Category Archives: stones

Afraid of the Dark

She hated the night. She was terrified of night. Gibbering things with nasty little voices taunted her: “You’ll never amount to anything. None of your dreams will ever come true. You are worthless. You might as well die.”
Every night the gibbering things whispered their lies. But just because they were lies didn’t mean they could be ignored. Lies are like the fishhook that caught in her palm as a child. Her daddy carved it out with his pocketknife, digging deep into her flesh. The pain was almost more than she could bear, and there was blood everywhere. Blood and pain—like the gibbering lies. No wonder she hated to turn off the light. No wonder she tossed and turned every night. No wonder she fingered her rosary frantically, praying for daylight to come.
But one night, in addition to the gibbering voices, she heard, or thought she heard, another voice, almost a whisper. Well, more like a breath. And the Breath seemed to say: You are the daughter of wisdom and light.
Wait, she thought to herself, am I not worthless? Am I not a miserable excuse for a human being? Shouldn’t I just die and be done with it?
But the Breath persisted: You are the daughter of wisdom and light. You know what is right. In you mercy and goodness dwell.
Was this a trick? Was she just imagining things? She must be. She was worthless, and she knew it, and she was afraid of the dark, for the darkness told her that she had nothing to offer the world but her miserable, wretched existence.
Then she seemed to hear the Breath again: Sleep, child. Even though you are terrified, I am here, and you are safe.
And so she slept. For the first time in years, she slept through the night. And her sleep was good.


Story © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
The poem on which this story is based can be found here: A Voice in the Night
More A Pantry of Prose #3 at Poets United



Words are all we have
and yet there is no language
to turn stones to dust.

Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
Photo: Northern Arizona
More Carry on Tuesday poems with the theme “Words Are All We Have” here
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Hidden in my heart
stones of bitterness erode—
holy light observes.

Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
Photo: Northern Arizona
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 8 with the theme “Hidden” here
More Three Word Wednesday (“Erode,” “Heart,” “Observe”) here
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More Monday Poetry Train Revisited #135 here