Survivor's Guilt (The Beautiful Soul)

by compound complex 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • compound complex
    compound complex


    He could not form a single syllable, so long stilled were his parched lips. To speak again would require time and practice. Practice - why bother? Time - let's move the clock's hands fast-forward and bring this nightmare to an end. Waiting for his own death was all that occupied the bereft father's thoughts since that day ...

    Like a man half-alive, Charles gazed steadily (yet his mind drifting in and out) at the oil painting of "Aztec Ridge and Temple Ruins" that hung so proudly - so detached from its reality - above the rough hewn mantle gracing in rustic fashion the river-rock fireplace built years ago by his father, William Dexter-Hayes. 'Why oh why him and not me?' Charlie groaned to himself as tears long dammed commenced breaking way and flooding down a face weathered by sun, wind, grief. He permitted himself to cast a long and perplexed look back in time, back to that night that would probably have been otherwise forgotten, remembered briefly with a chuckle by Dad and a shudder by Mom as the typical childhood escapade

    A night to remember.

    Frank, scampering ahead and blazing a well sniffed-out trail for his ten-year-old master, Charlie, yelped back excitedly over his shoulder, as if to say 'Get the move on, youngin', before it gets dark and we have to turn back.'

    Charlie, of his own accord, surely not needing the prompting or admonishment of any four-legged creature (or two-, for that matter), blasted forward, aiming single-mindedly toward his goal: the stunning vista of Aztec Ridge, a glorious, extraordinary sight that contrasted wildly with the old and ordinary landscape so few miles back. What's to compare? A few hundred feet more and three miles spanned. An hour's walk he could make in half the time, because Charlie never just walked: he galloped.

    Looming up ahead - moments away - was the clearing that opened (dangerously so) onto the breathtaking view someone way-back-when gave a name alluding to an ancient native race that, as far as anyone can tell, never set bare foot in these environs. Well, perhaps that's the romance of it, the poetic license, so to speak. In any event, the name stuck and none of the locals seemed to feel the need to qualify to visitors why the mountains have been stuck with that peculiar moniker.

    The little rabble rouser was a bit of a paradox in that he could be shut down into absolute silence and stillness by a beautiful scene painted by the mystical hand of Nature. Everyone in Flagg Junction knew that the sleepy town's chief noise maker would turn stone silent instantly when hit head on with a scene from the countryside's ravishing beauty, whether it burst out riotously - SURPRISE! - or simply seeped into Charlie's purview through visual osmosis.

    Panting heavily and dropping loosey-goosey to his scarred knees, little Charlie raised his eyes and turned inward, racing ahead in his big mind and heart into the grown-up ambitions at a time in life when all ordinary boys are thinking of snails and puppy dog tails. Certainly, Charlie had these necessary matters ever present at the front of his small skull. But, for this precocious flesh-and-blood oxymoron, it was not enough to look at beauty; it MUST be captured. He would do it, somehow take and capture the image so indelibly impressed into his consciousness in glorious Technicolor with eyes wide shut. He would reproduce it. Somehow. Soon.

    Sliding away in his mind, journeying into a kaleidoscope of wondrous beauty, Charlie paid no heed to the state of the ledge where he knelt worshipfully ...

  • Dark Side
    Dark Side

    I'm first


    My opinion. No offense

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Greetings, Dark Side.

    Thanks for replying to my roman a clef.

    No offense taken. You are preparing me for the real world, and I count that as important. I'm not a great writer by any means, just enjoy doing the pen to paper thing. Er, fingers to keyboard, I mean.


    What do you read? Hope this gets through as my signal is cutting in and out ...


  • Dark Side
    Dark Side

    Mmmm. roman a clef. That sounds tasty

  • Snoozy

    I could feel it....

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Hi Snoozy!

    Hope you and yours are well ...


  • twinkle toes
    twinkle toes

    After reading Dark sides post I am reminded of the first time I decided to share my poetry with someone. I asked my best friend at the time if I could read her a poem. She said yes, so I continued to related the most romantic and tortured piece I had written. When I was done she looked at me disgustly and said, " See thats why I hate poetry, it's so drawn out and boring".

    STING! Of course I never confessed that I had written it.

    Good Attitude coco

    Keep writing


  • beksbks

    CoCo is well aware of how much he is appreciated here. No base villain can take that away.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thanks, dear Twinkle Toes and Beks, for your beautiful replies. I had to come outside in the still-90-degree heat at 8:38 p.m. to get a consistent signal. Beks and I are similarly located vis-a-vis the local weather.

    I'm studying different elements of writing as I want to expand beyond my little provincial world of letters. I hope you'll be moved by how this aspect of the story turns out regarding Charles, Wilma and children. The painting above ties in strongly with the element "I know whereof I speak."



  • tec

    As a mom, I'm also shuddering (at the state of the ledge).

    This is my favorite part:

    To speak again would require time and practice. Practice - why bother? Time - let's move the clock's hands fast-forward and bring this nightmare to an end. Waiting for his own death was all that occupied the bereft father's thoughts since that day ...

    I love Charles' grief. (I'm not a sadist. I love how you've made it so vivid and real.)


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