#AtoZchallenge #flashfiction: After the darkness…

Another big day this year: the first day of the A to Z Challenge —I’m equal parts nervous and excited! Are you taking part? If you haven’t signed up for the biggest blogfest ever yet, you could still do it today! 
As part of the A to Z Challenge,  through the month of April I’ll be posting a story a day based on photographs by Joseph T. Richardson and prompts given to me by blog-friends.
Writing prompt: After the darkness..

Provided by: Peter Nenafellow writer, and blog friend.


#atozchallenge: A for After the Darkness
#atozchallenge: A for After the Darkness

   After the darkness of his room, its absolute quiet, this seemed different to Joseph. For one, he felt the swish of air under his robe. Strong hands carried him, holding him by the arms and legs, swinging him lightly. This must be yet another dream, a message from Báʿal. He would wake up any moment.

    Reuben and Judah argued somewhere nearby.

   Joseph couldn’t make out the words his brothers spoke, but Judah seemed angry, and Reuben, pleading.

      What is it about this time, he wanted to ask, but no words came. Fabric pressed against his lips, his new beard, his soft mustache. Someone had gagged his mouth. He struggled and the men carrying him stopped, as did the voices.

       I told you to make sure he sleeps. Judah’s whisper, rough and close, grated against Joseph’s throat, his chest. Why did his brothers want to make sure he slept? They had tied him up, and now carried him in the dark. What in the name of all that’s…

      I did. Reuben’s voice cut into Joseph’s thoughts.

    Now he will know it is us. We have to get rid of him, and it’ll be all your fault.

    No, send him away. What if father finds out?

    He won’t. The old man would go so blind with crying he won’t notice a thing.

Joseph listened as the air changed around him. The incense-laden air of his home gave way to the open, the smell of hyacinths, cattle dung, stale food and jasmine in the night, and the poison of his brothers’ breaths moving back and forth as they wondered whether to strangle him, throw him in a ditch, bury him.

    Sell him, I still say. Reuben, his voice soft, but urgent.

So it was that in the darkest hour of dawn, Joseph found himself stumbling along, his feet sinking in the soft sand, his hands tied in front of him, forcing him to follow the large, awkward, but sure steps of a camel. The caravan stretched all the way to the horizon when he glimpsed it from the top of each dune and the camel dragged him up, and came sliding back down, still tied to the camel.

In the darkness, his brothers had sold him. He was now a slave. After this night of darkness, more darkness lay ahead.

But in his head, he had his thoughts. In his sleep he would have his dreams. He would still dream of high arches, the insides of lighted domes, of the house of Báʿal. His brothers could not take those away. He would escape into himself, into Báʿal, who knew and forgave each of man’s sins.

As his feet sank yet another time in the warm sand, he looked up and saw in the distance a ball of orange rise, like the dome of the house of Báʿal.

After the darkness, the darkest hour; light.



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 !

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Add Yours
  1. Michelle Wallace

    Hi Damyanti.
    I’m trying to play catch-up with certain blogs and I don’t want to miss any of your flash fic posts… 🙂
    This is a wonderful start to the challenge.
    Sibling betrayal cuts very deep…

  2. sdneeve1

    Sorry, I’m a day late at getting to your post. Still trying to catch up from yesterday!
    Beautiful adaptation and extremely well written. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  3. Jennifer Marshburn

    I had forgotten that you are basing your stories on Joseph’s photographs. I look forward to a month of art from both of you!

  4. Donna B. McNicol [@dbmcnicol]

    I’m so glad to be back doing the A-Z (even if my blog is no longer listed..sniff) and I am REALLY happy that I will have your stories to read again!

  5. Julia Lund

    From such a rich source of oral storytelling you have injected your writer’s touch. I look forward to reading more of your work over the next few weeks.

  6. Miss Alister

    Dang, Mizz D, you are good, really good! Nice style. This bodes well for the sale of your past and hopefully future books. Excellent play on the Genesis 37 story, btw. I can’t wait to gobble up more of your work 😀

  7. Inderpreet Uppal

    Wow…..I love the way the story is unfolding. Love your writing and fiction is my weakness. Love it but can not write much of it.
    Will be reading here – a lot.

  8. Michelle Stanley

    I like your version of the biblical tale and you captured the thoughts of the characters so nicely. Although I’m nervous about submitting my posts, I’m having a good time blog hopping in this challenge.

    • echoesofthepen

      Having read and enjoyed many of your stories and posts there’s no reason in the world for you to be nervous about submitting posts

  9. victoriabruce

    You’ve made these characters so human. Quite often I feel Biblical characters are very one dimensional – not real at all. I loved yours.

  10. Joe Richardson


    This is gripping and imaginative–love it! Thank you again for using my shots to create something lovely and lively and new. I’m honored–and I can’t wait to follow you through April!

  11. S(t)ri

    Such a lovely story! Flash fiction is something I personally adore and above all a lovely prompt given. Kudos to you and both of your friends for the photo and prompt!!! 🙂 🙂

  12. Peter Nena

    Damyanti, my dear friend, you did use one of those prompts. I’d forgotten all about them and now I have to enjoy a wonderful surprise. I am truly honoured that you should mention me in one of your superlative posts. Thanks for sharing with me such magnanimous blessings of your heart. Have an excellent week.

  13. Deaf Mamma

    Indeed, after the darkest hour is light. Thanks for visiting us and i am still struggling to find out what went wrong with my bloggers comment. 🙁

  14. dmvsk

    Nice story! The slave culture is a mass of sorrow. To sell their own brother is something else!
    And good start for the challenge.

    Fellow A-Zer @The Absurd Island!

  15. Sammy D.

    Good start, Damyanti. Great descriptions of odors and sensation of walking behind the camel. An ancient tale re-lived in your own words.

    • Damyanti

      Since I’m basing the stories on my blog-friend Joseph’s photography, I thought of dedicating the post to a story related to his name.

      The descriptions of the camel come from experience of riding a camel (not being dragged behind it, thankfully, lol)

  16. namitasunder

    beautiful…..The faith that darkness always give way to light makes things so easy and simple and yes whatever is within us,nobody can take that away.There lies the source of light which can lead us through all the darkness.

  17. Mars

    Really enjoyed this, this is the first time I’ve stopped by your blog, because of the A to Z challenge, won’t be the last time 🙂


  18. Arlee Bird

    Interesting retelling of this story from a different perspective. Off to a good start–your writing is consistently good so I should not expect otherwise.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  19. Ray Yanek

    Very nice! I’m giving the challenge a go as well, so I understand your nervousness. Love the idea of doing a story a day.