Saved . . . Prompt #281

Life SaverWrite about saving a life.  Someone’s life you saved, or someone who saved your life.

The save could be literal: CPR was performed, pulled from water, put out a fire, rescued from a snarling animal or a threatening situation.

The save could be inspirational: Something read in a book, a magazine, a placard, a wall hanging; a mental shift; a realization; an epiphany; something that was said; a behavior change; a belief change.

You get the idea . . . Saved. However you interpret this. Just write!

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  1. Ke11y

    Rising in front of my childhood, on the north side of the valley, was a granite cliff. The clouds sometimes hid its peak. I lived low in the valley oft times imagining what or who might live on the other side of that great black shape.

    Of the thousands who came to the valley, some came who were indifferent to the mountain, they never stared at it, never so much as looked up or pointed toward the 3000 ft peak. For others, the mountain of granite stirred deep primal emotions. Dad said the mountain offered safety and growing up I realized it was impossible not to feel secure with the mountain in front of me. At the same time, nothing limited my imagination of horizons more than this rising form of rock our home was set below.

    I always had the sense of an adventurer inside me, reason to wonder what was on the other side of the dark shape. The mountain had a life of its own. Hard to imagine when you might be a city dweller but true nonetheless. It had a different nature about it in Spring to the one it had in Winter. But it wasn’t the visible changes of weather that changed the mountain, no, it was the shadow. I grew up in the shadow, it held me in my youth by its security, but frustrated me by its ability to block my vision of the wider world as I grew taller.

    It’s not every day a thirteen-year-old boy finds a dead body, but that is what I did. It wasn’t lying there in the snow of winter, nor was it motionless in the budding mountain flowers of Spring; it hung in the wind from a lone branch that protruded from the rock face. At first, I thought it was a joke someone might be playing on me, but as I came close I knew it wasn’t funny.

    I wasn’t afraid, strange as that might seem. Dad had warned me; it didn’t matter what came, who or why, the mountain taught lessons, and some of those lessons were hard. Dad said that city people didn’t understand its moods. The mountain can hold you in strange ways, he said. Finding a dead body hanging loosely against the rocks might ordinarily have scared a youth.

    I scrambled down the mountain, stumbling, scraping my knees. An hour later the mountain rescue team had been up there and cut her free. They brought her body down on a stretcher. The doctor asked me if I was okay. He said that sometimes when people find a dead body, they suffer shock. I didn’t say anything to him. He said I was very brave.

    My name was in the local paper that next Friday. It said the man found hanging on the side of the mountain was Trevour Johnson, 17 years of age. He was found wearing women’s clothes, it said. The paper said it was a suicide, and a note was found in his bedroom.

    I asked my dad about the woman I’d found. He said; son, the mountain can invite lonely people. We never talked of it again.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Wow! I was mesmerized by this powerful story, sitting on the edge of my chair, holding my breath, reading to the end. I was transported to that valley, that cliff, that mountainside, that shadow. I felt horror for the child who made the grisly discovery and hope he wasn’t a victim of recurring nightmares or flashbacks. You tell stories, Kelly, that keep me riveted to the end. And then, I remember to breathe. I like how you build the setting and introduce the characters (whether human or inhuman). I think your pacing and word choices. I admire how you lay out the story, keeping the wallop for the ending. Now, I need to keep breathing as I absorb and process this story, because it surely is a story to think about, mull over and tuck away for remembering.

  2. Ke11y

    Dearest Marlene:

    You are the most encouraging of souls. Truly. Even when I miss the point entirely ‘Saved’ you find a way, the heart, the essence of your soul to help underlings like myself. I’m always so warmed and brightened by your remarks. More than you know, you’re the spirit behind so much of what keeps my fingers at the keyboard.

    Thank you, Marlene.

    1. mcullen Post author

      You are very welcome, Kelly. You make it easy to encourage, for you truly are a gifted writer who is able to show your soul in your writing. I appreciate how are willing and able to bare your soul and share your deep thoughts through your writing. . . whether fiction or not, it doesn’t matter. Your writing is exquisite and I am honored and feel privileged to be able to read it. It is such a pleasure to read your writing. Big Smile!

  3. PamH


    Rushing storm winds push
    Gray clouds across sky,
    Set each tree in motion —

    Willow’s flowing dance,
    Palm leaves shimmy,
    Maple with swelling buds
    Waves her arms.

    Called to move with
    Invisible river of air.
    Not flawless existence
    But perfect,
    In unique response to what is.

    Bach plays quietly through the stereo,
    Shimmering, joyful, threads of sound
    Weave solace in storm tossed heart.

    From the source it flows,
    To the source it grows.

    The gift of what is,
    Offered daily,
    Not for life to find us,
    But for us to love the life
    We find.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Beautiful, PamH. Reading “Receiving” felt like traveling on a silvery thread through sensory detail, looking for something, and finding solace and comfort in the last stanza. Very satisfying – my highest compliment about writing 🙂 Thank you for posting.

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