Friday Fictioneers: Tanner’s Plague

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson. Click photo to go to Rochelle’s prompt page.

“Father” Tanner, had a lovely wife, two wonderful daughters, and a future as church rector. Young, bright, athletic, and handsome; he inspired the congregation’s vibrant teen and Boy Scout groups. Eventually, he was ordained to the priesthood.

However, Tanner’s sexual relationships with teenage boys were discovered. He was defrocked, dismissed, and ordered to therapy, without legal action. Soon “cured,” he was again hired as Sexton and advisor to parish youth groups.

Thirty years, over 450 victims, and 2,500 counts of sexual assault later, Tanner was imprisoned, where at 67, he died of natural causes; shamed and disgraced, but never cured.


Click for link to other stories.

Look both ways.
Be alert for predators where least expected.
Never expect victims to confess.
Mind the gaps, remain skeptical, and verify if you trust.

Midweek Poetry:


When Love is not Enough

They thought it was indestructible.
A once mighty oak.
Then one day, there it lay—
one fragile, entropic stick, atrophied
by the dominance of green fire,
enraged temperament morphed
from past passions into
mislaid trust, then to castaway love,
and finally, to the pain of the end.

Did he willingly dance away from the fire?
Did the stepping turn of his heel find and
finally crush that last unwilling, wilting twig?
Was it he or she who stood in the dark,
alone, searching for some deeper truth
without understanding? Only able
to struggle against the monster’s eye,
leaning in against injury
from false charges and
intolerable miscreant treatment.

Had they become allergic to love?
Did they both just get lazy?
Whatever cannot be, simply isn’t.
Trust-based survival
needn’t be defended against
blows from the unbridled ax of envy.
Then—it was just the inevitable end,
when even love was not enough.


First, look both ways. Then, look all around.
Finally, mind the gaps and cut your losses.

Sammi’s Weekender #228 (portmanteau)

Click for Sammi’s Blog.

 


Little Blue Suitcase

Mom’s sister,
Lorry, was so apropos,
most correct old maid aunt
in navy blue turban with pin,
granny glasses,
self-assured in sensible shoes,
purse over left forearm,
her small portmanteau
gripped right,
I loved Lorry, now I know.
But then one day,
I had to let Lorry go.
Back then,
what the hell did I know,
long, long ago?


Look both ways, to the past for memories,
to the future for better days.
Mind the gaps in memory but hold on to what you can.

Sammi’s Weekender #194 (beguile)

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Delusion of Truth

Were they so deeply deceived?
Is companionship enough?

She was beguiled by deception, he by
love and trust, they by knowing.

Truth was given freely, and the cost
was death, maybe. How simple.

The book deceived me, tempted
by eternal heavenly bliss,

Dishonored by knowing morality.
Then I read the book.


Look both ways.
Doubt lies, believe truth.
Mind gaps for deception.

Sammi’s Weekender (Paradox)

Click to go to Sammi’s blog.

 


A Paradox of Love

How can it be?
They were once lovers intent on solving the riddle of forever.
Time was the mere scent of one, aroused the other
and they clung together like peach and stone.

How can it be as time passed, such love was lost?
How did what was become unthinkable?
When did the passion of love serve up malevolence?
What paradox now leaves two enigmatic lovers
with a secret neither knows?


Look both ways on the road of love.
The past is not the future. The present is not forever.
Mind the gaps for the riddle of discontent.

Sammi’s Weekender #183 (Wrangle)

Click to go to Sammi’s page and words of other’s.

Left, Right, Left

Loudly, we would wrangle well into the wee hours.
Gene and I would worry all but us; uneasy friends, smok-an’ drinkin’ buds
with different ways we saw our world.
Not even—no more.


Look and listen both ways. Lean from friends.
Mind the gaps of age and wisdom, our unforgiving nature.

***

 

Sammi’s Weekender #182 (bequeath/bequest)


I Lied to Me

His first words,
“What will you get?”
With such words our brother
accounted for decades of silence.

“He can’t help it,”
I’d tell myself.
“It’s not his fault.
He was raised like that,”
I told myself.
“Forgive him.
He’s your big brother.
He should be your hero,”
I still tell myself—
Not some pitiful old man
Who’ll never understand why,
I told myself, again.

Our sister’s bequest
was that he suffer
as he caused her, but I couldn’t
let her love lapse, I told myself.


Look both ways with family and friends.
Mind the gaps, but learn to live without them.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #177 (Heather)

Click to link

I came up with an acrostic.

Hopeless romances never die from
Eroded unrequited loyalty, nor
Awkward, embarrassing, green jealousy.
Thankless deceptions give us
Hollow empty feelings of
Eviscerated, torn, pride; and
Ruined trust.

Look both ways, especially if 27 is your “lucky” number. Mind the gaps for unfounded fears and feelings of unrequited love.

The video is Conan Gray talking about his song, Heather, which sort of inspired the poem.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #174 (Rectify)


Note: I used the noun form of rectify in the title and three synonyms in the piece. Mia culpa.


Rectification

His heart and hers, broken, they had caused their own tragedy. Together, they moved forward, not on, using glue of the gods, Mars & Venus, to correct, reform, and amend repairs. Their common desire: love.

***


Look both ways to “mend a broken heart”.
Mind the gaps for “misty memories of days gone by.”

My inspiration.

Friday Fictioneers for 9/4/2020 (Some Friends)

Thanks to Rochelle @ Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another Friday Fictioneers inspiring Wednesday photo. Her weekly challenge is to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. This week’s inspiration is provided by C.E. Ayr.

Image by CEAyr


Genre: (Autobiographical) Fiction
Title: Some Friends
Word Count: 100

***

I was to meet Clair, Jack’s wife, on the movie set. We met for coffee during her break. Clair introduced me to Astrid, who left us alone to talk. She got to the point.

“Bill, I’m leaving Jack.”

I said I was not surprised.

She said, “You’re his best friend. How can you say that?”

“Yes, I am. But I have no idea why anyone would want to be married to him.”

“Bill, you don’t understand. I am leaving him for another woman. You just met her.”

“Oh shit, Clair. I wish I could be there when you tell him.”

***


Look both ways in life and love.
Mind the gaps in close friendships.

Click for link.