In Heaven

By
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The bleakly overcast room in the Cancer Ward is watched by a secret police guard day and night. Inside, floorboards creak when the slightest bit of pressure is put on them. They are turning gray from years of accumulated dust and neglectful cleaning by the hospital personnel. Follow these boards to where they meet the wall. There, a gray uneven line of molding wraps around the room. The gray paint on the walls is cracked with age. In the corner facing north hangs a curtain-less window, framed by rotting chestnut-colored wood. The upper left pane is chipped and a winter breeze chills the room. A nightstand rests in a nook with a single cup of water placed on it. An intravenous supporter neighbors the stand. Its bag is empty, and has been so for many days, intentionally disregarded. The tube connects to the frail arm of a languishing young woman. An outline of her weak body can barely be made out underneath the worn sheets of the hospital bed. Her striking auburn hair contrasts with her pale skin. Dark eyebrows arch over her large olive eyes, which are closed. Beneath defined cheekbones and an Illyrian nose (straight and slightly pointed at the end), are her dried, thin lips. Edon is holding a moistened napkin, wetting her lips. Just an hour before, he had finally gained permission to enter the room. Drita is in her final moments. He looks up at the window. It is snowing.

The snow was frantically falling over the crowded bus stop. People were pushing and shoving, trying to board the only bus to the labor camp. A young man accompanying a little girl had tightly clasped her hand and was tugging her through the mob. With great effort they climbed onto the bus, not expecting to find a seat. An old lady with a hooked nose was seated, her fat sagging on all sides. She saw the little girl and motioned her forward. Skipping toward the lady, followed by Edon, her two braids bobbed up and down and her dress flowed with her agile body as she moved. The little girl stared at the woman with a childish spark of curiosity in her olive eyes. The old lady took the girl onto her lap. “What is your name, sweet?”
“Drita,” she replied.
“Where are you going?” she asked as her eyebrows furrowed.
“I am going to see my father, in Burreli Camp.”
“Burreli concentration Camp?!” gasped the old woman. She threw Drita off of her lap and wiped her skirt as though it had been soiled. Drita plunged straight into Edon’s arms, frightened.
“Dearest Drita, she is not like us,” said Edon with a distant look in his eyes. The bus came to a halt.


Edon’s thoughts are interrupted by a slight murmuring noise. He dabs at Drita’s lips again. They part slightly as she shifts uncomfortably on the mattress. “Father, father…”
Barbed wire surrounded the concentration camp. A crow flew overhead. Within the area enclosed by the fencing were two guards standing before a wrought iron gate. They paid no attention to the young man waiting to be assisted. Not too far from this scene was a little girl, wrapped in a blue shawl, shivering. She overheard the guards speaking.
“Have you heard about the political prisoner that dropped dead while mining?”
“Serves him right,” stated the other guard, laughing.
Drita’s heart stopped. Tears rolled down her cheeks and froze on the way. “Should that be my father? Dear Lord! Not my father…”
On the other side of the gate, a man in tattered clothing stopped pushing the wagon filled with copper ore. He rushed toward the gate.
“Drita!”
She ran toward him. He had a rugged beard and a ripped coat. His hands, burned from mining copper, reached through the opening in the gate to embrace little Drita. The icy metal pressed against their coats and they both quivered. The guards eyed them maliciously; they did not stop them, but held a tight grip on their guns. With tears of joy, Drita whispered, “Thank you, Jesus.”


Edon is sitting beside Drita. He wets her lips one last time. As he does so, Drita’s eyes open, just slightly, but their color radiates like rays of the sun and a twinkle of other-worldly joy infuses them.
Edon was waiting outside the Upper School building. He had leaned against the crumbling brick wall, wondering why he was “urgently needed here”. A cold breeze whisked past Edon, making his hair stand on edge. A girl was running toward him from the main building. Suddenly Edon realized it was Monda, Drita’s best friend.
“Where is Drita?” he asked frantically.
“She has fainted! Come help!”
“Fainted! Why?”
“They did not let her take the qualifying senior Literature exam. The administrator said it was decided by the Revolutionary Directorate, for she is the ‘daughter of an anticommunist’.”
Edon almost spit with disgust. Drita had spent months studying for that final exam, so she may attend University for literature and eventually aspire to her dream of becoming a writer. He immediately stopped his train of thought—Drita was unconscious. He hurried behind Monda as she led him to a limp Drita on the hallway floor, her olive eyes had opened. Even as he lifted Drita and brought her home, Edon was filled with anger at the oppressive system.
***
The joy of Liberty fills the air. The Berlin wall has been torn down. A single autumn leaf falls from the lofty tree that stands above the bench on which Edon sits. He is holding a new paperback book, with pages yearning to be read, a story longing to be told. The front cover of the book is very simple: the title Drita and a photograph. Seeing the photograph of his young friend stings him with pain. “Drita,” his whispers, and thousands of thoughts pour into his mind. He practically holds her in his hands—her book—a best seller, but first and foremost, her diary.
Edon flips through the book. A strong gust of wind blows the pages between his fingers and it opens to page 233.

WINGS TIED
From all the angels in the clouds
One was trapped on earth,
Envied by mortals

Flawless beauty, ageless smarts
Degraded, wings tied.
On land residing
Trampled, forgotten
“Forbidden to spread its wings”…
“An angel, she was,” thinks Edon. She had blossomed into a writer, a poet, and yet— just as quickly—she had left. She left the world as an angel. Edon lifts his head and sees a young girl laughing and proudly carrying her schoolbooks, sharing joy with those around her. “Much like Drita…” he murmurs. But where was Drita? Edon can only hope she has gone up to heaven, where she can accomplish her broken dreams.





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This article has 35 comments. Post your own now!

Patty_Cakes said...
Nov. 12, 2012 at 11:26 am
The passage of time throughout the story was very inconsistent. It seems that you just wrote down whatever popped into mind without thinking about how you got there. It was clear that you had no plot in mind when you wrote this. I felt that you tried too hard to add in unnecessary language and “her fat sagging on all sides” did not fit with the tone of voice you were trying to portray. In the first paragraph the word grey, “turning gray from years” “a gray uneven li... (more »)
 
vividoom said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:58 am
This piece is boring, the tense is inconsistent, and the storyline is hard to follow. You start off with describing her room, “Inside, floorboards creak when the slightest bit of pressure is put on them. They are turning gray from years of accumulated dust and neglectful cleaning by the hospital personnel. Follow these boards to where they meet the wall. There, a gray uneven line of molding wraps around the room. The gray paint on the walls is cracked with age. In the corner facing north... (more »)
 
MSBCBB said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:53 am
I felt as this wording was too colorful, “They are turning gray from years of accumulated dust and neglectful cleaning by the hospital personnel. Follow these boards to where they meet the wall. There, a gray uneven line of molding wraps around the room. The gray paint on the walls is cracked with age.” The author simply gave us an over descripted gray room. “Her striking auburn hair contrasts with her pale skin. Dark eyebrows arch over her large olive eyes, which are closed.... (more »)
 
Chance L. said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:48 am
If you’re going to put somebody in a cancer ward, you probably shouldn’t put it in a concentration camp. It doesn’t make sense that Hitler would let a Jew survive in a cancer ward. They didn’t even really have hospitals in them. If you look at this transition between times “Edon is sitting beside Drita. He wets her lips one last time. As he does so, Drita’s eyes open, just slightly, but their color radiates like rays of the sun and a twinkle of other-worldly j... (more »)
 
lilmama843 said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:20 am
When you are writing a fiction piece, it is important to be consistent throughout the story so you won’t throw the reader off.  When you began the story you jumped right in to explaining what the room looked like leaving the reader confused. You started the story off by writing, “The bleakly overcast room in the Cancer Ward is watched by a secret police guard day and night.” It is important to establish a setting and introduce what is happening because after reading the fi... (more »)
 
MasteroftheTroll replied...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:26 am
lilmama843 is actually Matt. . . (closet door now opened)... The Troll strikes again. Yeah, Pope I stole your line.
 
ThePope said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 7:26 am
The Pope strikes again!
 
MasteroftheTroll replied...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 10:18 am
loserrrrr.... now trolling..  
 
ThePope said...
Nov. 9, 2012 at 7:25 am
                Just for starters, why are there guards in a cancer ward? Do you honestly think the cancer patients are going to rebel? I suggest the writer make that guard a doctor. It is a little more innocent then a guard walking around making sure no cancer patients head for the hills. Also, if that guard happened to me a member of the secret police it probably means the patient is a Jew. Why would they try to keep a ... (more »)
 
MasteroftheTroll said...
Nov. 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm
To begin, this story was boring, dreary, and confusing. The first paragraph of a piece is vital in catching the readers’ attention and you did not do a good job of this. When your story began the mood was already solemn. However, you tried to stuff that feeling down the readers’ throat by presenting them with a dreary setting. You described everything in a lifeless manner saying things like” The gray paint on the walls” and “ [the]gray uneven line of molding wraps a... (more »)
 
somrics said...
Nov. 8, 2012 at 6:20 pm
Your passage of time was way off, and made your piece even worse than it already is. You jumped through time with no proper cause, there was absolutely no build up for an transition other than when you stated “It is snowing,” in the first paragraph which reminded the main character of the time at the bus top. There it was somewhat earned for an transition. As I stated above the proper way is three * before and after the scene (which you used only once). Your story moved way to fast, first yo... (more »)
 
MasteroftheTroll replied...
Nov. 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm
Somrics just went HAAAAAAMMMMM.... TWICE! bahahaha (sigh) I have no life...
 
somrics said...
Nov. 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm
           My first question to you Hilda is why is a secret police guard watching a cancer ward? There are in fact guards at hospitals and wards but its not a secret, and they are not police officers. Police and security are two different types of people with two different jobs.             You also spend more time on imagery then actually developing something good for people to read. You ... (more »)
 
notquitesoquaint said...
Nov. 8, 2012 at 10:20 am
When writing any piece of literature it is important to establish a clear plot, and setting that is consistent throughout the story, particularly when the story involves swift flashbacks.From the start of your story, the reader is thrown into some room, in cancer ward, in the middle of god knows where. Where is the exposition Thestory's beginning lines should introduce the reader to the plot and setting, not launch them into confusion. You wrote: "The bleakly&nb... (more »)
 
NoMercy666 said...
Nov. 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm
       To begin, I’m almost positive you had no plot in mind when you started writing this. There are plenty of authors that can “go with the flow” and you are not one of them. The “conflicts” you placed in the story were ineffective in creating controversy. Starting with the character having cancer, jumping back into a concentration camp, and then following it with the fall of the Berlin Wall was just not a well thought out plan in the sense o... (more »)
 
Blue4 said...
Aug. 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Very touching and beautiful.

Can someone look at some of my work, rate, and, comment, please? (Especially the poems, when posted.)

 
WerewolfWriting said...
Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:35 am
Very intense. Written so professionally! Great job! :)
 
datrumpeter said...
Nov. 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

its striking... and so well written. its beautiful!

check out my work, please.

 
robrobrobin11 said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Such passion, such finese. Gorgeous writing.
 
A.Romires said...
Dec. 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm
Very moving, painful…, and superbly written.
 
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