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.

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !


Add Yours
  1. D.G. Hudson

    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.

  2. J.L. Campbell

    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.

  3. MAJK

    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 ~*

  4. Li

    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).

  5. Joe Richardson

    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.


  6. M. J. Joachim

    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…