Saturday, April 22, 2006

Entry #2

"Beacon"
by Bernita Harris


His prayer changed.

"Please God, let me make it," he said into the night and the rain, fixing his eyes on the pin-point of light half a mile away.

The light that means warm hands, carbolic and bandages. The light that meant help.

That light, the shimmering bead in the shouting night, the tiny glow that dimmed and refracted in halos before his rain-drenched eyes, he counted to keep him true.

Keep him steady in spite of the pain and the seeping blood.

Keep him away from the laboring, swollen river that shouldered and undercut the bank along his passage, beside his heavy feet.

Sometime in the sodden, staggering journey along the river path, the only path, his prayer changed.

"Please, Lena, please don't douse the lamps."

18 comments:

Sandra said...

This is great. I felt like I'd been set down in another place and time. A lone, gun shot, cowboy trying to get safely home to his wife. I liked the way you left it, you had me praying she didn't douse the light. Sandra

anne frasier said...

yes, very nice!!

Bernita said...

Thank you, both.
Dare I say the basic tale is true?

Erik Ivan James said...

Yes, I could feel the rain, the pain, the desperate hope.

Robin said...

I enjoyed it very much! Good job.

Jeff said...

Very good, Bernita. :)

Bhaswati said...

This is wonderful! The image you drew so vividly with such economy of words is superb. And the ending is a stealer. Really enjoyed reading it :)

Bernita said...

Thank you.
You all are lights in the darkness yourselves, you know.

Jaye Wells said...

Bernita,

I loved this. Evocative and moving.

Jaye

Lyn said...

Agree with the many comments - your economy of words allows the images to tell the story and moved me toward the end. Good opening line tied to the conclusion.

Question, though. You wrote: "The light that means warm hands, carbolic and bandages. The light that meant help." Do you want 'means' and 'meant' to be in different tenses?

Good writing,
Lyndon (Entry #24)

skees said...

Bernita,

Really a very good and tense story. Anytime you can feel what the character is feeling, it's a success in my book. Great job.

- John WIlson.

skees said...

Bernita,

I'm a little slow witted evidently, I just realized our joint "beacon(s)" titles and lines of thought. Interesting how people can arrive at some things very closely. I even made mention of seeing them on a late night drive home.

You know what though? I think your beacon shined brighter than mine;) Again, a great story.

-John Wilson.

Bernita said...

Lyndon.
Absolutely right.
Thank you.
Should be "meant."
Doubt that, Skees, but thank you all for your kind comments.

Terri said...

A lot of intensity for so few words - nice one!

Bailey Stewart said...

Wow Bernita this is stunning. I, like Sandra, was praying she didn't douse those lights. Good job!

desiderata said...

great economy of words -- you can write 3 stories and still be under 250, WoW. Cowboy and short guns images -- even an Oriental like me gets IT!

jason evans said...

Bernita, I loved the description of rain in the eyes. Details like that grab me. I really liked the last line also. It gave me a sense of an evolving journey.

Bernita said...

Thank you, everyone, for your kindness.
What a pleasure to participate in your talented company.