Five Card Story: to live backwards is not evil

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a Five Card Flickr story by Tempy created Apr 04 2011, 02:18:57 am. Create a new one!

flickr photo credits: (1) Serenae (2) bionicteaching (3) IKnowHowToWhistle (4) jentropy (5) hummingcrow

about this story

when the leaves became spotted red, i had to go
signs, signs, were they all my that my life was comprised of?

maggie tried to force me to drink the waters of lethe, but i stopped her and she spoke no more

fevered, seeing constellations in the growth of desert flowers, i climbed to the top of the mountain

twos and threes, searching for answers from the peak
maybe we'd be closer to Him
maybe we'd be beyond heavy air

my head grew fuzzier
dehydration, the madness of disease
when i thought myself well, i had already forgotten what i left beneath the mountain

julius, lizzy, leon, and i all sat with some people who didn't introduce themselves
they said that names were signs of dirty civilization, signs of a ephemeral and pretentious existence

thousands of bats, bugs, birds fled the forest as we watched absently
it was beneath us, lords of mountaintops so high that i cannot remember ever being warm, not even when i lay with the others to bask in the sunlight

when the nameless elders died suddenly, having contracted my former symptoms, we were jolted out of our comfort and discomfort into something new

we had no shovels and the ground was too tough for hands, so we put them in the Sanctuary and pulled the building down atop them

leon died as we wandered down the mountain like lost sheep, another victim of the disease
lizzy fell and broke her ankle

i carried her the rest of the way, though i was still weak from my so-recent illness

we reached sea level and moved along a river to a town
the town was deserted, so we followed the road to a city

it was like the skin of a snake after molting,
hollow and transparent,
lizzy made a sound like a lamed bird and i felt something i had not felt since before i fell sick

we wandered through homes where the televisions fuzzed and shhhhhed

house sparrows had found their way into an apartment complex and flew between geometric rafters

julius got sick and we sat next to him in an unfamiliar home
a residence that bore the marks of child residents; pink bedroom, drawings on the refrigerator of flowers and the family dog

when our friend got better, we moved on. i could not for the life of me remember how to drive a car, but we found a wagon and my companions sat in it and thanked me for not leaving them alone

they held hands when they thought i couldn't see
they smiled at each other when they thought i wouldn't notice

i did, but remembered that i had somebody and had lost her
it wormed at the edges of my consciousness right before sleep

did it bother me that she was probably dead? that what we had was a fleeting dream?

i tried to drown thought in work, dragging my companions in a red wagon behind me
muscles sprouted in my limbs, wiry sinew
i came to be a hunter, a gatherer, a leader, and a mute

my tongue, once so occupied in asking questions and giving answers, would no longer work for me

thus, i found that i could not answer the call we heard in the crater
nor express my wonder at the sight
not cry out in surprise
when the one who'd offered me water in sickness came climbing up to meet us

she has joined us, but will not address me
i hold out hope, though

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flickr photo credits: (1) Serenae (2) bionicteaching (3) IKnowHowToWhistle (4) jentropy (5) hummingcrow

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