Winter Mind

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Moonlit trees image taken by Tim Massaro –

Green note: I have the mean tag team, Travel and Time, to curse, for leaving me with only this puddle of prose.


I woke to slow-coming remembrances of the last 27 days-worth of hard luck.

On a third quest to restore the peace of a bygone day, my cavalry had been captured and I’d been traded for the life of another. I was dropped into a dungeon, starved and kept awake with the jabs of a spear, had to lick the damp stone walls for moisture to live on. When the Marshal’s men rescued me and delivered me unto the Lesser Brothers, there was little left of me. My body was skin and bones, my mind full of holes.

Just last night the moon had lit up the whole nighttime world, as far as I could see anyway. The moon shone down on the trees, casting their shadows out in front of them. The deciduous trees’ shadows were particularly stunning. Perfect representations of their bare branches extended from the bases of their trunks so that they looked like roots inked onto a glistening, stark-white canvas. And I had it all to myself.

As the others slept, I went outside into the freezing air and took pictures. They came out black, but that was no matter, for it was merely an exercise in entreating Hope to return. It would not, but the beauteous scene pierced my soul, and from the fresh wound came a blood of sorts that needed to be let: the question of Help’s origin.

Only a certain amount of help can come from one’s brothers. They did the right thing, could not have known what shape I’d be in, but they cannot restore my health.

Help from a higher power is uncertain, shows itself on occasion in hindsight, but comes with no guarantee of present or future services.

If Help must come from within, but there are no remaining or known resources on which to draw, what is one to do?

Both existence and the quality of it are too uncertain for my taste. Randomness seems to rule, to keep Destiny and Fate back like buffoons attempting to crash a posh dinner party.

I suppose I shall remain outside then, and wait for Mercy, as Time runs down slow like black oil over snow.
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19 responses to “Winter Mind

  1. Quite a dark piece, laced with deliciously wonderful lines.
    “My body was skin and bones, my mind full of holes.”
    “Time runs down slow like black oil over snow.”

    I like the poetic feel to the piece, and her strong sense of freedom within her suffering.

    • Oh thank you, Steve! Lovely review. And this you’re sure to get a kick out of, that you felt or assumed a feminine hand when I was thinking male. Clearly, hormones make all the difference : )

      • yeah, ya got me there. :D
        Because no gender was mentioned, I did assume that because you are female that the MC was female too. (Sorry ’bout that)
        Well, from a male perspective, I still stand by my original comment, except I’m taking the post post liberty (Is that a proper expression? :) ) of exchanging the “her” for “his”

        It’s a brilliant piece of work whatever the gender. :)

  2. The suffering was evident and yet there was a sense of hope too. Loved like Steve lots of lines in this liked ” but the beauteous scene pierced my soul, and from the fresh wound came a blood of sorts that needed to be let:”

    • Indeed, hope’s in there too, you read it well, Helen, and I appreciate your input regarding the standout bits. You can always tell me what could be better as I’m with you on the value of constructive feedback : )

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    • Oh I know, the buffoons line was a riot! All lines that come from “Out There” are bewildering at worst, breathtaking at best. It’s nice you noticed the seal. It’s all that’s left of my original plan to make this a medieval missive : )

  4. You do fine work at the hands of the mean tag team. The words and lines coiled and settled deep thoughts on me at first read that needed to be sorted and mulled over. And it came to me, help comes in waiting, giving it up to the Universe, is a powerful choice rather than accepting the inevitable, and where it seems no choice was made, there is a fine distinction.

    • Thank you, EllaDee, and I like the end effect it had on you, for you penned some seriously lovely and true lines here. They remind me of the Rush lyrics “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” only you’ve put in the essential universal element : )

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  6. That last simile is absolutlely killer. This is actually an illustration of one of my favourite concepts — that being free isn’t good enough, because you have to feel secure in your freedom to really use it.

    • Great point, Katherine! I love that concept, feel like it’s true for the majority. Thanks for bring that to light here : )

  7. I really like that last line “time runs down slow like black oil over snow.” It is a bit sing song rhymy but the image it brings makes up for that.

    • Oh that last line, thanks Jon, and I did think about that… Trouble is, rhyming has a life of its own, is this self-perpetuating thing that tends to skew vision and discombobulate better judgement; that is to say it’s hard to stop it once it shows up with all its beefy friends!

  8. Fantastic emotion here. A soul in search of hope again after a brutal knock down, just a glimmer; found in the in the beauty of the inky trees at night. I absolutely adore the line about help -“…and from the fresh wound came a blood of sorts that needed to be let: the question of Help’s origin.” And destiny and Fate kept back like buffoons. Anticipation…gain, against the backdrop of cynicism and reality.

    • Thank you, Jules! I suppose there’s worse to be experienced than arriving at the point of feeling there’s no help to be had. I’ve been there once, didn’t like it one bit, but it was a good base for this puddle. Certainly, it puts a person in touch with that last-ditch bit of hope that comes from somewhere…

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