Thursday, January 07, 2010

Entry #40

The Well
by MRMacrum


The bird floated past again. George wondered what kind of bird it was. Was it a vulture looking for him or some other unlucky forest critter? Maybe it was one of the eagles who called Treasure Island home? It was big and it was all George had to take his mind off his current situation.

The last words Sara said to him as he left to roust some Ruffed Grouse haunted him now. He used to chuckle at her cellar hole fears. He was not laughing now. He wondered if her childhood fear of abandoned cellar holes and wells had finally jinxed him.

George looked down at his leg. It had started to stink. There was still pain, but it seemed further away now. Everything was further away, out of reach. He reached down for the umpteenth time and ran a finger over the bone sticking out of his leg. No longer in panic mode, George accepted the notion that his life was not his to control anymore. Some other whim, spiritual or physical, had his fate firmly in hand.

George looked up the dank walls of the old well again. The bird was gone. Daylight was slipping away. He leaned back against the stones lining this abandoned well and considered whether living another night in this hole was possible. He thought not. George smiled. He had thought the same thing last night and the night before. George closed his eyes for what he hoped would be the last time.

38 comments:

Chris Allinotte said...

Bleak and beautiful at the same time.

This was haunting. Thank you MR.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wishing for death when hope of rescue is gone. Hope still lives, but what a sad hope.

Well done.

Aniket said...

Poor George. Its a sad tale indeed.

But Sara will come looking for him. I am hopeful...

I loved the voice of the protagonist throughout the piece here.

pjd said...

Bummer.

I'm sitting here wondering why Sara hasn't been able to find him yet, and then I hit my word verification: wifed. As in, "I fell in a hole and thought I would be rescued, but I got wifed instead!"

Lena said...

That is so sad. Leaves with no hope at all. Wondering if Sara is searching for him at all.

David Barber said...

Nice piece Mike. Good to see you expanding. Really well done.

Regards, David.

Bernita said...

I think this story underlines why we should never eschew passive tense entirely. Its occasional use enhances our perception of the protagonist's mental state and parallels his progressive sense of helplessness and resignation.
(Sorry, about the alliteration.)

wrath999 said...

Cool tale, love the ending of him wishing death for himself

Leatherdykeuk said...

sad and poignant. Poor chap, hoping to die.

Four Dinners said...

We live in hope eh?

Very sad and well written mate.

Preeti said...

Sigh. A situation such as this is the worst to be in. But I loved the droll manner in which he accepts his death. And he's smiling too, for God's sake...
loved it thoroughly.

SzélsőFa said...

I liked the ending.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Wondeful and sad. Great and scary ending.

Craig said...

That really hit me right between the eyes. Bleak but in a sad beautiful kind of way.

Lee Hughes said...

The thought of being down in the dark with a leg in tatters looking up at the circle of light and seeing a bird with the sky as its playground and him fettered and enclosed.

JaneyV said...

Terrifying! I, like Aniket am holding out for Sara. I love the way the energy of the piece slows as his acceptance of death turns to longing. I like this very much Mike.

I'm just mad at him for not bringing a phone with him.

MRMacrum said...

Thanks all for the kind remarks. I have had a fascination for "being stuck" since a friend many years ago was trapped in his car for almost three days down the side of an embankment piled high with mid winter snow.

Aimee Laine said...

Oh! No! I have those same stupid fears -- I can only hope they already remain just that. Well written!

Beth Harar said...

How sad! But I'm holding out hope that she will find him!

Amias said...

Life is like this, we come alone, we leave alone, and the joy of it all is, when we accept this and move on, our lives change. nice read.

Kartik said...

Will Sara fight her own fears? That is the question ...

laughingwolf said...

not the best way to go, but truthful

Patsy said...

This is very bleak and fits the picture very well.

Alan Griffiths said...

Great to see you here MRM and a great piece of flash – well done sir.

kashers said...

Really enjoyed this one. Read it three times. Not because I didn't 'get' any of it, but for sheer pleasure in the delivery.

Then, I got to thinking how it could be improved. The only thing I could come up with was to do it in first person. So, re-read for the fourth time, replaced 'I' for George, changed some of the tenses and wow... it made an even greater impact.

Still, saying that is being self indulgent. I loved it. Certainly one of my favourites so far.

Hats off to you, MRM

Terri said...

I like the end; the smile of survival despite odds even as he hopes for the relief of death.

Laurel said...

I love the visual of him looking up into the sky from the dark well. This is altogether disturbing and his distance or peace with it makes it more so, very resigned.

Nice job.

catvibe said...

I liked the acceptance he seemed to have come to. I guess what choice, right? Anyway, really nice job here.

angel said...

Now thats the stuff short stories are made of!

illyriataylor said...

"his life was not his to control anymore". fantastic

Lily Childs said...

Loved the sense of resigned despair. He's almost smiling.

Anonymous said...

Poor man. I like this very much. It does show that sometimes we need to listen to others a little better.

Jean Ann

Rabid Fox said...

A dark, sad tale. I liked it, but I expected a bit more desperation and panic from George. Oh well. Still pretty good story.

Randal Graves said...

Bleak resignation is often lovely, and it certainly is here.

Deb Smythe said...

The MC is removed from his pain and emotion, one foot across the threshold, so to speak. And yet as a reader, I still felt emotionally connected. Nicely done.

james r tomlinson said...

You've set-up a wonderful scenario, but I'm curious as to how he got there in the first place. Even in the end, he shows signs of hope.

Aerin said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Cheers,
Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like the new Starbucks paninis or the people over 35 who are exclusively on MySpace

MRMacrum said...

Thanks all of you for the comments. It seems I have much to learn about the ins and outs of this contest, or I guess any writing contest. First one I ever entered really.

Congrats to the winners, honorable mentions and those who made into the "forties" club.