The Lantern Carrier: A Short Story by Manatita

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“A Mother’s bond is beyond parallel.

Silent; yet strong. Service incomparable.

An inner cry pushes her soulfulness;

Bleeds her heart to the point of sacrifice.

God smiles on Mother’s Love,

Inundating her Soul with matchless Fortitude.” – Manatita.

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Shaynani went down on his knees and sobbed intensely. He was frightened, and his body shook with guilt and turmoil.

It was a mad dash from his schools re-union to his mother’s house and then unto hospital, where he had found her on Level 4, in Bay 12, Bed 2, at Frinton Hospital. He was too late.

Shaynani was vaguely aware of the man in the white coat speaking to him in a sombre voice. It was to tell him that his mother had just passed, and to express his sympathy to Shaynani, in an effort to console him and reduce his pain. It didn’t help.

Now helpless, broken and in a penury of darkness, Shaynani lifted up his voice and offered his Soul to God:

“O God! Take me, but spare my mother!” He beseeched, with all his breath.

“Forgive me, for I have sinned. Take me, Lord, but please, please, spare my mother’s life.”

Funny how God can come to us when we have lost capacity. Shaynani had never prayed before. Either he did not care, or did not know how. When I was a child my mother always told me that God answers prayers, and it is quite possible that Shaynani remembered this same meaningful message, in this his hour of need.

Whatever the origin of his prayer, this otherwise immaculately dressed and proud young man, was now on his knees, sorrowful, offering up his life to God, in order that his mother Ramona, could live.

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Somewhere between prayer and supplication, Shaynani passed out, and, as if in a dream, began to relieve his past. As a kid growing up and going to school, he hated his mom. For as long as he could remember, she wore a patch over her left eye, and he never knew why. Indeed he was more accustomed to the many teases from his school-friends, who laughed at him, and told him that his mother was very ugly, and had one eye.

Ramona had never complained. She was a loving mom who did her best, always sending him to school; giving him food and shelter, and supplying all his needs. He was her only child. As Shaynani grew older, so did the teasing, which gradually turned to bullying and name-calling, embarrassing poor Shaynani even more.

He began to believe – like his friends – that his mother was in fact very ugly with her eye-patch, and swore to himself to study hard, go to University, get married and vanish from her life. And so he did. Soon after he graduated with honours, Shaynani got himself a nice job and left home without a single goodbye.

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One day his mother came home only to find that Shaynani was gone. Wardrobes cleaned out, suitcases missing, and not a note. It nearly broke her heart! Not long afterwards, he got married and started a successful law-firm in an entirely different country, with his new bride.

As time flew by, Shaynani thrived and prospered. Things were going well, and he completely forgot about his mother. Until some years later, that is, when Shaynani got a letter from his former Headmaster, who had found him on line, asking him to come to a school re-union. Shaynani cherished the idea of seeing some of his old friends, and so, armed with a return ticket, he decided to attend the function, to see some of his old acquaintances.

Shaynani was enjoying himself, like most do at all re-unions, when the Headmaster came up to him, and handed him a letter. He opened it and began to read.

“My Dear, Dearer Dearest Son,” it began, “I have always loved you, and I will continue loving you, even in the Land of The Beyond. I pray God that you forgive me for my mistakes, and I pray our Lord to look after you; to grant you prosperity and good health.”

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For some unknown reason, Shaynani felt his heart began to soften. After all, his mother had tried, and she was his mum any way. Perhaps it was time to forgive. He continued to read the letter.

“When you were younger, you had a serious accident, and was in a coma in hospital for some time. One of your eyes was damaged, and so I lovingly donated one of mines to save your sight. That is why I have always worn a patch on my left eye. Please forgive me for not telling you this, for I was simply trying to protect you. I was wrong.”

By this time, something was happening in Shaynani’s heart, and he began to cry. Tearful, he approached the Headmaster and said:

“Where is my mother now?

“She’s sick and in hospital.” Came the reply from the Headmaster “Her heart seems broken, and it does not look as though she is going to make it.”

Shaynani put down the letter and dashed out of the school compound. He had never ran as fast as this before, and in a very short while, was at his mother’s house. Finding her missing, he headed to the nearest hospital A&E, gave his mother’s name, and was directed to the very predicament, in which he now found himself.

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Shaynani suddenly woke up, or so he thought. There was now a warm and sweet sensation in his heart, and he saw an effulgent silhouette standing in front of him, carrying a strange lamp that glowed with splendour. This luminous Being smiled, flashed the Lantern over Shaynani’s dead mother, and suddenly she awoke and began to smile.

“I am the resurrection and the life,” said the Lantern Carrier. “All those who believe in me and have Faith shall live, though they are dead.” (Paraphrased from the Biblical scriptures) John 11:21.

Shaynani was overcome with joy. With a gladdened heart, he suddenly remembered the words of a passing preacher some years back:

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (KJV)

Shaynani wept, and this time with tears of joy. The Lantern Carrier grew fainter and fainter, and disappeared, as in a cloud. Shaynani found himself back at his mother’s bedside and talking to her, she was alive, with lots of joyful people around her. With a swift and purposeful movement, and like the father rejoicing for the prodigal son, Shaynani embraced his mum tightly. He, too, now rejoiced for his mother’s healing, and swore never to desert her again.

Ten years later, Shaynani’s son Rahim was going to school, when he was hit by a car and lost his left eye. Once again, the Lantern Carrier appeared and Shaynani quickly understood. Like his mother, his prayer was answered with Compassion, and his time had come to make the supreme sacrifice. He did not falter!

-Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. ©Copyrighted 9th October, 2015.

~ Awakening The Inner Light ~

The Power of Prayer

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© 2015 manatita44

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20 comments

annart profile image

annart 11 months ago from SW England

Great story, manatita. It's interesting to read your work in a different genre. This is a touching story of life, love and learning.

Ann


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Hi Ann.

I am smiling here. I wanted to continue with my Flash Fiction for some time. It is a favourite of mine. Just too many things happening. I can't even put my book together!

Happy that you like this story. In a way, I 'm reminding us of Mother's Love. Teenager's could do well to read this story. Thank you for you kind and loving remarks.


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 11 months ago from New Zealand

I enjoyed reading your short story. It has made me stop and think about prayer, something my grandmother taught me, but I haven't been doing it for years, it is needed in my life to help me understand things in my old age.

Looking forward to more of this kind od writing from you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

A delightful story Manatita. I love it when you return to fiction writing. There is an important message here for everyone. Prayer can achieve miracles as long as it is accompanied by faith and belief.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Thanks Elsie.

Yes, I remember your stories, you told some of them with your life's blood, and that's why I remember them. So much sincerity! Try, try ...

About my story, so glad it encourages you, particularly the prayer. It has achieved miracles for me. Faith is necessary, as well as a consistent reliance on the Divine. So good to see you again, Elsie. Much Love. Much ...

Jodah, Yes, I know that you like my stories. maybe I'll write another today or tomorrow. I will try to give the next Flash Fiction status. This one is about 1100 plus words.

Prayer indeed! It has saved my life! Thank you so much, my brother! Much Love.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 11 months ago from sunny Florida

Such profound love is a rare and wondrous thing...beautiful story of love, understanding, renewal, and re-connection.

Shared pinned g+ tweeted

Please know that Angels are on the way this morning ps


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Love you, Patricia. You're cool.

Hope your new found love continues to flow beautifully, like a river, ever-vibrant with new life.

My appreciations as always, for your dear and loving comments on my work. Much Peace.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm with Ann. It's interesting to see you tackle a short story after so much poetry. The end result was the same...beautiful message and crafted by the hand and mind of a true craftsman.

blessings always

bill


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Ha ha ha. Hey! (chuckle)

I'm having fun today. How about you? Cool, Bro. Saturday evening approaching. I've written another and will post soon with a dedication, then who knows what next? I wish to collect my poems into a book, but first I will finish editing for someone.

Do you remember my Old Man on The Mountain in response to your beautiful challenge? I gave both a poetic and a Flash Fiction response. More Flash Fiction soon. Gratitude, Bro. Lots ...


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 11 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Touching story filled with lessons. O onions everywhere... this was deeply felt.

God could not be everywhere, therefore, God sent a Mother to us. Unimpeachable flash fiction, Manatita. Continue to spread your wisdom with fables.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean

Good poet. Good story-teller. All-round good! Great ending.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Surabhi,

So glad that you like it. Filled with lessons, yes. Sri Chinmoy has taught that there is no such thing as negligible disobedience. I might add that when we fail in the small things, we will ultimately fail in the large also. Gratitude for your loving thoughts.

Dora, Thank you so much!

Going to church in a minute. On this blessed Sunday here in the UK.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

I am so pleased that you are now writing stories with a message of goodness. Wonderful!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Hey he, my Sweet. The second shows the power of disobedience. Hope you like it. Always happy to see you and many thanks. Happy Sunday!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 11 months ago from New York

Oh my dear friend, what a sad then wonderous story! Children are often cruel when they don't understand and as you pointed out in this touching story, that cruelty can build into hatred.

God's love is all powerful and if we just let it in, it will help us be what we are meant to be. This is an amazing story told so well by our special poet!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Chuckle, chuckle, my dear friend, Mary. Thank you so much!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida

Manatita, there's such a powerful message in this short story. We mustn't judge, for we know not what trials others have overcome. Shaynini was very fortunate to be given a second chance with his mother. The power of a mother's love is unbridled.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Yes, yes, my Sweet. You understand. Thank you so much! Much Love.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 11 months ago from Stillwater, OK

It is best to share our joys with all so that when times are hard that we will still be by each other's side. I have paid it forward many, many times. About there weeks ago, while on the way to work, a lady stopped her car in traffic in the middle of the street and she called me to her. She said, "Take this," and gave me a $100 bill. I still have it, and my thoughts are to find something good to do with it.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london Author

Wow! Deb, what a nice story! Amazing! Gives up hope, eh?

Thank you so much for visiting this Hub and your loving contribution. Have a great weekend.

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