Never Again

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge for Week of March 8, 2016

Hosted by Priceless Joy

(Photo provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode.)

 

The head-long collision with the wall shattered him. Doctors said he might never regain short-term memory and would certainly never walk again, but he said that wasn’t for them to determine. After straining his broken body’s limits, he pushed his spirit. Now he was ready to share what he’d learned throughout the world.

“What becomes physically impossible may be spiritually attainable.” With those words, he turned and slowly ascended steep stairs. He passed under three archways—mythological thresholds from ordered time and space (chronos) into a “supreme moment” (kairos), like that instance he chased a baseball tumbling through the night above a spacious outfield while everything around him slowed as if temporarily frozen against time’s relentless march.

Anyone watching his wobbly progress with moistened lips and swelling ego while anticipating a rush of schadenfreude was crushed. A bittersweet aftertaste reminded his supporters they had to let go of his past greatness to see him rise above it. People who said he was crazy were reminded they’d also said he’d never walk again.

 

(172 words)

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Never Again

  1. A beautiful story! I loved allusion to chronos and kairos, and how you work it into this part of the sentence, ” … like that instance he chased a baseball tumbling through the night above a spacious outfield while everything around him slowed as if temporarily frozen against time’s relentless march.”
    And this showed great insight into people in general: “A bittersweet aftertaste reminded his supporters they had to let go of his past greatness to see him rise above it. People who said he was crazy were reminded they’d also said he’d never walk again.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words and astute comments. I don’t make it a “habit” like John Irving does (at least in his many novels), but the first sentence came last this time. This story was written but felt incomplete. Then came a moment when baseball, paralysis, and esoterica (via kairos) all met in thoughts of a baseball player who majored in atmospheric and energy engineering at Stanford. Even without knowing that, it’s clear he’s brilliant after listening to him speak. He happens to be an outfielder who had a terrifying collision last season that could’ve been much worse. For several minutes no one knew his condition. Until all those memories and associations coalesced in that moment, I couldn’t get an otherwise finished story off to a decent start.

      Time seems such an illusory concept we sell ourselves simply because it’s the best form we can mold in a universe we can’t comprehend. Yet sometimes everything in life and art hinges on a single moment that characterizes a person or even redefines history’s march. I wish I could take credit for all of my ideas, but I’m influenced by my physical and spiritual journeys and those who walked them with me. Yet I still get stuck. Last week I did lots of research because I couldn’t move my novel along while time kept marching toward a deadline. Then there are moments when I feel I’m trying to catch rain in a teaspoon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so happy I’ve read your work, and this response!
        I love your writing style, and the connective tissue of your thoughts.
        This: “Time seems such an illusory concept we sell ourselves simply because it’s the best form we can mold in a universe we can’t comprehend” speaks to me, because I think the same way.
        Time is not a static thing, it’s like a flying arrow that turns and turns and turns and pulls everything away from the center .. and yet it’s almost not there, illusory, as you state, except for the march of entropy.
        Check out the Indonesian concept of time in gamelan music, and the Indian concept of time in yugas, and time seems like a breathing thing, expanding and contracting.
        Yes, I know how you feel about “trying to catch rain” in a teaspoon.
        How eloquent and poetic!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments! I have an inkling of what you’re referring to in regards to the time perspectives from studying religions and cultures, but I’ve made a note to look at those more specifically. This comment resonates: “Time is not a static thing, it’s like a flying arrow that turns and turns and turns and pulls everything away from the center .. and yet it’s almost not there, illusory, as you state, except for the march of entropy.” Well said! I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s