Monday Recommends, Nail Art, StoryADay May: The Miracle of the Chains

This post is part of StoryADay May ( #StoryADay #StoryADayMay @storyadaymay #freeshortstory #MondayRecommends #NailArt #nails #Maniology #HelloManiology #ManiologyAmbassador #MomGoth10discountcode #writingprompt

I’m going to do my recommend and my nails first, since my story today is not a light-hearted oned.

Sara and I have been separately watching cop comedy BROOKLYN 99 on Netflix (you can also stream it on NBC It’s fun to get a text referencing an episode you just watched, or even one you haven’t seen yet. We love it. We’re both suckers for good ensemble casts, and B99 has one. From Boyle, who’s a foodie and the sweetest man you’d ever hope to meet to Jake, who stops just thiiiiiiiis close to being an asshole, it’s the best cop comedy since Barney Miller.

My nails this week are bees, because I love bees. The colors are dark blue, light blue, gold, and acorn (a brown that’s nearly black).

And now my story. In my personal experience, a true one.

The Miracle of the Chain

It was dim at best. Some parts were nearly lightless, and the residents were glad not to see clearly into that darkness. If you saw it too clearly, you went there, and some never came back.

They were widows, widowers, childless parents, parentless children, caregivers without their “burdens”.

Friends and relatives, strangers and acquaintances stood outside, some never leaving, some just dropping by but leaving quickly out of fear they would be dragged into the mourning zone.

The outer voices were muffled, sometimes saying things like, “They’re better off now” or “You’re better off now” or “This will pass” or “I know EXACTLY how you feel.” Sometimes they said nothing, and sometimes that was best. Sometimes the silence drew its recipient out of the darker regions and into those that were only oppressively dim.

Sometimes a resident would get close enough to the border to reach out a tentative hand. Sometimes a hand would cross the border in response. Sometimes a hand would reach in uninvited. Intrusion wasn’t welcome, but sometimes it was accepted. Sometimes it was good. If it tried to draw the resident out, it sometimes succeeded, and the resident would step across the border, trailing darkness that seemed much darker in the light.

Sometimes the former resident stepped into embraces. Sometimes the extractor tried to carry the former resident far away from the zone; sometimes the former resident was glad to go. Sometimes the former resident couldn’t go far, and sometimes the extractor was willing to set up house near the zone, willing to be uncomfortable for the comfort of the former resident, understanding that the zone wasn’t something to be left, but only stepped outside of and sometimes plunged back into.

The thing that happened sometimes, the clouded wonder, was this:

In the reaching, in the connecting, the one outside would be held outside by the hand of another, who was held in place by the hand of another, who was held in place by the hand of another, and so on.

And, inside, the resident who was clasped by the one outside reached back into the gloom, and took the hand of someone farther in, who took the hand of someone farther in, who took the hand of someone farther in, and so on.

Whether they all stayed in place, edged farther into the darkness, or slowly stepped toward the light, they never broke connection.

They never broke connection.

Yes, sometimes the one at the darkest end of the chain let go and fell and fell, but that was that one’s decision, and the hand that one released never abandoned the hope that their always extended hand would sometimes feel the tips of the fallen’s fingers. The connection from the direction of the light was never broken.

Is that not a miracle?




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Monday Recommends, Nail Art, StoryADay May: The Miracle of the Chains

  1. Dan Antion

    May 22, 2024 at 11:07am

    I think it is a miracle. “Sometimes they said nothing, and sometimes that was best.” That line struck a chord with me. I only wish I could better recognize those times.

    I love the Bee nails!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 23, 2024 at 7:46am

      I’d be willing to bet you seldom put an empathetic foot wrong. HUGS

      Glad you like the nails! I didn’t have the right size of flower, so I stamped four hearts with the points together and used a dotting tool to make the center.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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