Monday’s Muse: Writing Prompt for September 14
I am joining in with the super-creative Candice Coates for her Monday’s Muse. She provides a photo and an opening line on Monday, then posts her results on her blog on Thursday. Guidelines on how to join in are at the bottom. (The opening line provided is in bold).
The pictures were old, foreign and yet somehow familiar even though he couldn’t quite place them. Somewhere hidden within his spirit he knew he had taken them.
It wasn’t just deja vu, it felt much stronger than that, but yet the mental image was foggy. My grandfather left me a huge box full of stuff, and the pictures were right on the top. How could I not look in the box, when scribbled on its lid in his chicken scratch it read, ‘the truth lies within.’
My grandfather always told stories, he had such an imagination, we always thought his stories were just to entertain us, never knowing if they were true or not, or if it was the mutterings of too much vodka and longing for home. But now as I looked as these photographs bits and pieces of those stories warred with hazy images, and I’m not so sure what is actually real.
I remember Him and his brother would spend hours playing cards, with a bottle of vodka perched in the middle of the table to be shared between them. They basically grew up on the stuff, so I doubt it did anything to their senses, as it would to a person not accustomed to such hard drink. Once the bottle was empty they would sit and quietly talk between them, speaking only in Polish so no one would understand them. I rarely heard the foreign language, it was just how it was, once your feet grazed the shores of American soil, you left your old life behind, and painstakingly learned the English language, never indulging in your foreign tongue…unless your soul held secrets.
As I sifted through the box, the last thing I found was some sort of journal, in my grandfather’s handwriting. When I opened it, a newspaper article fell from within the pages. It was in Polish, so I could not understand what it was about. But the journal read:
My dear grandson, you must have many questions. I do not know if the photographs are familiar to you, but they are the reason we are in America. As a young man, you had no fear, and you took these photographs in secret. You did not think anyone would ever find out about them, but certain people did.
I did not have to read any further, because the images and the memories all came flooding back. The two men that came and found me, and demanded I give them the photographs, I refused. That’s when I could feel the pain from each blow that I took from these men, and the final jolt of pain in my head when it struck the concrete once I fell to the ground. At that point I was fading in and out of consciousness. I saw another large figure come upon one of the men, I’m not sure what happened, but he dropped to the ground lifeless, the other man ran away as fast as he could. I could hear voices, but couldn’t understand what they were saying.
I continued reading in the journal. Your head injuries were severe, the doctor said that you would not remember anything. My father told me to take you to America, where my brother already was. When we entered at Ellis Island, it was as if we were given a new identity. When we gave them our names, the person recording our names in the manifest spelled it the way they thought it would sound in English, they were known to sometimes even add a few extra letters for good measure. The Polish language has it’s own alphabet, so the American translation did not resemble the way it was spelled in Poland. It was the perfect opportunity for you and I to start a new life, and never be found.
I stopped reading, even though there was more. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know more at this moment. My head hurt, and this was a lot of information to process. Because of me, my grandfather killed a man. The only thing running through my head at the moment was why hadn’t the truth died along with him?
© 2015 Carrie Ann
Join Monday’s Muse:
• Using the opening line and the picture provided, (Or one of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within 15 to 20 minutes.
• Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add your story’s link in the comments section here, for others to read.
• Also include a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag “Monday’s Muse.”