In the deep-rooted shadows upon which the forest stands, where nothing grows except moss and the debris piles of winter-felled branches and twigs, they heard the stuttering k-r-r-r-r-r-k like that of an opening door to a derelict shack.
But around Jerry Lilly and his brother Ben, padding through the shadows, there was no abandoned home except last year’s finch’s nest and the insect domicile within the pine upon which a woodpecker hammered another k-r-r-r-r-k.
“This noise where there’s nothing around creeps me out, man,” Ben said.
“Someday, little brother, you’ll find such ‘noise,’ as you call it, a blanket of quiet comfort, the caress of natural music far from the crash and soul-crunching violence in the city to which you’ll run as often as possible for its peace,” said Jerry.
“Okay, I get it, but it’s so darn dark in here, how the hell are we supposed to see anything well enough to shoot it?” Ben said, shifting the new rifle to his shoulder and swinging it around in carefree arcs.
– Joseph Hesch
© 2013, Joseph Hesch, story and the portrait below, All rights reserved
JOSEPH HESCH (A Thing for Words) is a writer and poet from Albany, New York. This delightfully ironic flash-fiction piece is what we hope will be the first of many contributions to Into the Bardo. Joe’s poems and stories are inspired by his almost 400-year-old hometown, but most spring from his many travels between his right ear and his left ear. A former journalist, Joe has written for a living for more than thirty years and only recently convinced himself to rediscover the writer he once thought he was. Five years ago he began to write short fiction. Two years later, in a serendipitous response to a blinding case of writer’s block, he wrote his first poem…ever. He hasn’t looked back.
Joe’s work is published in journals and anthologies coast-to-coast and worldwide. He posts poems and stories-in-progress on his blog, A Thing for Words. An original staff member at dVerse Poets Pub website, Joe was named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “2011 Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.”