Thursday, April 19, 2012

P for Perched up high: #atozchallenge fiction

Today's story starter (in bold at the beginning of the story below) comes from Boysmum2 and the picture prompt is another, my favorite, snapshot by Joseph. W Richardson.

Perched up high in a church bell tower waiting for the rain to pass, he cowered as he watched things fall apart. Would he be spared to later tell the tale of the times when the earth quaked, the wind sang, when outside there was a storm, as much in his heart inside?

His eyes fogged with tears, he curled himself in a corner of the conjuratory, a preacher who'd forgotten his prayers against the rain. The bell rang through his body, sending ripples through his being, incessant, like the howling of the wind through the broken glass panes.

As afternoon became evening and evening rolled into night, he clung on, trying to remember the holy words he had learned for years at the seminary, but none came. The bell tolled through him, till he and the bell became one. It purged him of all thought, and only the breath and the vibration remained through the night, wordless, but no longer agonized.

They found him in the morning lying in a silent heap under a quiescent bell.

Your prayers saved us from the worst of it Father. A few were hurt, but none died, they said as they lifted him on their shoulders and down the dark stairs and into the sunlit church courtyard.

He opened his eyes and looked at them, You were the saved by the bell, my children, he said, and fell quiet, listening to the tolling of the bell within.

Those were his last words. Another took his mantle in the church, because from that day onwards till the hour he died, the good preacher never uttered a word again.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year

As a co-host, I end with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you're unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have five other blogs.
3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.


  1. Oh, that's good! Flash fiction is always fun to read when it draws you in like that. Yes, we made it through the halfway mark...wonder what creativity and inspiration will do to us over the next few days...

  2. Great fiction! I admire those who can write short and to the point. Flash fiction is not my strong suit, but I sure appreciate it when written by others! :) ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living,

  3. The story really fits the mood of the tower picture!
    Good job! Love the prompt, too...

  4. This is another excellent piece. I was drawn in quickly, enjoyed it, sad as it was then a proper release at the end.

    Wonderful writing.

  5. I love the imagery with the storm brewing both inside and out, then melding together. Great stuff.

    Von L
    The Growing Writer

  6. You really do have a gift for creating a complete emotional arc with very few words.

    And this: ...a preacher who'd forgotten his prayers... Well that's just lovely beyond measure.

    Thanks again for finding a story in one of my photos. In the tower and your telling, there is music.


  7. A lovely piece. It draws you in and is brilliantly rounded off. I'm learning so much during this AtoZ. Many thanks.

  8. wow, I love the picture that went with my sentence, so apt! Nice story, thanks for choosing my line

  9. Great story! That picture prompt is awesome, by the way.

  10. Love the image of the bell tolling through him, part of him...I love church bells, get shivers when I hear them, especially if they are for an event of any magnitude. When I was a kid, some of the local Amish farmers used bells to alert neighbors to trouble (having no phones).

  11. That was great! Mysterious and poetic, I love the imagery.

  12. I really love the imagery in your writing. It goes right to the core of my brain and pulls the story out like a magician with a brightly colored kerchief.

    This one evoked a short story idea - it that blooms to fruition I will have you to thank.

    *~ MAJK ~*

  13. You have a gift for these micro-stories. I envy that. I really liked this piece, it had a great photo and a great prompt. When all the insanity of April is over, I'll be back to read all of these.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  14. New follower to your blog! :) I lover your story-starter! A very mood tale, indeed! :)

  15. Would love to be able to write like that.

    Thanks for the tip about word verification, all sorted now.

  16. Hey, Damyanti,
    From your piece, I'd day we can never really tell what's going on with other people. We can only assume unless they tell us what's going on in their minds.

  17. Enjoyed this Q post and the photo. Thanks for sharing.

    I'll come back to see some of the other posts, I'd like to read them. I'm already a follower.

    Thanks for the visit to my blog.

  18. I really like the concept of story starters! This short story really drew me in. thanks!

  19. Saved by the bell, haha!
    Yikes, it must have been one serious storm if he never uttered another word after that...

  20. This is beautifully crafted... another slamming piece!

  21. Great piece of writing - I enjoyed reading it.

  22. Fabulous piece! You are so good at flash fiction.

  23. This was so intense and visual. I was right there with him, feeling the vibration of the bell. Wow!

  24. This was a powerful piece! Poor preacher.

    J.C. Martin
    A to Z Blogger

  25. A gripping piece with many a vivid imagery!

  26. Wow, saved by the bell within. Powerful. Love your flash fiction!!

  27. What vivid imagery!I will be back when April is over to read them all and the stories from last year too!

  28. excellent....the sound outside to sound within of the Bell!

  29. excellent ....strong visual effects


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