Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Project Hoffnungsgeist

To the media, to the world, to countless millions who watched and waited and prayed she was known by the name Anna Maria Falkenberg but to those of us who comprised the doctors of Project Hoffnungsgeist she was known merely as “Fantom.” To this dayay, atme I write twrite thisd  rcy on our souls. e name of Hope. ry now as the end of days comes swiftly for me and I feel it f, I do not have any knowledge of what her true name may have been and, in all honesty, it simply does not matter.

t was only in this capacity she truly experienced existence and so labels are immaterial. pt, of a belief, of a dream. esty, itShe was never an individual nor a child but, instead, the physical embodiment of a concept, of a belief, of a dream. It was only in this capacity she truly experienced existence and so the precise labels are immaterial.

The Plague was quite remorseless in its efficacy. Those afflicted died…plain and simple. There was no treatment, no recovery, no cure – only death. It was believed the epidemic’s sheer virulence would be its final undoing. No naturally-occurring virus could be so efficiently lethal without running its course and, in the end, destroying itself. The sole remedy for this disease was time. Time would, quite literally in this case, heal all wounds. Thus was one such as Fantom deemed…expedient.

The world would watch as this youngling, possessed of a purported immunity to the contagion, was studied and, in the fullness of time, a cure would be developed from her blood. No cure, of course, existed or ever would but for a time…perhaps a long-enough time hope would survive, faith would remain and order could ion Those afflicted died, be maintained.

It has now been nearly 70 years since the Plague ran its course. Millions, as we all know, perished before the faux innoculations saved the remainder of mankind. Of the Fantom, no reality remains…only illusion. I..ntom, no reality remains but t was decided she would never leave…could not be permitted to leave the hospital. I tell this story now as the end of days comes swiftly for me for I feel it fitting someone should be told of what we did in the name of necessity. May God, and the Fantom, have mercy on our souls.

This story was written for the weekly Trifecta Writing Challenge flash fiction writing challenge. The challenge is to create a story of up to 333 words based on the third definition of the prompt word. In this case, the prompt word was phantom: a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal. I chose to be a bit whimsical and make the phantom both abstract and all too real. 


  1. Powerful writing. It was intense and really effective.


  2. Might we inflict this on the U.S. House of Representatives? May god have mercy on our souls, indeed. Great voice, as Kelly says. Nice writing.

  3. Have mercy on our souls, indeed. Great story!

  4. What a terribly choice, and a terrible necessity. A truly haunting piece.

  5. Such a cool idea. I love the scientific yet compassionate voice. Great job with the prompt. Thanks for linking up.

  6. As you know, I always enjoy your writing. You have a wonderful way of phrasing and rounding words that make your stories a delight to read. This is so original! And yes, as said above me, this is written with a compassionate voice. A lovely write, Jeffrey. Really, really, really well done :))

  7. Intensely moving-so many such untold real stories may be lying buried in the history of mankind-who knows?Loved the idea and the writing:-)