Monday, July 30, 2007

Entry #45

Morgan Toomey
by Mr. Schprock


There is a tradition among backpackers to welcome strangers as friends; social rank and economic class carry little weight in the wilderness. So it happened that when Morgan Toomey appeared at Sean and Pete's campsite near dusk, he was offered a place to sit, food to eat, and the easy fellowship of his new companions.

Morgan accepted their hospitality but contributed little to the conversation. His funny alpine cap with the bright red feather stayed on his head the whole time, and he kept the brim turned down to hide his eyes, which never rested. Coffee gave way to whiskey and the talk grew desultory and light. Sean asked the question of whether the tree falling in the forest made a sound if no one was there to hear it, and Pete countered with the joke about if a man says something his wife doesn't hear, is he still wrong? After they laughed, Morgan cleared his throat and softly asked, "What about a scream? Is it a scream if no one hears?"

Sean and Pete snuck a look at each other. The communication between them was clear: it wouldn't be safe to sleep. They watched Morgan poke the campfire with a stick.

Next morning, the sun fought through the trees and put a spotlight where the camp had been. All traces were gone save for the ashes of the fire and one other thing: several feet away, half trampled into the earth, a single red feather peeked through the dirt.

17 comments:

Jaye Wells said...

I love your easy writing style--or at least how easy you make it appear. You're also a tease with that ending, which makes the tale even more intriguing. Well done.

Jude said...

The writing flowed and what a mystery. Were they killed? Nicely done.

Victor J. Banis said...

The lady or the tiger? Intriguing story, I'd like to see how it ends

Hoodie said...

Turnabout's foul play?

Brilliantly written.

c.s. said...

this is simply fantastic!

wrath999 said...

I enjoed the open ending, lets the readers use their imagination on what happened.

Sometimes they call me Kelley, sometimes Twizzle. Sometimes a lot worse. said...

yes. all the above. and a sense of humor. it had a humorous side as well.

Beth said...

Such a dark side for you, Schprock. This is the only time when I see that side (during these contests). I really liked this one. Liked the flow of it and even though you know things are going bad, once you read about the feather, it's like, "Damn."

Jeff said...

Good narrative flow. I also like the use of a mysterious ending. Well done.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Very nicely written - good flow and a disturbing tale. Well done!

SzélsőFa said...

who gets killed, get anyone killed at all? Besides, very enjoyable read.
Mr Schprock never fails to entertain the readers.

JLB said...

Fantastic - well-paced and mysterious!

Chanpheng said...

Nice. Just enough left unsaid.

Bernita said...

An enjoyable sketch.
You built him up nicely and brought in the idea that the happy-go-lucky backpackers were not gormless at just the right time.

briliantdonkey said...

I too really like the open ending leaving it to our imagination. At the same time I am asking myself, and? and what happens next? Nice work schprok.

BD

Kathleen said...

Schprockie, you always leave me wondering - and you know how much I hate that! ;-)

jason evans said...

The ending image really sticks with you. The setup also was a strong hook. Well written.