So it's been a while since I participated in Flash! Friday, and it's my first time trying this new format. Rather than a photo prompt, the contest has switched over to using elements pulled from a book. Today's was Cry, the Beloved Country, requiring two of the following elements in a 150–200-word story.
- Conflict: man v man (not gender specific)
- Character (choose at least one): old priest fighting to hold on to tradition, father searching for his son, young man accused of murder, a civil rights activist, a pregnant girl
- Theme (choose one): reconciliation, racism, injustice, repentance
- Setting (choose one): a decaying village, a wealthy city in moral decline
I included a few different ones, as you'll hopefully see in the story below. As always, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!
Herman hooked his cane on the wooden pew then knelt, bowing his head before the Virgin Mother whose gaze he hadn't met in years. The stone floor cushioned his knees, worn from his daily visits.
Fingers brushed his forehead, chest, and shoulders, and a sigh passed through his lips. Blankness filled his mind where prayer should have been. Would he ever find the words?
People cried in the streets, clinging to each other. A pale girl gasped, clutching her rounded stomach as rough hands knocked her down, disregarding the life within.
Every time he closed his eyes, echoes of the past tormented him.
Skeletal bodies marching to their doom, torn from their homes and stuffed into stripes. Hopeless expressions on faces of all ages, cordoned off by barbed wire.
He’d done as he was told. Now he yearned for the forgiveness he didn’t deserve.
Piles and piles of lifeless flesh.
And everywhere the yellow stars.