Recent Writings #1 | 2-3-2022

Written in response to: Set your story in a drawing room.... view prompt

281 comments

Creative Nonfiction Christian

NOT THE PROMPT!


Dhwani Jain's Challenge

"Write a story with a curtain as the MC/important character or item."


The Fourth Wall

Even when I stand on my tip-toes, the peephole in the heavy blue curtains is too high for me to see through. A murmuring reaches my ears: the audience. I remember coming here when I was younger, seeing these same curtains ripple and sway between scenes. I was just another watcher then, glimpsing the hidden world, leaving once the performance was over.Β 


Now I am on the inside, a part of the magic, an actor among many, no longer a watcher, alone.Β Β 


Others are crowding to peer through the peephole, others who are tall enough to see through it, so I move away. Turning my back to the curtains, I examine the set.Β 


A large window occupies the back of center stage. Flanking it are white-painted wooden panels, with a pattern of blue and yellow stars near the top. This play is Peter Pan, and this is the Darlings’ nursery, so Wendy’s, John’s, and Michael’s beds are on stage as well.Β Β 


The performance will be starting soon. One of the adults comes, scolding the other kids not to pull on the curtains, then sending them backstage to look for Peter, Tinker Bell, and the three young Darlings.Β 


As I leave the stage, I take one last look at the swaying curtains, recalling again the times I saw them from the outside. They don’t look that different on the inside, really.Β Β Β Β 


ο»ΏCurtain




The Legend of Saint Agnes

Feast Day January 21Β 


Agnes is one of the best-loved Saints of the Catholic Church, with many churches bearing her name. She is also one of the six women named in the Eucharistic Prayer One. Saint Jerome penned, β€œBy the writings and the tongues of all nations, particularly in the churches, hath St. Agnes been praised, who overcame both the tenderness of her age and the cruelty of the tyrant and sanctified the honor of her chastity with the glory of martyrdom.”   


According to tradition, Agnes was born of wealthy Roman patricians, nobles of high rank, on January 28, 291. Many accounts say that they were Christians, though some say they were pagans. However, the story concerning Saint Emerentiana and her mother makes it more likely that Saint Agnes’ parents were Christians.Β 


Emerentiana’s mother was a slave belonging to Saint Agnes’ parents, who tasked her with being Agnes’ wet nurse and nanny. Inspired by the example of virtue in her masters, the slave-woman’s daughter Emerentiana began receiving instruction in the Christian faith from her milk-sister Agnes.Β 


Agnes was a lovely girl to behold, and when she reached the age of 12, the customary age at which wealthy Roman girls married, many suitors asked for her hand. Since she had already vowed perpetual virginity and pledged herself to Christ as his spiritual spouse, she informed the young men that she was already engaged.Β 


One young man, Procopius, son of Symphronius, governor of Rome, sent her a rich gift, evidence of his ardent desire for their espousal. When she gave him her usual answer of being already pledged to another, he doggedly continued in his advances. Agnes finally told him: β€œBegone from me, thou food for death! I am already engaged to another and a far better spouse. He is the King of Heaven, to whom I have consecrated my entire being.” Puzzled by her response, angry at her refusal, and suspecting her of being an adherent to the forbidden religion of Christianity, Procopius asked his father to speak with Agnes, hoping that his status as governor of Rome would influence a change of mind.Β 


When Agnes entered the governor’s presence, he asked her why she would turn down so advantageous a match. She told him that she had a divine spouse, far better than his son. Now Symphronius was puzzled, too. One of his aides, hearing Agnes’ words, told the governor that Agnes was a Christian, and the β€œdivine spouse” she was speaking about was the God of the Christians.Β 


Upon hearing this, Symphronius urged Agnes to leave her faith and accept marriage to his son, or face torture and death, for to be a Christian was unlawful. He then offered her twenty-four hours to consider her answer. Agnes replied that she needed no time for consideration, for she had already resolved to have no other spouse than Jesus Christ, and fearing neither pain nor death, was most anxious to lay down her life for him.Β 


Symphronius threatened to send her to a brothel, but Agnes said, β€œMy confidence is placed in Jesus Christ, my spouse, who is omnipotent - he will defend me from all outrage.” The irate governor ordered her to be bound with chains, dragged before idols, and ordered to offer incense to test whether or not she was truly a Christian. Agnes fearlessly made the sign of the cross, professing that only her Crucified Spouse should be adored. Now having proved beyond doubt that she was a Christian, she was stripped of her clothing and imprisoned in a brothel. Miraculously, her hair immediately grew longer, until there was enough to completely cover the young girl’s body, thus protecting her modesty.Β Β Β 


Several young men approached Agnes, intending to violate her virginity, but were all miraculously struck blind. Finally, Procopius himself appeared, determined to have his way with the young girl by whom he had been jilted. He, too, was struck blind, and fell down as if dead, whereupon his companions begged Agnes to pray to her God for her would-be attacker. Upon her doing so, Procopius instantly revived, and his sight was restored.Β 


Symphronius now wanted to release the young girl, but several pagan priests cried out against this, claiming the miraculous happenings were due to witchcraft, and stirred up the crowds to demand her death. The governor, fearing a riot if he did not comply, yet not willing to put the young girl to death, handed the case over to his lieutenant Aspasius.Β 


Aspasius suffered no such qualms, and sentenced Agnes to be burned to death. When the flames were kindled, they would not touch Agnes, miraculously parting around her and instead killing those who had lit the fire. The pagan priests and the crowds with them continued to call for the young virgin’s death, insisting she was a witch. Accordingly, Aspasius ordered that she be beheaded. The trembling executioner, abhorring his grisly task, was reluctant to touch her, but Agnes encouraged him, saying β€œHaste thee to destroy this my body, which could give pleasure to others, to the offending of my divine Spouse. Fear not to give me that death which shall be to me the commencement of eternal life.” Then raising her eyes to heaven and beseeching Jesus Christ to receive her soul, she died. The day was January 21, 304, on which day we now celebrate her feast day.Β Β 


One night as Agnes’ parents were visiting her grave, they beheld a vision of their daughter accompanied by many other virgins. She told them, β€œFather and Mother, weep not for me as though I were dead; for now these virgins and I live together in Him whose love was my whole life upon earth.”    



Bibliography

De Liguori, Alphonsus, β€œVictories of the Martyrs”

Ruffin, C. Bernard, β€œThe Days of the Martyrs”

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-agnes

https://saintagnes.com/who-was-saint-agnes/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Agnes

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=106

https://www.traditioninaction.org/SOD/j290sdEmerentiana_01_23.htm


February 04, 2022 01:38

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281 comments

A collection of stories is a great idea! I love how they remain separate, but are equally important. The Fourth Wall really portrayed the nervousness/excitement of being on stage and performing. The Legend of Saint Agnes was really cool to learn about! It's really awesome how God protected her life to spread his own good news to those around her. Although, while The Fourth Wall seemed more like a story, The Legend of Saint Agnes seemed more like a history report (which is fine, just a little bland). Not really any critique, really astoundin...

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Thank you for reading! You are discerning correctly when you say that TLOSA seems like a history report - that was the intention with that one. Hope to see more comments from you soon!

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Ah, I understand. I shall try my best :) Also: 🌌

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Palak Shah
17:18 Mar 15, 2022

This is a great story and I loved reading every bit of it. Well done :))

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Thank you for reading it! Are you going to put up a bio? How are you doing?

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Palak Shah
17:21 Mar 18, 2022

No worries :)) Yes I will eventually I am good, hbu?

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I am doing well. Working on a slightly longer project. What's the most recent time someone was randomly nice to you?

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Palak Shah
11:11 Mar 19, 2022

Ummmmmmm well, it would be when someone helped me with something that I didn't ask for but I really needed.

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Endellion .
15:36 Mar 14, 2022

I can't believe I wasn't even following you this whole time! lol

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Haha! I was wondering if that was purposeful . . . Thank you. How is your editing of Genesis going?

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Endellion .
15:24 Mar 18, 2022

You're welcome. I'm currently on chapter 5. 😬 Still 12 to go...

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Would you like me to go through them and do edits, or not? I stopped doing edit comments because I just wanted to read the story as fast as I could.

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Endellion .
01:48 Mar 20, 2022

No, but thank you for the offer. I feel like it would be better if I just took the information I got from your comments and my family reading it and edit it myself. I've already had my cousin offer to do the same thing, but I said no as well. It's part of the writing process, you know?

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Opening scene from Metanoia Location: a gathering room adjacent to a conference room, Allied Space Territory. Various species are milling about talking quietly, mostly in same-species groups. A hush sweeps the room as a new species enter: forgs. One 6'7" with dark brown scales, the other light gray and more than 7' feet tall. The latter moves slowly, gazing boldly about himself as he stalks across the room. On reaching the far wall, he leans against it, crosses his arms, and glares, making and holding eye contact with anyone who looks his...

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Endellion .
15:31 Mar 28, 2022

I love the description! Sounds intriguing! Also, that one character, over 7 feet tall, sound s a bit like Rune personality and height-wise. XD

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I guess now is the time to say this: No part of Metanoia, whether character, setting, technology, etc. is in any way a fanfic, copy, or inspired by Rune/Genesis. I have had these ideas since before I read your story. There is going to be a black forg, but I had the idea to make a big, tall, strong, black-colored alien character years ago. Just a disclaimer. ;) Glad you like it so far!

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Alex Sultan
15:48 Feb 24, 2022

Hi Guadalupe - I hope you are well. Here is what I found for notes. I did like 'The Fourth Wall'. It's short with a captivating style. I like the beginning of it the most, the start is strong and sets the scene well. I only found one comment for feedback on my second read. [One of the adults comes], scolding the other kids not to pull on the curtains, -You could possibly shorten this to 'One adult comes', then modify it to be more descriptive, 'One adult walks by,' or 'An adult steps by' Curtain - Great closing line with the italics For...

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Thank you so much, Alex! You are right on the dot when you say that this reads like a history book summary. I meant this particular piece to be like that. I wrote it for the feast day (anniversary of death) of Saint Agnes. I was possibly going to read it aloud at a dinner at my church on Jan. 21. Didn't end up doing that, though. Then I decided to post it on Reedsy. I fixed the typo. Thank you for pointing it out! My first story for Reedsy, From Ashes to Hope, is a historical fiction story about the early Christians. I'm working on writing...

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very very interesting! I liked how you kinda showed her faith through her life story, and it's very remarkable what God can do to promote His name :) I liked both stories overall, awesome job :D

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Good! How's your family? I've got a question for you. I'm writing a story in which the POV is focused on the character, C1, whose story it is. The character who the third-person POV is focusing on, C2, is the protagonist, but C1 is also the protagonist. However, it's kind of important to the story that you don't know C1's thoughts until he reveals them. He needs to be scary and dangerous, and part of what makes him strange is the fact that you don't understand his motivations. Does this justify not focusing on protagonist 1? Or do you ...

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New comment thread, replying to "oof." Sorry, that was a weird question. Do you read non-fiction about wolves?

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It’s fine. Yeah I do, mostly stories on here though.

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If you're interested in reading about the wolves of Yellowstone, I recommend Nate Blakeslee's book American Wolf, as well as Rick McIntyre's Wolves of Yellowstone series.

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New comment thread, replying to yeah i suppose so. niceee Mr. O'Brien wrote in his novel Island of the World Can a dwelling place without books ever truly be a home? I highly recommend his books!

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that's a nice quote, a true one too. cool

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I've been reading Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. how about you?

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I have not heard of that one, I'll have to check it out. I'm reading Doctor Dolittle's Circus for the second time, Heretics by G. K. Chesterton, The Father's Tale by Michael D. O'Brien, Joan of Arc by Mark Twain, and more XD I'm think I'm currently in the midst of more than half a dozen books. I also just finished O'Brien's Voyage to Alpha Centauri yesterday.

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Dhwani Jain
05:00 Feb 04, 2022

FOR THE CHALLENGE STORY:~ Well I read it, Guadalupe. It was nice, short and cute. It was impressive, how you expressed the views of the narrator in such a less amount of words, and yet leave the reader thinking about the backstory/future story. Here is my review: -> TITLE ~ I couldn't see any title? -> STORY ~ As I said before, it was a pleasant read. -> CHARACTERS ~ The MC was interesting. It somewhat remined me of a movie I watched. It's a bollywood movie, Dhoom 3. -> ANY ERRORS/ MISTAKES ~ I found just this one mistake: 1. Now I am on th...

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Dhwani Jain
04:44 Feb 04, 2022

Given the review already...amazing stories!!!!!!!!! =D

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I know I just said I would only be on Reedsy on Fridays, but I may not get a chance tomorrow, and right now I have time. Tell me what you think, everyone! Of the stories, not my rule-breaking.

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