Sparked by Words

The snow fell silently and the still trees were turning into large white flowers without a season of joy. He strained to breathe. On his back was his 4-year old son who was sick and heavy. He had tied the boy down on his shoulders and covered him with a blanket so the rope would not cut the child’s skin too badly.  It was an uncommon time, punctured with sharp sticks and the great remedy was afoot.

As he struggled, he thought of the sea and how the waves battered the coral reefs on the Pacific islands that he dearly loved. Yet, he was glad to be in the mountains. The oceans were dying and the air was polluted below. The cities no longer interested him and the sidewalks were filled with whores and drugs and no one considered art. There was shallowness everywhere and it caused most people to become covered in plastic and microscopic metal bugs: the madness, the news, the killing, the shouting had driven him to higher elevations.

How long had he been here? Time was frozen and that was a good thing. In front of him was his dog and maybe a mile more was the little house.  With every step he noticed places where he could stop, perhaps rest and check on the boy, but he kept going. Night was approaching and he had to reach his rock fireplace and hot whisky and food, but none of that ever happened. He tripped and broke his leg on a slight incline and his dog ran into the woods chasing a rabbit. When he untied the boy, he realized his son had died and slowly the snow covered both of them like the white sheets of a caring nurse.

Nothing moved and they lay there together, on the little slope, and the man watched the snow float until he could see no more. His last thoughts combined with the holy vacuum around him and this was a good spot, better than most, and he loved his son more than all the starry valleys of the Milky Way, so far above the low-slung clouds.

He was happy in those cold moments and a most unusual person.

14 thoughts on “Sparked by Words

    1. I think this is what I like most about Tin Hats…we are influenced by each other and our writing is better for it. The way we share and then expand a vision into something else; a cross between the virtual and the real born in the mind. The internet is like a collective brain and the war of the machines guided by a malevolent person is upon us. But what really bothers me is the death of the oceans. Fucking hell. What day is today? Why it’s doomsday of course. Oh youth, pass the bottle. Thanks. Duke

      Liked by 1 person

  1. No words. A chilling and yet peaceful vignette – love the phrases “starry valleys of the Milky Way” and “white sheets of a caring nurse.” I also liked the voice telling us not to expect a happy ending – reminds me of Hans C. Anderson re-shadowing the ending of the Little Match Girl.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Jan. Yes, those are the only two good lines in the whole thing and like you say, the great relief is just that…the final foreshadowing. Is life unfair? I don’t know. Who does know? Maybe life is the fairest thing we will ever know, now that I think about it, that is pretty much everything I believe–life is the only fairness we will ever know. Yes, that is it. Thanks for clarifying my thinking on that subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re not the only good lines ! They’re just my favorites. Having worked with children who spent their short lives in hospitals I don’t think life is fair. But I try not to think about it. I prefer the “happy idiot” approach to the meaning of life.

      Liked by 2 people

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