Three Thousand Feet From the Clouds


Darkness falls outside. My wife spins the face of her watch from the inside of her wrist and settles it on knobby bone. "It's time."

I stand and plant a kiss on her bald head.

"Don't forget your net."

I give it a shake and force a smile. "Got it."

"Snack?"

"Yep." I pat my pocket to show her. "Will you be OK?"

She nods and rubs her forehead. "Be careful."

"I will. See you later?" I hear the hope in my voice.

"Yes," she says.

Six years ago, the boss installed the elevator in my living room. My commute is a breeze: Three thousand feet up and into the clouds.

I am the prayer catcher.


Every night I gather the prayers of the world. From the night sky, I scoop up hopes and dreams and wishes, for what are prayers but wishes folded over and slid into an envelope addressed to God?

I pour my harvest into my hopper. I grind the prayers fine as sand and scatter them over the earth so that the hopeless have hope and those who have forgotten how to pray can remember, if only in their dreams.

I field the usual stuff: Wishes unspoken; To sell a house; To cure a child...or a wife.

The job pays well enough. The hours are steady, except during disasters when I'm required to work an extra shift. Prayers get more fervent then. More intense and more frequent. They threaten to tear my net.

Praying on the job is against the rules. It's hard sorting out everyone else's prayers without having to wade through your own. But tonight, I break the rules.

Tonight I release my prayers to the clouds and snag them in my net.

Tonight I pray for my wife. I pray that she's true to her word and that I will see her soon, after descending three thousand feet from the clouds.

The doctor gives her three more months.

I think we'll be lucky to have one.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was time.


Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Three Thousand Feet From the Clouds

Monday, March 11, 2013

Three Thousand Feet From the Clouds


Darkness falls outside. My wife spins the face of her watch from the inside of her wrist and settles it on knobby bone. "It's time."

I stand and plant a kiss on her bald head.

"Don't forget your net."

I give it a shake and force a smile. "Got it."

"Snack?"

"Yep." I pat my pocket to show her. "Will you be OK?"

She nods and rubs her forehead. "Be careful."

"I will. See you later?" I hear the hope in my voice.

"Yes," she says.

Six years ago, the boss installed the elevator in my living room. My commute is a breeze: Three thousand feet up and into the clouds.

I am the prayer catcher.


Every night I gather the prayers of the world. From the night sky, I scoop up hopes and dreams and wishes, for what are prayers but wishes folded over and slid into an envelope addressed to God?

I pour my harvest into my hopper. I grind the prayers fine as sand and scatter them over the earth so that the hopeless have hope and those who have forgotten how to pray can remember, if only in their dreams.

I field the usual stuff: Wishes unspoken; To sell a house; To cure a child...or a wife.

The job pays well enough. The hours are steady, except during disasters when I'm required to work an extra shift. Prayers get more fervent then. More intense and more frequent. They threaten to tear my net.

Praying on the job is against the rules. It's hard sorting out everyone else's prayers without having to wade through your own. But tonight, I break the rules.

Tonight I release my prayers to the clouds and snag them in my net.

Tonight I pray for my wife. I pray that she's true to her word and that I will see her soon, after descending three thousand feet from the clouds.

The doctor gives her three more months.

I think we'll be lucky to have one.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was time.


Labels:

40 Comments:

At March 11, 2013 at 5:59 PM , Blogger Renee McKinley said...

Beautiful. It's sad yet still full of hopefullness.

 
At March 11, 2013 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At March 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM , Blogger November Rain - k~ said...

Very touching post.

 
At March 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM , Anonymous Sharp Little Pencil said...

Kelly, thanks again for sending me your link. The whole idea of the Prayercatcher, the net, how it's taxed when natural disasters occur... so inventive. And all the while, his own dream is that his wife be cured... sad and lovely all at once.

There's a NY Eve tradition in my hometown. We write down our regrets from the past year and toss them into a huge bonfire. I seem to write apologies, just in case there is a prayercatcher who's in the mood for a few ashes!

Hauntingly original. You should get this published. Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/03/11/goosebumps/

 
At March 12, 2013 at 4:41 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

Lovely.

I think that your link doesn't lead to this page though. Let me know if you need any help fixing it, ok?

 
At March 12, 2013 at 4:44 AM , Blogger Sandra Crook said...

You're right, looks like we both had similar inspiration from this prompt. Great minds think alike. :) Nicely done anyway - a moving piece.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM , OpenID whispatory said...

Love the image of prayers in envelopes that are then ground into hope.

Really lovely.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much, Renee!

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for your constant support!

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I really like that tradition! Thanks for sharing it. Getting published. Meeh. I've turned into a DYI'er.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks! Got it fixed. Can you edit a posted link? I just deleted and re-added. There's probably a better way I'm not aware of.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

And yours as well - Thanks so much for stopping by.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:25 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much! Your comment comes at an especially good time: I'm sitting in my car in the rain watching the open house going on at my home. Not fun. Especially with two whining dogs in the backseat.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Lucy said...

I love the descriptions. I felt as if I was standing right next to him as he worked. Beautiful story.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thank you, Lucy!

 
At March 12, 2013 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Tara R. said...

A very creative take on the prompt. You constantly surprise and amaze me with your imagination, and how perfectly you tell us your stories.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much, Tara! I always appreciate your stopping by.

 
At March 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM , OpenID jannatwrites said...

This was so creative! I love the image of grinded prayers being sprinkled everywhere. Such a cool story :)

 
At March 13, 2013 at 1:28 PM , OpenID ishallbeatoad.com said...

This is so beautifully sad.

And I love this --- "for what are prayers but wishes folded over and slid into an envelope addressed to God?"

 
At March 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Yeah, it _is_ sad but it didn't start out that way. Originally he didn't have a wife, but I liked the image of her watch on her bony wrist, so I put her in. Thanks so much for reading.

 
At March 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM , Blogger Bo said...

I really enjoyed this. Terrific take on the prompt.

 
At March 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM , Blogger Meester Uttley said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At March 13, 2013 at 7:49 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

So poignant; I love the idea of this, but it's so sad too.

 
At March 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks so much for reading!

 
At March 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM , OpenID lovethebadguy said...

This is a beautifully, poignantly unique idea. Thank you for sharing!

 
At March 13, 2013 at 11:31 PM , Blogger The Magic of Ordinary Days said...

Loved this! Very creative and very beautiful.

 
At March 13, 2013 at 11:35 PM , Blogger The Magic of Ordinary Days said...

I think the wife makes this entire piece. It was beautiful through and through...but that twist of an ending adds so much. I'll say it again -- beautiful, heartfelt piece.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 3:59 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I'm glad the wife adds to the story. I think you're right - Without something kind of pulling at him, he wouldn't be as interesting.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 4:00 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks, Annabelle. Looking forward to reading your piece this week!

 
At March 14, 2013 at 4:02 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thank you for reading! Love your site and looking forward to reading your submission! (I love the bad guy too)

 
At March 14, 2013 at 4:02 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 14, 2013 at 6:15 AM , Blogger lumdog2012 said...

This is so ironic and poignant. You used the prompt in such a dramatic way. Well done.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 6:39 AM , Blogger Draug said...

This is a fabulous take on the prompt. Sad, but beautiful too.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 9:26 AM , OpenID humantriumphant said...

that was precious, and no words I try to say will do it justice.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your stopping by.

 
At March 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

As always, thanks for reading!

 
At March 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I appreciate your comments! Thanks for stopping by!

 
At March 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM , OpenID trudgingthroughfog said...

What a beautiful concept! I love how you balanced the ordinary and mundane with the almost fanciful nature of his work.

 
At March 15, 2013 at 2:34 AM , Blogger kymm said...

Terrific dreamlike quality to this. So bittersweet.

 

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