In this story, every sentence is exactly seven words in length. It was harder than I expected it would be. 😯
We vowed not to say one word. The spot we chose was quiet, private. We didn’t even bother pitching a tent. A wordless, peaceful night under the stars. Our only food was fruit and bagels. No talking, no cooking, no other people. We’d discussed the plan a dozen times. Escape: it was just what we needed.
The first two hours were the hardest. It was like he wasn’t even there. He drew pictures in the soft mud. I read a book by the campfire. Occasionally, we glanced up at each other. But no talking, that was the rule. I reminded myself why we were here. We were tired of all the fighting. Siblings fight, but we’d gone too far. I told him to go kill himself. My brother, depressed and going through divorce. I’d told him I wished he’d die.
The silent camping trip was his idea. To learn to be close without talking. Without words, maybe we could cease fire. I wondered what he was thinking about. The time we made butterscotch cookies together? The nights we swapped corny ghost stories? The pillow forts we’d spend hours constructing? I became lost in these surreal memories.
I read, he drew, we said nothing. After awhile he put his head down. I thought he was ill, or bored. But he was crying, heavy, painful sobs. He threw something deep into the trees. The stick he’d been using to draw. As he cried, I studied his pictures. His emotions, carved delicately into the mud. A broken heart, a dagger, a tombstone. I knelt beside him, cried with him. I began stomping intensely on his drawings. I stomped until they were gone. It was soil again, absent of heartbreak.
By the fire, we hugged each other. It was our first hug in years. It meant more than a million words.