Welcome to Fridays With Tex.
Texasblu is a blogger and gifted writer I met through many of the writing blogs out there. She used to contribute regularly to my now defunct blog Search Engine Stories and I believe she will make it someday soon as a writer.
Texasblu primarily writes young adult fiction which she is very good at. I think her major strengths are plot and voice which can be very hard to master, but she just gets them.
When I told Texasblu I was ending Search Engine Stories due to time constraints, she was upset. She liked the challenge of writing to a prompt every week and said she would miss hanging out with all the other writers we had in the group.
So I suggested we continue to write to prompts once a week and post our stories every Friday. One week I will suggest a prompt, the next week she will. The challenge is that we must come up with something. Every week.
Now I don’t want to offend any of the other writers who used to join me on SES so if you would like to participate, please email me. Just remember, you must post a story every week, regardless of the prompt.
So without further ado, my prompt this week is – stained glass light.
Here is my story ——-
For the longest time I have felt like one of the damned. All those whom I called beloved in time past have gone from me. I am alone. I talk to the shadows on the walls at night. Shadows of my own making.
I believe that those who are alone must be damned because no one would choose such a state if they really knew what it meant. No one would choose such a state unless they wanted to fall. From grace. From the light. From whatever.
You would think that by finding myself in this state that I would engage in crazy, wild, self-destructive behaviour; that I would try and regenerate hopefulness by sucking on the soul of a man foolhardy enough to want to take me home.
That isn’t the case. No men. No sex. No drugs. No gin at 2AM.
I paint. On sepulchral canvases. Every loose strand of my life. Gradations of black and gray. Forming lines. Acquiring volume. Disharmonious composition that follows no rules but my own.
Birth, death, trees stripped bare, birds that cannot fly, people worn down to the bone. It’s not art, it’s anguish.
Lately, it’s been angels. Thrown to earth. Fully attentive until the weight of the world crushes them.
I am obsessed by the holy. By men with sanctity shining in their faces. By luminous crosses shining on altars. By sinners and saints. By the holy mother freaking lamb of God. I am obsessed with it, but I don’t believe in it. For I am one of the damned.
I saw the boy standing under the streetlight. He was about 16 or so. He looked fragile as he shuffled in the frail yellow glow.
The other boys came like wolves. Kicking and spitting, knocking him down. From across the wide road I could smell his blood. The purity and the fear in it.
I had no weapon to speak of, just a paintbrush I had bought earlier – horsehair, top of the range; but I didn’t hesitate, holding my paintbrush aloft and running across the road with a terrible cry as if I imagined I was some kind of ancient warrior.
The wolves ran off. I could smell their fists on the boy. Their intent. He lay on the sidewalk moaning. His eyes were dull. He was bleeding from a deep gash on his head. One of his teeth had been knocked out.
I tried to call for an ambulance but could get no signal on my phone. I screamed for help in the middle of a bleak, deserted city street. My voice rose, echoed, then disappeared.
Blood began to gurgle in the boy’s throat.
Don’t you die on me, I said. Hold on. Please hold on.
I ran to a door. Then another. Then another. Calling for help. Empty houses, empty shops. Even the church lay dark and quiet. I heard the gurgle again in the boy’s throat, the horrible sound of life running down the drain.
I ran back to the boy. A figure stood over him, looking at the boy, looking at me with a face I knew. With a face I had created.
His wings were blackened by his descent through the clouds. He spread them like a prayer before wrapping them around himself and the boy tighter and tighter and tighter until the two beings appeared as one. The angel and the boy shimmered, drawn like a pupa by the enormous wings, which unfolded with a flourish, making the boy stagger into the street.
He was alive. He wasn’t bleeding. The boy looked at the angel. He looked at me. He ran off.
Wait, I said. Shouldn’t you wait so we can call someone?
The boy was gone. I saw the angel move like breathing into the church. I was afraid. I was in shock. I was in love with an angel I had painted from dreaming.
The angel was gone. Candles burned in rows under the stained glass windows, touching everything with meaning, creating an alchemy that rose to the sky.
Every night since that day I have returned to the church. Lighting candles in rows that capture the colours in the glass.
I wait for him. My angel. The air glitters, arching into the eternal. I sit in the stained glass light and wonder if I believe.
*Here is Texasblu’s story. I know she would love it if you paid her a visit.