Before time dwelt in the Tarkine (a short story)

forest waterThe below was written for Kellie Elmore’s ‘Free Write Friday’. To find out more about this weeks FWF, follow the link below. Thank you Kellie. a

The below is a battle between this week, and when I was five years old, which means there is not a lot of fluidity to what was written, but then I was not sure where it was going. All the best with reading this one.


Before time dwelt in the Tarkine (a short story)

Pausing a moment, here lies the twisted edge of The Great Tarkine Wood. An ancient forest so battle weary, so hardened to the Southern Ocean and its tormented rage against the brutal rock defences at the western gate. Must hurry, as the clashes between rock and water take form, a deafening resonance as if an army upon the door of some mountain man. Quick, must flee in through the gate, beneath the twisted thorn riddled vines and thick walls of ferns, till breaking clear into more gentler undergrowth, far from the perpetual war struck furious by a bitter ocean’s dislike upon the land.

The new the silence, draped in forest songs of living deep, amongst the fresh wild and free waters running. Here a tree stands dressed by a trail of scarfs, reaching far into the sky, At the base, a small tin sits trapped, locked in a struggle between earth and tree, but what of these scarf like skyward steps, so far in from the sea. First to tap, be sure it must be tin, for what might it hold so deep with in, with in the soul of such a box, stuck between the living and that which is not. Oh to set it free, from beneath the tree, a tree so tall with scarfs and knots. Does the tin, does it hold a tale, or some other secret deep inside, though how did it come to reside.

Enough, enough, of these mind numbing questions, just reach down and pluck the old rusted tin, draw it up from in its arboreal and earthly grave, snatch it from the hell it’s in, just break it free don’t hesitate. As if a bear, with one huge paw, came the strike upon the tin box as fast, tearing flesh clean from the tree, along with earth and rock, but there before thine eyes, upon a now ripped and bloody hand, rests the small tin box. Broken fast clear, from once the clutch of an old bone hand, springing backwards as fast one can, all at the shock. While the tin box, it now did drop in a rain of blood and fear, and as the tin it bounced, the lid did pop upon a left hand rife with pain.

But what here now lies with in, inside this rusted box of scars from earth and tree. Oh it be, just a single folded piece of parchment, resting free, a drawing of the tree, with some words that say, follow these to be set free. The trail of scarfs into the sky, stepping up from notch to notch, left hand dripping without pause, upon the hand of bone below, it came to life and soon did grow. Like a vine twisting around the tree, the hand came snaking up from underneath, to take hold and reef, dragging deep below the earth to peace.

Though by chance there came relief, an axe one hand up in the tree, where now to reach swift, to swing the axe and set adrift, the hand like vine from underneath. To scramble fast, now to the top, not resting in a moment’s stop, until finally one could see, an ancient village high above the trees. Majestic pathways in all directions, with each a story to be told, of ancients past and old…..

7 responses to “Before time dwelt in the Tarkine (a short story)

  1. Well, at least each paragraph was a descriptive tale, so the whole passage wasn’t so much of a struggle. You figurative touch I can’t ignore–they fit quite well.

    • Thank you, Uzoma.. Yes, they do fit into each others’ structures. Just the narrative’s own discussion with its self had me wondering where I was going with the intent.

    • Thank you, Lesley.. Finding the path the writing takes during the process in the above, it was like running, then stop and take a look around, while progressing to escalate, shortening the gaps between each phase. It became a simple act to place detail inside of each pause phase of the story. Although I was not consciously thinking of it at the time. Yes, a simple movement based on an inquiring mind to be sure of what they are seeing. Thanks again!

  2. Of course, your imagery is astounding, as usual…like this: “…the silence, draped in forest songs of living deep, amongst the fresh wild and free waters running. Here a tree stands dressed by a trail of scarfs, reaching far into the sky…” leaving me in silent awe…
    but, then you come in with a roar, speaking of things which reminds me of the human spirit, the bear claw, the tree… symbols of pride and the eternal soul. I was blown away at all the ways you pulled me into your thoughts here. So many awesome ideas struck me to wonder. Love that!!! Thank you!

    • Thank you, Kellie.. I’ve worked with in, passed about, and have roamed through places like the above, it was like recalling a recollection of the senses, but with words.
      It was interesting to see the way the character treated the challenges, choices, and the decisions they made, because at any point almost, I felt they might of given up, and left/failed not knowing. The symbolism is not something I thought of at the time, but they seemed to fit with where the story’s heart and intent seemed to be self directing at the time. Thank you again for your feedback on what your FWF prompts can trigger in my writing..

  3. Pingback: Short stories update | Sean Bidd·

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