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
What a strange, bleak story. This reeks of desperation. I like the way you’ve broken up the quotation. This was a tough one.
Breaking it up was the only way I could fit it to a new story.
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!
Thank you… I like to read stories where the real story is hidden behind the lines.
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/.
Thank you,.. I tried to write prose that really contained a lot of holes for the reader to fill in.
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.
Where did that come from???!!!
Oy vey! Well done, though …
Dark and surprising.Bravo on a good write
Whew – powerful and tough and think someone said bleak…
But nice and dense and adept
Oh. That kind of coyote.
Wow. Beautifully bleak. Tragic.
Oh my days what a shock ending! I jumped in my seat!
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.
I sense the tension in perseverance, for some it requires another realm, salvation by another route perhaps. The only out was death.
Oh my! Brreathtaking despair.
Despairing tale here Bjorn, but well done!
Very dramatic and tinged with mystery. A short story well accomplished, Bjorn!
dramatic write, the tension is palpable!
That was a surprising end! Have to read it a few more times.
This was quite a shock. The way you separated
the stanzas made it more desperate and tense. Excellent piece of writing.