The spiteful sun singes my skin as the desert oozes with hostility, but the coyote had told us how to find the secret path.

“That brush looks like a rabbit… We should have passed the border by now”, Alejandra stumbles, but I stop her from falling and gives her a sip from the last bottle of water.

I recognize the rock stained with bird-shit and realize we have circled back.

I hear the sound of rushing water. Like it always does outside our hut in Cajola.

Alejandra stretches out beside me. They have just left her broken.
She is crying.

“Turn back”, the Rock cries out to us.

“Today you may stand upon me, but do not hide your face”, I should have told them.

Instead, I cock my gun and shoot my sister.

I face the sun to wait.

Today Frank Tassone hosts at dVerse and we write Prosery. The challenge is to write a piece of prose in 144 words or less That has to contain this quote: “The Rock cries out to us today, You may stand upon me, But do not hide your face.” from Maya Angelou’s poem ““On the Pulse of Morning”.

January 20, 2020

21 responses to “Broken

  1. Brilliant, Bjorn! I love the stark imagery and vivid characterization that build to this mood of abject despair. You integrated your variation on the quote with sheer excellence! Bravo!

  2. What a shocker, brother. Some nice Southwestern prose; excellent sense of place. I liked the lines /the brush looks like a rabbit/ and
    /I recognized the rock stained with bird shit/.

  3. I could feel the despair when they realized they were going in circles. I wonder what awaits him if death was preferable for his sister. Good story despite the challenging prompt line.

  4. I wasn’t expecting that ending, Björn. You drew me in with the detail of the ‘spiteful sun’ (excellent use of sibilance), the desert oozing with hostility, the secret path, and the ‘rock stained with bird-shit’. I feel great sympathy for Alejandra, that she has been broken by someone. I think it must have been a mercy killing.

  5. I sense the tension in perseverance, for some it requires another realm, salvation by another route perhaps. The only out was death.

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