A Shimmer of Moonlight…Friday Fictioneers.

Engulfed by a grief which knew no bounds, Bernadette refused to light the candle for Jim. No point. Whether God was dead or asleep, he wasn’t there. Otherwise, he would’ve stepped in. Plucked her husband right off the road before the truck hit. He came to rest on the banks of a creek…too late for the kiss of life, let alone a goodbye. She could still feel his arms wrapped around her in an unbroken chain.

The candle stood as still as a statue, while an owl peered through the window, eyes glowing in the moonlight.


This has been another contribution for Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo prompt © Janet Webb. 

xx Rowena

49 thoughts on “A Shimmer of Moonlight…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. Moon

    Love this line
    “She could still feel his arms wrapped around her in an unbroken chain.”
    A permanent grief ,illustrated so brilliantly.

  2. wmqcolby

    Wow, Rowena! Very poetic and sad. I know someone who lost her husband that way a few years ago. She was thirty then, WAY too young to be a widow. She would relate to this.

    Great job!

  3. A Writer's Beginning

    Wow, I got a bit of a shiver there! I like the presence of the owl – it makes it seem that, even though he has gone, she still has someone watching over her – maybe he still lives on in the owl haha? I’m not sure, but great story!

  4. L.E.R.T

    I cursed God when my father was taken away from us so soon. I can easily sympathize with Bernadette here. Very well written take. Cheers, Varad.

  5. jellico84

    I love the owl imagery. In my tribal heritage (Shawnee) the owl is the harbringer of death… usually to one who is an abusive turd. To hear an owl screech in the night while you’re abed, means that a family or loved one will die within a fortnight. Oddly, I’ve experienced this old saying many times always leaving me in dread to hear an owl’s hoot in the night.

  6. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Her grief was palatable in this beautifully written piece. I too loved the addition of the owl.

  7. michael1148humphris

    Grief in such events is profoundly personal, you told it well. Only the red eyed owl left me wondering.

  8. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I looked up the meaning of lighting candles and it said God is with you and that inspired the story. So many of us have been through those times of questioning what God is doing or even if he exists, after tragic inexplicable loss.
    xx Rowena

  9. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I have been there with those doubts. A young boy at my Church was killed instantly as a pedestrian and that really shook up my thinking. It took years to accept. So many questions and his parents’ grief was like nothing I’d known before. I was only about 18 at the time.

  10. Rowena Post author

    Yes, the owl. I wanted a bit of a suggestion that he’s with her in some way. And God too, for that matter. Owls are a bit spooky.

  11. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. Writing that last line, was like delving into a deep handbag and rummaging through all the bits and pieces and out popped the owl.

  12. Rowena Post author

    I was interested to read about your tribal heritage. My uncle is an Australian Aboriginal and my aunt specialised in Aboriginal history and wrote the national history of the stolen generation where the government was removing Aboriginal children from their families and adopting them out or putting them in homes.
    I googled the owl and Indian tribes and found this: http://www.powwows.com/concerning-owls/
    JUst thinking about it, I think I’ve heard something about an owl’s hoot meaning someone has died, although I’m not sure.
    xx Rowena

  13. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Varad and I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband was 16 when his father died. The grief is still there. Not on the surface, but you don’t forget. I’ve has severe health issues and that brought on some very serious conversations with God. I think these conversations and the questioning is very important. I believe we are meant to challenge what happens and delve into it all. Not just skim along the surface, even when that means a lot of angst and grief.

  14. Rowena Post author

    I find there’s quite a lot of ambiguity in these 100 word flash challenges. I find mine usually end with that ambiguity, which allows the reader to fill in the gap. My thinking was that the husband was the owl, or God. Like you, I like the idea that she’s not alone and someone’s watching over her. Owls being a nocturnal animal, are a great comforter during the night while the rest of the world sleeps.

  15. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Bjorn. We lost our beautiful Border Collie two weeks ago, so losing loved ones and the whole question of spirits, eternity crosses your mind. I can’t imagine our dog’s spirit going somewhere else. He was a fairly reserved dog and he just loved being with us. Never ran off, even when the gate blew open once. I think he’s lying out there in the sun and making sure the magpies stay out of his backyard.

  16. A Writer's Beginning

    Aw this is such a lovely idea! I do agree, ambiguity can be such a great thing in stories – spelling things out too much doesn’t always help!

  17. Rowena Post author

    Definitely. I’ve certainly questioned things myself. Indeed, I think my life has been one extended question mark. I think it’s important to grapple with things. It makes us more complex, deeper people.

  18. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I’ve known a few people who died young through road or pedestrian accidents and in addition to the horrific grief, there’s that shock and disbelief. There was no warning. It doesn’t fit into your framework of good things happening to good people. These accidents blow all those certainties we take for granted out of the water. Compounding that, is the sense that some people have that a mourning period should last for so long, and then they’re supposed to get back to business as usual. From where I sit, these people are always with us. Part of our lives.

  19. subroto

    Lovely story, full of pathos. We’ve also faced these questions a few times over the last three years. Loved the use of the owl in the story.

  20. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. These are tough questions many of us wrestle with. I think it’s good in a way to challenge our beliefs and the overall scheme of things, b ut would rather it was more of a philosophical exercise with out the loss of someone in tragic circumstances who means the world to us.

  21. Rowena Post author

    You’re welcome. I think it’s great how we can exhange ideas and expand our thinking so easily through blogging, especially when you’re in touch with people from right around the world who see things from a different angle.

  22. Rowena Post author

    It’s been a recent development for me. I used to want the reader to see what I was seeing, but now I also like the idea of involving and empowering the reader and letting them devlop their own conclusions.

  23. jellico84

    Every tribe, and sometimes subset of tribe (clan/sept/etc) has their own beliefs with over 700 tribes and thousands of clans meanings can get confusing.

  24. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 16th July, 2017. | beyondtheflow

  25. Rowena Post author

    Wow. That is confusing, especially for people who don’t have a lot of contact with their own people. It’s important though to try, so you know more about who you are and your own story.

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