Saturday, August 26, 2006

Entry #45

Howl
by Nicholas Abbot


They can’t hear me.

I have always been here watching over them, sailing across their night skies, softening their fears, and racing their stars to morning.

I saw them leave the forests, grow strong in numbers. I paled, helpless, as they swarmed over the earth, scratched their little lines on it and killed, and killed, and killed.

I watched in awe as their generations spawned bearers of truth; unable to look away as they cut their prophets down, twisted their words, drew weapons of hate.

And suddenly, knowledge. A moment of glory. They tamed their capricious world.

Then they raped it.

They clawed at the ground, ripped at the green, turned bounty into poison, smoke and fire. A wasteland of destruction. The blink of an eye.

More horror. A white-hot flash. Souls, innocent and broken, soaring past me into the black.

Then, a glimmer. The tickle of their tiny feet on my glowing cheek, and words of hope sent back through the darkness.

But the darkness has won.

They have taken too much, too fast. They stare at me through a torn and bleeding sky, and still their fires burn. I can move their seas with my pull unseen; I cannot move their minds. And they are the only ones.

There is no one else out here in this great emptiness.

So tonight, little wolf, I push through the gathering clouds. I hear you howl your life-lust at me, and I howl too.

I howl.

But they can’t hear me.

27 comments:

Joni said...

I LOVE this. Great commentary. Love the POV from the moon itself. Original and evocative.

Linda said...

This is REALLY heavy. I cant wait to read the comments that you will get.
Good writing-I am still rereading.

anne frasier said...

nicholas,
this is wonderful. i also reread it a couple of times.

it's great from beginning to end, but this line hit me hard:

"The tickle of their tiny feet on my glowing cheek, and words of hope sent back through the darkness."

heartbreaking and lovely

robert rohloff said...

Oh! What a wonderful tale we spun here my good man! Conjures images to run through thou mind at an accelerating pace.

bekbek said...

Me too, me too! From the second paragraph I was thinking about men landing on the moon, and then you took us there and made it so sweet, So charming, even while telling a bleak, unhappy story.

Beautiful.

Writing Blind said...

Oooh, chills. Very good story, lots of great imagery here. And I love that you wrote from the point of view of the moon, very original.

robert rohloff said...

Ooooooh! scary stuff. Made my hair stand on end. Good story

Jim said...

I liked the distant POV, the watchful but separate perspective. I got the distinct impression that the moon felt like humanity got what it deserved.

klgilbert said...

This was awesome and oh so powerful. Sad commentary for our times, and so true. God bless the darling moon for all that she has seen. I wish that we could make her proud of us again.
I thought this was perfect!

Anna said...

Such an awesome story. As others have said, I loved the POV of the moon. It makes you look at us here on earth from a different perspective. It's very interesting and creative. I love the part about men walking on the moon. The imagery on it was awesome. Good work.

Robert Ball said...

What a daunting yet true testament upon mankind.

I like the Moon "howling" at the wolf. Both sad and challenging.

anna said...

'and killed, and killed, and killed.'

Wonderful imaginative post!
excellent and chilling.
I love the above -- it is so hard
to fit everything into 250 words
and yet this repetition is so grand!
Very good stuff!!

Scott said...

Highly original piece. That the moon can hear the howl of wolves... Nicely done.

aleah said...

I love this - beautiful and haunting. Great voice.

Bhaswati said...

Very nice work. Liked the moon's POV and the reflection on the death and destruction that marks the wasteland.

The Wandering Author said...

Beautiful, haunting, telling. A lonely voice crying out in the silence; I can almost hear the moon howling.

Flood said...

I read this three times, and liked it better each time, because there seemed to be hidden gems throughout. A very poignant narrative and great spin on the theme. Excellent!

Bofire said...

I AGREE WITH lINDA AND FLOOD. EACH REREAD IS GOOD.

THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD WRITING IN THIS CONTEST AND THIS IS ONE OF THE BETTER ONES.

I LIKED "but the darkness has won"

Diana said...

Wow. This piece is so moving. Paints a picture that crosses and ties the expanse of time in so few words. Very thought provoking. Well done!

Suzanne Smith Karg said...

Nicholas, w/powerful poetic excellence you've cleverly painted a picture of our unfortunate condition. Thanks for saying it so well!

angel said...

i must agree with anne on my favourite line- nice, very thought provoking.

Bernita said...

VERY well done.

Roy said...

This was good.

The tickle of their tiny feet on my glowing cheek, and words of hope sent back through the darkness.

Nice.

Fran Piper said...

Love this. Very sad, far too true, ugly truth flowing through beautiful words.

Nicholas Abbot said...

Thanks a lot for your comments, everyone. Believe it or not, it was actually fun to write.

The line about the moon landing was one of the first sentences of the piece I wrote, after the wolf bit.

I added the word "glowing" a few minutes before sending the story in, because I thought it reconfirmed the moon's presence as a beacon, or light in the sky, and also indicated that perhaps the moon, for one of the only times in her long history, was proud of us. Like when our children learn to walk (or leave the nest?).

Of course, it meant that I had to take out another word somewhere, dagnabbit. Tarnation.

Too bad about all that killing, killing, killing!! If we were a more peaceful lot, it might have freed up a couple more words for me!

lol

Okay, sorry for my coffee-induced ramblings. Back to your regularly scheduled reading.

Go on. Get out of here.

Go read Saigon. And Butchers. They rock.

Suzanne Smith Karg said...

Congratulations on your well-deserved win!

jason evans said...

What a beautiful ending. I feel the loneliness of it like a physical pain. High marks overall.

Congratulations on the Honorable Mention!