Thursday photo prompt – Alone #writephoto

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A rock face looks toward the north, as the sun sets with a golden glow. I’m happy to have a window, even one that’s a foot thick and harder than steel.  It does nothing to soothe the lonely hours in a prison designed to look like a two-bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor of an upscale high-rise.

Sure, I have computer access, but I can’t email anyone about my plight.  To the world, I disappeared the day after my so-called best friend’s death.  Arlene, the woman who had killed me 3 times before.  Arlene, the woman I had to endure in my household for 30 years so that I could keep the worst enemy ever to walk the Earth from killing me a 4th time. 

At the end of her life, when cancer had taken away most of her suspicious nature, I’d slipped a confession letter into papers she was signing.  Finally, I had my vengeance upon her.  Or so I thought.

When they’re through with me in this wretched place, someone will find my body.  Given the number of needle marks and biopsy sites, they’ll no doubt suspect that I was tortured.

And who, might you ask, abducted me?  My own daughter, Dr. Charlene Bellson, the former county coroner and now head of a task force trying to unlock the secrets of time travel, interdimensional dynamics, and reincarnation.  

I trusted her with my secret, the fact I’d been thrown down the shaft of a cave by Arlene 3 times.  But she’s a brilliant pathologist and had come to that conclusion prior to my confession.

My daughter had promised I wouldn’t be imprisoned if I told her the absolute truth, and she’d believed my story based on forensic evidence, but never in my life would I have believed she was exactly like Arlene!

I will never, in my life, forget the conversation revealing her true nature.

“Translation units are amazing these days,”Charlene said. “The writing states, ‘She who dies 3 deaths and serves to live a lifetime will become the goddess of deception’.”

“You said I wouldn’t be committed or sent to jail, but…”

Charlene leaned toward me, but I could swear I was looking into Arlene’s eyes. “I never promised you wouldn’t be studied.”

I wondered at that moment if being impaled upon the ribs of my former lover would have been the better death.

Once, I lived in a mansion with servants, the greatest actress ever to walk the Earth.  I was a princess in a famous science fiction movie during the mid-1970’s, and had to develop muscles to play the mother of humanity’s savior in a movie about robots who wanted to kill us all.  My final performance as the star in a movie in the mid 90’s about tornado chasers was my last lead role.  Looking 30 when you’re 40 has its advantages, but most of the parts after that went to the 20-somethings.

Come to think of it; Charlene was getting a Master’s degree at the time and had been raised by her tutors and caretakers.  She was on set a few times and played some bit parts.  I suppose it could be said that she turned out a lot like her mother, too.

The name Jane Jones, once a name spoken in every household of the civilized world, slowly faded away as younger stars filled their fantasies or their need for someone to revere.   I once stood out in a crowd. Now, I sit alone on the living room couch that once graced my home, and wait for the inevitable.

“Mother,” Charlene’s voice says through the intercom.  “It’s time.”

“For what?”

“You’ll be a martyr, revered by the world,” she said.

A hissing sound?  I looked up at the ceiling at a light mist filtering downward.  My last words were, “You will pay for your deception!”

The first 3 times I died, my next memory was a tunnel.  That ended up to be the birth canal.  This time, I floated above my body.  Geez, I looked so old!  I suppose rapid aging happens when you’ve been imprisoned for a year.

I spread out into the building and began to shake, thinking about turning the concrete into dust.  A building 2 stories above ground and 10 below sank into ashes.  But my daughter stood outside, eyes wide, shivering at the carnage.

“Mother?” she asked.

“You can see me?”

“Sort of.  You look like a watermark.”

“You are so much like me,” I beamed.  “Frightened on the inside and yet you’re acting like you own the world.”

“Are…are you a goddess?”

Hell if I knew, but I wasn’t going to tell her that. 

“Yes,” I said with certainty.

Never had I seen Charlene faint where she stood.  Ah, vengeance at its finest!

Pulled…upward, outward…blackness.  My eyes opened to a bright sunset filled with unworldly colors.  Sitting on a bench was some creature with seven arms and Arlene’s face.

“Who are you?” I asked, hoping I was wrong about the answer.

“The goddess of vengeance,” she replied.  “You’ll remember you’re the goddess of deception.  It takes a few minutes.”


“We had a bet.  You won,” she sighed.  “I concede that deception is a greater weapon than vengeance.” 

“You killed me 3 times. Why didn’t that make you the winner?”

“I found out after my death that Charlene was our pawn in this game,” Arlene said.  “I killed you 3 times before we could start playing it.”

“What did I win?”

“Zeus is retiring. Congratulations, you’re God.”

I laughed, sat next to Arlene and said, “I didn’t see that one coming.”


©Joelle LeGendre