Monday, January 11, 2010

Entry #128

As the Crow Flies
by Stacy Chambers


We're taking you to new land, they tell us. We need yours for our crops. So they force us to walk the thousand mile journey across the plains and through forests. We do not mind the lack of roads; the land gives us our nourishment and tells us all we need to know to find our way. We need no maps.

My brother stumbles along beside me, sick with the illness they brought. I hold onto a thin hope to find herbs to cure him, though in my heart I know the sickness is beyond the power of our medicine—our mother and sister died of this illness, their skin fevered and hot. My brother complains of the same aches, and I can feel the heat rolling off him like smoke from a well-lit fire. I know I will soon lose him, too.

Our father died as well, but in battle. I wish I could be brave like him, to rise up and fight, but I look at their weapons and know I never could. I have seen what those weapons can do.

I am very tired now. I want to lay down and sleep, but I know that is impossible. Instead I close my eyes for a moment, praying to the Creator that he'll bring the eagle, our symbol of victory.

I look up. A crow flies overhead. For a moment I despair. But then I realize that, like the crow and the wolf, we will survive our doom.

24 comments:

Lena said...

I like the sound of hope in the end. Despite everything, all the battles and worries, hope is something which still keeps us going. Nicely done.

onipar... said...

Ha, that's the same title as my story. :-P I sort of thought it might end up being a common title.

Great story, enjoyed it very much.

Aniket said...

I am believer of dreams, hope and second chances. I loved the fact that he doesn't give up in the end.

One shall never give up, that's the way of the ninja. :D

Tara said...

This was all around wonderful. Story, plot, moral, tie-in, writing...all of it.

Bernita said...

An archetypal scene.
Long lines of captives shuffled and clank throughout the history of mankind.

Craig said...

When all else is gone we can still hope. It's what makes us human.

Four Dinners said...

I had a picture in my head that they story teller was a native American...or maybe a native Australian.

We really have made a mess of things haven't we?

I felt sad until the end...when hope returned.

To me, an emotional and really well written piece.

Aerin said...

Skillful use of narrator; stays within POV, yet conveys pathos so eloquently. Nicely done.

stacy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stacy said...

Thanks all!

stacy said...

Argh! Okay, trying to remember to click that little e-mail follow-up button.

laughingwolf said...

stark...

Laurel said...

I like the connection to the earth and sky that gives her a sense of continuity in such a time of upheaval.

Deb S said...

A well told story, compact and complete. Clean writing, too. Nicely done.

pjd said...

I find this tragic and richly written. Nice work, Stacy.

Kartik said...

I liked the way it ended, Stacy. Hope is the thing with feathers

catvibe said...

This felt to me like a description from the suffering of the Trail of Tears. Just beautifully rendered. Sad in a how can humanity be so brutal kind of way, but hopeful because of the optimism expressed at the end.

stacy said...

It is indeed meant to be an archetypal scene and I suppose I did (sort of) have the Trail of Tears in mind as I wrote this.

I'm thrilled so many of you enjoyed it. Thank you! I'm trying to catch up on commenting on more stories myself.

Rabid Fox said...

A good combination of despair and perseverance. Not too shabby.

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

Something about this piece reminds me of Pearl S. Buck's "The Refugee." Perhaps it's the inherrent pride and perseverence of your character.

Ranee

JaneyV said...

Like Cat - I very much envisioned the Trail of Tears reading this. I think you captured the strength of spirit of you MC perfectly - dispossessed but refusing to despair. Gorgeous light touch to the writing especially considering the weight of the subject matter.

James R. Tomlinson said...

From soaring eagle to crow. As mentioned before, I'm reminded of "The Trail of Tears." This piece had a nice balanced tone of despair and hope. Good job!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wonderful job. I, too, thought of the trail of tears, but it also reminded me of other forced marches of prisoners.

Well done.

Chris Eldin said...

Nicely written! I'm also in the camp that's glad it ended with a ray of hope.