Friday, January 08, 2010

Entry #67

The Mending of the Broken
by Lee Hughes


Melvin picked up the midnight feather. He monitored the sky for its owner. He wondered if it was broken and needed mending.

He put it in the pocket of his dungarees.

"Caw." A bird the colour of Melvin's shadow was up in his tree.

"Hey, you broken?"

"Caw."

Melvin took that for a yes. There were so many things that needed mending, most were missing pieces.

Melvin filled his cheeks with air, exhaled, glanced at the shoebox and reckoned it would be mightily unfair if he were to put the bird to the front of the queue to be mended.

He picked up a stone. People called him dumb, but he could throw.

One shot got the bird down. It struggled as he picked it up.

"It's okay, you're gonna be mended up. But gots to be fair, others been waiting longer."

He sat and opened up the box. He took a few bits of bone and some skull and began taping them together, borrowing bits from the bird he'd stoned.


"I mended you, go fly." He held out his hand but it wouldn't take to the wing.

He sighed.

Maybe it wanted to stay.

He taped it to one of the low branches; the leaves were taped on too.

He smiled.

He put the leftover bits of the bird away. He pulled out a small skull he'd found buried in Mr. Merewether's yard, Melvin reckoned it was from people kind, not animal kind.

"I'll get you mended next."

49 comments:

Kate said...

Ooh, this gave me the chills!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Yes. Definite chills. I was hoping for real mending, but got the illusion and unmending. Nicely done.

onipar... said...

I do like how the "mending" being done is more of a taking apart. Spooky story.

pjd said...

Definitely spooky and eeewww inducing. Great characterization and good job handling the odd logic in the MC's head.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Mel'll Fix It. Or not.

A real chiller which is neatly tied up at the end. good on yer, cobber.

David Barber said...

Nice one Lee. Yokels in dungarees! Great piece.

Bernita said...

Induces quiet horror and a form of pity.
Well done.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a marvellous character!

wrath999 said...

Wow Creepy good. A birth of a serial killer?

Michael Solender said...

brilliant!

Janel said...

Very chilling glimpse into a disturbed mind. Great twist at the end.

Aniket said...

Wow! Just Wow!

You sir are definitely in my top 5.
I've said on one post before that I have a thing for serial killer stories. And this to me is like the best Christmas gift ever. :)

Thank you for such an entertaining read.

Lena said...

Just wow! A real chiller. Great work!

Mike Wilkerson said...

Lee, that was extremely well done. I was reading what I thoght was a sentimental little story. Then came the ending and I got a kick in the groin instead...it felt sooooo good.

Keep up the good work!

maybe genius said...

Delightfully creepy!

JaneyV said...

Lee - this creeped the bejaysus out of me. Well done.

Aimee Laine said...

That is creepy! But I could envision it and that's even worse! ;) Good job!

Craig said...

Gutwrenching in a very good way.

Chris Allinotte said...

Lee, at your best, your stories read like you carve 'em out with a straight razor.

This is one of those stories.

"He took a few bits of bone and some skull and began taping them together, borrowing bits from the bird he'd stoned."

It's the matter-of-fact delivery that sells it.

Well done sir.

Kartik said...

Amazingly creepy! There is some serious potential with this character. Brilliant writeup!

Patsy said...

I could tell that to him, all this seemed perfectly reasonable - a good thing to do.

What scares me the most is that he might actually mamage to fix something.

Alan Griffiths said...

A very original piece. Excellent, creepy stuff Lee, and very well done.

catvibe said...

Ugh! Yikes! A very mentally challenged character there...but clearly a brilliant author. Well written! The tapes on leaves...geeze.

Jared said...

I could read this ten, fifteen times and get a different read on it every go, I bet. It's very neat, tidy but still allows for some different angles.

laughingwolf said...

gotta watch them thar yayhoos in dungarees! :O lol

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Mel clearly never heard the expression, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Chilling tale and a shivery pleasure to read.

Meghan said...

Wow! Very chilling. A very powerful read. Great job.

Angel Zapata said...

It made my bones ache. Love it, Lee.

Laurel said...

Outstanding. I really thought it was sad and icky until you got to the skull and then it was downright terrifying.

Great narration, too. Just an utter disconnect between what he's doing and what he thinks he's doing.

Stephen Hill said...

I can see it, I can feel it, and God help me, I love it. That kid is wedged in my brain as firmly as a shard of skull. Great stuff.

sandra seamans said...

This reminded me of "Of Mice and Men", sad and chilling.

SzélsőFa said...

ouch - at first i thought it was a child's dream.
great monologue, nice take, chilling, with a subtle hook, congrats.
i think there should be a backstory, but within the 250 words limit, this is just great.

Four Dinners said...

I like Melvin. He makes me feel sane!

Great work. He started off a sweet guy trying to help and ended up a complete nutter.

Doing that in so few words is a bit special.

illyriataylor said...

Holy effin Hell this is a masterpiece. Now how do I make the goosebumps go away?
So far, I think you've won this contest.

CJT said...

THIS IS FANTASTIC! When this contest is over, can I post you as a guest write on my blog??? let me know, I love it!

Lee Hughes said...

Thank you all very much for the kind commments. Glad people are enjoying it.

CJT you can find my email addy in my profile and we'll sort out the guest write.

Lily Childs said...

Oh Lee, this is just exquisite! We are right there in his head. I just love his methodology and reasoning.

Creepy and twisted. Superb.

Chris Eldin said...

Dare I say... bone chilling! This is also one of my faves. Very well done, on many many levels.

Jean Ann Williams said...

This one . . . is very good! Chilling and real!

So few words to show so much!

Jean Ann

Erin Cole said...

Creative, twisted, and downright awesome!

truevoid said...

enjoyed it a lot. this one for sure is going into my list.

McKoala said...

Definitely one to remember; one of the most original entries, I think.

Terri said...

Eew, freaky, creepy... Excellent stuff! It draws pictures my mind would rather not contemplate :)

james r. tomlinson said...

I like the casual, natural conversation your character has with the bird. So many other entries attempted this, but it seemed forced. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Not sure I'd want to be meeting 'Melvin' any time soon.

Nicely written.

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 Sarah Palin's hair or the enigmatic career of Justin Timberlake.

Chris Eldin said...

I had a very very hard time narrowing my favorites down to 10, and then choosing a favorite from that short list. But now that the voting is over, just wanted to let you know that I picked this one as my favorite for Reader's Choice. It was your characterization, the authenticity of your character and the honesty in your writing. And the creative take. Very very original.

Lily Childs said...

A huge 'Well Done' for the 3rd place Readers' Choice and the honourable mentions.

I fess up - I voted you top.

Brilliant piece; would love to see it expanded.

All the best matey.

Lily

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

Creepy, scary!

Congrats on the reader's choice and H/M!

Dottie :)