The Soul Keeper

Posted: October 3, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , ,

Photo by Sandra Crook

Souls come to me. Some blacker than the inside of midnight, others so bright they dim the light of stars.
From the beginning of time, we each stored them in the manner we saw fit.

Father kept souls in driftwood. Grandfather stored them inside tiny grains of sand.
Feathers. Leaves. Moss.
Each generation has a plan better than the last.

I chose shells, for they come in different shapes and sizes.
Small ones for babies, spiked ones for mean old men.
Sadly it ends here. There is no next generation.
I sweep up my collection and throw it into the sea.


  1. Iain Kelly says:

    Poignant. I like the idea of keeping the souls in shells. And even the soul keeper will be out of work when we’re all gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Prior... says:

    for some reason, the image of the expensive ring going into the sea (from Titanic) came to mind as I read that last line.

    And I enjoyed this part:

    “Each generation has a plan better than the last.”

    and then this WAS the last

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MythRider says:

    This sounds like the beginning of a novel. A mystery of how she finds the next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. neilmacdon says:

    Magical and dark

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lisarey1990 says:

    This is very poignant. Very beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jillyfunnell says:

    I like the idea of the storing of souls. A poignant tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Lish,

    A rather bleak and surreal bit of fiction. Nicely written and well imagined.



    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is very well done. Thank you for this. I’d have loved to know more about the narrator, which is mission accomplished for such a short micro-fiction. Lovely.
    If you are interested, here’s mine:


  9. What purpose does her job serve. Is she someone each of us shall have to meet on his death bed.?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A mysterious and enchanting art will soon be lost forever to the world. Sad 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  11. James McEwan says:

    Assigning memories to artefacts preserves our past and those ideas were succulently described. The sad turn of anger at the end was almost like a scream; Who is left to carry on – no one.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sandra says:

    Loved this, Alicia! Really moving, flowed beautifully and creates such imagery. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. pennygadd51 says:

    You’ve written a lovely story, Lish, albeit a very sad one. It can be read on several levels, from the tribal to the global. Sometimes when things are at their darkest a miracle happens and there is regeneration. I hope so in this case. But sometimes the end really is the end, and that is tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ceayr says:

    Loved this, but I read ‘no next generation’ as being quite ambiguous, which added to the dark potency of the piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Abhijit Ray says:

    Next generation is soul less!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. draliman says:

    A bit chilling at the end – what’s going to happen to us when we die, or are we the final generation? Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. subroto says:

    So she is the only one left. The sole soul keeper (sorry Alicia couldn’t resist).
    On a more serious note, a very mysterious and dark tale. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jelli says:

    Hearing this loud and clear. One day, I woke up, realized there was no one to ‘pass’ things to. That day, I went through the house like a storm. I took a room filled with “stuff” to charity, and kept only a small cedar box of things that were very special to me. I’ve endeavored every since ‘not’ to collect ‘things’. I figure when I go, the less that has to be trashed the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The end coming in the end… somehow also the end in the sea seems fitting (though sad).

    Liked by 1 person

  20. StuHN says:

    Alicia, this was wonderful. The idea of saved souls, good and bad, scattered all around. Now I really wonder why there is no next-gen (or did I just not see it?).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dale says:

    I’ll just echo everyone else and say this was wonderfully done! And sad and dark and interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 4963andypop says:

    What an interesting unknown layer you have added to our world. I understand from the comments above, that this was the last soulkeeper, but it also could read as a lamentation on a recent world catastrophe, which annihilated the( human?) race. This reads beautifully like poetry and I love the untroubled-higher-power worldview.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. granonine says:

    I’m left imagining all those souls learning to sink or swim. The imagery is rich here, and leaves us to wonder if any of those souls die.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. kirstwrites says:

    Your opening line is perfect. ‘blacker than the inside of midnight’ – what a wonderful expression.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. plaridel says:

    too bad her collection went for naught. perhaps some denizens in the ocean could use them for something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lynn Love says:

    I love that image, of the generations of soul keepers thinking of different receptacles for the souls – just gorgeous. And such a poignant thought, them all being lost to the sea. Lovely writing and beautifully imaginative, Lish

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh my, no next generation for the soul keeper. A lovely poignant story. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. And what becomes of the soul keeper when there are no more souls. Dismal story nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Laurie Bell says:

    Wow. Great piece. Very gripping. And a clever end. I love the idea of sending them into the sea

    Liked by 1 person

  30. A bit disconcerting thinking of all those souls bobbing along in the sea.
    You’ve written a very visual story (at least for me). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Sarah Ann says:

    Sad to imagine the keepers of souls won’t continue. Wonderful idea for she shapes and purpose of shells.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. So, this is the end of the line. How sad.
    But beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

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