Alice to zeal

Daily  Prompt: A to Z

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.


Alice believed there was a god.

But she did not believe in religion.

Churches were places she never wanted to have to go back to again.

Devoted nuns that made her life hell did not make her want to go to heaven.

Every time she thought of her boarding school days she turned cold.

For her memories of those days were something she deeply wanted to forget.

God had not been on her side or on that of the weaker girls.

Holy ghosts and devils were the fodder of her daily nightmares.

Indoctrination was hard to overcome even after all these years.

‘Just to be free that’s all I want’, she used to say.

Katie tried to help her but she could not understand how the stories of Alice’s childhood had taken hold of her psyche.

Letting go of the fear of sin and retribution was hard to do.

Martyrs and saints were slowly purged from her day to day.

No one could persuade her to pray anymore.

Only by stopping the rituals and banning the lexicon would she be able to find the freedom she craved.

Purgatory, heaven and hell no longer have a hold on her.

Quotes from the holy book, are slowly forgotten.

Religion becomes a theory not the truth.

Still those around her try to convince her of the error of her ways.

Traveling the world helps expand her mind as she meets people with different beliefs (or none at all).

Undeterred she now looks for earthly rather than spiritual gratification.

Virtues and vices do not define her.

Worlds apart from her beginnings, Alice is at last able to stop the fears.

Xenophobic is almost how she feels now towards the culture of worship.

Yet she knows she cannot replace fear with hatred.

Zeal no longer has a place in her life.



Night after night I have the same dream.

In a vast, derelict and dark house I race from room to room, looking for a way out.

Every door is locked, yet I keep going certain there’s a way out, into the freedom and light beyond these walls. 

Eventually a door opens but as I step into the brightness and the fresh air, I fall into a precipice.

The relief of waking up is soon replaced by the oppressing dark and cold familiarity of my prison cell.


Lillie McFerrin Writes

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie McFerrin will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.

The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

This week: LOCKED

This is my first participation in this challenge.

The garage

The garage was my father’s world.  He always had something to tinker with in there.  He was in his element when he bought old cars or motorbikes on which he would work for months.  He would dismantle them, fix anything that needed fixing and them put them all back together again.

He would tune the engines to perfection and any small rattling noises anywhere from the dashboard, seats or windows he would fix.

I was often his helper, being the oldest child and the only one interested in cars and motorbikes.  When I started driving he would call me out to go for drives so that he could sit in the passenger seat, trying to figure out where some specific, unwelcome noise was coming from.

In later years he tried to engage one of his grandsons to take my place but nor he nor any of the other grandchildren shared my interest in that activity.

My father died almost two years ago and left a garage cramped with three old Vespas that he rebuild over several years.   Although no one in the family rides them or is ever likely to do so, they won’t allow my mother to sell them.  For the grandchildren they are a symbol and a memory of their grandfather.