The nights were different. Despite her extraordinary strength she could not repress her long suffering heart as she jumped from her bed shrieking. 

Into the darkness she thrust a hand reaching  for the gun. Once grasped, she waved it at ghostly pursuers  who seemed to materialize out of her nightmares. 

By any standard, Mary was not a religious woman,
 yet she had a large portrait of a man she admired very much on the wall, just above her bed.

She idolized that man much like religous people idolized Jesus,  or Mother Mary, or some other Saint.

Though her own name, 'Mary,' was considered holy by some, because it was the same name as the mother of Jesus, she didn't feel this way about her name. 

Even as she felt no religious or even spiritual affinity for her name sake 'Mary,' her adoration of the man in the portrait just above her bed some would have said didn't come from respect,  but a hidden spiritual impulse she could never openly admit to herself, or to anyone else. 

The picture, because it was simply a picture, was not much more effective than the picture of Jesus, or any other picture of a deity in the home of the religious. Nevertheless, there it was, offering Mary some undefinable comfort 

Despite his honored presence in her life, the picture could not make her feel safe enough to stop her frightening nightmares, even if it was a picture of Stalin.


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Copyright Michael Erdos 2010 
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of the illustrator, and author, Michael Erdos.
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