Monday, April 1, 2019

Absorbing an Ancient Scene #AtoZChallenge


CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81313
Shandon Belltower, Cork, Ireland Created by Kglavin

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The 26 eclectic-genre short stories for my #AtoZChallenge are excerpts from travelogue notes by
fictional character Gahlen, who first appears in SHARDS OF MEMORY – Oral History in a Heartbeat.

Each A-to-Z daily post is a stand-alone tale - partly true, partly fiction.

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Absorbing an Ancient Scene
Genre: Exploration with Comic Relief
(313 words)

Chiming bells sent us searching for an access to the steeple tower. We scrambled in typical sibling rivalry fashion toward a narrow stone staircase. Naturally, I came in last, but not due to my bum leg. I had stopped to dip my fingers into another holy water font. Carved in jagged lettering along its facade were words I assumed were of Irish dialect. While I recognized certain words as English, their meaning escaped me. I copied the letters, exactly as they appeared on the font, into my notebook for future research.

MAD  ETHIS  PANT
AT  THEIR  CHAR
GES

By the time I reached the stairwell, my sisters had begun their climb toward the bells. With each step, I felt the space between the staircase walls diminish. Though not one to suffer from claustrophobia, I experienced a heightening fear. Obviously, my overactive imagination was at work.
Fairy tales had been the path my grandparents chose to teach me the intricacies of my ancestry. Had this stairwell once witnessed a dastardly act that bled into the walls - my sensitive nature absorbing the ancient scene and translating the event into a current dread? Reluctant to analyze the surroundings further, I urged my legs to climb faster, adrenaline seeking to overpower . . .
Before that thought fully formed, my sisters called down to me. “Stop lingering, Gahlen. The sealant on the rock steps is potent enough to make you start hallucinating.”
With a shudder of relief, I rushed upward, the poetic rhythm of Shandon bells urging me on. The panoramic view from the tower made my efforts worthwhile. In silence, we surveyed the city. I snapped several photographs knowing I could never fully capture the tranquility of the River Lee rippling through the Irish countryside of Cork. My overactive imagination would have to suffice.

*Craftsmen MADE THIS PANT (font) AT THEIR CHARGES (for their patrons).

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16 comments:

  1. A climb worth making and a great start to your collection of stories!

    My children's stories - Are we there yet?

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  2. Thanks for visiting, Keith. Looking forward to reading your posts through April.

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  3. Partly true, partly fiction. That's the best :)

    Stephanie Finnell
    @randallbychance from
    Katy Trail Creations

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    1. I agree! So much fun to spin a tale around that nugget of truth.

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  4. Ah, the claustrophobia of climbing a bell tower. A feeling I can certainly relate to - I didn't know I was claustrophobic until I started climbing those towers. ;) Excited to follow along in truth and in fiction.

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  5. Thanks, Sara. Sharing stories in April should be a fun journey for all of us.

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  6. It reminds me of when my children were young. They climbed a tower at Fort Snelling and my middle daughter suddenly realized she was afraid of heights. Getting her down was quite the feat. I'm looking forward to more :) Asking for Help to Avoid Burnout

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    1. That must have really been scary for her. I lived in Mpls but never climbed the tower at Fort Snelling.

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  7. Very nice :D Thank you for sharing <3

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Raven. Will be visiting your blog again soon.

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  8. What a great start! I can't wait to read the rest of them.

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    1. Funny how it sounds so simple when we sign up then the letters keep piling up. Thanks for the encouragement, Morgan.

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  9. Wonderful detail. It makes me feel like I'm walking up the stairs.

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  10. Oh my, I loved that! I was walking up and feeling panic along with the character. Well done!

    DB McNicol, author
    Microfiction: Automobile

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  11. Nervousness is contagious for sure, Donna. Go to know it came across in the writing. Thanks for visiting and I look forward to following your posts throughout April.

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