Saturday, September 12, 2020



I was unfazed by the chill in the evening air; my skin was hot, my face flushed with fear.

My eyes darted across the street and back, searching for a familiar face; they were all strangers.
“I didn't do it.” I whispered it, no one noticed.

I shook my head in disbelief. They were all staring at me. A sea of blue uniforms and red flashing lights. My head was spinning.
“Mrs. Anderson, I advise you not to say anything else.” Some lady I didn't know shouted out from the blur of faces. She would be my attorney. I had no idea how I'd find her, but she already believed in me.
“I didn't do it.” I repeated it louder this time.

Tears were flowing freely down my cheeks and my shoulders began to shake uncontrollably.

I glanced sideways at the body. His body. They thought I killed him. What did they know?
With my hands behind my back and metal clamped around my wrists, turmoil swept through the crowd.
It was shocking and strange and frightening; Death sprawled out in their street. Their once quiet suburbia subjected to a new horror.

A female officer guided me towards a patrol car, “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law....” her voice became muffled and I shut out the rest.

I couldn't hear anything but the roar of screams inside my head. He was dead.
“I didn't do it.” I repeated it over and over.

I was rehearsing. And celebrating.
He was dead.


©2020 Lola Autry

Picture Credit: 123rf

Monday, February 24, 2020

Our Is Not to Reason Why

“I'm ready to die.” It was matter of fact. She was sure.
“No, you're not.” I pleaded with her. We'd come too far for her to let go now. It had been six months, and they'd told her she had three.
“Yes dear, I've lived a long life, I've done everything I ever wanted to do... it's time.”
I squeezed her hand.
“No, I won't let you go.” Tears streamed down my cheeks, I couldn't choke them back.
Machines started beeping, her eyes fluttered and closed as her hand went limp.
I screamed. I was still shrieking when the nurses came running into the room.
I'd prayed, and I'd fasted, and I'd promised the world for her to live. I'd done everything. Everything except sell my soul. I'd failed her. And now she was gone.
The lights dimmed and everyone slowed to a standstill enveloped in darkness. My skin was burning, and I felt ill.
“No!” I bellowed angrily into the shadows, “You can't have her!”
Blinding light filled the room forcing me to my knees. I didn't dare look up, I could feel His presence.
He was not there to bargain. He would not listen, He never had. His will not mine. Never mine. I couldn't accept it. But He allowed me to fight.
The room was still and silent, frozen in time, He was granting me a moment. A moment to process, a moment to say good-bye, a moment to make a choice.
“Take me.” The words tumbled out of my mouth without a thought.
I looked at my grandmother and she opened her eyes, crystal blue and clear as a summer sky.
“It's not your choice, it's mine,” she spoke softly but her voice was strong and firm, the voice of calm reason I'd heard all my life.
It didn't matter. She was all I had left, I had no one else. He had taken them all over the years. One by one. And each time, I'd grieved and dealt with the loss. But no more.
I saw no purpose for my life other than the one now presented. He knew.
“You will not be alone.” His soothing voice was inside my head.
The room was darkening once again and I collapsed to the floor. As I lost consciousness, the bright light dissipated, and my grandmother closed her eyes again.
When I awakened, I was in a hospital bed, aching all over. I struggled to remember, but could not.
I was startled out of my attempted recall as a nurse with a wide smile came in carrying a swaddled newborn.
“Good morning, mama! You did a beautiful job. Want to see her?”
My memories flooded back. Now I understood. He was right, I would not be alone anymore.
I held out my arms and took the infant, snuggling her close.
“You had us worried for a while, but God knew what he was doing.” The nurse patted me on the arm. “Yes,” I shook my head, “He sure did.”
I smiled down at my new hope, and whispered softly, “Welcome to the world little Ruby.”

©2020 LoLa Autry

This story is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, Ruby C. Land.