Some *rules* to keep in mind as a reader. The image given is meant to inspire anything--a thought, a line, a title, a poem, a song, a haiku, a short story. Whatever inspires. Then, you go from there: attach your wings, study the muse, and soar!
It's not meant to be poured over and fretted upon like you might the start of your novel. Or critically edited and over-analyzed like you would before submitting. It's just meant to be fun. So here is how it inspired me today. Please don't fret too much. Just enjoy!
"And Then There Was God" ~ by C.M. Albert, 2/18/13
The cleaning fumes are overpowering, but don't distract me from my mission. The scent of pine and leather lingers in the air, reminding me of where I am and what I'm about to do. It drapes more heavily on my shoulders than if Father Joseph had been standing directly over me giving me the lifetime of penance I would surely receive for the dark thoughts racing through my head.
On my knees, I can feel the knots from the aged, wooden floor burrowing firmly in my flesh. I relish the pain it delivers; it matches the ache that's nestled deeply inside me. The coldness that surrounds me races through my veins and feeds my heart. It's the first time I've felt full inside a church for years.
My eyes remain closed, but I can sense the stream of light trying to break through the gloomy air, forcing its way into my line of vision. I will not turn toward the light. It's too late for that. The darker corners of the church are what beckon me now.
I don't even know why I came here.
The lie drapes itself across my tongue like the silk that hangs loosely from the crucifix staring down at me from the highly polished pulpit. Mocking me. Daring me. Screaming for me to open my eyes. To be present. To look into the eyes of Christ and tell Him the dark and grievous act that dances along the inside of my temples, pushing for release.
I am tired. Only nineteen, but far too old and tired for my age. For this body. For any body to bear on earth. Life. It once beckoned to me: sold me on its sweet fragrant gardenia; with the joy of racing down a hill on my beach cruiser, aerodynamic against the wind; filling me with the luxury of a crunchy, red apple's juice before it trickles down my chin.
Those are luxuries I lost months ago. With a simple act of violence so betraying it ricocheted from my body to my heart and settled deeply inside of my brain, haunting me every waking minute. I couldn't walk the halls of the university without seeing his face. I couldn't sit in his class without shame and disgust creeping along my skin; it sent me straight home to shower, rubbing my legs raw until they bled. Even now, I can still smell his woodsy scent on my skin. No wonder I can no longer tolerate the sun. Or trees. Or the sound of gravel crunching beneath my boots as I hike. What used to make me feel strong now makes me jump inside of my skin; terror warming my body as it crouches in fear. I will fight next time.
The chapel's bell chimes loudly, echoing off the silence that envelopes me. There will be no next time. I came here for the peace it once brought me. Before man turned to monster. When I still had all my youthful, ignorant faith inside my heart.
This is his special place. The place he used to bring me late at night. We would hold hands in the dark recesses of the church's sacred pews. His voice warm and gentle, telling me stories of the prophets and saints who stole his heart and led him to religion. His path had not wed him to preach from a pulpit, but to create a sense of mystery from the safety of his classroom. A mystery so enticing it wove its way into my sense of wonder, raping the holiness that had already lived there.
Now his church is my special place. The last place I will draw a breath. The last place I will be rejected. I hold no misdirected hope that God will do anything but reject me; I'm ready to accept the darkness that already fills me. There is no more light left for God to see or for him to find me.
My soul is consumed with bitter anger. It trembles in constant fear. It has wilted under the tarnish that brands me anew. There is no savior for me. He abandoned me once; even as I abandon him now.
I can feel my body succumb to the pills I had thoughtfully mashed together. A toxic blend of powder, scattered like ashes across the communion table's marble slab. A place reserved for holiness and dreams; the pure of heart. I took joy snorting from a spiritual place, sending death deeply into the recesses of my darkness.
Curled on the floor of the alter, I open my eyes toward the light now streaming in. Darkness crowds my vision, but still the light creeps past those tiny glass panes and one last time, finds the last secret corner of my heart held for Christ and light.
And then there was God.