Friday, August 24, 2007


The upslope of the mountain hissed in the breeze.

The air was cold, more like an autumn morning than August. Across the surface of sky, clouds tucked tightly in blue, and their shadows slid over the mountains.

The crow tipped its head to a change in the light, then resumed work. Its beak poked and probed the hemlock needles at its feet. In the reflection of its mirror-black eye, a weave of twigs grew.

A sound crackled from the clearing below.

The bird's wings flinched, and it's head arrowed down.

A curled man moved in the leaves. His bare legs were streaked with dew.

More rustling.

The crow leaped, wings beating.

It's caws broke over a lull in the wind.

Below, bleary eyes blinked. The man's face was cut and stained. His knotted hair drooped with bits of weeds.

The crow passed over and soared across the valley. Hugging the rising air, it watched its shape whoosh over the treetops. Its little shadow cut across the march of ghost clouds.

From behind, the man's scream thinned in the distance. An insult to the crow's vast heaven.

Still climbing, it crested the next ridge, and far away, specks of yellow jerseys swarmed. Red and blue lights flashed where trails met highway.

The crow heeled back over its blurring green domain.

The men scratched a tortured path through the forest.


Church Lady said...

I loved the ending.

Good one, Jason. My favorite of yours, so far.


Bernita said...


Hoodie said...

This captivated me.

mermaid said...

'From behind, the man's scream thinned in the distance. An insult to the crow's vast heaven.'

For a minute, I thought I had misread your title, 'The Stranger' instead of 'Boundaries'. I don't know how you do it, but you give human qualities to nature and vice versa.

When the crow's serenity was disrupted by the man, I thought of how at times in my life I am peaceful. Then suddenly, a shadow intrudes, a stranger, who/that then becomes a formidable presence I want to banish.

I'm learning that healing is about dissolving those boundaries, and asking ourselves the purpose of the shadow, the stranger who/that is a great life lesson in disguise.

However, I also think you meant to caution us against overstepping the boundary and intruding when unnecessary.


Vesper said...

How beautiful and chilly, Jason! Poetic, even. Very, very nice...

I'm honoured to be a night wind. Thank you.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


This is lovely... but had a sense of sadness to it. Reminds me of letting go, only to find it later with a new pair of eyes.

jason evans said...

Church Lady, glad you like it. This was my first attempt for the Halo contest, then I wrote another. I should have stuck with this one.

Bernita, thanks! :) I know you don't praise lightly.

Hoodie, when I read it back this morning, it had an unexpected sense of motion to me, like I could feel the flight in my stomach.

Mermaid, However, I also think you meant to caution us against overstepping the boundary and intruding when unnecessary. Yes, I was reminding myself of our place and that one person's hell can be another person's heaven. Remembering boundaries is essential.

Vesper, welcome to the roll of the night wind! :) An uncommon and powerful force. **Thanks for the kind words on the story.

Inside, that is an intriguing insight. Sometimes there are layers to my pieces that I don't immediately see. I'm going to think more about the tinge of darkness here.

The Anti-Wife said...

It's wonderful and makes me want more.

SzélsőFa said...

poetic and very vivid. I like to read 'stories' like this.

apprentice said...

An interesting perspective in every sense.

the individual voice said...

Lovely details, immediate specificity and aptly linked to photograph. I'm still galloping through my serial story at the span of a whole life, when one is better off, really, in a story, microfocusing. I'll get my serial story off my chest and then try something more focused. Thanks for the inspiration by example.

Shesawriter said...

"Red and blue lights flashed where trails met highway."

Now that's nice. A great image that burns bright in the mind. Great writing, dude.


Terri said...

This is a great little piece! Pure Jason - crisp, vivid, beautiful.

jason evans said...

Anti-Wife, it's been quite a lesson for me to learn how simple things can be compelling.

SzélsőFa, glad you enjoyed it. :)

Apprentice, it's fun imagining what other creatures experience, especially when it's impossible to have the experience ourselves.

TIV, it's all a process of learning. I like that you're writing what is on your mind at the moment.

Tanya, thanks. :) Funny how a description can flash almost as if it's real. I liked that element too.

Terri, pure Jason, I love that!

angel said...

wow... i could feel that like i was there too!