The train climbed through the mountain. Rounding a sweeping curve, Henry looked out the window and saw his engine was pulling a long line of coal cars. Purrlin told Henry they would stop at the water tower along the track ahead.
Henry was living out his dream to be the engineer of a steam train. Simmi put his paws up on the edge of the window and watched the trees as they rolled along. Pulling the rope for the whistle, he listened happily as the sound echoed from ridge to ridge and back again.
“What happens when we get to the top of the mountain?” asked Henry. He recalled an old song he had heard about the wreck of the Old 97.
“As long as we keep a good head of steam, our air breaks should hold fine.” said Purrlin.
Henry only paused a few seconds. When he heard the voice saying, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” he could not resist. He always had a vivid imagination and loved the mystery of ‘what comes next?’ in the books he devoured.
As Henry stepped from the bright stoop into the dark hallway, it took a minute for his eyes to adjust. “Come in my child, it has been such a long time since I had visitors other than Simmi! As his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw a stooped old man holding Simmi on his lap. There was nothing fearful about him as Henry anticipated.
“My name is Purrlin. I can make dreams come true. Do sit down and tell me your dreams.”
Henry moved to the rickety old chair by the table. Should he tell the old man about his dream?
Painting: Dwight L. Roth
D’Verse Prosery prompt: “If you are a dreamer, come in” from Shel Silverstein’s poem Invitation…
Henry followed the big yellow cat down the block, wishing to pick her up and hear her purr. He continued across the street to the next block. She showed up before on the door step of his old brownstone buildings.
His mother told him not to wander off, but the cat seemed to want him to follow. Henry’s mother’s words faded away. He would only go a block or two.
The cat paused in front of a long winding stair case, then scampered up and through a large open door at the top. Henry thought perhaps he could meet the cat’s owner, so he slowly climbed to the top. As he peered into the dark opening, Henry heard an old man’s voice, “If you are a dreamer, come in my child.” He froze, uncertain whether to go in or run back down the steps.
Painting: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Lillian is challenging us with a prosery prompt. Prosery is a flash fiction piece, of exactly 144 words, that includes a line from a poem given by the host. The line is from Shel Silverstein’s poem, Invitation, as published in his wonderful book, Where the Sidewalk Ends. The line is, “If you are a dreamer, come in“.
“Why would anyone believe in God?” Or for that matter, “Why would anyone not believe in God. ““I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.”
Such were the conversations between the old preacher and his grandson. His son did not follow in his steps and had left the church at an early age. Grandson Charlie, now a university student, decided to challenge Grandpa’s long held faith.
“Why do you believe such nonsense, Grandpa,” he asked. “You can’t begin to prove any of it.”
“Well, son, take a look at that daffodil blooming in the sunshine. Do you know anyone who could make a living breathing flower that is as wonderfully complicated as that?” “Some say it all just happened over time, but I believe the God of creation brought everything into existence for a reason.“
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’verse, we are writing Prosery. This is where we are giving a line from a poem and asked to write a story of exactly144 words that includes that line. Merril gave us this line: “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” from polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s poem, “Possibilities”
My parents always told me I was an unusual child! When I began seeing visions at the age of six, everyone passed it off as childish fantasy.
As I grew older the visions became more detailed and urgent! There were visions like the time my grandmother was sick with cancer, and I saw her complete and whole again. Within that year she made a complete recovery.
Other visions were not as measurable, such as the time I spoke to my grandfather who had died the year before. He assured me all was well and not to worry.
Yesterday, I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head. I had an unusual feeling of anxiety and fear. It was New Years Day, 2020. The sun was bright, the trees were bare; but, there was this ominous dread like never before.
Painting – Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse we are writing prosery, which is a flash fiction piece of 144 words that includes a given line from a poem. Kim gave us this line: I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head–from The Song of Wandering Aengus, by William Butler Yeats.
A Dunkard Brethren church once sat at the top of the ridge overlooking Willow Run. Now in crumbles of brick and mortar, flowering honeysuckle invite bees to commune at their cups of sweetness. Blacksnakes slither through the rubble looking for a toad or rat residing there.
It was in this church where itinerant preachers on horseback brought fiery brimstone, forgiveness, and grace to the faithful who gathered. Souls were saved and dunked all the way under in Willow Run.
On the hillside the full moon reflects off of a few protruding graveyard stones. Most have long since been overgrown and broken. The names on the stones kiss the ground, above the deceased as “In their dreams they sleep with the moon.”
Tales are told by the ancients, who still live nearby, that at midnight’s full moon rise, horses pounding hooves echo through the night!
Today at d’Verse, Merril introduce a prosery prompt. This is a short story of no more than 144 words that can be flash fiction, true, or far out imaginary. It must include a random line from a poem that she shared with us. Her line was from a Mary Oliver poem, (Death at Wind River),“In their dreams they sleep with the moon.”My story is flash fiction, based on a little church from my home town. My two brothers and I visited there two years ago, and I took a bunch of photos. These are a couple of photos from there. The story is made up.
Everyone said the house was haunted. No one lived there since Jim was found hanging in the back bedroom. He came home from a trip to Atlanta and was told by the sheriff that his wife had been murdered by her ex-husband. Weeks later, Jim just couldn’t face life any longer without his one true love.
When George Scott, his neighbor down the hill found him, he immediately called the Sheriff. He met him at the end of the lane, and the two of them went up to the house. The door creaked as they went in and found the chair lying there and the rope dangling from the closet, but Jim was nowhere to be found!
On full moon nights, some say they see movements in the window. Others say they see Jim standing there, as “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream!”
Tonight we are writing Prosery at d”Verse. Bjorn asked us to write a prose piece of exactly 144 words, that includes this line from Maya Angelou’s Poem …Caged Bird Sings: …his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream…