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Faith, Flash Fiction, Society, Writing

Līgo Haībun 220w: Not God’s, but People’s Temple

It’s time for the Līgo Haībun 220w challenge, where the prompt is “South America.” For some reason I was drawn to a dark bit of history from the northeastern area of that continent, going back to 1978. I call this “Not God’s, but People’s Temple:”

Had I not hidden properly, I would have been number 915. I saw them coming with the cups and knew that the whispered rumors were about to come to pass; I’d heard the gunshots down at the strip and saw the first of the children fall. I was determined not to be one of them. I managed to sneak out before the reporters and the soldiers got there and survived on the streets until I was able to get out of the country. I have not spoken of this for many years, but since my time is short I thought to set it down to you. It was a terrible time but one that, in the end, drew me closer to the Lord: the real One, that is.

Faith and heart are soft.

Be careful you follow the

One and only God.

Credit: travelblog.org


  1. Anne Schilde February 25, 2013 7:11 am

    Very interesting reading. Whatever happened that day was shocking, and horrible, and yes Godless.

    • AR Neal February 25, 2013 4:37 pm

      Yes, Anne. I remember it from the news; it was so sad and marked the first time I realized just how far people can go to twist the message of a particular faith.

      • Anne Schilde February 25, 2013 5:01 pm

        I was fascinated. I spent more than an hour reading stuff about it after your post.

        • AR Neal February 25, 2013 5:11 pm

          Oh, yes…there are so many nuances to the story it would be easy to lose an hour in it…

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 25, 2013 7:35 pm

    Jonestown.. That’s brilliant take 🙂

    • AR Neal February 25, 2013 7:38 pm

      Thanks, Björn! I tend to think about Guyana/Jonestown first whenever I consider South America. Sad, but true; when I told my husband about the prompt, his first comments were “Brazil! Rio!” He’s such a percussionist 🙂

      • Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 25, 2013 7:40 pm

        And i thought about feverish madness deep in the jungle.. Cruel conquistadors searching for El Dorado 🙂

        • AR Neal February 25, 2013 7:46 pm

          There is something to be said about feverish madness, and we both took slightly different routes to it! 😉

  3. kz February 26, 2013 3:42 am

    oh my…. i got goosebumps.. really sad…
    but it’s a brilliant take indeed.

    • AR Neal February 26, 2013 4:03 am

      Thank you, kz…such a sad commentary. I don’t want to give press to individuals who cause pain, but rather want to remember the innocents (and innocence) lost.

  4. Pingback: Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ Picture Prompt | Līgo Editions

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