Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: Flicker of Hope
By william price
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Red rose scented candles
wait for a flame,
a flicker of light
In the stillness
of silent readiness,
they simply smell
like a sleeping rose
sitting in the dark.
Juliet felt alone in the small living room of her apartment. She sat with lights off, legs crossed, in her recliner. The television now off, she tried to close her eyes, hoping for sleep, or some form of it. Sobriety was keeping her awake. Even though hid in the stillness of her unlit room ,she felt like a cornered felon in an open field, fenced in by the arresting beams of flood lights from surrounding patrol cars. The flashing blue and white lasers from atop their cruisers, the unintelligible squelching from their radios, accentuating her capture.
“Arrest me already,” she felt like yelling. “Enough with the torture,” she quietly cried into her hands. “You got me, I surrender.”
Juliet’s husband had left her six months earlier. He couldn’t take her monthly dependence of pain pills and tranquilizers anymore. The only man who ever cared for her, believed in her, was gone. She wished she had a valium, or two or three to take the pressure off the dull invading presence of hopelessness. Her marriage was over, officially in the morning after one final hearing with the judge.
Silent screams echo through cob webbed chambers.
A motionless heart
for an impulse.
It will rot
waiting for life
that has left the building.
On her last birthday, Benjamin, her husband, had given Juliet some scented candles that sat on the table next to her chair. She reached and picked one up, bringing it to her nose. She inhaled, smiled some and whispered, “God, please.”
She held the candle in her hands, brought it to her lips and gave it a gentle kiss.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she let it slip from her fingers to her lap.
After a few moments her eyebrows shot up remembering a bottle of pills she had hid from Benjamin in the side of her recliner. With heart pounding she reached down the sides of the cushion. If she was correct, there would be enough to put her to sleep, forever if she was lucky, she thought, she hoped, she searched. Finally she found something. Juliet pulled her hand free. It was a bic lighter. It was Ben’s. She flicked it a few times watching the flame appear and then vanish.
“Just like my life,” she muttered. After a moment though she picked up the candle. Juliet lit it and watched the wick slowly burn. She sat it on the table and lit the second candle. Light was soon slow dancing in the room. Juliet looked around, her gaze stopped on a picture on the wall. A photo of her and Benjamin was now visible in the glowing luminance of the candles. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the aroma of red rose, of Benjamin, of hope.
“Thank you God,” Juliet spoke softly as she closed her eyes and fell asleep for the night.
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