Greeting Harold

Today I am writing a bit of prose for a wonderful new prompt over at Poets United: Telling Tales with Magaly Guerrero a Pantry of Prose # 1.  This prompt will post on the first Sunday of every month, and Magaly wants us to put our prose on.  We always have until Tuesday evening, so come join us!

Greeting Harold,

It was cold on earth where Willa waited for her next assignment.  Harold a Caucasian male with 46 earth years, was due to arrive any minute.  He had been in a coma for weeks from head trauma from a beating he endured in an alley way, but his time to enter the new realm was today.
Being a soul greeter was an important and delicate responsibility.  Willa in all her smallness of spirit had been holding this great task for centuries, and at times it could seem overwhelming.
Her last greeting was a lady named Loraine who was a lonely soul with no family and her story was a sad one.  She had become a hoarder; keeping everything her hands touched.   Ironically, she had died from a fire in the night, trying to re-enter the home to salvage everything she felt she could not live without.  It took quite a while before she was ready to move on to the other side.

As Willa thought of  Loraine she could see Harold edging before her.    He was a mirror image of his former body, yet different, he appeared before her in all his knowing and confusion wrapped together like braided hairs.  Harold had been a homeless man with nothing to his name including respect.  In the hospital he had been John Doe # 37, but now his identity was known.  Harold L. Bowers, son of a senator, oldest brother, and a man who had been a lawyer before he lost everything to addiction.

“Greetings Harold”, she said as she reached out her spirit toward his.  He fell into her like a weary man plopping into the most comfortable chair he had ever known.  Willa’s spirit smiled.  Most soul’s wanted to go back, and could not bear to leave behind all they had known, but not Harold.  Willa found that greeting souls was always a lesson in some way for the new arrival, but today the lesson was hers to hold.

Click HERE to see the poem that inspired it.


Mary said…
Carrie, I really enjoyed your story. Poignant and unique. Loraine is an interesting character. How sad that a hoarder would have lived if she had not gone back in to try to salvage some of her 'treasures.'

And Harold - it seems that his father had denied him in birth, and it sounds as if his life didn't improve.. At last he was at a place where he could be comfortable and have, at last, a home & hopefully, worth!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
WOW! What an original perspective, and one I absolutely love. A soul-greeter would be a wonderful thing to be. I really loved this, Carrie. And a great lesson in the two arriving souls, as well.
Magaly Guerrero said…
Harold's end makes me feel happy and sad at the same time. To have lost everything like that... But is good that he finally got some rest. And that the way to this rest added to Willa's experience in such a way.
Sumana Roy said…
How wonderfully you've created these characters! I really felt sorry for Loraine. Snapping off all attachment is this difficult. What a disaster this earthly end is for her! Love this unique theme.
Susie Clevenger said…
A soul greeter, you'd think she had seen it all, but it proves there is always something to learn. This story made me cry and smile. I like stories that engage my "feels." :)
Rommy said…
This was so sweet and engaging. I agree, you got in some nice character descriptions within the confines of the challenge. And most of all, you got us to care about them.
A fascinating tale, well imagined. I like the poem, too.
C. Sandlin said…
That ending is heartwrenching. Now I'm going to go hug something furry. :)
Sarah Russell said…
Just lovely. I really hope there are soul greeters for all of us.
Magic Love Crow said…
Thank you for coming by my blog! Nice to meet you!
This was a beautiful read! The ending was happy and sad! Great characters!