A good day to die

Tumbleweed — like me, he thought, we both keep moving.
He should have been in town by now.

Alejandro took another sip from his almost empty water-bottle.
Two days since last water. His mouth was sand and sawdust.

Far away a silhouette… Man or saguaro?

Yesterday he would have hid, but today he was out of options.
He walked closer and saw the man.

He saw the gun, saw his grin.

Alejandro raised both hands, but the man turned and strolled back to his truck.

Watching the dust-devils settle Alejandro realized that tomorrow would be a good day to die.

I tried to play around with the form on how the story was told this week. To me this could be a lot of different backgrounds but it is based on memories from how the desert looked when I first came there almost 26 years ago. I have also used a line from Robbie Robertson.

Each Wednesday we pretend that it’s Friday when Rochelle releases this weeks image and asks us to write a story in hundred words. This is one of favorite ways to tune my writing skills.

September 6, 2017

85 responses to “A good day to die

    • I always thought it was a Native American sentiment, like in the movie “Little Big Man”. On the other hand, I do remember a line from one of the movies about reading Hamlet in the original Klingon, so i guess the Klingons originated a lot of our culture 😉

      • Ah, sorry, didn’t see your comment. Same statement, different words. Yes, the Klingons claimed that To be or not to be was said by one of theirs. The greatest writer ever known. It’s in the movie ‘The undiscovered country’ — one of the best I think.

      • After I wrote the comment I looked up The Undiscovered Country on wikipedia. I knew the title was from Shakespeare, but I had forgotten how many quotes they used in the movie!

      • Oh yeah, I forgot to add – great minds think alike 😉 I think we’ve all answered a comment to find someone had already said the same thing.

      • Happens to me all the time. I open all the stories I want to read next in tabs, then get distracted, then get back, and once I post I see that others posted in the meantime and already said what I wanted to say. Oops. 🙂

    • The saying originates from native American tribes, AFAIK, possibly Lakota, but the Klingons would of course attribute it to their culture. After all, Shakespeare was a Klingon. 😀

  1. You really pulled me in with this story, and that picture could have easily come from around where I live. I haven’t had the chance to stop by in a while, but I finally had a chance to breathe and take in some blog posts. Glad this is what I had to come back to. It’s a good one.

  2. I like this Bjorn. In Game of Thrones, one of the members of one of the main families is being trained in the sword by a master swordsman. He says to her, what do we say to death? She shakes her head and says solemnly, not today. And as my old lover taught me, when going into a situation, always take your death as a given….but again, why waste a bullet on a corpse? Very good!

  3. There’s a dark humor at play here, with the thought that he might be dying on that day, only to know it would probably be tomorrow because he was spared today. Good story, Bjorn!

  4. So much desperation captured in the line, “Yesterday he would have hid, but today he was out of options” — I shared that feeling, that it might be better to be shot at this point, at least the chance was worth trying, for water.

  5. The last line made me smile, glad he is alive . With tomorrow, comes new hope and he may not have to die.🙂Miracles happen!
    Great writing.

  6. Perhaps the guy with the gun had other plans or a change of heart. Either way… tomorrow… Great story!

  7. “Hokei” – It is a good day to die. A phrase, if I remember correctly was a battle cry of Sitting Bull at his last battle, or something like that. It’s also a Klingon phrase. Live each day as if it were your last… a good sentiment, indeed.

  8. Beautifully written, as per usual, Björn! Wretched man could have given him a drop or two… even if he left him behind…

  9. What a cruel guy that gunman is. I hope he gets his punishment and Aleyandro finds water soon. If there’s a road, it must lead to somewhere… Great atmosphere, Björn, feels like a Western.

  10. Love the feel in this piece. I was wondering how you captured the feel of the desert until I read you had lived in Arizona for a while. I guess the sand got into your blood and you’ve cared it with you. Being from Canadian and now living in Arizona I often wonder which wilderness is more deadly, usually I lean towards the desert. Like others I really like the reference to tomorrow.

  11. This is so dry – the tight writing and parched mouth. Great tension, with brief respite, maybe, at the end.

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