Thursday, December 6, 2018

Withered on the Vine (An adaptation of an original story by Mark Wildyr)


dontravis.com blog post #314
  
Courtesy of Wickipedia
Brother Bucky got a pot load of hits last week, but not many “likes.” Would appreciate a few from my readers.

For this week’s short, short, my friend Mark Wildyr allowed me to adapt a story he posted on his blog on April 1, 2014. He wrote the story in homage to a friend he lost to HIV/AIDS. A recent article I read on the global health crisis known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, prompted me to recall the two individuals I have known who succumbed to the horror more commonly known as AIDS. In the early days of the disease, it was almost always fatal. My friends depicted below were stricken in those days. More recently Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), has allowed many of the infection’s victims to live longer, less horrible lives. Let’s pray the affliction is soon wiped out.

At any rate, here’s my adaptation of Mark Wildyr’s April 2014 piece.

*****
WITHERED ON THE VINE

Shafts of sunlight piercing cloud-capped tempests. A slender oak sapling prematurely gnarled by drought. A plump young melon rotted from within… withered on the vine. We’ve seen them all.
A bright future never realized. A quick, mischievous mind laid waste. Wiry swimmer’s muscles emaciated and atrophied. Tanned, silken flesh suppurating and splotchy. An indomitable spirit piteously eroded. You’ve seen them all? Then you must have known my friends, one felled before his time and the other in his prime, by the poison whose name is whispered in fearful awe.
They were both as incandescent as that golden sunbeam, as tenacious as the fledgling oak, as sound as a prospering gourd. Joyful, flirtatious, puckish, engorged on sweet temper, sated by gentle good will, they shambled through life handsome and desirable, recognizing and reconciled to being different from their fellows. Too late, each put aside promiscuity born of lively curiosity and turned to steadfast fidelity. The hateful venom had been transmitted. Invaded from within, they began a long, horrid, inevitable diminuendo, complicated by tuberculosis and meningitis and bacterial infections that defied naming.
Struck down by God for abominable sin, the self-righteous proclaim. Nay, the libertines decry, there is no God. How could an Almighty permit the destruction of such humanity?
They are wrong… their certain knowledge as corrupted as my friends’ shriveled frames at the end time. They were not vexations upon the population; they were the most human of humans: a blend of perfection and fault, good and bad, noble and mean. No God of my acquaintance could be offended by their genial attendance. Challenged, perhaps. Unsettled, maybe. Enchanted…absolutely.
But if there is no God, then these terrible tragedies become meaningless, insufferable, interminable catastrophes. If He does not exist, then who will pluck those unique, harmonious souls from the wretched human detritus left behind?
Such horror must not be the end; cannot be the ultimate Omega.

*****
Such a tragedy.

Apparently, the virus was not originally carried by humans. It originated in champanzees, and somehow was transmitted to humans.

Please get a copy of my latest book, The Lovely Pines, and provide feedback on the novel. If you do read the book, please post a review on Amazon. Each one helps.

As previously noted, The Bisti Business was named as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in two categories: Best Mystery and Best Gay Book. Sadly, the book took no prize in either category.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading. Keep on writing. You have something to say… so say it.

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Abaddon’s Locusts is scheduled for release on January 22, 2019, and the first draft of The Voxlightner Scandal is this close to being completed.

See you next week.

Don

New Posts are published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.


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