you’ve tried to snuff it out, you can’t.  All your education and all your experience tells you of its fallacy; you try to stamp it out, more and more aggressively when the kids are asleep.  A mother love must come from somewhere, must point to something.  You don’t believe it, or do you?

If you hold out much longer you’ll disintegrate.  You want justice–but there isn’t any, so why search for it?  You want love–but it is empty, so why pursue it?  You realize the imperfection–but if there is no perfection, what nonsense is this?

I’ll tell you something, it isn’t nonsense.  Those codes that tell you how life ought to be were written by somebody and meant somewhere.  Not here.  There must be more.  You can’t deny it.  You can’t live this way, in this void; you scramble and claw for more.  It’s right there, on those pages, do you see it?  Black and white, clear and plain; He’s there, He loves justice, He loves you.  Learn about the barrier.  Learn the way around it.  It’s right there, on those pages, in a letter written to ancient people that remains to this day.  Read 1, 2, 3, and 5.  There is a way.  Your key is: Romans.

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A New Day

Written February 11, 2007.

There are times when things happen so unexpectedly that you have no time to put walls up and you break. I spent three years dry-eyed, apparently waiting for that time, the day he showed up totally unexpectedly back into my life and got to me before I could put up those old walls. And I broke, like the shell of a new chick being born into the world.

I rolled down my window and let the beautiful damp almost-spring breeze flow in. It was the kind of breeze that let me cry, that coaxed the tears out of me. The kind of breeze that says, “This is a new start.” There was singing–a descant above the melody, the sun arching over rainclouded eyes. The breeze caught it up and took it to heaven on angels’ wings, dispersing a breath of life as it went. It’s been too long since the windows were opened, too long since the curtains were thrown aside to let God’s good light in. Today is a new day.

untouched, unstained, whole, fresh, clean, pure, new

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I was never a good swimmer.  I was afraid of looking like a fool in front of all the other kids in the pool, and especially in front of my sister, who took to the water like a fish.  I did not feel graceful or strong when I flailed my arms and legs in the water in an accordance of rhythm, and I was too scared of breathing in water to keep my nose unplugged, no matter how many times people trained me to do so appropriately.

Instead, while my sister dove off the sides of the pool or the diving board, or chatted with all her friends and boy friends, I clung to the opposite side of the pool, dipping myself under (with my nose secretly plugged, of course) and feeling the water lift and sway my long, heavy hair that was too thick for even the wind to blow around.  With my hair swirling around my face, I felt just like a mermaid.  Sometimes I was almost convinced that I was a mermaid, but no matter how I tried, my body wouldn’t stay underwater.  I would inevitably float to the top in an irrepressibly human way.

So I lived my mermaid-life in pictures.  I crayoned mermaids with tails of all sorts of colors, their hair swirling in an orderly fashion behind them, in the midst of a beautiful underwater world, and then I would cover it all with blue watercolor in the “crayon-resist” style of art that I had learned at school.  In those drawing hours, I felt like the mermaid I wanted to be.  And in the pool, when no one was looking, I would plug my nose and dip under the water and pretend I was right in those pictures, for as long as I could keep myself under.

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The date says February 17, but it is still the 16th in my mind.

Day 3.

Write about regret.

Regret is the color of a dying rose.  The thing that created beauty in your life no longer has the capability to beautify.  It glares out from the wall as a blackened red stain.  It speaks and says, “I was.”

Like chipped paint, it’s a story of yesterday, a story of ending.  Its taste is the bitterness of what could’ve been, and wasn’t.  Its sound is a ripping and a tearing, or a crunch, a halt, a four-car wreck.  It’s a wrong step and a twisted ankle, a bruised leg, a crushed bone–however small, it’s still true, merciless pain.  It’s staying in one place, feeling the sunlight turn to cold shadow with the passing of the sun, hoping and despairing of hope.

Turning away from regret is crossing the border from shadow to light, but moving your head is the growing impossibility.  Regret is immobilizing, fixing your eyes fast on behind and getting lost in the shade, trying to mentally visualize what you know was there in daylight, and must be there at night, but for you the scenery has changed.

It takes a person’s hand to turn you away.  Sometimes many hands.  It takes a loving touch, a guiding light.  An irrepressible glow of future happiness, a possibility.

It takes a glint of sparkle off a ring to forget what never was and see what is and can be.  It takes patience, understanding, another person’s love, a deeper river than the Snake.  It takes an absence, a leaving, and most of all, time.  Heal.

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