[With thanks to Steven Smith who recorded the video]
As I shared within my "Meshuggenah In Action" post a week ago, I submitted my old 2011 literary flash "Dying in the Light" to A Storied Affair, a gala dinner fundraiser for Congregation Bet Ha'am in southern Maine. And, what-the-hey, I won. We dressed up for a five-course soiree where, as a GOH, I read the tale -- singing for our supper, as it were.
For the bread, soup, and salad courses, the three writers before me (a professor, an essayist, and a poet) read marvelous short works -- but all tragic and depressing. And then, before the main course, it was my turn. With "Dying in the Light." ( oy! )
Except for a small blip that cut off a sentence from the story's start (provided in text below), I share, for those who may have interest, Steve's video of yours truly reading the story.
The greatly talented young author Erin Morgenstern wrote:
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
The protagonist in my story -- named for (but not) a favorite teacher of my youth -- told me such a tale. And it led to this one.
DYING IN THE LIGHT
MRS. KAPLAN was dying. Outside her window, the December sky was overcast and threatened to snow. Only gray light, pale and ethereal, fell upon the row of small flowering plants neatly arranged upon the windowsill. Their petals had begun to spot and their edges to curl. . . .