During the war we talked about “after,” but we didn’t realize that for some of us, there will never be an after. I remember one survivor who said the past was like a festering wound, but “she’d had it sliced away–leaving a scar, it’s true, but barely noticeable.” She said, “You cover it up and go about your life.”
But at night, I’d hear her tossing and turning, and sometimes crying. I recognized it for what it was—the past haunting her. It doesn’t go away. It’s a movie playing on an endless, repeating loop. It’s a ghost that visits each night, or an illness. Paul is that ghostly contagion. He haunts me at night, visits me in my dreams, and he’s infected me with dangerous thoughts. Sometimes I’m no longer sure if what I did was right.
It’s Prosery time at dVerse, flash fiction of no more than 144 words using the given poetic prompt line. This is another episode of my ongoing (and going, where is it going?) spy series. Sarah has asked us to use the line:
“she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar”.
From a poem by Michael Donaghy. You can read the original poem here: https://rihlajourney.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/liverpool-michael-donaghy/
Beautifully fone, layer after layer uncovered, and then, and then, that killer end (yes, dark, dark pun). That dnding sums it all up…sets the tone for the reader to think, ponder over after reading..
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Ain.
I am so sorry about the typos. Will be more careful.
It’s fine, Ain. I assume you’re not in circumstances particularly conducive for writing/posting.
Absolutely stunning, Merril. Fantastic use of the prompt.
Thank you so much, Sarah–and for hosting!
Fantastic as always, Merril – I really want them to get together already! Let’s see some action (of one kind or another)! 😀
Thank you, David.
But then, I’d have to figure out what’s going to happen and what the story is really about. 🤣
As soon as I saw the Edward Hopper painting, I knew I was in for a Prosery treat!
Thank you so much, Liz! 😊
You’re welcome, Merril!
Excellent connection to your spy saga. It was a little bumpy transferring from “one survivor” to you. Maybe you had Paul in common, even more of a mystery.
Thank you, Glenn. Hmmm. . . I’m not quite sure what you mean.
This theme fits into you story so well. And of course, you write it up so well too.
Thank you very much! 💙
Thank you, Gillena.
Your spy saga is always intriguing….excellent use of the line.
Thank you very much, Lillian.
Very good work, Merril. Slicing away the past always leaves scars to haunt us… What did you do??
Thank you, Dwight. Not me! It’s fiction! 😊
Oh, I know! Sounds great anyway!
Thank you. 🙂
Even today, some of those scars are being created.
Well done, Merril.
That’s true, Ken. Thank you very much.
Doubt will eat you alive if you let it… Good story.
Thank you so much, Lisa.
You’re very welcome, Merril.
Excellent and intriguing. This makes me want to read more. Haunted indeed.
Thank you very much!
This is just wonderful, also love the painting 💖
Thank you, Rene! I didn’t know this Hopper before. I love it, too.
Truly a haunting piece Merril, strongly engaging. Extremely well written. 🙂
Thank you very much, Rob. 🙂
An intriguing piece.
A fine response to the prompt and continuation of your spy series. As soon as I saw the Edward Hopper picture I knew what to expect.
Thank you very much, Derrick. Hopper seems to work with many of the episodes. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
I love the self-doubt, the questioning, angst, – full of real experience.
Thank you, Paul. That was my goal! 🙂
🙂 My pleasure Merril.
Masterfully done, this piece drew me in, hooked me hard, and left me wanting more. I loved it.
What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much!
I love how this progressed from something universal like post-War PTSD to something so very personal. Great piece.
Thank you so much!
I read yours, too–terrifying!– but I wasn’t able to leave a comment.
WP is giving me a ton of issues. I contacted them so many times. They said that they’ve rectified the problem now. And you’re very welcome!
I cannot even imagine surviving a war. You brought it out so well.
Thank you very much. I can pretend I know for a story, but I cannot truly imagine it either.
Oh, yes. I so love that you keep using the Hopper paintings to pair with the continuation of your fabulous spy series. Enchanting. And a beautifully written chapter, might I add.
Thank you so much, Dale. I haven’t used Hopper for all of them, but his work does seem to fit. I just discovered this on.
No, but for more than a few, no?
Yes, for many of them.
A fabulous snippet of your ongoing, unknown destination spy series, Merril.
Just wondering, are you saving them all in a special folder? To do what with, I don’t know, but maybe they could be a book?
Thank you very much, Resa.
They’re saved and they’re on my blog, but I don’t know. I think it would take a lot of work to make a book from them.
This drew me in fiercely, relevant cos I’d had a weeping sort of day, and I’m amazed you packed in so much to a gross of words. The way the second half took us to Paul in a right angled twist has quite taken my breath away…
I’m so sorry you had a weeping sort of day, but I’m glad my words could in some small way help you–well, draw you into another world, perhaps. Thank you for your kind praise.
Just the right amount of intrigue to keep readers hooked and the line used so seamlessly! So well written, Merril. 💙
Thank you very much, Punam! 💙
The intrigue grows! I am enjoying this Merril 😊
Thank you very much, Ingrid. 😊