Hawk Dancer

Short Story

Short Story Feature

A new short story is posted on a random schedule of monthly or near quarterly. These are my short fiction works in most cases. 


Hawk Dancer
A bit of background information:

"Fugitive" is a short story found in my first Birch Clump Village Reader, EMERALD RISING

    A terrific wind and rain storm lashed the class room windows during one of my advance creative writing class. It was near Halloween, so the teacher gave us the following prompts for out next assignment:
    Our story had to include water, light and darkness.
    A husband or wife had just murdered his/her spouse. We were not to mention the spouse or the murder, or even give direct reference that anyone died.
    The students produced some excellent works, dark, foreboding, and rather creepy.

    FUGITIVE is the story I wrote.

    August moon, full and bright, illuminated the trail sufficiently for him to make his way through the trees and down to the beach. A soft, sandy path slowed him down. He nearly twisted his ankle at one point, so he removed his shoes and socks. The sand was cool at night. He found the sand at night to be an extreme difference from the heat of mid-day when the sun-baked sand burned the soles of feet. Sand is like a cold-blooded beast, warm or cold according to the environment.
    He took a seat on a dark rock smoothed through the ages by wind, wave and sand. It was cold. "Made sense," he thought, "if sand comes from rock, then this should be cold also. Or are rocks compressed of sand? It could go either way, I suppose." 
    Tall reeds concealed him. Fascinating reeds. They're found all along the shores of the Great Lakes in sand dunes. The dunes are alive, moving so many feet a year. Trees cannot hold them back or find a solid anchor, but these wispy plants do. They are about the only thing capable of slowing the movement of the great sand dunes.
    He plucked one tough old specimen just above ground level. The base was strong fiber, the tip rather tender. These hollow shoots intrigued him since he was a lad. They came apart in sections and fitted back together like a puzzle. He began separating the reed. Each ribbed section was carefully laid perpendicular to the next exactly the width of two fingers apart.   Nineteen sections in all. He retained the top piece and studied its crown.
    His attention strayed to the waves lapping the shore. The moonbeam glittered on the rise and fall of the waves. They were normal, small waves spreading and gathering the swatches of light. The night was calm with an insignificant breeze. He put the reed back together and carried it down to the shoreline. Smooth rock and stone met the water line. He set everything down, pulled the socks out of his shoes, and laid them neatly side-by-side at the lakeshore. He was careful to have the heal and toe of each sock point the same way, then put his shoes back on. In a slow meditative pace, he strolled the water’s edge, the reflection of moonlight following just off shore. With every third step, he tossed in a segment of reed.
    The moon was not far over the horizon; or where he thought the horizon should be. At night, with distant clouds, this is not clearly defined; but there was a small space between the moon and it's twinkling shaft of light. It crossed the water to where he stood. At one point it resembled a long silky nightgown. That bothered him. He expected a larger than life resurrection to rise out of the water, so he walked on farther.
  A piece of driftwood bobbed in a small stony pit a nebulous child dug earlier in the day. It was about eight inches long resembling a dugout canoe. He flung it into the water.
     Segregating just the right size stones from the bank into his left hand, a dozen in all, he opened fire on the canoe. Several cannon balls splashed around the canoe with only a couple of them hitting the target. It capsized, but righted itself.
    He gave up on this and looked north along the shore. Far out in the lake to the right the phantom-like shape of an ore carrier, outlined with tungsten and mercury lights, floated silently on. If only he could steal away on it.
     He retraced his steps. The moonbeam's reflection was looking more and more the shape of one he would rather forget that night. The more he worked at snuffing out the thought the harder the resemblance worked to remind him. He kicked off his shoes and ran back to the reeds. The image of light remained in the bay taunting him. The light and shadows draped her in a black, lace, mourning veil.
    The sound of people tracking through the woods alarmed him. Flashlights danced between the trees. They were nearly at the opening of the woods when they stopped. A couple of low inarticulate voices parlayed for the rest. Then the lights turned, headed back a few yards and selected another trail to search.
He heard her call. He thought he did. Perhaps it was just an owl. He looked back to the water. There she was, beckoning with her arms, the lady of the moonbeam.an knows about.

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This story was posted to this site July 24, 2017
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