By Gypsie-Ami Offenbacher-Ferris
In response to Tuesday writing prompt: Write a poem using the words bolt and veil. Hosted by
Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda for Go Dog Go Cafe.
It lay just over the tallest hill, but seemed as far away as the sun to her. The veil of freedom, heavily guarded and not traversed in over one hundred years. There was a good reason for this, death.
The veil hovered over the foothills like a shroud. It beckoned the unwary, called to the weak and spit out the despoilers and oppressors. It knew, the veil knew and could not be fooled. One step into its mist and the persons heart intent was read, tried and judged. If the veil deemed a person worthy, he or she could pass unharmed into, into what was believed to be, paradise.
However, if a persons heart held darkness or there was evil found in the soul, death was immediate. The veil had once been used as a barometer of good versus bad, in that, when a person committed a crime, they had to face the veil for judgement.
Eventually, use of the veil for this purpose had been outlawed, deemed to be cruel and unusual punishment. A huge, electric fence was built on the half moon front of the mist and there was talk of building a wall to keep people out.
Still, there were several attempts a month as people scaled the fence, suffered electrical burns and attempted to cross the veil’s border. Some made it through, others were spit out mangled, disfigured and dead.
The young mother strapped her newborn to her back tightly and securely. He was her life, her joy and her tragedy. After an ultrasound, early in her pregnancy, a severe birth defect was found. Her government offered medications, provided her with pamphlets on how to nurture and raise a challenged child, then sent her on her way.
They also required that she sign a contractual agreement stating she understood abortion was illegal. She would be prosecuted for attempting an at-home termination of the pregnancy and she would not harm her child after birth. She had been placed on a government watch list, in case she did try to travel else where for a termination procedure.
She had obligingly signed the forms and walked home. Now she stood at the bottom of the electric fence, her baby wrapped in a protective rubberized blanket and waited for a signal from one of the descendant volunteers, which would be her cue to climb using the rubberized mitts and her new, very thick sneakers.
A bird call, the hoot of a long extinct owl and it was time for her to bolt. She bolted!