Sunday, May 30, 2010

Penance - Published on Dark Valentine Ezine

It's one of their Through a Lens Darkly flash challenges. Your story should be based, or focused on, a photo prompt. This one of a stone castle-type corridor was just too good for me to pass up. Hope you enjoy.  Story follows.


Take it slowly, dear heart, just one more step.  Now then.  Can you guess where I have brought you?  Oh my.  No sense in your getting all upset.  I will remove the blindfold soon enough.  I would simply like to find out just how keen your senses are.  Try to guess.  Please?  No?  Well, alright.  Let me remove the cover from your eyes.  Pardon?  Oh, I'm afraid not, my sweet.  The restraints will need to remain on your hands and ankles, but not to worry.  You can be certain that I will explain.

See it, my angel?  Yes.  It is indeed your favorite place in the entire world.  When our village at the bottom of the hill was alive and thriving, this old, deserted castle's corridors are where you used to love to play the games of childhood.  As you grew into your teen years, these desolate towers were your sanctuary for solace and long-forgotten tears.  And now, as a mature woman, my wife, my devoted counsel and confidante, I suppose it had seemed only natural that you would choose this place above all others to betray me.

No, no, no.  Do not humiliate and degrade yourself further with denials.  That is akin to your plunging a dagger deep into my heart.  Countless lovers have lain here with you on comforters of silk and satin spread on these cold stone floors at the balcony's edge.  Always at this time of day too, wasn't it, my pet?  Look at how the sun pours through the corridor and caresses the walls.  Did it caress you and your lovers too?  Did it make you feel warm and comforted and safe as I never have?  As I never could?

What happened is that you never understood.  You never even made an attempt.  You belong to me.  There is nothing beyond that, my love.  To be able to believe you would always be there when I needed you was all I had ever asked of you.  The mundane practice of constant demonstrations of emotion have never suited me, and it was your obligation to be content.  Instead, you invited and allowed the touch of strangers.  For I have seen it.  Here.  The playful luring.  The hungry kisses.  The erratic passion.  The caustic laughter.  Mocking.  Me.

Oh my goodness, you silly pie.  Where do you think you are going?  You can't run.  Not from here.  Not from me.  Where would you go if you could?  And what would be the point?  More importantly, who is it that you think you would run to?  One of your young mongrels?  But, you see, several of them are already here.  Well, were here.  At my urging, they took a leap of faith from your beloved balcony.  Unfortunately, they were all heretics, and God did not allow them to soar on Archangel wings to his Heaven.  Their blood now envelops the distant rocks below.  As soon will ours.

Come, sweet treat, and walk with me.  Walk with me to the edge.  See how I have lovingly placed a bed of feathers on which to lay your head with its mantle of spun gold one last time.  We will smile and explore and let the sun's rays enfold and embrace us.  And, when it is finished, shall come penance for your sins.  You and I, together, will take that leap of faith, and if you are filled with remorse, God will take us up as one to Paradise.  But, if you still refuse to be accountable for the error of your ways, you will share the fate of those who lay below.

I want us to be together for all eternity, my darling one.  It would make me very sad if you forced me to ascend to our Lord's side alone.  But, the choice to repent is yours.  It has always been.  Yours.  But look.  The sun is beginning to set on the hillside.  We must not waste a moment of this glorious time.  Come take the walk to the edge with me now.  Let us begin.


  1. Joyce, I left a comment over at DV Mag. Loved it!

  2. Thanks so much, David. I really had a blast writing this one!