dVerse — Prosery — Portal

Ironbridge-Benthall Hall Circular • Hiking Route » outdooractive.com
If you are a dreamer, come in.
–Shel Silverstein, from Invitation

At ten, it was screamed epithets and the rhythmic crack of dad’s belt on her back as she curled on the filthy floor. At twenty, it was the sound of her drunken boyfriend’s fist crunching fine bones in her face. At thirty, it was smelling sour sweat and hearing lurid grunts as her husband raped her. At forty, it was rustling as she fought off her boss’ furtive grabbing in the supply room. At fifty, it was her weeping after being slapped by her new boyfriend for “disobedience.”

She’s not sure why she cut his throat as he watched the game. Beer and blood gurgled from the gaping slice in his neck as she laughed.

Her prison counselor referred her to a creative writing group. Tonight she stands in the doorway of the small room; hears:

If you are a dreamer, come in.”

[144 words]

Image is of Iron Bridge.

Lillian is today’s host of dVerse’ Prosery. Lillian says:
SO WHAT IS PROSERY? It’s a new genre of creative writing originated by dVerse. There are four caveats for Prosery Mondays:
1.
Your post must be prose, not poetry. Most people post what is commonly called Flash Fiction. Occasionally someone writes prose that is memoir or nonfiction.
2.  Your prose/flash fiction must have a beginning, middle and end…just as a story does.
3. 
Your prose must be succinct: no more than 144 words in length, sans title.
4. 
Your prose must include the specific line of poetry the dVerse host provides in the prompt. It must be included exactly as the words are written in the line. The punctuation may be altered, but the words and their order must be identical to the line as given.

The line for today is “If you are a dreamer, come in.”

44 Comments Add yours

  1. kim881 says:

    With all the the violence and sadness, I wonder how she might have had time for dreamer, although she must have time on her hands in prison, so the creative writing group will be a tonic, Lisa.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Kim. She’s carrying a lot with her that she needs to unload. She may never be physically free again, but her mind may one day be at peace.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ingrid says:

    ‘She’s not sure why she cut his throat as he watched the game.’ I think I am. That’s one hell of a lifetime of abuse. Still there are places for dreams to live even coming from such a dark space!
    Startling and interesting take on the prompt, Lisa.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment, Ingrid. Yes, I feel she is going to be stepping into the light very soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lillian says:

    Sadly, a life of abuse is had by far too many. I think at one time, here at dVerse, we had someone who sent in poems via his mother (if I’m remembering correctly) and he was serving a very long prison sentence. I do think, no matter the psyche, past, present, happiness, hatred, abuse or love….writing can be a great refuge for anyone. The progression of this person is startling and far too repetitive. Again, in reality, it’s hard to break the cycle. A powerful take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      That is fascinating about the inmate sending poems to dVerse via his mother, from prison. I think if corrections facilities were smart, every one would have a creative writing group. If you had a trained therapist to collaborate you’d could do a lot of healing. I find it is amazing how many times the victims are blamed for the acts of cruelty and depravity that are visited upon them. I find it more than ironic the victim finds herself behind bars while (most) of her assailants walk free to harm others.

      Like

  4. I think the last man in her life had to bear the blame for all the men who had abused her over a lifetime. I have a feeling that she can find some comfort in prison finally.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bjorn, I think you are 100% right about that last unfortunate man. Maybe if he’d kept his hands to himself he’d still be alive? I think she might find comfort in her creative writing group in prison but alas most of the guards are probably men who choose that kind of work for a reason…

      Like

  5. Beverly Crawford says:

    Oh my, it’s all the abusers who should be in prison … that that’s seldom, if ever, the case. Great compelling write!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Beverly, I appreciate your insights on this. You’re so right. Thank you.

      Like

  6. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    One punch to the gut, please–and thank you. This piece sneaks up on us, turning tragedy into dreamland. I enjoy the existential twist, and the just desserts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, as I read your comment, you’ve given a very provocative possible alternate take on this. Maybe she never really slices his throat but fantasizes about it, and the “prison therapist” might be just her outpatient therapist, and the writing group is her cathartic tool for release from her prison of abuse. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

  7. Gillena Cox says:

    OMG this is sooo sad, except for the voice inviting her into getting help
    Happy Monday

    Much💛love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gillena, thank you very much.

      Like

  8. There is always a breaking point. The question is, if the pieces can go back together afterwards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Excellent comment, Carol, thank you.

      Like

  9. The blood and beer is a fantastic bit of imagery by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. K.Hartless says:

    Very powerful paging us through the decades and up to the prison creative writing room door. You have a magical way of taking us so far in such few words. Great job showing us all how creative writing is both curative and an amazing outlet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Karen, thank you for your high praise and insightful feedback ❤

      Like

  11. Intense! Wow, this one will linger with me awhile. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Susan!

      Like

  12. robtkistner says:

    OMG Lisa, are you blowin’ up this dark stuff or what. Wow, she sure as hell drew life’s short straw. Well written, and bloody good! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, maybe I’m going through a psychic purge. Most people love Silverstein unreservedly but I sense a darkness about him that sparked this tale. (all only gut feeling)

      Like

  13. rothpoetry says:

    Wow, a dark and scary piece! Sometimes we never know what drives a person. Love the creative writing twist at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dwight thank you for your insightful and kind comment. No we don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel like the ending is a statement that she has dreamed of freedom her whole life and has finally found it once away from her abusers in prison. An interesting twist!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      “Truth” (the truth of this tale) is always stranger than (its) fiction. I know there are women — many many women — and more than a few men — like the MC of this story sitting in prison cells.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sadje says:

    A succinct, poignant story Li. Well done my friend

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks, Sadje, appreciate your kind words, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re always welcome 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Mish says:

    Powerful and direct. The physical and mental pain is palpable and Silverstein’s line was blended in so well. Abuse can create a deadly trajectory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Mish thank you for your feedback.

      Like

  17. Wow, Lisa. This is dark. And, of course, fantastically well written (that part isn’t surprising – it’s the darkness that startled me!)


    David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Most of the time darkness needs to stay hidden in its home. Sometimes it needs to be yanked out and held in the light.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. memadtwo says:

    That image is the perfect contrast to her life–may she find her way through the portal. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Appreciate your view. Yes, K.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Dale says:

    Powerful piece, Lisa. I think this creative writing group will be her release…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      100% in agreement with you, Dale. Thank you for reading and your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Gut wrenching Lisa and so well crafted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Linda.

      Like

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