A New Member of the Team
Meet Shannon Hunter, who will be co-writing with Cage Dunn (me; something about a horse – oh, yes: Equine Neophyte of the Blood Desert – watch for it!) and has offered up a short piece for the Wednesday/Friday Work.
Copyright Shannon Hunter 2017
The devastation lay around their feet in swirls of mud and sticks and broken things that couldn’t be identified. Just mud. Muck. Sticky stuff that stank; that stuck to the bottom of the boots; that sucked at the ground it was trying to escape.
Evinor looked up at the stiff whiteness of her mother’s face. At least there was no blue in the lips – yet. She dared not let her hand go – had to feel the pulse without her realising she was being checked on.
It wasn’t right. They had enough to deal with. A storm. Was God so angry at her for the words she spoke that the storm came to clean out her list of priorities, to force her to realign the world? Evinor did her best. She did. But she wanted things, real things, from her life. Like being a kid, knocking around with the wild ones and their sense of freedom and indestructability. She wanted that. To believe there were more tomorrows that yesterdays.
There weren’t. Not for her family.
And now there was this mess to clean up.
Along with the thoughts of freedom.
Sweep them up, toss them out, get on with reality.
The neighbours walked up, clicking through the mud, stood by her mother, put arms around her shoulders, spoke words of calmness and assistance. It wouldn’t be enough – they knew it, but they did it anyway. Did they do it for Evinor as well?
They made teams, two work as one, dig up with shovels, pass out the bottled water, move all the really bad stuff to the location marked with the big black X – dump it all there so the truck has easy access. When it comes. If it makes it this far.
The truck would come. Tomorrow would come. The world moved on and cleaned up and joined hands.
The slow movement of Evinor’s world became slower when she saw the first signs, when she yelled the first warning. So slow. Her feet were too slow. Words too slow.
The topple seemed to last for hours. A gradual twist of the upper torso as the legs folded. A slow roll to the head as it glided through the space between up and down. A deep growl in the groan of air as it left the lungs for the last time.
Evinor heard the words, spoke the words, moved the body, ran, did the things that needed to be done, used the tools that needed to be…
The flash of the ambulance – too late, of course. The officials in three different uniforms – too late to help, of course.
The dampness of the stinky mud that crept through her jeans and into her heart and mind.