"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

5/15/09

Friday Fiction: "Halfway To Heaven"

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Shelley at The Veil Thins. Be sure to stop by her blog for links to some wonderful fiction. And don't be afraid to post your own - just link up in the gadget at the bottom of her post!

Wrote this one a while back for the Writing Challenge - the topic was confused. I think this was one of my best topic fits ever - and I truly loved writing it. Hope it blesses you to - and sends you to a particular book of which I am very fond. :)

HALFWAY TO HEAVEN


Voices seemed to ring out discordantly from every direction.

"Wiederholen, bitte."

"Que?"

"Haud agnosco."

"I don't understand."

What had just happened? Uz had no idea, and there wasn't a person in hearing distance, it seemed, who could fill him in. He wasn't confident there was a soul on Earth who could explain the change that had just taken place.

Uz looked about, finding the physical surroundings unaffected. The sun still shone. The flowers still bloomed. The ziggurat, not yet fully constructed, was still in view; with the sun reflecting off the tar binding its bricks together. The people were physically unchanged since the last time he'd looked -- not ten minutes earlier. Yet, at the same time, everything had undergone such a metamorphosis, such a radical change. Uz wondered if anything would ever be the same again.

At first, he thought it might be a dream or a hallucination. Yet, it seemed so real. One moment he'd been chatting with his wife Sera about the weather and its effects on the building project, and the next minute every sound coming from her mouth was incomprehensible.

He asked her to repeat herself, but she seemed as baffled by Uz's words as he had been with hers.

"Ich verstehe nicht," Sera had said.

Uz could say with complete confidence that he had never heard words even remotely similar to those come from anyone's mouth, much less his wife's.

He'd then turned to his friend Jovan, a foreman for the ziggurat.

"What's going on here?"

Uz would never forget the look of sheer perplexity on Javan's face. It was as if his friend had no idea who Uz was, much less what he was saying.

"Quod? Quod?" Javan's hopelessness was evident on his face and in his tone. "Revolvo, commodo."

Uz glanced at his wife, but found her as baffled at Javan's proclamation as he was. It appeared that not a soul could understand the words of any other human being anymore.

How would they be able to get anything done? How could anyone meet the most basic needs if no one could communicate with anyone else? Body language could only go so far. Of one thing Uz was certain: there was no way they'd ever finish the tower.

Sighing, Uz gestured for his wife to follow him. The pair walked dejectedly from Shinar, leaving their dreams, and a tower halfway to heaven, behind.


Based on Genesis 11:1-9


Thanks for reading! Don't forget to stop by Shelley's blog for more great fiction!

6 comments:

  1. Way to bring a familiar Bible story to life. I really enjoyed this!

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  2. Oh, I remember this one! Great job with it!
    Huggles!

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  3. Very well done! Enjoyed this, and thought-provoking!

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  4. Your retelling of this Bible story is superb! It's definitely a good one for the topic. Can you imagine their surprise? Well, yes, you did just that! :)

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  5. That was so great, Joanne. You nailed the confusion so well!

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  6. Oh, excellent! A great illustration of the story, and it couldn't have been more perfect for the topic of "confusion". Really well done.

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