Friday, July 27, 2007

Entry #17

The Farmer and His Boy
by Joseph Ryan


He was a strong boy with broad shoulders but he was not so smart, and even though he was old, his father still called him a boy, and so did the men he worked with.

He had gone to war and the sergeant had called him a stupid fool many times, but when he left war the sergeant said he was brave and gave him his own medal and told him that brave men were often called stupid.

He was the only one on the farm when his father became sick and he nursed his father every day for a year, until his father grew thin and too weak to drink or eat, and then he cried by the river and buried his father under the tree next to his mother, who had died very young and who he had never known.

The day he had died he had felt pains in his chest all morning, but he still went outside to work, and when the pain became worse he made his way to the old tree over the river and he sat under it beside his father’s and mother’s grave, and he looked up for the birds, but he could not see a bird and when he passed, he was alone with only a light rain around him.

18 comments:

Victor J. Banis said...

This has a nice voice, and the character is intriguing. Careful with your grammer, some editors are very picky.

Hoodie said...

Romantic, sweet and sad.
I very much liked the feel of this.

SzélsőFa said...

this character has many other things to tell outside the frames of this short. Very sad, but so full of heart.

Jaye Wells said...

This reminded me a bit of Forrest Gump, in a good way.

apprentice said...

Maybe the first person would have worked here. I liked the tone of it.

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

Sadly draws the reader, it does. I shared this with my spouse and we both enjoyed it. Don't hestitate to try writing a happy ending some day, too. Keep the ink flowing. And yes, Apprentice, first person would be a good experiment for the same piece.

Katherine Napier said...

I am impressed that you covered the highlights of his life from "very young" until death in such a short format.
I tend to disagree on how well a first person approach would work. My reading of this would suggest to me that the subjects' vocabulary would be too limited to express it this well, at least in 250 words.

Beth said...

I was really drawn into this. Very sad, but the ending ... I just really loved the simplicity of it mixed with all the sadness. The emptiness, really.

Jeff said...

I like the emotional quality of this piece.

cool_st_elizabeth said...

Great story. It reminds me of the way a friend, who was not unlike your protagonist, died in the mountains in Idaho. It was in June, but it snowed that day, and they found him with a smile on his face and covered with snow.

Amin said...

Haunting and touching at the same time.

I think first person would have taken the edge of this piece.

c.s. said...

a sweet poignant tale. nicely done!

Verilion said...

This is a really strong tale. You evoke the passage of time and the character well within the word limit.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Strong voice, smart construction. Simply powerful and deeply touching.

JLB said...

I wander between feeling that this is a story about the boy, and that it is a story about the people around him... nice, unique piece.

Ann Ostrander said...

Every time I enter one of these, I like to tell the writers I voted for I voted for them and sometimes why. You did take one of my votes -- I felt you didn't try to overcomplicate things with all the metaphors and such. You kept it simple and I think that's the best way to tell a story. Plus, the hard work reminded me of my own father and husband. Great job!

Bernita said...

I hope the rain is the quality of mercy, otherwise it is unbearably sad.
You have engaged my sympathy for the character simply and cleanly.

jason evans said...

Dying alone--the hardest way to die. Poignant.