April 6 – April 20, 2022 Writing Prompt “9 Choir of Angels” – no voting
Theme: 9 Choir of Angels
Using the image below, write a story using one angel from two of the three Triads.
- Two of the angels
Word Count: 1,500
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17 thoughts on “April 6 – April 20, 2022 Writing Prompt “9 Choir of Angels” – no voting”
Read the stories here:
I think a 4-month hiatus to get my life straightened out is long enough 😉
Iron pyrite. Fool’s gold.
My brothers would tell me it was the real thing and laugh at my wonderment. I remember leaving the Army base in Japan for the last time and coming to this land with the red clay flecked with little pieces of gold. My homeland that I barely knew, except for some fantastic summers at Grandma’s house. But that was way out in West Point, a little town that straddles the border between Georgia and Alabama, and they didn’t have the strange abundance of fool’s gold peppering the landscape.
I loved the new dirt, rocks, and bugs just as much as the sudden availability of junk food and cartoons that weren’t recorded on VHS tapes. I was even having a little bit of fun with the concept of mosquitoes. They said that I had culture shock, but that overlooks the fact that I was just a weird kid.
These days … all it takes to get me nostalgic is a glint of sun off some of this dirt. It glitters in a beguiling way, for dirt … and for anything I guess … and gets me thinking of a time when fluorescent crayons were treasures and America was a teeming paradise. So many bugs to catch with bare hands and so many wonders hiding in every patch of trees or bushes.
Can you imagine every day (that wasn’t in the winter) being like an Easter Egg Hunt just for me? Those painted eggs had to be hidden manually by adults, but the miniscule wildlife that I hunted hid itself … and changed constantly! You know those lines of rocks that people have in their yards to border in some fancy gardening? I would flip each of those rocks over in search of creepy crawlies, and I kept several containers for storing my captives.
You know I was named after John the Baptist? Big deal, right? But as a kid, it meant a lot to me. I remember when I was four and I overheard an aunt remarking that I was really into bugs while I was pursuing a “lubber”. My relatives always called them locusts, but I have heard people call them “cemetery grasshoppers”. Huge things, as big as toads sometimes, and great for scaring a prissy cousin or warding off the fists of a brother. Anyways, my mom responded that John the Baptist was a hermit who regularly consumed bugs, and I was named for him, and he was like a mentor to old J.C., and I think that I made a direct and spiritual connection between Jesus and the world of entomology right then and there.
For example: the first time that I ever saw a praying mantis when I was still in Japan. It was sitting outside the front door of our condo, and I remember trying to see it through the peephole because I couldn’t unlock the door yet. But someone let me out there, and then I beheld a glorious sight, like a tiny and green guardian angel watching over our domicile. The way it held clasped claws and stood there looked so reverent, and I was too little to know what that meant, but I recognized prayer when I saw it, and it took a long time to convince me that it couldn’t really pray.
I popped it in an old jelly jar with holes punched in the lid. All my other captives were in there too. Later, I returned from watching cartoons and found that the jar contained only the mantis, which I blamed on my family. Why had they let all my other bugs go?
Yup. Good times.
When I was nine and back in America for good, I started reading books of mythology and cryptozoology instead of just nonfiction books about insects and other invertebrates. The praying mantis and tiger beetle larvae could be found and captured, but these new critters that had transfixed me were more elusive and intangible. That didn’t stop me from seeing them behind trees and in the shadows at night, and that didn’t make them any less appealing. Magnificent treasures filled my imagination as well, like the Holy Grail or the Sword of Destiny.
My reading also included religious stuff, like books about encounters with guardian angels and more things from Christian mysticism … like the Arc of the Covenant and lore about demons … even the Prophecy of Fatima. Like I said, I was a weird kid, even when I was doing wholesome things like going to Sunday school.
That same year, I dreamed that an archangel visited me while I slept. His eyes were that same shade of faux gold that inspires me so much, and his robes were that same brilliant emerald of my first mantis. The fiery sword he brandished bathed everything in overwhelming, white light so that I couldn’t make out any other details, except that his plumage was luxuriant (a gradient of black to violet on the bottom of each feather and a gradient of red to orange on the top, separated by a bar of white). That one stuck with me and renewed my faith whenever I thought of it.
But now it takes a lot more to satisfy me. I stopped thinking about seraphim and cherubs and I don’t feel worthy of their visitations. I stopped looking for hidden portals and chests of gold, skunk apes and aquatic serpents with undulating coils. These things still thrill me, but the reality sank in at last, and I get that I won’t ever find them just by wondering in circles and poking around in the woods. Insects still captivate me, there is always that, but I don’t think that I will become an entomologist anymore (and I would suffer from a huge drop in pay if I did).
Where is that angel now? Couldn’t he spare a moment of his time to float down here and renew my faith again? Seeing is believing, and blessed are those who believe without seeing, and all that good stuff, but I am flailing for anything here. Just give me something juicy, something uplifting, you know? There are so many mundane things to focus on, but I just need one tiny thimble of divinity.
Or how about just one feather?
I really enjoyed reading this Rumple, and it’s so indicative to so many and their faith these days, or even the belief in supernatural.
I added the first two words as the title, just let me know if you want me to name it something else.
Also – did you mean to have the formatting in there like that? I can remove the code snippets if you’d like.
Touch of a Feather.
By Ken Cartisano
I always keep a small tumbler of water on the nightstand next to my bed so I can take a pill whenever I need one. I refill the glass every other day, sometimes the cat drinks out of it. I’m not that fussy.
As I was getting ready for bed at three in the morning, I took a tiny blood-pressure pill, popped it into my mouth on the way to the dresser and picked up the glass of water to wash it down. I was holding the glass with just my thumb and middle finger, with my pinky extended. I raised the glass and as I tipped the water to my lips, I felt the slightest touch against my pinky finger. As if it had been brushed with a feather.
I stopped in mid sip and set the glass back down on the nightstand. The only illumination was coming through the door from the hallway behind me, so I leaned to my right and cocked my head to the left. The glass and the nightstand were bathed in light revealing a fair-sized palmetto bug on the far side of the tumbler, just below the rim, its antennae facing upward.
Beyond him, I couldn’t help but notice my wife, sleeping peacefully, in our bed, just inches away. I refocused on the bug. Other than one of his long undulating antennae, he was motionless. It was one of these that had brushed my finger while I was holding the glass.
Down south, where I live, there’s a certain kind of critter known as a palmetto bug. They’re large, maroon, hideous cock-a-roaches with long antennae and barbed legs. Unlike their ordinary German counterparts, these roaches fly, badly. They open their carapace, and two sets of wings emerge and start fanning the air like an A-10 warthog. Once aloft, they quickly remember why they don’t normally fly, seek to correct their mistake, and land on the nearest object they can, which is invariably you.
Aware of this insect’s ‘airborne’ reputation, I suppressed a shudder, picked up the glass with the same two fingers. Holding it away from my body, I spun 180 degrees with the grace of a Russian ballet dancer and slid out into the hallway. The bug was visible through the glass tumbler and looked to be two-and-a-half inches long from feeler to foot. The water may have magnified its image, but I was unaware of that at the time.
I paused at the door to my left, the garage. This door posed no challenge to my bug transposition skills, but I wanted this monster all the way outside.
I kept going, into the living room, took a right turn into the kitchen, past the table to the heavy sliding back door which I could now see was closed and locked. ‘Uh oh,’ I said to the bug, and began to fumble with the latch with my left hand. I thought I saw the bug move as I grasped the handle to the door and pulled. The door didn’t budge. The lock was not fully open. The bug twitched. I saw him with my peripheral vision. He looked nervous, his antennae were sticking out at odd angles, one barbed foot raised in anticipation. If he lifts his carapace, it’s all over. I swiped at the damned lock again. No go, wouldn’t budge. I had to push the door all the way closed, flip the fussy little latch back up again, and then yank the door with all my might. It opened. I put one foot outside and set the glass down on the cold concrete patio and retreated. Nothing happened. (A dud bug?) I waited a minute. Still no sign of him. I bent over and dared to move the glass, then lift it. No sign of that damned palmetto bug.
When I got into bed my wife was just on the verge of sleep. “Everything all right?” She mumbled.
“Everything’s fine,” I whispered. She went back to sleep. I turned out the light, and that’s when I felt the touch of a feather on my neck. And screamed.
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