Baptism by Fire

Baptism by Fire

A Story by Shelley Holt-Lowrey

A short story that filtered up during a very loud silence


Over the last few years, life has come at me ceaselessly.  At full throttle.  

It has given no quarter, provided no apology, offered no explanation.  

Challenges were lobbed, tossed, hurled or thrown at me with dizzying speed.  

Such is the way with life.

There have been few rest stops along the way.  

As I look over my shoulder at the oceans of life I have just crossed I see expended verbs floating weightlessly in my wake:  containing, adjusting, creating, releasing, holding, pushing, pulling, guiding, prodding, mourning, rising, falling, failing, succeeding - I have become these actions, as I have leap frogged from one life moment to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next.

I have become perpetual motion.  

The cadence of my oars hitting water is ceaseless.

A never-ending staccato of paddles banging against hull is tattooed into my psyche.

All of these thoughts begin to crowd one another in my head.  As they seek their own space, they begin roiling, rumbling, crashing, into one another, onto one another - violently cresting toward what I believe will be an unrestrained crescendo that will devour me.  Sound and motion will soon swallow me whole, pulling me under so completely I will no longer know up from down.

This wave of ceaseless thought and action rises menacingly above me, looming.  I feel myself begin to fold inward, compressing my body as tightly as I am able to gird myself against the crushing weight of the onslaught.

I have become a static contraction - ready and awaiting my doom.


The blow never comes.







An unbidden tranquility floods my soul.

It liquifies all that had become rigid and unyielding within me.

And I am reminded once more of my complete and absolute humanness.

Of my complete inability to understand the cyclic rhythms of a vast universe.

A baptism by fire - set upon the water.

I am a happy fool.

© 2013 Shelley Holt-Lowrey

Author's Note

Shelley Holt-Lowrey
Sat down to write satire. WTH?

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This is brilliant writing. It's great how you have described the storm and then the calm in the abstract.
Well done.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Red sky at night? Or red wine mid-morning? Either way turns sailor to delight.

Posted 8 Years Ago

I dig you the most. Quite a fire, ... inside that heart and mind and soul.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Yeah ...THAT happens.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Smooth waters don't make good sailors.....

Posted 8 Years Ago

Shelley Holt-Lowrey

8 Years Ago

Ironically exactly my thoughts as I contemplated this piece after I finished it. My thoughts were a.. read more
I enjoyed kept my interest from begining to the very end...very well written

Posted 8 Years Ago

Shelley Holt-Lowrey

8 Years Ago

Thank you for your kind feedback on this. Appreciated much.

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6 Reviews
Added on June 4, 2013
Last Updated on September 18, 2013
Tags: Mrs Holt-Lowrey, short story, life, satire, humor

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