111 Day Artistic Spirit Pledge: Spiritual Growth Through Creative Expression
Day 22: Creativity Prompt #3 result
On Friday (Day 19), I posted a Halloween-inspired prompt. The result is the short story below:
He couldn’t move. Fear gripped every inch of him. Logic told him not to be afraid, but that didn’t stop the shock waves that burned up within.
He’d seen it from a distance despite the trees’ attempt to conceal the cloaked figure. Standing in the middle of a run-down cemetery made him uncomfortable enough, but now his senses rose to new heights. His body shivered though perspiration soaked his neck and forehead.
He removed the cigarette from his mouth, gave it a cursory glance, and extinguished it with the sole of his cowboy boot. Removing his leather-trimmed hat, he wiped the sweat from his brow and clutched the gold pocket watch once owned by his great-grandfather.
“I have to do this,” he yelled – his drawl think and the tone genuine. “I’ve done everything possible, Granddaddy. They’re taking the land, and everyone else in the family refuses to help me.”
“That’s a lie!”
The guttural whisper echoed in his ears as he stumbled backward, tripping over a grave plaque as he went. He trembled as the cloaked figure floated from the tree line and moved toward him. Cowering on the ground, his arm sore from falling on a protruding limb, he shook his head to scare away the vision.
When his eyes opened, the figure was gone but so was the sun. Confusion swirled around him, so he touched his head for any sign of a bump. He got to his feet, determined to accomplish the task he came here to do. The night air blew cold and he pulled his buckskin coat in tight and adjusted the oversized brown cowboy hat.
He scanned the graveyard for signs of life and breathed a sigh of relief at realizing none was present. He continued the path towards his father’s grave, his body weighed down with grief and dread.
He came here to explain, to apologize for losing the farm. His father made his displeasure known while alive and though deceased ten years his memory still evoked intimidation in his youngest son.
The namesake and heir stopped dead in his tracks, disbelieving his eyes. His father’s marble headstone had a large crack down the center and the wording scratched out in long, deep wounds. Anger would have been his first response had he not encountered a cloaked figure in the cemetery. He still couldn’t figure out how it could’ve gone from light to dark in the blink of an eye. He wondered what kind of evil existed here and knew he’d need help to ward off any malevolent being. He stared toward the swaying branches and prayed.
“Dear, Lord Jesus. Please don’t let the devil take me. I know I’ve done god-awful…sorry, awful things, but I’m a good man. You know I am.”
The wind whizzed by and he swore it carried “liar” as it went.
“Okay,” he pleaded, down on his knees. “I promise I can fix this. I’ll make it all better.”
A loud crack and a big bang behind him caused his body to shake, and he buried his head in his hands. Begging his father for help, he took the pocket watch from his jacket and clung to it.
“I was going to sell it. I had to. It would pay off the debt we…I accumulated. We needed money for the farm and I thought I could pay them back…”
His words came fast and furious, plagued with fear and racked with guilt. He sobbed at his father’s grave and swore to make amends.
The wind whipped in one strong blow, sending the son to the ground where his head met the cracked stone of his daddy’s resting place. As blood seeped into the soil below, the cloaked figure retrieved his pocket watch from his descendant’s grip and disappeared, for good this time.
**I am an Artistic Spirit! For most of my life I’ve used the creative arts as a source of spiritual exploration and healing, even though I didn’t always do so consciously. Sometimes I was the instrument creating the art and other times I was on the receiving end. The connection between art and spirituality is so significant in my life that it’s infused into everything I do. I love music, theatre, television drama series (daytime and primetime), and creative writing and find fulfillment in artistic expression of various sorts: singing, acting, and jewelry design. Throughout the next 90 days, I’ll delve into how all of the above strengthens my spirit and has saved my life on more than one occasion.**