1692: Salem

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Evil is growing here. It is in the soil, where our fields lie fallow. Is this the barrenness of harvest or pestilence? Village and town are plunged into darkness, no light remains. But what lives in the shadows? Demons surround us, and the devil gains more converts every day. Even the households of ministers are afflicted. We are torn apart. Undone.

Yet it’s our duty to fight the darkness and expel the evil that lurks here. It is our duty–we the justices–to send the witches to death. This affliction has spread through the region; so many blackened with devils’ marks, though they bleed red as anyone (their master teaches them tricks).

They will suffer the justice of righteousness, crushed by rocks or hanged by a rope, until they die, and we are saved.

But at night I wonder—what if we’re wrong?

 

For dVerse, Prosery #5. Prosery is prose using a line from a poem. Björn has asked us to use the line: “This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence,” from a poem by Louise Glück. The word limit is 144 words. I rewrote part of an old poem, and I turned the given prompt line into a question.

 

Something Happened Here

 

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Red Bank Battlefield,  National Park, NJ

He watches from this place. Where—he’s not certain, and he drifts and wanders, but never far from this spot. Something happened here, he thinks.

He doesn’t know how long he’s been here, or what was before. He notices others like him here. They nod to each other, sharing a bond. . .of some sort.

What is that sound? Oh yes, that’s called music. He thinks it’s something he used to like. I rememberyes, I used to. . . sing.

He watches as people gather. A woman dressed in black wipes her face. A small boy stands next to her holding a flag.

Something happened here, he thinks again.

And as the leaves blow and whisper in the breeze, he remembers—these memories were left here with the trees. The woman’s eyes open wide as he gently kisses her, and then disappears forever.

 

This is my prosery piece for my dVerse prompt, using the line “These memories were left here with the trees” from the poem “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War” by Jo Harjo.  When I walk in the park, sometimes I think memories whisper from the trees.

 

 

 

 

Lux Mentis: Prosery

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We sail the night sea in our silvered ark. We’re refugees with lives programmed by machines that tell us when it’s day or night. On the observation deck, I can see the distant light of faraway stars, beckoning but elusive, like dream fragments remembered as you wake. Somewhere out there is our destiny–yet I’m haunted by the memory of sunshine streaming through the trees and the sound of birdsong on a summer day. Sometimes I hear the crash of waves in the constant humming of machinery, and I can almost taste the salt of ocean breezes.

Last night I dreamt I was the moon. I looked down and cried for Earth, gone forever.

 

At dVerse, we’re trying something new: a flash fiction piece of 144 words or less based on a line taken from a poem. We’re calling it prosery. Sarah has offered us this wonderful line, “Last night I dreamt I was the moon” from Alice Oswald’s “Full Moon.”