The Road to Joy - Chapter IV

Fiction By Arthur // 1/11/2016

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A man of sorrows, that's what I was. My heart was torn, my mind was in turmoil, and I had just been reminded of my family when the youth Edward had said his family would pray for both me and my family. I had left my family alone that night. I had not said goodbye or a word of comfort. But how could a man comfort when he was lacking it himself? I was a strong tree which had been snapped by the wind. No longer could I provide shade or support; no longer could I encourage or give hope. I felt like a shriveled plant, like dying grass.

I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind. I could not let my sorrows control me. Yet I came back to my partner. Every path I looked down, I saw pain. Did I have to add to my pain strife with Mr. Greene? It was his act, not mine. Was I his keeper? Was it not between him and God? Why should I suffer because he has been dishonest? Anyways, it wasn't that big of a deal. The customer had the money and wouldn't miss it. With that I excused the issue and pushed it out of my mind.

For the rest of the morning I tried to get work done. It was slow going because my mind was distracted and I was not concentrated on my work.

The clock struck twelve and I decided to go get a bit to eat somewhere. Not that I was particularly hungry, but I was more eager to pick up a morning paper with which to distract myself. As I headed down the street I spotted a boy selling papers and I headed over to him and bought one. I stopped at a little restaurant and ordered a roll and a tea.

I sat in the corner and opened the paper to find something to distract my mind with. The first article was on a ship that was wrecked near Gloucester. Normally that kind of article would have interested me, but today I was depressed at the thought of more death and calamity. The next article was announcing a train wreck, and again I didn't want to read that, so my eyes wandered further down the page.

Suddenly my heart skipped a beat. Then it seemed to stop completely. All time seemed to stop as I stared at her name. There, in the article on the train wreck, in the list of the dead, my fiancée's name was printed.

At that moment I seemed to go mad. My memory became foggy at this point. I know I got up and left. I felt I was too great a burden for my feet to hold up. I bumped into several people but continued on. I had only one focus, yet no focus at all. My mind had ruptured, exploded with grief, so much so that I knew not what I was doing. I do not rightly recall what all happened next.

The next thing I can remember is standing on the docks and collapsing. I began to weep. My whole body shook. My eyes became endless fountains of tears. I wept for my sister, I wept for my partner, but most of all I wept for my dearest beloved.

My shade in the heat had shriveled, a thorn bush had grown in my bed, but worst of all, my garden, my perfect rose had been burned. Sarah, oh my Sarah! How I dearly loved her, and when she was given into my hand, she was cruelly plucked from it. I was a man of misery. How could I keep going? Like a Morning Cloak she had sprung into my life, and then faded away into darkness. My whole life, my whole world was fading into darkness.

I, that glorious youth who had attained so much through much hard work was now like Rome, a ruined city. So many looked to me as an example of strength and determination, yet how easily strength withers, and how easily determination shrinks back. The ax had been laid to the root, and it had found its mark. I was cut down, and with me fell my strength and courage.

"Sarah, oh Sarah!" was all my mind could think, "the flower of my life has died in an instant and my life is left desolate. I am as a barren wasteland, a desert void of springs."

I cursed the day I was born. What was the point of a life that suffered so? Was it worth living a few moments of joy and many years of desolation of spirit?

I looked down into the water. The icy swirls seemed inviting. I wished to jump in and be swallowed up by the sea, and my pain and sorrow would be no more. My heart was stabbed; I was mortally wounded. Was it not inevitable then?

I quickly looked away. My thoughts were straying where they ought not go. It was not right that I think such thoughts. I would not take my life. I would live, with all my scares and pain, I would live.

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Comments

Very sad, but very good. I

Very sad, but very good.
I saw two parts that were a bit repetitive in word use. This one:
"My heart was torn, my mind was in turmoil, and I had just been reminded of my family when the youth Edward had said his family would pray for both me and my family. I had left my family alone that night." You used the word "family" four times in close succession so you may want to re-word that part. And then this:
"I, that glorious youth who had attained so much through much hard work was now like Rome, a ruined city." It's a very good sentence but using "much" twice makes it sound repetitive. Please don't make any major changes. :) maybe change "so much" to "many riches"?
And then in the last sentence I believe you meant "scars" and not "scares". :)
Great chapter! I haven't read much further than this so I can't wait for the next one. :) Now I'll go back to read chapter three again...

Damaris Ann | Mon, 01/11/2016

"It is the small temptations which undermine integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial to be resisted."
-Luisa May Alcott

Wow.

This guy is really getting hammered.

At least (by way of contrast), for Job, in the midst of all his misery, his wife didn't die.

... on the other hand, maybe it was worse, since she turned out to be full of gall and bitterness, whereas it seemed Sarah was faithful to the end.

I think nothing's going to get worse for this guy. Killing Sarah was just about the worst thing that could happen to him.

James | Tue, 01/12/2016

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Wait....

You killed her? But...but no. This is going to be some set-up for some epic God moment, right? Cause...this is sad. I like it though!

Brighid | Thu, 01/14/2016

When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.

I'm still reading this. I

I'm still reading this. I hope the next chapter is happier. : ) I was already too attached to Elizabeth to see her go like that. And it was so sudden. And she was so young . . .

You're writing itself is very nice, I'm interested to see where you're taking this!

Hannah D. | Fri, 01/15/2016

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

These deaths are very sad,

These deaths are very sad, but I honestly don't feel very attached to either character because I feel I hardly know them. I feel his sadness is what I'm feeling, but none of my own. You know how you want this to be paced and where the bulk of the story lies, as far as how much you would want to go back and add about Sarah or Matilda to make the reader care about them personally and not just care about them because Charles cares about them. Does that make any sense?

I like the new title.

Kyleigh | Fri, 01/15/2016

Sudden..

I have to admit, the moment he read that Sarah had died in the train accident really took me by surprise! I did not expect that. Especially since he was still grieving the loss of his sister.
Good job for "throwing" this reader off the track of expected plot :) Keep writing. I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out!!

Cody Clark | Wed, 02/17/2016

Romans 10:4

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