mood The Bell

by David Berger

Published in Issue No. 264 ~ May, 2019

Robert, the stalwart woodsman, fought desperately to fend off the monsters. Their strong bodies leaped at him over and over. As they came at him, his thoughts were of his love, Juniper, and the light that shone from her face. Their sharp pointed teeth and fearsome grins, their horrid odor, their hideous garments would assault his dreams that night, providing he escaped their Freya’s Day attack. When the temple bell rang, and they fled his hovel, he collapsed with exhaustion. There would be no more attacks till Moon’s Day.


The wretched captives were being treated particularly harshly as it was Last Day. The Master used his longest, stiffest whip: the one with the hooks on it. It seemed that the torture session would never end. Rinaldo tried desperately to hold the shining face of Juana in his mind as he suffered. When the prison bell finally sounded, the captives crawled out of the Master’s chamber, sobbing and bloody, hoping they would recover in time for First Day, when it would all start again.


“Okay, let’s finish this speech. What are some of the images that Romeo uses in describing Juliet?” “Sun!” “Right. More.” “Moon!” “Is that right?” “Only in comparison!” “Good. What else?” “Stars; two stars!” “Great.” “A lamp; for comparison!” “Cooking with gas.…. That’s a metaphor.” “I never met a phore.” “Okay, there’s the bell. For homework, finish Act II yourselves and answer the questions in your books. See y’ all Monday.”



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I'm an old guy from Brooklyn, now living in Manhattan with my wife of 25 years: the finest jazz singer in NYC. I'm a father and grandfather. I've been, among other things, a caseworker, construction worker, letter carrier, high school and ESL teacher, a legal proofreader and a union organizer. Love life, my wife and the world. Hope to help the latter escape destruction.