Thursday, January 11, 2007

Once



Once
by Jason Evans


Summer air rushed, and motorcycle spokes flashed in the sun.

Her hands held his waist as the road plunged down the mountainside. He shifted gears, and her body slapped into him. It was hard for him to concentrate on the road.

In the valley, they ca-thunked over railroad tracks and leaned off onto a gravel road. The husk of a mine rumbled by, then a rusted coal truck. He wove through the bits of water still standing from last night's storm.

In the shadow of an old warehouse, he cut the engine. The kickstand crunched the broken chain of a no-trespassing sign.

She pulled the wind knots from her hair. "What is this place?"

"No idea. But it's been empty a long, long time."

"How did you find it?"

"Just wandering," he said. "As usual. You want to go in?"

She grinned. "Hell yeah."

Around back, the padlocks were broken on a bent steel door. He stole up the stairs with her close behind. Each time the boards creaked, her hands shot back to his waist and grabbed hold.

In a dusty room overlooking the woods, he turned and her arms slid around him. Chiseled rays of sun blazed in her eyes.

* * *

But now the sunlight molded only one shadow on the cracked wall.

The thought of her still stole his breath after so many years. He wondered what made him come back.

Outside, the snap of winter still hid in the evening hollows. He climbed onto the motorcycle alone.

22 comments:

Christian said...

I liked it. There was a sense of nostalgia even before the ending reveals it as a flashback.

feminine expressions said...

Oh, Jason, this is excellent writing. The heart of communication (of any kind) is for the writer/speaker to create an image in the mind of the reader/listener, not simply to create the recognition of words. Your careful, deep attention to details in the world around you is conveyed in your story and we, the readers, can taste and feel the story through the images you create. Thank you for showing us how it is done...

Jaye Wells said...

This was touching, Jason. You might have a knack for romance after all. ;)

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh, this is beautiful! *sigh* Very evocative of high school sweethearts, and everything we believe so important as teens that fades with the onset of adulthood.

Again... *sigh* Well done!

Joni said...

Wow, Jason. Too bad you can't win, huh? You might have had it in the bag.

I love it.

September said...

this is one of my favorites...

anne frasier said...

fantastic, jason.

you're a master of description.

Anonymous said...

nice one jason- fabulous!

Fran Piper said...

A great sense of place. It's so hard to say just the right amount to take the reader to the place you're describing, but once again you manage it without apparent effort!

Great job, Jason.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, very, very nice, Jason, and loved the use of some really strong verbs. Excellent!
Atyllah

Anonymous said...

Hi Jason,
This story veers away from your usual style, I would think. Of course, it works well.
Your distinctive ability for structure can steer your stories on to any road. :-)

Anonymous said...

Almost poetic, really! Lovely nostaligic feel to it.

Jeff said...

Very nice! Great imagery!

strugglingwriter said...

Very well done. It kept I attention the whole time. Great use of the 250 words.

jason evans said...

Christian, that is quite a compliment, thanks! I like when the nature of a piece is embedded in the words.

Feminine Expressions, it's such a gift when someone truly sees what you're trying to accomplish. Thanks for that, my friend.

Jaye, shhhh. Don't tell anyone. ;)

S.W., sometimes these kinds of emotions never fade, you know? Strange what we choose to carry with us.

Joni, thanks! I like how each of us shines through in our own way.

September, very kind to say. :)

Anne, it's almost more important to hear what you do well than what needs work. That way you can preserve the good while whittling down the bad. Thank you for helping me!

Angel, much appreciated. :)

Fran, I love how you see the effort so clearly. The greatest achievement in the labor of writing is not to see the labor at all. Just to feel and experience.

Atyllah, I was just talking to my neice (who took the picture) about that very thing. I demonstrated how a simple sentence with a strong verb is so much more powerful than a complex sentence with 4 adjectives. She really saw it for the first time, I think. Sometimes I get too wild with the verbs, though. That's what I have to watch against. In edits, I might pull back some or add some simple "to be" verbs for variety and a rest for the reader.

Susan, I do think in structures, now that you mention it. Your observations are always wonderful, my friend.

Cailleach, then I managed to accomplish what I set out to do! Thank you for the feedback. :)

Strugglingwriter, that's important feedback, thank you! I never want a reader to fall out of a story. Sooner or later, they won't make the effort to jump back in.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. The best part is when here hands shoot to his waist. Lots of heady sexual excitement, just like being a teenager on a GOOD teenaged day. :)

Anonymous said...

Very subtle work there, Jason. Nicely done.

Dafath said...

jason

good story
great writing
fun contest

thank you

agd

Anonymous said...

This is a great piece of writing - it runs easily as a black-and-white movie in my head.
Yes, I think your next serial story should be romance. (I'm still reeling from the JT's..!)

Anonymous said...

Even the homeless can somtimes find home again.

emeraldcite said...

Excellent, as always.

jason evans said...

Bekbek, thanks! If only I had more words. I wouldn't have left it completely to your imagination. ;)

Daniel, much appreciated.

Dafath, thanks for being a part of it!

Terri, :) A romance, eh? I might be talked into it....

Mermaid, very true.

Emeraldcite, thank you!