A short-short

I read a post by Stephen Geez on Story Empire about narrative choice and POV. He gave lots of information and examples: https://storyempire.com/2023/01/16/narrative-choice-part-1/. His post made me realize that I’ve been writing in third person, past tense most of the time. Occasionally, I’ve used first person/past tense because it feels more immediate, but I haven’t experimented for a long time. I’ve been busy, trying to finish books.

I don’t have time for this, I told myself. But my brain doesn’t always listen to me, so I woke today, while snow filled our driveway, with an idea that wouldn’t go away. So I wrote it. And it was fun. And not my usual.

A Natural Order

He didn’t bury her.  He damaged her, then killed her, then left her.  Just like the others.  Four bodies now, scattered among the wildflowers, fallen trees, fungi, and trees of the forest.

We whisper to each other on the wind.  It’s wrong to just leave them, clothing ripped, bruised and beaten, to rot.  Animals come to gnaw on them.  The moss tries to spread over them.  Leaves drop to cover them but even a slight breeze makes them slip away. 

Contaminated.  Unnatural.  Young women aren’t part of our world.  I clung to my seeds until a fox trotted past me, then I snagged onto its fur, and dropped them when it went to sniff her.  Next year, I’ll surround her with my flowers, like I have the others.  A beautiful bed to frame her.  But while I wait, he comes again. 

This time, we don’t whisper.  The rich forest floor shakes with rage.  Roots twist in fury.  Brambles reach for him.  Vines clamp around his legs.  He reaches to yank on them, and the girl jerks free, runs.  He growls his anger, determined to catch her.  The old oak quivers and a low, heavy branch falls.  He drops to the ground, pinned under it.  The vines wrap around his neck and squeeze. 

A bird sings.  A breeze flits by.  I lift my flower heads to slants of sun.  We hum a happy tune to one another.  Nature is restored.

14 thoughts on “A short-short

  1. So cool that Stephen’s post inspired you to experiment. You did a great job. Now, I want to know more of the story. 🙂

    I almost always write in third person past tense. Two of my stories in Menagerie were first person tense, one first person present. It just seemed to be the only way to write them, but it was definitely stepping out on a limb for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic short story, Judi! You did a great job writing it in the present tense. That POV doesn’t come easy for me, either. I have to work at it. Thanks for highlighting Mr. Geez’s post!

    Liked by 1 person

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