Today is the second day of Stevie McCoy‘s #Nightgale Challenge, a four week creative writing challenge based on immortality and Romanticism. Today’s prompt was this:
Immortality comes to you, you do not go to Immortality
Shelley- “Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?… No voice from sublimer world hath ever, To sage or poet these responses given – Therefore the name of God and ghosts and Heaven, Remain the records of their vain endeavour,”(Hymn To Intellectual Beauty)
(N.B. This piece is a sequel to A Cure for Death?, the piece which I wrote for Week 1 of the #Nightgale Challenge. I would advise you to read that first, if you haven’t already.)
“Where were you today, Elisabeth?” Mother asks sternly, ladling stew onto our plates. She is seated at the table, chin resting in her cupped hands, staring out of the window.
“Elisabeth.” I nudge her, breaking her from the trance. “Mother asked you a question.”
She lifts her chin, her startling blue eyes focusing on my face. “At the Johnson house.” She replies, her voice low and almost sing-song as she recounts the tale. “Old Man Johnson is dying you know. I wanted to see what it was like.”
“Elisabeth!” Mother scolds. “What a thing to say! And I highly doubt that the Johnsons appreciated your company!”
“They did.” Elisabeth replies, eerily self-assured. “They said that all friends were welcome, and Old Man Johnson liked me.”
“I talked to the priest.” She continues, as Mother buries her face in her hands. “He said that Immortality comes to you, you do not go to it. He says that we’ll all be granted the gift of eternal life in Heaven.”
“And?” I prompt.
“I told him he was wrong.” She shrugs. “I don’t want eternal life in Heaven, I want it here. And I’m going to find a way to get it.”