~the following is part of “Prompted Prose,” a series of posts from the prompts I’m working with during my Spring 2016 online writing course


God comes in many guises. Here, he’s Rodney, an alcoholic in his forties, living at the beach, and continually telling you how good he is in bed. Just give him a chance. You may be wide open to anything, living in a 1978, olive-green Westfalia, camping by the beach in Hawaii, but you’ll never sleep with Rodney. He’s crude, but good at heart. Sometimes you let him sit with you at the picnic table.

Rodney drinks with crusty campers, including an ex-jockey who’s supplying the crew with cheap drugs. One morning Rodney tells you he’s been listening, and you don’t want to know what those guys have been planning.

He leads you to a quiet beach beside the Outrigger Resort. Introduces you to the night security. Asks him to keep an eye on you in your van. Shows you the pay phone and the public bathrooms. Saves you from who-knows-what. Still saying, “Girl, come on. It could be so good with me…”



Six, sitting on the red cement steps by the ivy. You and a cattle dog, a rare moment, off the chain. You caress velvet ears, his black, damp nose poised, transfixed. Gazing into dog eyes, you sing through baby teeth, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” Your little lashes are wet with a moment, two mammal hearts beating, down a gravel driveway, in the orange grove. Your first touch of Grace.



“There is no name for what you receive.” So says the Healer in my friend’s back yard. His helper stands behind those receiving the transmission, because everyone falls backwards after the Healer hugs them. I doubt I’ll fall, and when the Healer approaches, he buries me in an embrace, zapping the center of my chest in a cascade of warmth. I go down easily, gently caught by the helper. Laid down upon the grass. Reverberating in rushes of Christ, the disciples, Mary Magdalene and a river, in some vast, familiar, ancient, abiding love.


courtesy of Abdy
courtesy of Abdy

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