fantasy · flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Dear God

This is a journal type entry for a character from a story I want to write someday (someday being when I’m done with the current WiP). I think this is back story. I’ve written other flashes for this character, here and here, at different ages.

Dear God

What is love?

Her ashes feed the sands and the heavens storm as if too they mourn her loss. But how can they?

How can they when You turned her life into such misery she took the powder to escape?

The priests tell me she is surely happy now, but what do they know? Nothing. Less than nothing. They fed her addiction to powder, used her for their own perverted pleasures. Just like Father.

Priests should know everything there is to know about how to love. But they don’t. They can’t. Or if they do, they know only venal love, carnal love and I cannot believe that is the true face of love. Your true face. But if they are false, why don’t You do anything?

And Father? He stood tonight in his heavy mourning black silks and spoke of his loss, of how the country lost its most loving voice. But all he regrets losing is the use of her during visits. He regrets the loss of so useful a daughter. If that is love, hate would be so much easier to bear.

I wish them all dead. Dead. I dream about it.

I would poison the priests. A long, slow poison. It will turn their limbs to stone and force them to howl in pain. They will die in pain and blood and vomit. They’ll lose the use of their limbs, the use of their mouth. I’ll leave them only with their eyes and ears. All the better to make them suffer when I drown their putrid, pulsing bodies. They’ll know why they die. Oh, yes, they will know.

Did they hear her screams when they used her, I wonder? But how could they be deaf to her pain? I don’t know. Monsters. They deserve a grave in the deep depths of the ocean. They will never see sunlight again.

I watched enough times to know the knife’s edge of helplessness. Her screams still haunt my dreams.

I want to crush Father’s skull, cut off his groin, bury him in the sands. No pyre, no ashes, no ceremony, just a shallow grave in the deep desert. The animals will tear apart his body better than I ever could.

And . . . and still I hold her treasure in my arms. He weighs less than a fistful of sand, yet his eyes hold such mysteries. I don’t know if this is love, what I feel when he grasps my ears, my nose. If it is, why do these tears fall? Perhaps all I feel is grief for my sister.

He looks like her, in the shape of his mouth, his eyes. Or perhaps those are Father’s eyes, Father’s mouth.

He’ll never know. I don’t know.

I do know I’ll never speak to anyone of his sire. I cannot. Such a burden might crush the poor babe.

Love seems an idea as hard to keep as water. Impossible to grasp and if you do manage, you find only brackish water. This is a corrupt world and no one is more corrupt than Your people.

I don’t know if I can love him. Help me love him. Please.


Plus, for your entertainment (in case the story bores you silly) here is my current favorite song: How To Love by Lil’ Wayne

General · reading

What is the Nonfiction Novel?

In litchat the other day, someone posted a link to the Times list of best nonfiction One of the categories is the nonfiction novel.

That strikes me as very very odd. I mean, by definition, a novel is fiction. How can it be nonfiction? I don’t get it.

But wiki has an article about it and so does the New York Times. Britannica defines it as: “story of actual people and actual events told with the dramatic techniques of a novel.”

I know you can tell a nonfiction story like you would tell a fiction story, but I thought that was narrative nonfiction. If that’s not it, what is narrative nonfiction? Or maybe creative nonfiction – I think narrative nonfiction and creative nonfiction are the same thing.

This is so confusing! Also, contradictory, because I never imagined anything could be described as both nonfiction and a novel. That’s just weird.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is supposed to have invented the genre and in the New York Times interview he says he wrote it because he a literary theory about the nonfiction novel. Something about “. . . a narrative form that employed all the techniques of fictional art but was nevertheless immaculately factual . . .“.

I am not entirely sure I understand his theory, but it sounds a lot like narrative nonfiction. Is it the same thing? I am still not sure.