Writing 101 – Day 1 (I know it’s late!)

Stream of consciousness – twenty minutes of free writing and see where they take me…

Have you guys seen inside my mind?! Twenty minutes could be lethal!

As the grey mist cleared, the man with one eye red and one eye blue saw the remains of the tree lying at his feet, the heartwood split, all hope of further growth, of a future, destroyed. The roots lay twisted; a once burrowing hand now grasping at the air in silent agony, clutching for the life it once had. The silence surrounding the new stump seemed oppressive after the explosion, suffocating, even; and was only broken by the muted whimpering of a boy and his mother as they lay stunned in the dirt.

 

A soft pitter – patter began to intrude on the silence. It was starting to rain mud.

 

The mud fell in the pattern of a Star of David, its perfect equilateral lines slowly descending and lining up exactly with the oil that had been cast onto the floor. There was something uniquely visceral about the scene: a bacchanal of excess that existed beyond the remains of the tree, extended beyond the oil and the star and embraced far more than the normal five senses. Primal creation lay thick on the ground.

 

The matchbox tumbled to the ground at exactly the same speed as the lit spill, but it was the match that created the most damage to the forest. It flared briefly – blue – then cherry red and glowing, before transforming itself into an all-consuming wall of flame that hungrily devoured the oil and mud.

 

The man with one eye red and one eye blue cupped his hands together and began to intone a soft, insistent chant. It was foul, and guttural, and full of hate and spite and all the thoughts that should never become ideas, much less be spoken aloud.

 

But spoken aloud they were, and become real they did.

 

“Fire before me, Heaven above me, Earth below me, Blood within me.”

 

The chant continued. Each repetition changed the inflection, changed the meaning, changed the understanding. Only the words remained constant, everything else becoming redefined with each repetition, “Fire BEfore ME HeaVEN above me, EARTH BE LOW! Me BLOOD WITH in me…”

 

His hands lifted and unwrapped a Hessian bag. Rough hands, they spoke of toil and sacrifice, not of learning or compassion. A pair of hands that existed because they had a purpose; a reason to be, nothing more. They extracted the iron rod and held it at the apex of the Star of David briefly before throwing it into the centre, onto the fresh tree stump.

 

“FIRE beFORE me, HEAVen A bove ME, EARTH below ME, BLOOD WITH in me!”

 

Within the star-flame, the metal seemed to glow of its own accord, writhing under burning shadows. As the incantation progressed, the man opened a vein and added his own blood to the star, watching it boil and sizzle within the sacred space before it was sucked hungrily into the metal.

 

The man with one eye red and one eye blue smiled and turned around, ready for the next part of the ceremony. That was when the child began to cry. As did his mother.

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