"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

5/29/09

Friday Fiction: "Reflection"

I'm hosting Friday Fiction this week! :) (AND it's my 15th anniversary! Would marry you ALL over again, dear Marc!)

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted RIGHT HERE at An Open Book. Make sure you pop down to the bottom of this post and click on "Mr. Linky" to read some of the other wonderful fiction! And don't be afraid to share your own - just link up to your own fiction in the gadget at the bottom!
I wrote this entry for the angry topic at the Faithwriters Writing Challenge. This was a VERY tough write for me. It is based on the truth - a truth I am still embarrassed to admit to. And I still haven't followed through with the "end." BUT I know it is very powerful. Thanks for reading.

Reflection

Janet blinked, trying to clear up the fog from her eyes. Glancing about, she saw absolutely nothing familiar.

The room was completely bare other than a full-length mirror against one wall. She didn't even see a door. She walked toward the mirror and looked, finding not her own reflection, but that of her great-aunt Beatrice, who had died two years previous. Flames surrounded the reflection. Looking into Beatrice's eyes, Janet had never seen her aunt look so enraged or in such agony.

"How could you do this to me, Janet? I thought you loved me. I thought I was your favorite aunt."

Janet lowered her head. "I figured you were too old, too set in your ways. And I thought the news would break your heart."

"No." Beatrice's eyes were afire, like her surroundings in the mirror. "You were being selfish and self-centered. You were afraid of confrontation - so afraid of my being mad at you that you condemned me to this awful place. And now it's too late."

"But, I couldn't have been the only Christian you knew."

Beatrice shook her head. "No, you weren't, but you were the one I loved the most, the one I would have listened to most closely. And you didn't even tell me you were a Christian, much less how I could avoid this place. For four years, you kept it from me."

Janet's expression was pained. She reached out to touch the mirror, but its surface scalded her fingers. She breathed in deeply and stared into the reflection before her.

"Oh, Aunt Bea, I am so sorry. I love you so much, and you have every right to be mad. My selfishness and insecurities have cost you heaven."

"You bet I'm angry. I've got an eternity of suffering ahead of me and you are a big reason for it. How am I supposed to feel?"

Tears cascaded down Janet's face. "I know this is a silly question, but is there anything I can do to make this up to you? I know I can't get you out of hell, but is there anything at all I can do?"

There was a pause, and Bea's tone and volume moderated some. "Actually, there is."

Janet stopped frowning for the first time since the encounter began. A small glimmer of hope peeked into her eyes and the corners of her mouth turned up into an almost smile.

"What is it, Aunt Bea? Anything. Just tell me, and it's done."

Bea's anguished eyes pierced Janet's soul. "Don't be responsible for sending my nieces or nephews, or anyone else I love, to this God-forsaken place. Tell them, before it's too late."

Janet dropped her eyes in shame, and when she glanced up again, the only reflection in the mirror was her own. Her head rang with an incessant beeping noise.

**

Janet reached over and slammed her hand on her alarm clock's snooze button. Rising slowly, she knelt beside her bed and prayed silently, intensity overtaking her countenance.

Janet rose and noted the time. She grabbed the telephone on her nightstand, dialing a number she clearly knew by heart.

"Hi, Uncle Larry. I need to talk to you about something important. Are you free?"

**

Thanks for reading. Be sure to link up below, and read the other contributors. I know it will be a blessing to you!



11 comments:

  1. Thought provoking story, and I like the visual the mirror in the room gives.

    Hope you and your hubby have a great anniversary!

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  2. This is so "Lazarus and the rich man," and the modern touch gives it all that much more impact. If this doesn't spur us to action—to speaking for the Lord, I can't imagine what will.

    Have a wonderful anniversary.

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  3. Wow...very sobering and convicting!


    Happy Anniverary!

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  4. I often wonder how this will be for us if we don't share our faith with those we know and love. Made me think, too, Jo.

    (Have a happy and blessed Anniversary Day!)

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  5. What a powerful and provacative story! Thank you for sharing. Happy Anniversary! I hope you have a wonderful one!

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  6. Lord, help us all to be bold in sharing our faith, trusting You to lead us. Thanks for sharing, Jo.

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  7. Definitely makes you think-I'm glad that she picked up the phone and made that call.

    CONGRATS, btw! ^_^

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  8. Wow. So good, Jo and very thought provoking!

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!
    huggles!

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  9. Wow. This is powerful.

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  10. I loved it the first time, and I love it again. SOOOO convicting. Chills.

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  11. What a sobering, convicting dream! Thank God, in His mercy, He sends those dreams to wake us up.

    BTW, hope your anniversary was a great day.

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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