Wine Into Water by Benjamin Sobieck.

20 Years Ago.

It was shouting "faggot" on the school bus. Bolting off with me at my stop. Stalking me home. Twisting my bones on the sidewalk. Kicking me black. Saying, "This is a test." Smelling of cigarettes and cologne. Locking hands over my mouth.

It was my welcome. My lesson. My seed.

Not now.

15 Years Ago.

It was spitting on me in the hallway. Stealing my lunch. Crafting lies. Pointing fingers. Leaving threats. Obsessing with what it would do to me.

It was my catalyst. My soil. My water.

Not now.

10 Years Ago.

It was holding her down. Laughing when I told that I saw. Consuming innocence. Ruining as it'd been ruined. Blaming the victim. Pounding its chest. Bragging about the whore it’d just made.

It was my reason. My testament. My sprout.

Not now.

5 Years Ago.

It was already breeding. Evolving its wickedness. Ignoring three kids. Skipping graduation. Getting drunk. Driving fast. Adding to its kills. Walking away. Committing to forgetting. Demanding we forgive.

It was my hate. My shoots. My roots.


It was squatting. Drinking under a bridge. Harassing. Raping. Stealing. Beating. Wondering why I showed up that night. Asking me when I became a cop. Telling me he was unarmed. Begging me to “put the gun down.”

It was my moment. My fruit. My harvest.


I make wine of my fruit. Blood-red wine. It runs into the river under the bridge. Wine into water. Not water into wine. Nothing holy here. No miracles.

Good-bye, you piece of shit.

Benjamin Sobieck is the author of the crime novel, "Cleansing Eden." His website is


Wine Club said...

You don't get any better than steak and a wine, Wine Club Gift

Paul D Brazill said...

Blood red, brilliant writing. A life in less than 1000 words.

wheelerwrite said...

Hi Benjamin, well done. It brings James Ellroy to mind.

Fiona Johnson said...

Stripped to the bone, uncomfortable, painful, brilliant writing.

Christopher Pimental said...

Benjamin, terrific read as always. Life...

Anonymous said...

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Took the wheel a long time to stop spinning but, with it's sights dead center, stop it did. Gorgeous piece, Ben. Just right. Karma can indeed be a bitch.

David Barber said...

Excellent piece, Ben. Well done!

Mike Miner said...

Really enjoyed this. Not a wasted word.

Benjamin Sobieck said...

Thanks, everyone! Hope it puts you in the Christmas spirit.

John Hansen said...

Nice, Ben!

Madam Z said...

The cruel deeds of a nasty weed, from seed to harvest. I was happy to see him cut down. Well done, Ben!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

In Vino et Veritas.

The life examined, well-poured, Ben.

~ Absolutely*Kate (who got grin at your "Hope it puts you in the Christmas spirt" crack)

Anonymous said...


Charlie Wade said...

Fantastic, Benjamin. Really fast pace throughtout.

chad rohrbacher said...

Saw this through the FB gathering and I'm glad I did -- great stuff.