Archive for September 2nd, 2011

2nd September
2011
written by amber

Burning

We camped at the edge of a lake long gone dry, its toxic dust blowing in the ceaseless wind.  We were between here and there, without a true destination or itinerary. We weren’t lost.

In the thin air, our campfire stuttered meagre flame and lacklustre heat.  Our clothing kept us warm and our food did not require cooking. We burned the campfire for reasons of nostalgia, but it only served to intensify our silence.

Late the next day we observed a distant object, like a huge uneven tower. After traveling toward it for an hour, we came upon a monumental effigy constructed of the detritus of a vanished world, useful things and useless things all cobbled together – old electronics, food containers, tools, books. We wanted none of these things beyond the documenting of them, which was quickly accomplished.

Yet we made our camp there, still on the shore of the vanished lake. And our campfire that night engendered talk, hesitant at first, then with burgeoning excitement, speaking of things we had heard, things we had learned and, finally, things we had imagined.

We grew careless, and heaped dead branches and scrap lumber upon our fire, building it to a fierce frenzy whipped by the wind. And still we fed it, gathering the undecipherable shreds of paper blown into every depression of the landscape, and the rubber tires of the metal carcasses along the ruined road, and the rags still clinging to the huddled bones we’d found around the effigy.

Last of all, we burned the effigy itself.

It was still burning the next morning when we resumed our trek, but not one of us turned back for a final glance.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This is another story inspired by Ray Bradbury, and also by a mention I heard today about the Burning Man festival.

2nd September
2011
written by amber

Searching for Jonah

The search is in its third day and I know the authorities want to call it off.  If the police hadn’t found signs of a struggle at Jonah’s place, I bet they wouldn’t have even started a search. And I’ve heard that some of the cops don’t think the broken door and skid marks from his wheelchair are signs of a struggle – just signs of clumsiness, Jonah not too good at being a cripple yet.

Which makes me want to scream – “Jonah is not clumsy, he’s graceful and strong and not crippled in any important way!” And when I do express these emotions to my friends, the friends who’ve been bugging me for weeks to date Jonah, they looked shocked and say, “Jessie, are you in love with him or something?”

I don’t know the answer to that question. I won’t know the answer until I can see him again, until he’s found. I’m scared as hell that it’s all my fault, dating that Steven just to prove I’m ready to date again, not realising he’s obsessed with me, not foreseeing that for a guy like him, my preference for a man in a wheelchair would be impossible to accept.

I know Steven did something to Jonah, but no one in authority seems to be taking me seriously about that, and there certainly isn’t any evidence to point to him, clever bastard that he is.

But Jonah’s friends listened to me, and one of them did an internet search, discovered some property just outside town once owned by an aunt of Steven’s, and we’re doing an under-the-radar search.

We haven’t been here very long but already we’ve found fresh tire tracks next to what looks like an old well, sealed up with a metal lid. The guys are working to lift the lid now.

God, I hope he’s not down there. I don’t think I could bear it.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Sorry – I did it again, left Jonah down the well for two weeks, not noticing that Thursday came and went.