Mandatory words: Bible, table, ceiling, summit, fleet
Above is the prompt from this week’s photo reveal; below is the story I’ve written to go with it. Enjoy. ~L
James threw the Bible across the room with such force that it grazed the ceiling and tilted forward, knocking Lila’s wine off the table before landing. It crashed open-faced toward the floor with its pages awkwardly crinkled beneath the weight of The Word and soaked in Pinot Gris.
“This is crap!” James shouted.
Lila peeked around the kitchen wall into the living room to see James plop onto the couch with a heavy sigh.
Sensing her presence he looked up. In the silence they stared at one another, searching for something to say.
The pain seeping from James’ spirit penetrated Lila’s heart. She had no words for this amazing man– her best friend and partner in life for over a decade. For the first time in 13 years she felt separated from him, yet they shared a bed united as one in consummate love. But James’ ardor for her came not out of sexual lust but out of deep and anguished grief over the most significant loss his life has ever known. He needed something far greater than what she could give him.
He knew Lila felt far away. Everything seemed surreal since “that day.” The image of his brother’s face took the place of his wife as James reflected back to the gorgeous morning on the mountain—a Vuarnet day, perfect for a hike along the ridge of South Sister. Danny insisted on taking the lead. I was born 12 minutes before you little brother… me first. Spot me, he’d said before giving James his character wink. Danny was always the kidding around about being the “older brother,” but James had sensed the unspoken protection his brother vowed to provide—for life.
They’d made it halfway to the summit when the snow gave way, revealing a 75-foot crevice. It swallowed Danny before James could even react. The rope connecting the two brothers gave way as if something ghostly snapped it in two.
DANNY! DANNY! James screamed down the echoing, icy drop. The sun shone into the dark space and cast a ray of light upon the quiet, crumpled heap that was his brother. It took two hours before a fleet of rescuers brought Danny up and laid him in the snow.
James wept over the body of his only brother. From infancy to manhood they’d shared every space of life together since their mother’s womb. Streaming hot tears poured out of James on that frozen mountain. He let his brother go.
Now staring into Lila’s magnificent hazel eyes, James realized the only greater pain would be to lose his beautiful bride.
“I’m so sorry, Lila,” tears brimmed his eyes.
“It’s okay, Love,” said Lila, picking up the Bible from the floor. Wiping the wine from the crushed pages her eyes fell upon a single verse:
“He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Word count= 500