The Day I Died
Our village lies about a turbulent river which roils and boils and flashes with the fires of hell as the sucking swells threaten to dispossess us of our homes.
The river draws us to its grinding, churning body and so we build ever nearer to its banks; at the same time its slick, oily density, groaning and wallowing with malice, repels us and we surround our abodes with living fences made of sturdy, giving willow.
When you cross the Bridge of Peace in winter the fences are naked and shivering, frost glistening like tears between the close cuddles of their woven branches while in spring their supple boughs, with their virgin leaves, tremble as though in the grip of a fever.
There are other bridges that traverse the dark swell: the Bridge of Hope, the Bridge of Pity, the Bridge of Watchfulness and the Bridge of Sorrow, and as we cross them we touch the sturdy stone walls, rimed with lichen, and offer a prayer to the heavens.
No-one swims the river, no-one in living memory has ever swum the river, but today I shall go in and brave it’s murky depths for a dead parchment was discovered in the cloisters of the old monastery, hidden deep within the crumbling wall, bound in oilskins and sealed in a lead-lined box with sealing wax.
It speaks of a trench, below the torrid water, burgeoning with the restorative, sweet tears of the Goddess Daphne that, when breached, will rid the river of its demons, and I have been chosen as the one to perform the breach; today I die, for I know in my heart that the trench has already been compromised and Daphne’s tears were boiled dry decades ago by the stinking stretch that waits to claim my life.
I went to someone’s blog and she suggested we all try writing a story in six lines. I’ve forgotten the link to her site, but I wanted to complete the exercise and above is the result. Okay, I know it is six very long lines, and the story could go on to a more conclusive end, but then couldn’t they all? If I hadn’t written it myself I would
probably call it a cheat (that semi-colon in the last paragraph is sheer bloody cheek), so I may have to try again! Ah well. Back to the drawing board. Would love to see your attempts.