In Fiction on July 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

Here’s to another week gone by and another Friday Fictioneers care of Madison Woods. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.


He sat at the base of the gorge, his ankle crushed, ghosts watching from the cliff above. It had been more than a day since sweat last cooled his skin.

I am a turtle, he thought wildly, turned on its shell in the desert.

He could smell juniper, and the smoke of a fire built with piñon, though the nearest camp was miles away. He could feel a kind breeze on his skin, though the air was still and the sun was high.

Darkness flooded his eyes and he saw leaping flames, shadows dancing in the light. There was music, and the song of the shadows broke low and somber on the plains.

And then — at last — he felt the rain.


For those of you who will wonder, my title, Ky’awe is a phonetic version of the Zuni word for water.

Again, criticism is more than welcome, and if you’d like to try your hand at some flash fiction, just head over to Madison’s website and submit your link!

More of my fiction can be found here – check it out and let me know what you think!

  1. Dear Brian,

    One of the most beautiful of this weeks offerings. I once sat on a mountain top and waited three days for it to rain. We collected rainwater in a tarp and filled our canteens and hiked out of there. Your story really brought back memories. We are left with the temporary relief granted by the rain, but the crushed ankle tells me the end has only been postponed.



  2. I echo Doug’s comment. Beautiful offering. I love the title…thanks for explaining it.

  3. I enjoyed your prose- like poem. Very spare but full of meaning.

    Mine is on the list at #15 or here:

  4. Brian, this is incredibly vivid. I love all the description you threw into the piece. This picture has evoced a lot of description from many people, but you took me right into the mind of your character, his desperation and hallucinations. It’s a feast for the senses, but so easily wrought that nothing feels forced in (I often find smells in particular feel like the writer’s going “ooh, I’d better introduce smells” and this doesn’t at all).
    I’m worried for him – is this rain real? And even if it it, will it make a difference to his fate?

    My favourite so far, in an exceptional week.

    • Thanks so much, that’s a great compliment (and all the better because I know how well you know your stuff)! I think you’re right to be worried, since so much of the relief he feels seems hallucinated, but I think there’s reason to be hopeful too.

  5. Excellent story, images, smells, sounds, thirst, pain. I think it very wise to give the reader sensations, as you’ve done here. Well done.

  6. “And then — at last — he felt the rain.” Sweet relief.

  7. I’m a sucker for anything that ends with hope and again enjoyed how easy it is to slip into your protagonist’s world. Oh, and thanks for the title translation!

    • Thought people would appreciate the translation! Thanks for your comment; I’m open to all kinds of feedback, but the good stuff is, well, good!

  8. Oh, I’m glad it ended on a hopeful note. The rain is almost a promise. Nicely done.

    My attempt:

  9. I love to be left with optimism and you did that very well. I could feel his pain and thirst.

  10. This is the first piece of yours I’ve read… And wow! You build the tension beautifully and then finally nature rescues! Love!

  11. Beautiful expression. One of the best I’ve read.

  12. This is so beautifully written with great images created. Well done. Mine is here

  13. Thank you for the compliment on my Adobe Dreams Post, yours was spectacular. I love the way you helped me to “see” the scene, just as you wrote about it. Can’t wait to read more~!

  14. I love the Native American feel to your story. The ending was so perfect after the harsh contrast of being stuck in the desert heat. Loved the turtle metaphor.
    Really nice!

  15. really nice Brian! I could not only see but feel it. Beautifully crafted…

  16. Brilliant, every word–even the title!

  17. You give us everything in this story and it is beautifully told. I recently read Touching the Void and this reminded me of that, the hallucinations, desperation.

  18. Brian,
    You’re the Flash Fictioneer of the week to me. Course I haven’t read them all, but this one is impressive. It has so many things going for it. The Zuni tie-in, the downward spiral, and descriptions that just blew me away. You really show you’re a writing mofo in this one. You created something beautiful in 100 words. Thanks for reading and commenting on my story.

  19. I am a turtle, he thought wildly, turned on its shell in the desert.

    Perfectly captures the desperation one would feel in that moment, as well as echoing the feelings of strength and of solidarity with nature. All he had to do was wait…

  20. HI ~ Ron (Bridges) said it all. I agree…you get the FF award this week…(even though I’ve not read them all either). It’s the depth and beauty you managed to create in so few words This late bloomer learns and thanks you. Appreciate your translation.

  21. I can’t help but second the comments of those who’ve come before you. You’ve done a beautiful job with this one. I tip my hat to you.

  22. Thanks for your comments on my story, and for the wonderful story you’ve posted here. You blend the internal and external world really skillfully.

  23. I must agree with Doug this conveys perfectly the feeling of waiting in a remote place for the relief of cooling rain. Been there, done that. This described it wonderfully.

  24. Breathtaking, an excellently written, powerful visual you created.

  25. […] Favorite Posts: The Regenerating Man // The Albino Black Cowboy // Ky’Awe // The Mill in the Kip // Pietro […]

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