I still have nightmares. Not of hiding for days in a fetid crawlspace. I don’t dream of my terror then. I am Every Woman, dreaming of war’s terrors. I am Cassandra with visions of what might be. End times.
I’m in a desolate waste land. What are the roots that clutch? What branches grow out of this stony rubbish? The roots are arms with hands outstretched and reaching; the branches are watered with blood.
The dream doesn’t come every night, but when it does, I wake up screaming and bathed in sweat. Will finding Paul make me feel better or worse? I don’t know, but I must have some answers. Because if he’s a traitor and still alive, he may be helping to destroy all that I hold dear while turning our world into a waste land. And I will have to stop him.
This is for Mish’s Prosery Prompt using the lines:
“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?”
–from T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land”
My last prosery piece ended with the first sentence used in this one.
***Upcoming Event: Thursday, OCT. 14, Lillian will host OPEN LINK NIGHT LIVE. OLN will appear here at the usual time and you can link up ONE poem. If you’d like to participate live to read your poem in person, there will be a Google link for you to join in the event! (You can also join us without reading.)
What a terrible twist in the tale… I almost wish that Paul is dead… it sounds like he might be something worse.
Thanks for following along!
Yeah–I’m not sure. I don’t know where this is going. 🤣
Oh that Paul, he’s such a mystery. Love the way you connect and continue your story, though I’m sure I’ve unfortunately missed a few segments. Wonderful writing. I really liked the way you expanded on T.S. Eliot’s line!
Thank you so much, Mish. I don’t think the stories all connect exactly, but it’s fun to write for prosery. 😀
This is a very intriguing opening. I wonder where the story will go.
Thank you. I really don’t know where it’s going. 😀
A definite turn in the plot. I wonder what got her thinking that Paul may be a traitor? And the intrigue continues…
Yes. 😀 In one of the other stories I think I wrote that he didn’t meet her at the safe house, and she wondered if he had betrayed her.
Sounds like more evidence/suspicion is accruing the longer he’s incommunicado. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Thank you! I have no idea. I’ll have to see what happens with the next prosery prompt–which I think actually is mine. 😀
so engaging 😆
I’m glad you think so.
branches watered with blood….a nightmare that produces a chilling sweat…a tale of espionage?
Part of the continuing saga!
Awesome! This is a fantastic short piece that leaves me wanting more.
How lovely! Thank you so much!
The mystery continues! The story is so intriguing because I really don’t know what the story is … makes me want more 😊
Thank you! I don’t know what the story is either. 🤣
I like how the wasteland represents the terrors of war in this. The branches watered with blood is an image that stick! 😱 Great mystery!
Thank you, Tricia. Yes, for some reason, the words bring the image of a battlefield to my mind.
Brilliant flash, Merril! ❤️
Thanks so much, Colleen! 💙
I still think we need to give Paul the benefit of the doubt.
You’re right. We don’t know yet. (I don’t either.) 😀
Seamless use of the prompt. Always more questions. (K)
Yes, lots of questions. Thank you!
Mixing Picasso, Nazi’s Eliot, and your espionage tale is quite a feat; kudos.
Thanks so much, Glenn!
A great story Merril! Love your follow-up, The roots are arms with hands outstretched and reaching; the branches are watered with blood.
Thank you, Dwight! I’m pleased you enjoyed it.
You are welcome!
A great piece of prose! Cheers.
Thank you, Helen. Cheers back to you!
The nightmare not enought, the uncertainty of Pauls nefarious action leadens the story in an impactful way. Well done.
Thanks for dropping by to read mine
Thank you very much, Gillena, and you’re welcome! 💙
I like the twist this tale has taken: the very idea that Paul may become her adversary! I like the nod to The Waste Land as well.
I love it! I’m with Ingrid – pit them against each other, Merril!
Hahahaha. Thank you, David. 😀
Thank you so much, Ingrid. The nod to The Waste Land seemed to fit.
Image and prose suitably matched. The tale continues apace
Thank you so much, Derrick.
Oh Paul! Where are you? Put our poor lady out of her misery. I do hope he has not turned traitor.
Fabulous chapter in this story, Merril.
Thank you so much, Dale! 💙
My pleasure! 🧡
Excellent prosery–although that twist at the end gave me a turn.
Thanks so much–and I guess that’s a good thing! 😀
Yes, it’s a good thing!
You “caught” me right away, particularly since I woke up screaming from a nightmare two nights ago. I still have those every once in a while. No bad guys or traitor’s in my life’s story – just shadows dancing in the night.
Thank you, Pam. Sorry about your nightmares. 😔
Scary stuff!!! I once took a grad course that was entirely Eliot’s poem. The whole seminar. Fascinating to look into what went into that poem.
It is a fascinating poem. 😀
Oh man. And I do think his wife helped with it for no credit.
Not that THAT ever happens! 😏
Oh, I know. Those women are always trying to grab credit where they don’t deserve it.
Fab, Merril! This is a continuing story, am I correct?
If not, what am thinking of?
Love that tapestry. The artist/crafts person must have been massively inspired by the painting.
Thank you, Resa. Yes, it’s part of this spy series that I’ve been writing for Prosery. I’m not sure how or if it all fits together. 🤣
Yes, isn’t that tapestry incredible?