Fiction Friday: Novelines from the Book

At the age of 18, I was finally getting my driver’s license, when I had been content to tag along with David wherever he went.

Food Storage Inventory Exchange was like a cookie exchange, except instead of swapping cake balls for brownie bites, it was rice for beans.

I knew God didn’t care whether I could cook, bake, or sew, for He had given us each different talents, but in the Church, the fluidity of gender roles had frozen in retro time.

I’d accepted Mother just the way she was, even as she had accepted that though I loved her very much, I loved David more.

I’d been given the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism, but perhaps I hadn’t been worthy enough to unwrap it.

Had I a testimony, my heart would’ve been closed to Elder Roberts, & my heart would’ve been opened for another.

My mother’s home style was minimalist, her color, monochrome. It wasn’t till the Mormons came that our lives were infused with vintage color & became a sort of Pleasantville.

Leann & I worked on our sugar cube temple for Relief Society Enrichment Meeting, & I thought how much the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth resembled a glistening piece of Candyland.  A gingerbread house, without the warmth or frills.

Our fridge had never been cluttered with magnets holding up candid pictures or childish artwork or the hundreds of little notes that tiled Leann’s fridge.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #338, Theme: Stained

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The Stain of Inhumanity

Though her sheets had been as white as snow,
they were stained with the scarlet sins
of Dr. Krueger—
with the sins of the donor fathers,
who had never looked upon their Sleeping Beauty.

Asleep, she proved her usefulness,
for such was greater than her wakefulness—
her unwillingness—
to collaborate with the devil M.D.—
to create a master set of keys
that would unlock the world powers.

Her empty vessel was filled
with clumps of cells that would grow to form
a single function—
like little Romes, or rather, Dresdens—
each unique,
and carefully selected;
each conception immaculate,
even sterile.
She was the garden from which his
little flowers would grow—
a bridge to the sun.

Violations by dozens of men,
all the way from Denmark,
are imprinted on her memory,
the results of each planting,
another loss of autonomy.
She has no voice but Sister Augustine’s,
whose powers are limited on this earth.

Her body is not her own,
for it was bought with a price.
Dr. Krueger was her savior,
even as he is her imprisoner,
having harvested her from the trash
that was her family—
the plot of an evil stepmother
with a rotten apple.

Stockholm Syndrome, they call it,
for he preserves her life,
even as he denies it to her.
The news of the world beyond her windows
filters in secondhand
through this haze of semi-consciousness.
She cannot make sense of it all.

This incapacitated princess cannot love them all,
any more than the princes of Scandinavia,
can love their all.
Through not one,
but many like her,
will spring up kingdoms and principalities—
light in color,
but dark in intent and purpose.

“You will be a queen,” he says,
her throne a hospital bed,
her crown a tangled mass of hair
the color of golden raisins,
her glass slipper a yellow sock with a
puffed smiley face on the bottom.

A plastic bracelet has her name,
but she has forgotten it now,
for it’s been so long since she’s heard it.
She is simply, Another Eve,
and sometimes Mother Mary,
who was overcome with a mysterious entity
called the Holy Ghost;
or was that Ghost,
that vapor,
simply a doctor with a needle
that put the Virgin to sleep?