The Non-Christian Gambit

In April 2021, I submitted five entries to a postcard story (500 words or less) writing contest by Geist magazine. Of these, two used the same postcard image shown at right, with the other story being the previous post. They were both inspired by stories in David Eagleman’s delightful short story collection about the afterlife called Sum. One of my entries got short-listed, but not this one. Still, I enjoyed the thinking and writing process, and wanted to share it with you. I hope you’ll like it.

If you liked these postcard stories and wanted to see others I had submitted, please click here.

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Definition: Accidie (Ancient)


[ pronounced Assidee or aCEEdia ]
Word from early days of Christianity among those living in the desert, describing a feeling of lethargy and despair (like after lunch sluggishness), caused by demons who came out to infect them at lunch time.

  • From the TEDTalk below (at about 4:50), by Tiffany Watt Smith, which includes a bunch of emotions where there are no words in English, but which you may well have experienced, but never had one single word to describe them! Or which you may go out and try to see if you can conjure up the feeling from hints in its definition for where and/or under what conditions one might experience it.


This one is also common enough to use in everyday life to describe how you’re feeling, after lunch on work days probably, to remember easily through repetition.