Tuesday, September 23, 2008
10 years ago she asked me to write a story.
It wasn't for her. She wanted to enter it for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. Excited with the idea i grabbed my pen(The good old days before the keyboard.) and proceeded to write as she requested.I ended up writing three short stories which she submitted.
I waited 6 long months for the result.
And i didn't win.
I felt miserable that day. I sat dejected in front of my meal angry with myself for letting her down. Angry with myself for putting my hopes up.
She walked into the room and, noticing my depression,came over and gave me a hug with a soft chickle.
"You're so silly." She said. "They were all good stories. You're a winner in my books."
It took me a while to grasp what she meant.
Today i seek to honor her.
Thinking of what to write,I came to the realisation that i had no idea how to go about expressing my love for her. Words seemed mere beside all she had done for me. Nothing I thought of seemed fitting enough.I wanted something she would love and approve off. Something that told her how much i valued her contribution to my life.
It shouldnt have been dificult.
It took a lot of digging within my box but i finally found them.I pulled out one of the three stories I had written for her. I laughed as I read it. Looking at it now i see how i never could have won.
And yet I did win in a lot of ways.I won a valuable lesson in life.
Never to let my failures get to me.
And she taught me that lesson.
I am posting his for her without correcting my old mistakes.I am proud in my flaws because they can only mean i can get better.I am humbled by the fact that despite my flaws I always been perfect to her.
I am here because of her.
I am me because of her.
Happy Birthday Mum.
This one's dedicated to you.
I ran through the woods.
Cutting out paths were none existed. Branches whipped back slapping against my skin. I had cuts in so many places, I had lost track of where. I could feel the cold trickle of blood but not the pain. There was no time for pain.
All I could feel was fear.
They were trying to kill me.
Thus far they had been unsuccessful. Perhaps as a result of lack of skill. Perhaps as a result of my luck. Whichever it was, one was bound to soon outweigh the other. The end would come soon and it would star either a blood-spattered me or a dead and still blood-spattered me.
I loved the injured living me idea better and so I ran faster, ignoring my wounds. They would eventually heal once I escaped.
I would escape.
They had thrown caution to the wind. Bullets were being fired at me and places where “me” might have been.
I stumbled and fell just in time to avoid a bullet that clunked into a tree above me.
How many where there?
Three, four, five.
I didn’t know.
I was certain of three I had seen. Fleeting glances, but they had stuck. One had a red shirt on and the other two were dressed in army fatigues. I was also certain that there was another ahead of me. Possibly two.
Three, four, five men trying to kill me.
I leaped successfully over a boulder that appeared from nowhere. Behind me, I could hear the panting and curses of the men. They were tiring. I was losing them. There was a secret cave half a mile ahead. If I could just reach it. Perhaps this would be over.
But first, I would have to reach it. Another bullet whizzed by me. A quick streak of light on my periphery. They were hungry,
Must run faster.
I didn’t want to die.
My life was measured by seconds. It had been four minutes since the first shot was fired. A life time ago.
As I took a measured leap over a log that lay in my path, I felt a blurring pain in my leg and realized that I had been hit. I screamed.
In shock? In fear? In pain?
I stumbled, attempted to keep up with my pace and then I fell.
I refused to yield. I tried to crawl.Ignoring the growing pain. There was no time to stop and cry. I had a plan. All I needed to do was complete it.
Up ahead of me there was a cave. If I could get to it …..
Perhaps I could hide.
Perhaps I could live.
I swore to myself.
I would live.
I would not die.
The harsh rusting of leaves warned of their impending presence. Seconds later three men burst through the woods. Red shirt was one of them. None of the other two wore fatigues.
There were five.
I watched them approach with loathing. Strangely, I had no fear. All I felt was blinding hatred and anger.
“We got him” Red shirt said. He was panting. Out of breadth.
I made him run. I thought to myself. A spasm from my gunshot wound almost blinded me with pain. I gritted my teeth. I would not scream in front of these men.
No. I swore to myself again. I would not die.
I would live.
“Not yet!” Another said reaching for his gun.
I stared at him with hate.
I would live.
Leaving the woods, one deer shy.