The Bells of St. Brigit’s

Tugging at that thin filament at the edges of my brain, leading me through the maze of old paths and connections, reintroducing me to myself and my life, like a baby glancing himself in a mirror, they ring.

My ears focus. My eyes touch darkness. I clear my rusted throat. “The bells of St. Brigit’s are calling tonight.”

She screams and drops a purple plate. “Dad’s back!” She rushes over the fragments of our shattered, scattered lives.

Blue tears leak from her eyes. Her sadness is scented with joy.

I close my eyes.

Retreat.

A moment of respite for my lovely wife.

Our lives but glance off the other’s now.

~

This was written for this week’s hundred-word Write on Edge prompt: “The bells of St. Brigit’s are calling tonight.”

I’ve been working with Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, in which the author recommends we study a work one word, then one sentence, then one paragraph, et cetera, at a time, slowly building our understanding of an author’s writing. This morning, I spent way too much time diagramming this paragraph, the first paragraph in Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety: “Floating upward through a confusion of dreams and memory, curving like a trout through the rings of previous rings, I surface. My eyes open. I am awake.”

I love how Stegner goes quickly from dreamlike to matter-of-fact. I tried to copy that quality with this prompt.

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