Serpent In The Garden – Speakeasy #149

Building in Washington DC that looks sort of like a castle...
Building in Washington DC that looks sort of like a castle…

Don’t blame the sinner.  Our future was destined to end before we began; poisoned by the serpent.  You brought me- your angel- to your castle… my knight on his stallion, determined to save me.  I tried.  I really did.  But my flawed nature reared its ugly head and consumed me… changed me.  I embraced the devil within that re-emerged.  Any goodness I had is submerged in your river of tears.


Stephan crumpled the note and hurled it into the fire.  He watched as the edges flamed, curled and turned to ash.  He unclenched his fists and stormed out of his study.

He stalked the labyrinth paths in the garden, refusing to release the tears as Emory expected.  He paused when he heard a faint giggle carried on the breeze.  Emory.  He peered over the manicured hedge and through the tree branches at the gazebo.  Lights lined the support posts and beams, illuminating Emory’s golden hair spilling down Robert’s chest as she rested her cheek on his shoulder.  Stephan’s gaze focused on Robert’s hands, which held her waist with inappropriate familiarity.

“I will not cry for you!”

Emory and Robert separated and stared open-mouthed at Stephan as he jumped the hedge and rushed toward them.

“How could you betray me, brother?”

“It’s not his fault.”  Emory reached for Stephan’s arm.

He jerked away from her delicate fingers.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Stephan drew a knife and lunged toward his older brother.  Emory stepped aside.

Robert deflected the blade and knocked the knife from Stephan’s hand.

Emory let out an eerie, anguished cry.

The two men halted, mid-wrestle, both startled and intrigued by the peculiar sound.

A large python circled their ankles.  They lifted their feet to elude the scaly noose, but the snake tightened its grip.  It slithered up their legs, squeezing them like a spent tube of toothpaste.  Pressed together, the men realized struggling was no use.

“Emory, please help,” Robert begged.

Stephan gasped as the snake inched up their waists and around their chests.

Emory watched in silence as her two loves disappeared inside the python’s coils.  She lacked guilt for her involvement and the decency to turn her back.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.  “It’s in my nature.  Don’t blame the sinner.”


This is my response to the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt.  This week, we were asked to write a response under 750 words (mine is 377) and:  (1) Use “Don’t blame the sinner” as the first line; and (2) make some kind of reference to the media prompt- a painting called The Chess Queens, by Muriel Streeter.

The challenge is open to everyone, so if you’re intrigued or inspired, write your response and link up!  Click the badge below to visit Speakeasy’s site.  Have a beautiful Monday!



43 thoughts on “Serpent In The Garden – Speakeasy #149

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:52 AM

      I’m glad you got into the story, Vishal. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  1. shailajav February 18, 2014 / 12:28 AM

    That was visually breathtaking, Janna! Well done! A big fan of your writing 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:53 AM

      I appreciate you reading and sharing your kind comment, Shailajav! Thanks so much for reading.

  2. ranu802 February 18, 2014 / 4:55 AM

    Janna your story is wonderful.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:54 AM

      Thanks for reading, Ranu… I’m glad you liked the story!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:56 AM

      Thanks, Deanna! Good to see you posted a story on the Speakeasy side… your Yeah Write story a couple weeks ago is still on my mind.

      • Deanna Herrmann February 18, 2014 / 9:36 AM

        Aww thanks Janna! I thought if give the Speakeasy a try and see if I can write fiction. Exercise my creativity! Ha!

        • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:33 PM

          Glad you did – fiction is so much fun 🙂

  3. aishasoasis February 18, 2014 / 6:36 AM

    A wonderful fairytale told from the ending!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:57 AM

      Thanks, Aisha! I appreciate you reading it.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:58 AM

      I’m glad there were surprises in there for you, Kathy. I couldn’t let Stephan kill his brother… that would be too obvious 🙂

  4. atrm61 February 18, 2014 / 7:36 AM

    Gorgeous beginning and a spine tingling,chilling end!Loved the phrase,”inappropriate familiarity”(giggle)and ” a spent tube of toothpaste.”-so cool Janna!Loved it and I can see this expanded into another best selling novel-start writing amigo 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 8:59 AM

      Your ‘giggle’ made me giggle a bit, Atreyee! I’d love to finish another novel, but geez, right now, I can barely get a couple stories/blog posts in 😛

      • atrm61 February 19, 2014 / 9:33 AM

        Ah,but am sure it will happen-all in good time-you have it in you my dear-the stories and blogs are just warming up for those best selling novels 😀

        • jannatwrites February 20, 2014 / 11:24 PM

          I wish I had your confidence in me, Atreyee 🙂 I am having fun with the blog right now, though!

        • atrm61 February 21, 2014 / 8:24 AM

          :-)You sure are and it shows

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:34 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Nabanita!

  5. nrhatch February 18, 2014 / 11:07 AM

    Eww . . . what a dismal way to die. 😯

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:35 PM

      Yep, sure would be! Thanks for stopping by, Nancy!

  6. Sean February 18, 2014 / 11:43 AM

    The ending really surprised me. I was not expecting that. It was a nice twist on sin and how it engulfs us if we let it. This was nice and to the point with good story-telling throughout. I think you may have watched a bit too much national geographic’s channel or maybe Swamp Wars. Take care and keep up the good work.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:39 PM

      I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious and the figurative ‘eating us alive’ nature of sin came through. The funny thing is, I don’t watch the shows you mentioned. Perhaps it’s best if I make sure I don’t ever watch! Thanks so much for reading, Sean. I always enjoy your comments (although by now, I bet you think I’m in need of a mental evaluation!)

  7. The Midnight Thief February 18, 2014 / 11:53 AM

    Great foreshadowing with the note! And amazing story!

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:39 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read my story, TMT!

  8. Debbie February 18, 2014 / 1:06 PM

    These two brothers didn’t exactly make a wise choice when it came to women, did they? Sadly, their demise simply means Emory goes free to strike yet another hapless victim! Well written, Janna.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:41 PM

      You got that right, Debbie. I think they were in the all-you-can-eat buffet line when good sense was handed out. Emory is a slithery one, no doubt she will be involved in trouble again.

  9. diannegray February 18, 2014 / 2:24 PM

    Another beauty, Janna! Very well done 😀

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:42 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  10. Lance February 18, 2014 / 4:39 PM

    Amazing ending and you set it up with cinematic-like dialogue. Great piece, Janna.

    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:42 PM

      Aw, thanks, Lance! I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts on the story.

  11. Danny James February 18, 2014 / 9:23 PM

    You nailed the prompt with a well written story.


    • jannatwrites February 18, 2014 / 9:42 PM

      Thanks so much for taking time to read the story, Danny!

  12. Suzanne February 20, 2014 / 8:16 AM

    This is awesome, Janna! Reminds me of the frog and the scorpion fable. We are what we are. Nicely done! 🙂

  13. YeshuM February 20, 2014 / 10:36 AM

    Fairy tale! Great story Janna 😀

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2014 / 11:26 PM

      Thanks, Yeshu. I’m glad you stopped by!

  14. EagleAye February 20, 2014 / 2:18 PM

    Loved the intro and the descriptions of the garden. The metaphor of the snake in this is most profound. Both men consumed by the nature of Emory. Fantastic story Janna!

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2014 / 11:27 PM

      You definitely caught the meaning of the story, EagleAye. I appreciate you reading and sharing your comment!

  15. Imelda February 23, 2014 / 8:59 PM

    What a story. I am amazed at how you create your characters. I just read Audrey and can’t help but compare how different she is from Emory. Though Audrey committed an evil thing, she still has that aura of innocence about her, something which cannot be said of Emory.

    • jannatwrites February 24, 2014 / 10:37 AM

      You are so right about the differences, Imelda. Emory had intent, and had embraced evil. Audrey was caught in circumstances. I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts!

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