Monday, January 11, 2010

Entry #115

An Unsuccessful Suicide
by Jean M. Adams


"Damn, son. What have you done?"

He opened his eyes. Saw an old man's worried face above him.
Couldn't make his body move. Could see the .357 still in his hand and the thick red puddle on his chest. Still breathing. Still here.

The old man was kneeling and talking to him. "You're too big for me to carry but the parking lot isn't far. Someone probably has a phone and can call the park rangers. Should be a crew of us back here in no time. Stay awake, son! Doesn't look like you were meant to leave just yet. Can't imagine why you'd want to, especially so young. Just hang on now. I'll be back with help."

He could hear the old man hurrying away through the trees toward the path.

The trees above him, where he lay, were empty branches silhouetted against the empty sky.
Wait.
A shadow dropped to a lower limb above him. Stretched its neck then dropped again, landing on the toe of his boot.

A crow, perched and staring, focused on his face. Took a careful step, then two, up his leg. And, again.

He couldn't move. He couldn't scream.
The crow was on his chest.
Pecking at his eyes...

34 comments:

Bernita said...

"A crow, perched and staring, focused on his face. Took a careful step, then two, up his leg. And, again."
We've had a lot of birds-at-bodies, but this line is outstanding.

wrath999 said...

An enjoyable read. I especailly liked the ending

angel said...

Ooooh... chilling!

Aniket said...

A gripping story with lovely detailing. Bravo.

Great ending.

Tim Remp said...

Last line stuck with me... nice job.

Jared said...

i received those heebie jeebies you were giving out. thanks! ;) good, vivid stuff.

Tessa said...

Absorbing...and disturbing. Powerful piece.

onipar... said...

Crows like eyeballs. It's a fact. :-)

Nice story, liked it a lot.

Charmaine said...

Beautiful sorrow...and horror.

Lena said...

Greatly written details. Very well done here, really chilling.

Four Dinners said...

Now that's a novel way of feeding the birds!

Very creepy at the end...and the description of the crow moving slowly towards his eyes is supurb!

pjd said...

eeeeewwwww
Ironic that the .357 is inches away and he can't use it again. Probably OK because apparently he's not that good a shot and would only wing the poor bird.

laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, jean...

Jean said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

Laurel said...

*shudder*

Leatherdykeuk said...

Excellent.

Deb Smythe said...

Scarey-yikes! Great last line. This one will stick with me. Nice job.

Kartik said...

That was gory! You wouldn't want to go like that

emeraldcite said...

Nice work! Thought you might leave off with the bird making its way up his chest, but you took it all the way.

I really liked it.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Good one...I thought you were going in a different direction and was delighted to find out your intention was something else entirely. Chilling final lines.

PEOPLE, PLACES, VOICES, FACES... said...

You had me gripped from the beginning, then progressively tensed and clenched in pain. The end was almost unbearable! Your details are precision-written.

Ranee

Karen said...

Good job in creating these characters in such a short piece. The old man's dialogue is especially good. Love the ending.

ollwen said...

Gah! You know a crow would, too.

catvibe said...

I love your characters. The crow line, like Bernita said, brilliantly visual, I could see him. The eyes, that is our greatest bird fear, eh? I think I'd eat eyes too if I were a meat loving bird. Loved this.

Crafty Green Poet said...

ouch! poor guy...

Michael Morse said...

Great stuff, Jean! Thanks for showing this place to me. After reading these stories I realize it's time to put a little effort into my writing!

Craig said...

The ending is a kicker. There is nothing scarier than being helpless.

raine said...

Chilling story. Very able writing. I could feel that first peck...

JaneyV said...

Powerful finish.

james r. tomlinson said...

That's one calm old coot. I like the opening, and the ending certainly is powerful, if not horrifying, but for some reason the old man's dialogue doesn't seem to quite fit.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Eeewwwww.
Talk about powerless.

Really well done.

Chris Eldin said...

Ditto Bernita. This is truly awesome writing.

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

There's a symmetry, it feels like, with shorter, staccato pieces in the very beginning, moving into longer sentences and then back out to shorter ones - it's a great form to go with an ebbing and flowing life force.

Something I Might Tweak

"the trees above him, where he lay" - I don't think you need the "where he lay" words - we know he's on the ground with blood coming out of his chest

Jean said...

I very much appreciate all your input.
Good luck to all in the judging!