27 March 2014

wounded wounding

For today's Faith Jam Bonnie gave us the writing prompt wounded.  I am sharing a clip from my novel in progress. Here Jessie discovers that the wounded create more wounds.

Jessie closed her eyes and found herself walking down crowded city streets.  People looked straight ahead, not to the left or to the right, ignoring those beside them.  Often they would bump into each other or step on someone's feet.  Sometimes when people got hit, bumped or stepped on they tripped and fell, banging into more people before they hit the ground.  Those who created the original problem did not even seem to notice.  The pace on the streets quickened.  Everyone had somewhere to go.  Jessie tried to slow down or stop but was moved along by those surrounding her.

She walked the streets for what felt like days.  There were bruises on her arms from bodies pushing, shoving or falling into her.  Her legs were covered with cuts and scrapes.  People yelled and people cried.  There was a constant falling and rising, to stop would leave one even more vulnerable, an open target, ready to be trampled unnoticed.

Jessie's feet were burning with pains that shoot through with every step. In the crush of bodies it seemed like all space was occupied.  She managed to walk fast enough to find a tiny clearing of space around her so that she could look down and see lower than the waists of other people.  When she looked, she saw the sidewalk running with blood.  Her feet were bleeding, the feet around her were bleeding.  Hurt was everywhere like a river and all of them continued moving, swept into  the pain, downstream, not able to change direction.

Those that were the most damaged fell more often, and as they did, the ones around them received more injuries as well until there was no one on the street that was free from damage.  Broken and breaking the parade continued on.

Jessie shook herself awake, reaching to rub one of her feet before she realized it didn't really hurt.

“How many people did I hurt?” she thought about the dream.  “Every time I stumbled, every time I fell someone else was harmed.  Could I have stopped it?  If I would have just given up and stayed on the ground?  But then I would have been an obstacle for them to trip over and they would have fallen too.”

Jessie spoke aloud “How do we stop?” and then fell asleep again.

There was a man with a dagger like knife in his hand, lifting his arm, about to plunge the blade into the back of a person standing in front of him.  Behind him was another man with a dagger trying to stop him, and behind him another, and another, and another.  A loud voice shouted “STOP” and all who heard it froze.  Yet the one at the back of the line was too far away to hear.  He plunged his knife into the one before him.  As the stabbed one fell, his knife went into the one standing before him, and on and on and on like dominoes they fell.  The one at the back of the line who hadn't heard the call to stop was the only one left standing and listened to the moans of pain echoing back.  “This isn't what I meant to do” he cried, over and over again.  “This isn't what I meant at all.”

Jessie woke again.  She thought the two dreams were connected and was afraid to have another, so she rose quickly and walked around the apartment to fully wake herself.  She thought again about her mother.  She picked up her pen again.

You were hurt and so you hurt me
Did you ever even know
or were you caught up in the flow?
When I thought you didn't care
could you even see me there?
Did you ever try to stop
or did you never hear the shout
that might have saved us all.
Is it better to be the last one standing
or the first to fall?
Everyone that walks in pain
hurt and hurting, again and again
There has to be a way out
a way that we can see or hear
do we really have to share the pain
with all who would come near?

“So you are beginning to see” quietly came The Voice.  “You are letting me show you many things.”

“These things are hard to see” thought Jessie in reply.

“Will you continue to look?  If I ask?”

jamming with Bonnie



Renee said...

"Do we really need to share the pain with all who come near"? Powerful post, vivid and emotional... Thanks for sharing a few words of your novel with us.

Debbie said...

I absolutely LOVE the poem! So incredibly powerful!!!

Trudy said...

This brings out profound truth with such power, Karin. I can visualize the dreams, and I love the poem. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Lisa notes... said...

Ooh, I love that excerpt! Sounds like a great book. “Will you continue to look? If I ask?” Thanks for sharing it with us.

Denise said...

Great post.

Michelle said...

"These things are hard to see", indeed! Powerful. I want to read this book!

~ Dorothy said...

What hard hitting words. Beautifully written.
Blessings ~ Dorothy