The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #27


The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #27

One Picture

One Element

One Emotion

200 Words

Vertical Northern Lights

A Halycon


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7 thoughts on “The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #27

  1. He watched as the Aurora Borealis lit up the night sky. How insignificant he felt, in this infinite universe. Was his uncle really correct? Did it all matter? Were human morals and social constraints meaningless?
    “But uncle, what would the neighbours say?”
    “I don’t have any neighbours, dear boy. And I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I love all my works of art, as you know, and this would be no different.”
    His uncle’s trailer was filled with stuffed animals, from dogs and cats, a fox, a squirrel, some strange looking marsupials posted over to him from an Australian relative – the postman gave those packages a curious glance – and his pride and joy, a Halcyon, a type of kingfisher he’d hit with his Landrover on the ‘can-never-be-forgotten’ African expedition. His uncle wanted a lion but couldn’t get anyone to bag him one. So the poor roadkill became the taxidermist’s African prize.
    “But uncle…”
    “I loved her. Why can’t I turn her into a work of art?”
    “Because it’s wrong, uncle, so wrong!”
    “Oh, you will send me to distraction, dear boy!”
    His uncle stroked her hair.
    “Why can’t you just bury her like everyone else?”

  2. We would see the Aurora Borealis together for the last time that night, though I didn’t know it then…

    Standing together in the chilly night, I looked into her crystalline blue eyes and saw in them a myriad of transitioning colors. So lovely, the aurora and… those eyes! I turned and looked at the lights dancing a silent ballet in the magnetosphere of the northern sky.

    “Have you heard of the Halcyon?” she said quietly.

    Distractedly, “The star?”

    “No, the bird.”

    I had not. I turned, intrigued now, to see her eyes were blazing with eagerness.

    “Legend has it,” she began, “the Halcyon bird—a kingfisher really—nested out to sea and calmed the raging wind and roiling waves.”

    She looked directly into my eyes just then. My heart fluttered.

    “What makes you think of that story,” I said, holding my breath.

    “You are my Halcyon. When I am with you, I feel so calm and peaceful. There is nowhere else I would rather be.”

    I exhaled hard and smiled, awash with so many emotions.

    But she did end up elsewhere. She was killed a month later in a car crash.

    I gazed at the aurora, alone now, and remembered.

    • I see a similar structure here as Tannis’; an idyllic scene with a sudden twist, but this one was more painful. Her’s was clever, but this one involved an actual loss, and I felt it. Interesting to note the similarities and differences in the two similar structures.

  3. I stepped out of the truck into a good 12 inches of fresh fallen snow. “Man, this is deep!” Andy and I were working at the apartment complex; it was huge! Just a month ago, we had been stuck here nearly seven hours for just a 4-inch snow. “Come on, let’s do this,” Andy quipped in a distinct mercenary tone. Somewhat distracted by the enormity of our task, my shoulders slumped as I sauntered around the truck to get my shovel.

    It was a Friday night, and we were supposed to be off for the weekend. “Stupid, lousy snow!” I muttered. That’s when I looked over at the side walks and gasped. “Those haywire kids have been out here playing! Look at this! They’ve got it all packed down, DANG IT!”

    Andy chirped, “Hey, look at that,” and pointed skyward. It was amazing. The Northern Lights filled the entire sky. With rich vivid colors they waxed and waned as if dancing to some ethereal music I couldn’t hear. I felt very small.

    My anger melted away as I was filled with a peace and calm that seemed alien to my world. I looked back at the trampled, packed snow and sighed. “It’s not like they packed it down just for spite,” I thought. “Besides, how many times has God cleaned up after me?”

    Looking over at Andy I declared, “Come on, let’s do this!”

  4. Winnipeg is wonderful in the halcyon days around Christmas. Snow covers the streets, elms reach their bony fingers towards the heavens towards, if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights playing their myriad colours in the depths of dark nights.

    Jonas loved this time filled with bonhomie and hail-fellow-well-met. If he was lucky, carollers attract everybody’s attention. And provide a lovely distraction.

    Jonas was a specialist. He was born and bred in Winnipeg. He couldn’t imagine being in a place he could come to know better. Not only did he have a good day job in a bank on Portage Avenue, but his real job was made that much easier by knowing the customs and peculiarities of his community. So what if it was twenty below zero or less. So what if the snow whirled around, whiting out the trees, the little bungalows and even the edges of the roads. All good for Jonas.

    He was in costume, as usual at this time of year. Everybody knew Santa with his big paunch, his snow-white beard, his cosy toque that kept his head warm, his mitts, his black boots and his big bag full of goodies.

    Yes, the halcyon days were perfect for a burglar like Jonas.

  5. Gone with the Light
    Danielle Lee Zwissler
    Sleep had come too far and few as of late. I lay down in my bed as the Northern Lights danced in the sky and silhouetted my room in colors of gold, pink and reds. It was a distraction, but it was a beauty that I was too enamored with to ignore. I watched as the colors lit up my bedroom and danced along the walls, making my Halcyon squawk and screech with annoyance, and probably from lack of slumber.
    I could relate, but my time was nearing its end, and with the beauty of the night, and the lights coming from beyond, I reached up, and took my last breath. God was with me, now and forever.

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