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Be With Me

by Radrook


     The last thing Roberto Ingnacio Garcia remembered as he regained consciousness surrounded by a verdant canopy adorned with flowers of many colors was riding out with Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar,aka El Cid and his knights. He recalled that the day had been dismally cloudy and a cold, wind-driven drizzle had been making headway towards the Almoravide Berber camp extremely difficult. The road had been treacherously narrow unsuitable for cavalry and with thick vegetation on each side, the danger of a sudden ambuscade was very real. Why the Cid had carelessly chosen this rout instead of circumventing and taking the longer but safer one he couldn't understand. Nevertheless, they had been making slow but steady progress when the Cid suddenly ordered a halt. He had remained on his mount silently for too long for Garcia's liking when he finally spoke.

      "Garcia," he said while looking intently away into the distance,

     "I want you to go ahead and scout out the road for any sign of an Almoravid ambush!" El Cid had gruffly ordered.

     Garcia recalled having suspected that this was the Cid's way of getting him executed for an extremely intense disagreement over a senorita the previous evening at a tavern in Valencia in which El Cid had come out the loser when the wench had chosen him instead.

      "But sir, what stops them from ambushing me on the way there?"

     El Cid had been morosely silent for the better part of a minute before responding. Garcia could see the muscles of his jaw working furiously as he searched for an answer.

     "Trust in the Lord. He will protect!" the Cid had finally uttered sternly not even deigning to look at him when he said it.

     Not daring to get into a heated argument with the Cid, Garcia had spurred his mount and proceeded down the rock strewn road at a slow trot as the rest of the knights halted and waited. All had gone without incident until he came to a bend in the road, then the sound of a whistling arrow followed by a stabbing pain to the kidney and another to his throat brought an end to his worries and he quickly drifted into blackness.

     Then the aroma of greenery, infused his consciousness and the pressure of ground against his back told him he was lying prone. There was no pain from the deadly wounds he had just received. Hastily he felt for the scars of the arrows which had seemed to just recently pierced him and found none. Gradually and tentatively he had opened his eyes to the sudden rays of gentle sunlight that were filtering through the canopy of large pointed leaves which were shading him from the sun. Perhaps he was back in Barcelona where court physicians had saved his life and where he was convalescing. But if so, where were they?

     Cautiously raising himself to a sitting position, he gazed about in confusion. Where was this place? How had he gotten here. Why wasn't he dressed in his armor? Where were his weapons, his horse? The road that he had just been traveling on? Gradually as his mind began to clear he heard voices a short distance away and the soft meandering of a river as it coursed between and over the smooth riverbed rocks.

     Parting the leaves with his hands, Garcia beheld young people dressed in long, white garments cupping the crystalline waters in their hands and drinking deep. In the distance he saw others rising as if from the ground leaving their flowered canopies behind as if butterflies emerging from their cocoons and joining them. There was laughter, shouts of tearful joy and recognition as if long-separated loved ones had suddenly been reunited. Then approaching him were his two children and his wife whom he had lost to an Almoravid Berber attack on his village years ago. Then the scripture which he had read dozens of times came to him as if by inspiration from higher power, a power that wanted him to understand came to his mind.

     "You will be with me in paradise""

© Copyright 2017

   


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841 Reviews


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Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:33 pm
Radrook says...



Modified based on PearlFire's advice.

The last thing Roberto Ingnacio Garcia remembered was riding out with Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar,AKA El Cid and his knights. The day had been dismally cloudy and a cold, wind-driven drizzle had made headway towards the Almoravide Berber camp extremely difficult.

The road had been treacherously narrow unsuitable for cavalry. Thick vegetation provided hiding places on each side and the danger of a sudden ambuscade was very real. Why the Cid had carelessly chosen this rout instead of circumventing and taking the longer but safer one he couldn't understand. They had been making slow but steady progress when the Cid suddenly ordered a halt. He had remained on his mount silently for too long for Garcia's liking before he finally spoke.

"Garcia," he said while looking intently away into the distance,

"I want you to go ahead and scout out the road for any sign of an Almoravid ambush!" .
Garcia suspected that this was the Cid's way of getting him executed. There had been an extremely intense disagreement over a senorita the previous evening at a tavern in Valencia. El Cid had come out the loser when the wench had chosen him instead

"But sir, what stops them from ambushing me on the way there?"

El Cid been remained morosely silent for the better part of a minute before responding. Garcia could see the muscles of his jaw working furiously as he searched for an answer.

"Trust in the Lord. He will protect!" the Cid had finally uttered sternly not even deigning to look at him.

Not daring to get into a heated argument, Garcia spurred his mount and proceeded down the rock-strewn road at a slow trot as the rest of the knights halted and waited. All had gone without incident until he came to a bend, then the sound of a whistling arrow followed by a stabbing pain to the kidney and another to his throat brought an end to his worries and he drifted into blackness

Then there was the aroma of greenery and pressure of ground against his back. He felt no pain from the deadly wounds. Gradually and tentatively he opened his eyes to the rays of gentle sunlight that filtered through the canopy of large pointed leaves. Perhaps he was back in Barcelona where court physicians had saved his life and where he was convalescing. But if so, where were they?

Cautiously raising himself to a sitting position, he gazed about in confusion. Where was this place? How had he gotten here. Why wasn't he dressed in his armor? Where were his weapons, his horse? The road that he had just been traveling on? Gradually as his mind began to clear he heard voices a short distance away and the soft meandering of a river as it coursed over the smooth riverbed rocks.

Parting the leaves with his hands, Garcia beheld young people dressed in long, white garments cupping the crystalline waters in their hands and drinking deep. In the distance he beheld others rising as if from the ground leaving their flowered canopies behind as if butterflies emerging from their cocoons.

There was laughter, shouts of tearful joy and recognition of long-separated loved ones suddenly reunited. Then approaching him were his two children and his wife whom he had lost to an Almoravid Berber attack on his village years before. Then the scripture which he had read dozens of times came to him as if by inspiration from higher power, a power that wanted him to understand came to his mind.

"You will be with me in paradise""




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Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:40 pm
PearlFire wrote a review...



Hey Radrook, PearlFire for a review

I like your view on this, it's really good but I do have a few problems.

First is a few grammar issues, you try to put to much information into your sentences, you can put commas in certain spots to break it up a little.

Also you might want to take out some of the information, as it makes the story confusing, for example, in the first sentence you can take away the "as he regained consciousness" and replace it with "was" it makes it less confusing for readers.

I also have to applaud you for your use of color details, I often find writers with lack of those details.

Hope this wasn't to mean!




Radrook says...


Thanks for the review. Please not that it's not that I consider certain recommendations mean. It's that I consider them not the composition's fault. For example, I just can't see how the use of "as" in that first sentence can possible throw a reader into confusion. Neither do I see how the addition of more commas, where commas are not required, will enhance readability. If I did I would agree as I have agreed with other recommendations to other works I have posted and revised them accordingly. But since I don't agree with the assessment in this one I can't. Not because I consider it mean but because simply don't see it the way you do.



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Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:37 pm
Feltrix wrote a review...



Hello! Feltrix here for a review. Of course. Who else would I be and what else would I be here for with those bold letters above the post? Anyway...

I. Your first sentence contains too much information. We've got the last thing Roberto Ignacio Garcia is remembering before he regains consciousness (can you really remember stuff then?), the lovely description of his lovely jungle surroundings, the fact that he was with a group of knights and what they're also known as. That's way too much for one sentence. I think it's actually a run on sentence, too, but I could be wrong because I'm terrible at identifying those.

II. You really only need one space between your paragraphs. You can do more if you want, but it's not necessary.

III. This is more of a general suggestion than one specific to this story: try to remove as many adverbs as possible. Multiple published writers have said so. I think it takes away from flow and they're not usually necessary or something like that. But whenever possible, they should be removed.

IV. I'd be a little more specific about what the Cid are doing... wherever they are. And where they are. At a guess, I'd say they're conquistadors, but that's just a guess.

V.

Not daring to get into a heated argument with the Cid
He's more worried about getting into this argument than he is with investigating ahead? Didn't he just say that he thought this was an execution? No one seems to think that he has a great chance of survival. I'm sure there are ways you could justify him going ahead, but fear isn't one of them.

VI. I think that you should have more of a realization that Garcia is going to die before he gets 'an end to his worries.' The threat only appeared at the beginning of the same sentence. I've never died, but I'd think death by multiple arrows would give you time to think "Uh-oh" before you died.

VII. I would just start the story with the nights walking along, not in the jungle-ish place. You don't come back to it for a while, so it doesn't really seem relevant for a while after the first mention.

VIII. I think that maybe there should be a longer standing rivalry between Garcia and Cid. Again, I don't speak from personal experience, but a disagreement over 'a señorita in a tavern' doesn't seem like enough to send Garcia out as the sacrificial lamb.

This doesn't really read like a short story, it seems more like a chapter of a novel. Honestly, there's never a lot of conflict (well, there's technically conflict, but not a lot of it is literary). I mean, there's a knight who gets sent to check for an ambush. He dies and goes to heaven. I feel like there's not a lot of plot. This doesn't mean that this was a bad story, but going to heaven seems like you're using a get-out-of-jail-free card for your character's issues. But at the same time you weren't, because I feel like Garcia's post-mortem experiences were the focal point of the story, but nothing really happened once he got there. I think there's a lot you could expand on, maybe even giving more backstory to the knights travels to make more of an arc to the story.

Keep writing!

Feltrix



Image




Feltrix says...


Side note, I don't know how the name connects to the story....



Radrook says...


I agree, the paragraph spacing is far too wide. But that's not the way I wrote it . That's the way it was arranged by the website. At the time I didn't know how to edit. In fact, I a still groping around to find ways to edit posts.

About the fine details concerning the characters and events leading up to the story, please note that I intended this to be Flash Fiction and Flash Fiction is limited to 1000 words or less. So there is only so much a writer can do within those parameters.

The purpose of the story was not to provide action scenes. As the category under which it is posted indicates, it is focused ion the spiritual. In this case the promise Jesus made to the man crucified next to him that he would be with him in paradise. The Title is an allusion to that promise which readers who are familiar with the Bible will readily see the connection. In fact, I posted this same piece at another website and no one had trouble understanding it nor were they confused with the title meaning. So it definitely isn't the writing itself in this case.

About the knight not feeling fear of El Cid? Well, a knight was oath- bound to be loyal to his lord. In this case it was El Cid. So it wasn't a matter of his fearing El Cid but a matter of his fealty. We see this sense of duty all the time today when soldiers are ordered to attack and they know that they are being sent on a virtual suicide mission but obey orders anyway because as soldiers they are not supposed to question why. So at least the knight had the gumption to speak up.

Nothing happened at the end? Well, if the reader considers aresurrection of the dead nothing then of course nothing happened for that reader at the end. In fact, if the reader is a agnostic or atheist, he will consider the whole story ridiculous and silly and just mere religious propaganda which spreads superstitious ignorance. So it is what the reader brings to the story and not just the story itself that is involved in how the story is viewed.

I personally didn't write it for atheists or agnostics. I wrote it for fellow Christians who respect what Jesus promised and believe that they too will be the beneficiaries of that promise when it is fulfilled .

BTW
I wasn't describing heaven, I was describing a paradise Earth.

In any case thanks for reading and pondering and keep reviewing.



Feltrix says...


So, most of the things that you said I agree with on some level (you may want to have this listed as Other instead of Short Story to avoid others making my mistake. Also, I think fealty to El Cid is a believable reason for Garcia to do what he does, but it felt more like it was indicated that he wanted to avoid confrontation. Lastly, I myself am an atheist so it makes sense that a lot of your allusions to the Bible would go over my head.



Radrook says...


Sorry about that. I don't think that a Flash Fiction option is provided. But next time just to make sure I will place Flash Fiction above the title so that the reviewer won't be misled. Thanks for pointing that out.



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Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:13 am
Sharon1407 wrote a review...



Hey Radrook, Sharon here for a short review. First thing that I noticed about this work is that it lacks a bit of structure. The structure of the sentences as well as the work on the whole is a bit awkwardly shaped, especially for a short story. For example, "Why the Cid had carelessly chosen this rout instead of circumventing and taking the longer but safer one he couldn't understand." - this line could have been written as "He couldn't understand why the Cid...", just to reduce confusion. The second and last thing that I noticed was that in spite of the few technical errors, you have been successful in bringing forth the inner meaning. Still, it would have been even better if you could have given a slight hint before of what is about to happen and just added that extra dramatic touch. Do notify me if you edit the work and great going. Thank you :)




Radrook says...


Thanx but I disagree with the assessment.



Radrook says...


I would like to clarify that I did mention that Garcia's motivation is fear of getting into an argument with El Cid. Between taking a chance on getting ambushed and getting killed by El Cid the knight decided that getting ambushed was far less likely.

The argument at the tavern over a senorita is and has been the cause of many a squabble leading to violence and hatred and murder. So I see no difficulty in imagining proud knight feeling offended to the point of murder for being publicly humiliated in that way. We need to be careful when revising not to generalize our own personal mores to everyone else on Earth.

The conclusion the Garcia woke up in a jungle is totally unjustified since the story doesn't provide any description that would justify that conclusion. In fact, It tells us that Garcia thought he was in a garden. Just wanted to clarify since there is no eid option to the replies.



Radrook says...


I meant to write: "Please "note" that it's not...."



Radrook says...


Modified based on PearlFire's advice.

The last thing Roberto Ingnacio Garcia remembered was riding out with Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar,AKA El Cid and his knights. The day had been dismally cloudy and a cold, wind-driven drizzle had made headway towards the Almoravide Berber camp extremely difficult.

The road had been treacherously narrow unsuitable for cavalry. Thick vegetation provided hiding places on each side and the danger of a sudden ambuscade was very real. Why the Cid had carelessly chosen this rout instead of circumventing and taking the longer but safer one he couldn't understand. They had been making slow but steady progress when the Cid suddenly ordered a halt. He had remained on his mount silently for too long for Garcia's liking before he finally spoke.

"Garcia," he said while looking intently away into the distance,

"I want you to go ahead and scout out the road for any sign of an Almoravid ambush!" .
Garcia suspected that this was the Cid's way of getting him executed. There had been an extremely intense disagreement over a senorita the previous evening at a tavern in Valencia. El Cid had come out the loser when the wench had chosen him instead

"But sir, what stops them from ambushing me on the way there?"

El Cid been remained morosely silent for the better part of a minute before responding. Garcia could see the muscles of his jaw working furiously as he searched for an answer.

"Trust in the Lord. He will protect!" the Cid had finally uttered sternly not even deigning to look at him.

Not daring to get into a heated argument, Garcia spurred his mount and proceeded down the rock-strewn road at a slow trot as the rest of the knights halted and waited. All had gone without incident until he came to a bend, then the sound of a whistling arrow followed by a stabbing pain to the kidney and another to his throat brought an end to his worries and he drifted into blackness

Then there was the aroma of greenery and pressure of ground against his back. He felt no pain from the deadly wounds. Gradually and tentatively he opened his eyes to the rays of gentle sunlight that filtered through the canopy of large pointed leaves. Perhaps he was back in Barcelona where court physicians had saved his life and where he was convalescing. But if so, where were they?

Cautiously raising himself to a sitting position, he gazed about in confusion. Where was this place? How had he gotten here. Why wasn't he dressed in his armor? Where were his weapons, his horse? The road that he had just been traveling on? Gradually as his mind began to clear he heard voices a short distance away and the soft meandering of a river as it coursed over the smooth riverbed rocks.

Parting the leaves with his hands, Garcia beheld young people dressed in long, white garments cupping the crystalline waters in their hands and drinking deep. In the distance he beheld others rising as if from the ground leaving their flowered canopies behind as if butterflies emerging from their cocoons. There was laughter, shouts of tearful joy and recognition of long-separated loved ones suddenly reunited. Then approaching him were his two children and his wife whom he had lost to an Almoravid Berber attack on his village years before. Then the scripture which he had read dozens of times came to him as if by inspiration from higher power, a power that wanted him to understand came to his mind.

"You will be with me in paradise""




He wanted his bottle and I didn't want to give him his bottle yet.
— Jack Hanna