Extreme Writing Challenge #4: “Forgiveness”

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.


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