Bloodstains

A Prosery for Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub, for this spooky season. A true ghost story. I rewrote this from a poem I posted for Real Toads.  Since some of you have missed the glhostly blood and that the staines will always remain, here is the link to the original poem. I hate writing prose! https://kanzensakura.wordpress.com/2019/10/26/the-floor/

Bloodstains
“At least 600,000 men died in the Civil War. Major battles numbered the dead in the thousands; even minor skirmishes killed hundreds… Mass death numbs the mind and heart as it numbers its vast toll”…Philip Shaw Pauadan: The True Story of the Civil War

When I first moved to Richmond,  a friend took me on a tour of some of the old buildings down in an area of town known as Shockoe Bottom.  During the American Civil War, some of the old tobacco warehouses were used as hospitals and morgues.  It is said the blood from the wounded and dead dripped steadily on the floor, the wheels from gurneys rolling through the blood.

This is the barreness of harvest or pestilence.  Now over a hundred years later, the floors are still splotched with blood.  The floors are cement and tile now but…the stains of blood still seep up and are seen.  It is said by people that work in the renovated buildings  still see the bloodstains and sometimes see the ghosts of those long gone soldiers wandering through the halls.  The stains are removed by bleach and are only gone for a few hours before they reappear.  The people now walk over or walk on the stains as if they were not there.

bloodstained floor RTD photo

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 16:45:02

    I think those stains need to stay… they should be there to make us remember what once happened … war is terrible and unless we can see the blood and gangrene there are always those who think wars can be good…

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 28, 2019 @ 16:46:28

      Exactly. Those stains remain regardless. I was shown some of them in my first tour of the area. They caused a coldness in my soul.

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  2. msjadeli
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 17:09:46

    I can’t imagine how saturated the ground would need to be with blood at the time of war to continue bleeding through now. Disturbing is a word that doesn’t do it justice. Didn’t you post pictures of the outlines of people and objects from the Hiroshima bombing? How much more clear of a reminder can Mother Nature give us that war is a lasting stain on humanity.

    Reply

  3. Mary (tqhousecat)
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 17:10:41

    The bloodiest war than all the wars combined, the Civil War. We have not yet learned civility. I agree with Bjorn. Bloodstains should remain.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 28, 2019 @ 17:14:54

      Lol. They DO remain. The spirits won’t let yhem be removed. I guess that part of it got lost in my changing it to prose. Which is why I don’t enjoy writing prose.

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  4. Glenn A. Buttkus
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 19:59:35

    Your prose is fine, a harrowing tale. I live in a house rife with portals and cross over spiritual intruder. I once visited an abandoned mental hospital; the vibes were chilling. I had to leave.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 28, 2019 @ 20:16:51

      I visited an abandoned mental hospital as well. They had some of the suitcases on display the patients briught with them, nrver unpacked. Very sad.

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  5. Grace
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 21:41:25

    That is a very strong imagery there – the bloodstains that seem to never fade with time. I will shiver if I walk over those steps with bloodstains.

    Reply

  6. rothpoetry
    Oct 28, 2019 @ 22:11:23

    An amazing story! It must have been horrendous for them during the war!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 28, 2019 @ 22:20:58

      It was horrendous for everyone, especially in the South. I am surprised we weren’t all killed or starved to death

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  7. kim881
    Oct 29, 2019 @ 05:00:57

    We’re not taught much about the American Civil War over here; we tend to focus on our own one, so I was shocked to read the body count of at least 600,000. Anything I have read or seen in films tends to paint it in a more romantic light. You’ve painted such a horrific, bloody picture, I need to find out more. I’m not surprised that people working in the renovated buildings still see bloodstains and ghosts.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 29, 2019 @ 06:07:52

      It was a terrible war. It raged mainly in the South. The loss in human life is greater than any war fought in the US. Richmond was a huge area of battle. The ages for the dead range from 8 to 89. Margaret Mitchell oddly, was one of the most accurate portrayers of that time. Too many people died for states’ rights.

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  8. Beverly Crawford
    Oct 29, 2019 @ 13:32:53

    A riveting story of the reoccurring blood stains in the old tobacco warehouses. The civil war was a war of lessons yet to be learned.

    Reply

  9. Christine Irving
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 02:31:58

    Nothing could be more appropriate to this line than our Civil War. It’s why the increasing polarization in this country frightens me so much. Nature tries to remind us – gives us so many chances to remember and learn.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 30, 2019 @ 08:32:42

      Yes. It does. I think of those 600,000 dead and I wonder, are we coming to this again? It makes me frightened for our future

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  10. merrildsmith
    Oct 30, 2019 @ 08:30:46

    Yes, the blood and ghosts live on in such places.

    Reply

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