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 Nena, fellow writer, and blog friend.
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.
A very piece. I enjoyed reading this. Good job. 🙂
Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
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…
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
A BLOGFEST INVITE!!!!!
Just lovely, Damyanti!
anna @ Deeply Shallow
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. 🙂
Interesting story Damayanti! Like it
Ooh, Joseph the Dreamer. I love Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical version of it.
Wow…very well written! It really drew me in!
Reblogged this on BKNOVELIST and commented:
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!
Hats off Madam 🙂
You’ve brought the story to life! well-done.
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!
I remember your stories from last year. What happened? Why are you off the list?
That was amazing. I loved where you took it.
Patricia Lynne, YA Author
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.
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 😀
Thanks, Miss Alister. Please leave me a link to your blog so I can visit back.
Loved it! I felt like I was in the sand with Joseph.
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.
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.
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
Damyanti I am a huge fan of your writing style! You are my inspiration 🙂
You’ve made these characters so human. Quite often I feel Biblical characters are very one dimensional – not real at all. I loved yours.
I wondered, would you be continuing the story through the prompts? 🙂 Such an intriguing start, Damyanti!
A to Z Challenge
The ABCs of Living with Type 2 Diabetes
No, Vidya. Each story will be standalone. Thanks for your love on this one 🙂
I enjoyed my own private A-ha! moment halfway through. I am slow on the uptake early in the mornings… 😀
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!
I really enjoyed that story. Great start to the challenge!
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!!! 🙂 🙂
Great story! I really enjoyed it.
An interesting retelling! Kept me engaged and curious throughout. Very nice indeed!
That is a delicious reworking of a Biblical story. The last paragraph really brings it together.
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.
Brilliant! A great piece to start the challenge with 🙂
Loved the last line. Well done.
Powerful narration, and an even more powerful message: “After the darkness, the darkest hour; light.”
Really brings the story of Joseph to life. I like it.
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. 🙁
Lovely story and a great start to the challenge.
very evocative and powerful…with so few words. Great!
Nice retelling of a very old tale. I really enjoyed it 🙂
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!
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
Wow, I really liked your touch
Great narrative and such a powerful and meaningful story!
Good start, Damyanti. Great descriptions of odors and sensation of walking behind the camel. An ancient tale re-lived in your own words.
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)
Riding a camel? You ARE adventurous! Where did Joseph take that photo, do you know? It could have been a number of places, but I thought perhaps one of the buildings in Washington DC?
I have no clue. I deliberately didn’t want to know so that I could imagine my own stories into his photos 🙂
Ah, I see your point!
Gorgeous beginning to the challenge! I love the weighted quality of the story, and the descriptive passages. Very nicely done!
Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.
Loved reading it Damyanti ! Kept me engaged through out.
I am not part of the challenge, but I received your email with your prompt, so I wrote something anyway LOL http://purplesplatitudes.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/after-the-darkness/ I am just trying fiction lately, so if you care to read, I hope you enjoy it. thanks. Oh, if I am not supposed to post links here, I apologize, I don’t know what I am doing LOL
That’s great, I’m glad you found inspiration to write 🙂
Forgive me but this is my first A To Z Challenge… We don’t pingback anywhere?
Reblogged this on A Layering of Perception and commented:
Oooh, oooh. This is right up my alley. I hope I can keep up. I’ve signed up and am taking topic suggestions and photograph suggestions as well.
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.
This reminds me of one of my Bible stories. And Joseph ended up victorious in the end…very nice story, Damy 🙂
MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Lots of Crochet Stitches
Nicely done. Now I’m singing songs from “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”
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 🙂
That’s powerful! There’s a story in the Bible that echoes the essence of your tale. Forgiveness is a powerful thing.
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
A superbly written piece, and an interesting take and perspective on a much older tale. Looking forward to subsequent posts…
This was very well written! I’m ecstatic, though! Looking forward to the challenge 😀
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.
This was very well written- it is tough to re-write a Biblical story, but this is done quite well!
Really enjoyed the story…