Our Lady of the Snows

Once again, it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Every week, about 100 writers from around the world compose original, 100-word stories based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo comes from Dee Lovering, a truly talented member of our motley crew.

Copyright Dee Lovering

Copyright Dee Lovering

Our Lady of the Snows

Half a world away from Rome, She keeps a home in Belleville.

On my first visit, I was oblivious. At six weeks old, I knew Mommy and Daddy and the love of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. That was before the cold wrath broke me—here in Her shadow.

Years later, I learn of how She stands, Protector of Innocents, in the place of my breaking. Did She watch and weep—a powerless spectre?

I gaze upon Her image in the chapel, wander through the Agony Garden, give voice to my rage. Finally, in a quiet corner, grace finds me.


A shrine to Our Lady of the Snows stands in Belleville, IL. Follow the link to learn more.

37 thoughts on “Our Lady of the Snows

  1. Vinay Leo R. says:

    Hmm. Yes. Such an experience would certainly create doubt.

    Leo @ I Rhyme Without Reason

  2. I learn of how She stands, Protector of Innocents, in the place of my breaking. – An absolutely lovely line.

  3. Interesting take on the prompt. And lovely, lyrical writing. Bravo!

  4. That last line brought a sense of peace.

  5. You brought us on quite a journey through 100 words, Marie Gail. Very well written piece. You leave things vague for the reader to infer but it still comes across pretty clearly, what has happened. Great job.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, David. I didn’t like this one as well as many of my other stories, but it is what it is. Part of the problem is that the first half isn’t fiction at all. It can be difficult to get enough distance from the emotion on a story like this to tell it in a readable fashion.

      Thanks so much for weighing in.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

      • That is much harder, when it’s not fiction, but sometimes writing it can be cathartic. At least hopefully. I think it’s very well written though.

        • storydivamg says:

          Yes, it is cathartic. But sometimes that’s all it is–which is why I rely so heavily on my readers and editors for stories like this one. I consider you a part of the second batch as I trust you to be brutally honest when I do miss my mark. 😉

  6. Sandra says:

    A very powerful piece, Marie Gail. Well done.

  7. Dear Marie Gail,

    Yes. She was weeping. Beautifully written. Achingly transparent.

    Hugs and shalom,


  8. What a story in 100 words. I can sense so many emotions here… innocence, cruelty, despair, hope…really well told.

  9. draliman says:

    Lovely writing. I’m glad your narrator found peace.

  10. rgayer55 says:

    This touched me on several emotional levels. But then, that’s what good writing is supposed to do. Kudos, my friend.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, Russell. I needed to hear that.

      Sometimes I worry that I become, on occasion, little more than a stripper on a blog, showing people naked emotions they could live without seeing. Then someone comes along who relates, and I realize that I share these hopes, dreams, nightmares and recoveries because we are all human and all in this together. It helps to know that none of us is alone.

      Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

  11. Dale says:

    What a fabulous story in so few words. Loved it.

  12. gravadee says:

    This is beautiful

  13. A journey completed. Well travelled.

  14. gahlearner says:

    A beautiful story about a journey. The tags and comments tell me that it is yours. I’m glad you found peace, writing traumatic memories down, sharing them, that’s very brave. I like the link, too, that seems to be a place that offers a peaceful, meditative place for all people.

  15. Melanie says:

    I was wondering if the title was referring to the shrine in Illinois. I grew up in St. Louis and we visited it often. I haven’t been in ages.
    Well done with the story. It is painful and peaceful.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much, Melanie. I actually have never gotten to visit the shrine, although I’ve been in Belleville many times–mostly before the age of two to visit a horrible orthopaedic surgeon whose methods were practically medieval. I think a visit to the shrine would be a means of healing for me–at least it is in my imagination.

      Peace be with you!

      Marie Gail

  16. I’m a fairly non-observant proddy but I really like the way you’ve captured the blend of fear and belonging, comfort and awe, that can come with faith. Very powerful.

  17. Margaret says:

    Beautifully told. I understand your uncertainty about how to tell personally painful stories. I think the attempt will fail if the writer doesn’t succeed in turning life into art. Your language and images capture the power of the experience, negative and positive, without self-indulgence but with much artistry.

Comments, compliments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

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