Can I get a light? Mike Casper enters our contest

Arizona Sun Devils and New Orleans Saints seal their bromance with a hand-clasp

“Suddenly, the night has grown colder. The god of love preparing to depart. Alexandra hoisted on his shoulders. They slip between the sentries of the heart…” (Leonard Cohen)

Literati

Our contest  Lost Love offers multiple ways to express an encounter with a love from your distant pass.  Mike Casper seems to imply that lost love was never lost at all, but just in need of extraordinary circumstances to reveal its hiding place, in the caverns of the heart. Another imaginative approach to our contest.  What’s yours?

Come to me

by Mike Casper

 

It was my last few moments. The cancer had won, and in my tasty morphine haze I saw the disconnected faces of my loved ones around me.

But I was aware of two other faces. No, that’s not quite right. There were two other beings there that my family couldn’t see.

One said this,

Come to me, and I will take you home. For HE has loved you with an everlasting love.

The other one whispered,

Come to me, I will take you home to your deserved place, a place by ME. I love you too. Remember Bake? He’s here. Remember the good times of crime? Come to me.

Initially, I wanted to go with the one that reminded me of the good times with my pals. The dope. The women. The epic crime. But then I remembered the shootout during our last heist, where SWAT shot Bake in the chest. He died long and hard, and I could see him writhing in pain and screaming, pleading, begging that they not take him. I was pretty sure he wasn’t talking to the cops. Then he died, a horrible look on his face.

And I wondered.

I gave myself up and did ten years for armed robbery. Each night in my cell I saw Bake’s face.

I got out, got a crummy job, but it was a ticket to the life I wanted. Then my uncle Tito was in a bad car wreck. I remember his face when he passed. That man, in such pain, actually smiled and looked happy. I wanted what he had.

I got married and life was a struggle, but we worked hard and made it. We raised our kids and were happy. Early in our marriage, my wife and I went to a service in Tito’s church and met the preacher. His message of God’s forgiveness and grace made sense, and I got saved. My wife did too.

Then the war came and our three sons volunteered. Two came back. I miss my boy Benjamin every day.

I’m struggling for breath. The end is very near and my wife is crying, but she’s praying too. So are my kids. They’re at peace with my passing.

And so am I.

But even at the end, the temptation, the choice is real.

Come to me, and I will take you home. For HE has loved you with an everlasting love.

Embrace the darkness. Come to me, homie. We’ll party all night long, just like we always joked about. I love you.

I can hear Benjamin and Tito’s voices. I’m lifted from my body and the two beings are more solid. Now I see four: Benjamin, Tito and the ones in the room. I hug Tito and my son; the love is indescribable. We brush past the one from the darkness. He rages in anger but we just laugh and go up, towards the light. Then it’s just us three and overwhelming joy.

And up, towards the light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 comments

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Your story, Mike, reminds me of driving behind a truck on the highway. The rear wheel covers display the temptations of good and evil: Right flap is an angle with halo, left flap the devil with pitchfork. Gets me thinking whenever I see those two going at it for my soul.
    Great writing.

  2. Monica Brinkman

    Mike, all people who believe in darkness and light will find your story mesmerizing. The characters came alive and perhaps the greatest fear of all people is met head-on. Wonderful.

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Ah Mike – your words are precious and filled with what we struggle each day with – choices. The only choice of value is what is best for the soul – our soul. Lovingly written. Excellent.

  4. Josh LaMore says:

    You have reminded me that a past love or even a current love can be anything; not just a person or a place, but a lifestyle or maybe even an ideal. What are we really in love with I now ask myself. Thank you for the perspective. I wonder what competing loves will call my name when it’s time.

  5. Miryam says:

    A very strong piece. Abrupt yet sweet. Our choices are constant. Even at our last breath and beyond….
    Thank you Mr. Casper.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I try not to EVER read the comments and be swayed, but Sal said it best, “you never disappoint.” It’s so easy to make the contrivance and sale pitch come down in a story like this, but you turned it on it’s head, and made the story a loveable romp in a deathbed. HOW the heckola do you do that!?

  7. Mac Eagan says:

    Nice job, Mike, of pointing out why the struggle between “right” and “wrong” is, in fact, a struggle: there is a reward for being bad. And for some, the love of the immediate pay-out is what drives them. Well done.

Comments are closed.