Thursday, January 19, 2006

Disconnected Prologue

All I see is the red. The red fans out into the water. It swirls back on itself. It floats over the foam made by the tiny rapids around the rocks. The slit in her throat gurgles with the stream. The red and the water and the throat combine, overlapping in my vision with the pinpricks of sunlight bouncing off of the brook.

Pain doubles me over, guilt and grief bringing me to my knees. The shards along the creek edge slice through my breaches creating wounds that add more stain to the water. I press my mouth against hers. I anoint myself with the life draining from her neck. I lie down beside her, my black hair dampening as it twines with her blanched tresses. I want to follow her where she is going. I want to follow her as I have always followed her. I take my dagger from her throat and place it against my own. I close my eyes.

The distant clink of metal on metal rattles our communion. I rise up on my elbow and turn my ear in the direction of the sound. I pause, waiting for a repeat of the disturbance. Braying hounds and grumbling men float to me. My horse whinnies over by the huckleberry bush he is tied to. I open my eyes, blink and shake my head. Droplets fall onto my tunic. I drag my hands through my hair. I ball my eyes, scratching my brow with the ring on my right hand. I push myself to my feet and look back down at her.

"I am sorry."

Her eyes stare back at me, all trust vacant.

"I vow to finish this for you."

My horse stomps and paws the moss. He stretches his neck and pulls back his shoulders, releasing his reins from the bush. The ferns around him crush and dye blue from the berries.

I pull her body out of the water. I reach down, unfold her fingers from the crucifix she clutches. I stuff the crucifix in my pouch, wipe the blood from my knife in the dirt and return it to its sheath. I arrange her arms across her chest and pull the hem of her gown down to her ankles. I stroke my fallen tear from her cheek, then stand.

Dogs crash in the brush. Men yell to the dogs and each other, cheering and cursing and encouraging each other on. I make out the words, "catch," and "burn," and "hang." Arrows spit from the mouths of men.

I grab my horse's bridle, haul myself into the saddle and head him into the water. Hooves on rocks clap and thunder. The water splashes up our sides, we shiver and tremble. We pause where the stream branches off in two directions. We pick one and do not look back.


  1. Ooo, im on your fav's list
    thankee ^^ :D :D
    did you mean to post this on your story blog - or is it a clever ruse to lure us into your storyblog? :P
    im alittle hyper cos ive just pulled an allnighter for no apparent reason, without the help of alcohol nor drugs (not that i take drugs anyway)... i guess i was too lazy to go to bed - how wrong /weird is that?
    anyways, if im not making sence, thats why ^^

    btw - teh word veirification thingy for my comment here is boogeubw - do you get teh random ones that almost make sence too sometimes? :S
    as i said, lack of sleep talking ^^

    and now to class....

  2. Gwen: You are welcome.

    I like this piece, but I just can't seem to decide what to do with it. It doesn't fit anywhere.

    I get naturally hyper at night sometimes too. I think it's because I'm really a night person, but had to adjust to the real world and sometimes my body and mind object.

    The letters often look like words to me. More so because I'm a lousy speller and I'm slightly dyslexic, so I have to look very carefully at those little buggers.

  3. Phew. Just so long we're clear - this is fiction, right?

  4. Wow, this is really good. Is there any more to this piece we can read?

  5. Jay: Wouldn't I be interesting if I had dead bodies in my basement. Imagine the hackneyed TV drama they would do about me.

    Jodi: Thank you. I am trying to do something with it, but haven't come up with the rest of the story yet. Or actually, each bit of this piece goes off in a different direction and I haven't put them all together yet.

    Your kind words are adding fuel to my desire to finish it and do it justice.

  6. Hey, it's very good. Don't worry about fitting it in anywhere...just let it take you where it wants to go (forget the fiction that we control the stories) and you may be surprised where you end up.

  7. Thanks, Jenn. Trying to let go and see where things go is hard for me. I'm very much a control freak.

    I am trying to let go of some of the control at Storytime by make story entries every day without thinking tooo much about it, but it's hard.

  8. i'm not sure if its avaliable to you in america, but one of my favorite authors is China Mieville (i based my final peice on his books last yearses a disjointed style occasionly - its not light reading - but worth it - he's done 5 books now my favorites are his first 2 and a recent short stories collection he recently released (king rat, perdido street station and looking for jake).
    as i said, i think you'd like him :) (hopefully that link wil work :) )

  9. Gwen:

    I think I should be able to find Mieville's books. I am re-reading Jane Eyre right now. When I'm done, I will try to get King Rat (I like reading an authors books in order of publication.) Thanks for the suggestion. He sounds interesting.