Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rings

(I'd like to thanks Moontopples for running a great contest over on his blog. I decided to give this one a try, since I'm usually on the other side of the fence with my own contests. I'd like to share my entry with you. The required theme was "growth." I'm happy to say that I was awarded 3rd Place. Be sure to check out the other great entries. I really loved #3 and #11.)

Rings
by Jason Evans


Wind leaned on the grass. From horizon to horizon, the world bowed under skies of gemstone blue.

Water trickled. A wall of saplings twittered in hot summer soil.

---

A black bear heaved onto its rear legs. It's shape cut a void in the night and sliced away the moon.

Claws bit into bark. Slapping again and again, they shredded until the life blood was nipped and flowed.

The bear dropped down, tatters of wood fluttered where--

---

Her shirt creased as his hands reached up her body. She raised her hands and curled herself back against the tree.

He kissed every line and shadow of her neck.

She moaned as his dropped to where his hands cupped her--

The world washed green. A warning tone beeped.

---

Bullet rain pounded.

Tree limbs clattered and trunks groaned.

An explosion of light slammed a nearby tree. The wood split and charred. Wisps of smoke danced between the drops then disappeared.

---

A rope looped and stretched away to another trunk. Clothes dripped in the mottled shade.

An ax chopped into the stump and stuck. A woman wedged more firewood on the cooling fire. She poked the steaming water and swirled the clothes in the suds.

---

Musket balls thudded. Shattered branches fell. Cut weeds tipped.

Silver smoke drifted through the forest like fog.

"Reform the line! Hold ranks!"

Another volley sizzled though. Hollow hits cut through long buttoned coats. Men fell.

"Present! Aim! Fire!"

---

Orange lit the low floating clouds above the forest.

Squirrels shook in the hollows. Their breath pulled away by the heat.

An inferno wave roared through, then reversed. The wind was unsettled, changing. Rivers of sparks swirled high in pillars of--

---
---

Leo uncoupled the KaraKara probe from his temples and set it on the gleamy table.

A voice spoke from the console. "Command?"

"I'm finished with that one."

"Re-shelving."

The crawler lifted from the dark and light, dark and light growth rings of the tree. Laser light winked out.

Robotics pulled the disc from the player. It was a wedge of fossilized tree embedded in circular isomers.

"Command?"

The boy rotated through his school notes. "Do you have anything from Asia in the sixteenth century?"

"One specimen. Sophora japonica. Chinese Scholar Tree. Growth: Village environment. 489 readable years."

"I'll see that one."

Robotics hummed. A thin slice of tree emerged from a slit in the archive wall. It settled on the player, then spun.

Leo engaged the KaraKara probe and dialed though the growth rings.

He pressed play.

20 comments:

The Wandering Author said...

If that placed #3, I can't wait to read the top two! That was a great story. At first, I couldn't make any sense at all out of it, but then you pulled it all together.

briliantdonkey said...

As I said over there, this was among my favorites(2nd), My first was an paolo and the snakes. Glad to see you took part. extremely original thought/concept that I found fascinating. Congrats!

BD

Canterbury Soul said...

you had my vote (1st place to be precise). i love the poetic feel in the story. Congrats, Jason!

Jaye Wells said...

So cool! I have to admit I haven't read any of the others, but if this was third then it definitely speaks to the quality of the entries. Congrats.

Bev said...

love this Jason! it really speaks to my wondering what inanimate objects would say if they could talk

Good on you!!

Kaycie said...

Your descriptive powers keep me reading to see what unusual word you'll choose to illuminate a common word.

The story idea is original . . . if trees could talk?

Jay said...

That was great. I liked the choppiness of it, the disparities. Those moments of silence in between make you think.

JJ said...

Hi Jason
I just popped by to say thanks for your comments on my story, and I too really like yours. I loved the snapshot images and such an original idea. Well done.
JJ

Kelly Parra said...

Jason, wow, you've gone an impressed me again! Very awesome!

JLB said...

What an intriguing mental play Jason - you must have really had fun writing this one!

jason evans said...

Wandering Author, I wasn't sure how disorienting it would be, but I did enjoy building that feel, then resolving it. :)

BD, thanks, my friend. I appreciate the vote! I'm glad I participated too. It was fun to experience from the other side.

Canterbury Soul, thanks for the vote!! Your piece was really memorable. I felt the pull of a huge, epic story underneath.

Jaye, much appreciated. =) I really wanted something out of the ordinary. This idea hit me while we were driving to the cabin.

Bev, it's mindboggling how much a tree has "seen."

Kaycie, that's my favorite part of the writing process, I think. I'm glad you enjoy it as much as I do.

Jay, I let myself go a bit. I did have some sense of structure, but then again, I wanted it to be simply organic.

JJ, I appreciate the kind words. You had my #1 vote. In addition to being tightly written and artistic, your piece had an intense
human quality.

Kelly, it's great to see you, especially in the midst of all your book release excitement! I picked up two copies of Graffiti Girl today. It was a rush to hold it in my hands. :)

JLB, you're so right. Each little moment was brief, but they were very liberating. It's not often that you can pack so many disparate moments into a small space.

suzanabrams said...

A beautiful, classy write, Jason. :-)

Terri said...

I knew this was yours as soon as I read it last week :) You have a truly unique writing style. This piece is strong and inventivel... as always.
I really like the idea of seeing history in the trees that have seen so much.

Terri said...

... that would be inventive, not inventivel ;)

Vixen said...

I love your writing style. Another great one!

Princess Pointful said...

Bullet rain is a deliciously good term.

angel said...

oh wow.. sounds like such a cliche but i can't think of anything else to say! that was bucking frilliant jason! i LOVE that!

jason evans said...

Susan, thanks so much. :)

Terri, as a writer, there is nothing better than hearing you have a recognizable, unique style. I must be doing something right. Thanks!!

Vixen, it's an incredible gift to be able to share these pieces with people. Thank you for saying so! :)

Princess Pointful, I liked that too! I was imagining the way those big ole' thunderstorms hit the ground in summer.

Angel, I'm smiling. :) You said it perfectly.

mermaid said...

It took me a while to figure out the 'rings'. Lines, a trees age, history. How much wiser the trees are compared to frail destructive humans.

Leo must be a future human advanced in thought, prehistoric in appreciation, and one of a kind.

Be sure to reach him telepathically from here Jason. I have a feeling he's the future you.

Trevor Record said...

Oh, really cool Jason, congrats on your win.