Quotes from short-story collection Essence Churning with The Companion Book sketchbook project- Post 1:
From Thomas Interrupted
It was dimly light on the mid-summer morning, but he groped about like he was enshrouded in a leaden cloak deep within the roots of the earth where darkness ached with dread.
Despair bared his teeth in a smirk at Hope.
Hope ran down her fingers wishing to linger.
His stomach lurched as his feet stuck to the threshold. One more reason not to cross. Harder to bear than her preachiness was the solid depth of his father’s faith.
Hope nudged into the space of deep sorrow—for this is a pain born of love, not violence or fear. The more profound the affection, the richer the sadness.
He embraced the morning light and the glimpse of mountains from his bed. Hope raised her hands and showered the room with radiance as he gloried in this beauty in the midst of his suffering. There was no dark corner for Thomas to cower in. His spirits—whether he acknowledged them or not—were raised in admiration of the strength and purity of purpose his father maintained, even now at the end.
The words of the women entwined Hope with garlands of joy, and she wrapped each spirit in the room in the peace of the beautiful blossoms of gratitude and contentment in the face of eminent loss.
He was lifted with the voice of the song and the resentment and defense he carried in his pockets spilled as the robe of his fear fell away.
He chose a seat in the lap of Despair. The warmth that surrounded him when Hope danced on the circle of song evaporated into the chill fluorescent light.
Despair twirled his finger in Thomas’ ponderings, confounding his attempts to cling to Hope.
The young man bowed his head and ran his shaking hands through his hair trying to get a grip on reason.
The inner tug-of-war of terror and wonder.
Despair roared with pleasure as the practiced, plastic words swirled around the room lost to Hope.
His eyes sparked fear like a bursting ember and then showed level understanding and acceptance.
The boy hesitated a moment and mastered the emotion that washed through him at Floyd’s strange joy. Hope nearly knocked him down, and he had to swallow several times before he could say, “I’m ready too.” Then he shared the deepest smile he ever felt as his father and he squeezed hands.
He knew his father. He understood the joy in the face worn with the struggle of his body. This place beyond flesh and bone was real. Not church or religion or creed. Love—he could feel it in his rich sorrow.
The tear that sprung to his eye was like the wash of rain after a long drive on a dusty road.