Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Flash fiction - The Secret

Here is this week's Trifecta challenge. Below is the word and definition we had to use. Click on the icon below to read other entries.

The Secret

They didn’t have words for what they couldn’t see. They knew the rains came; they knew the storms lashed their giant trees: they knew the lightening broke on the winding waters around them. They knew the sun rose in a whirl of misty yellows. They knew the sun set in a myriad of fiery reds. They knew everything about their world and its shadows. But they knew nothing beyond their green horizon. What they couldn’t see was simply the past.

Only Huachawaca knew, had seen. He would only speak of the time he fought the white man when his bones grew cold and he believed his ancestors were coming for him. They never did. He was as strong as the trees, and had seen as much.

The white men were ghosts, cloaked in different colours. They brought terrifying sounds. They moved differently; like they came from a forest which bore different fruit, different materials. They carried obscure objects. The white man was always looking for something. Huachawaca and his brothers gave them their poison. He didn’t know how many years ago it was.

Huachawaca’s great-grandson crouched on his heels, chin on his knees, facing the old man. His hands were tucked into his thighs. Puji listened. He wanted to know why he was afraid.

We band together against the white man because we are this forest. Like the vines that wrap the trees, making everything one and the same. White man doesn’t understand this. White man looks for something else. He doesn’t understand it is all this here: our soul, our land.

The fire crackled. Palms swayed in the breeze. Monkeys could be heard settling. It would soon rain.


Puji kept his hands closed. Inside he held a secret. He knew it was the first secret like it of his tribe. He had no other word for it. But the secret hurt. The green, jacket button pressed into his palm hurt; like a misunderstanding, a wrong footstep in the jungle. 
330 words

BAND (verb) 1: to affix a band to or tie up with a band
2: to finish or decorate with a band
3: to gather together : unite 

                                                                     

20 comments:

  1. Powerful. The button was surely burning his palm. Well written.

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    1. Thanks for the read and comment, LaTonya. The stories of uncontacted tribes are indeed powerful so I am glad some of that at least came across!
      Laura

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  2. This is an intriguing story. I like how it spans generations from the great-grandfather to great-grandson. The button represented such a threat, it must've been an awful secret to keep.

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    1. Thanks Janna for your read and comment. I am really glad you liked it.
      Laura

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  3. Great writing and imagery. beautiful entry :)

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  4. I am very interested in the whole process involved in undiscovered tribes seeking to maintain their private worlds in the face of our relentless pursuit of discovery. The whole unravelling of a civilization can, truly, begin with something as seemingly inconsequential as a button. You have captured the mystical nature of these worlds very well. The sense of menace that exists seems very real. Lovely work. Thanks for linking up this week. :)

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    1. I highly recommend Scott Wallace's book The Unconquered if you are interested in unconacted tribes. It is excellent and thought-provoking.
      Thanks for the read and comment, Tom.
      Laura

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    2. I was looking for a new book and now, thanks to you, I think I have found it. Checked the author out and what he did sounds intriguing. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

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    3. No problem, Tom. You're going to love it. Enjoy!

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  5. The secret hurt... A line so well crafted that I caught my breath and wished I had written it. It says so much in so few words.

    This was masterful, thank you for linking up this week.

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  6. Thanks so much for your read and wonderful comment. I'm glad it had such an effect. I shall endeavour to keep being masterful!
    Laura

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  7. You've done a lovely job of telling this unique story, Laura. And your last line is amazing. Very well written!

    P.S. thanks for your note on mine. I removed the last line and I think it now works a heck of a lot better! Thank you!!

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    1. Jo-Anne, a pleasure to come and read you! Am glad you think the edit works!
      Thanks for your fabulous comment and the read!
      Laura

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  8. The deep-rooted betrayal, how much it hurts!
    Love the atmosphere you've given this story. Also love the idea of what they can't see being in the past.

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  9. Kymm,
    Thanks for reading and commenting! The jungle as a whole lot of atmosphere going on, hopefully I managed to capture a smidgen of it!
    Laura

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  10. I love the rhythm and cadence of this story, the almost lyrical language, the rich imagery. And what a terrific job you've done with Puji in just a few lines--his fascination, his fear, his secret burden. Beautifully done.

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  11. Replies
    1. Hopefully, they survive!
      Thanks for the read Anne,
      Laura

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