Eli ©


It was the way the blackbirds poured over him that made him feel small and insignificant, and feeling insignificant was enough to sadden anyone. Feeling sad was the cost of being alone, but being alone was never reason enough to be lonely – that came with feeling small and insignificant.

When the cornfields in his mind cast the blackbirds out and flung them across the hazy horizon, it looked at first, from a distance, like dark-colored shoes were tossed about in many directions at once. The blackbirds, it seemed, always moved in his direction then grew larger and larger until they were enormous enough in their numbers to sound fan-like as they beat past his ears and cawed just above his head. It was always best to stand hard and face the blackbirds, but to turn with them and watch them rise and circle back was also a thing worth doing.

Watching the blackbirds always cleared Eli’s head, but it was only when the birds sprayed upward from the fields and fanned out overhead that Eli felt petty and unimportant. But that is the way it was with watching blackbirds rise, and circle, and then fall again; it was the same every time. This time was no different, except that perhaps, because this time he had finally gone through with the threats, he thought, that things did somehow seem better. Eli thought about what he had done and he was okay with it. He was okay with it, and his head was clear, and feeling okay and having a clear head meant he did not need to think about it any longer. But still he thought about it, and he remembered it, and remembering it made him angry.

Eli did not like to be angry. Being angry confused him, and when he was confused he panicked and when he panicked he made threats and when he made threats they were mean to him and they held him tight with the unfriendly weight of their bodies. Sometimes they held him hard to the cold floor of the infirmary and with his cheek pressed firm to the parquet he watched their black shoes fly about in many directions at once. They gave him shots and then held him tighter and when they held him tight and close, Eli cried out and kicked and tears filled his angry eyes and he choked and spat more terrible threats until the shots came and after the shots came the birds returned and it was the way the blackbirds poured over him that made Eli feel small and insignificant – and to feel small and insignificant was always enough to sadden even Eli.

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14 comments on “Eli ©

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice. thoughtful.

  2. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    It says ‘posted in Frugal Fiction’. I wonder what that is?

    This is very engaging. You dropped by my page & said I write ok – but what about you! This is really great, very feeling. I really liked it.

    • Ha, frugal fiction, you know like fiction with few words. I try to pack as much as I can into what usually turns out to be a “plotless” story. I try to use as few words as possible and still have a story that is engaging. I don’t always succeed, but the stories really write themselves, I just follow along and stop writing when it seems like it’s time to stop. I have no idea what I’m doing.

      And I didn’t say you write OK, I said you write wonderfully, and I stand by what I said. 🙂

      Thanks for your nice comment.

  3. girlgeum says:

    Eli feels trap and until he’s free, not necessarily from the infirmary, the smallness and insignificance will remain.

    The difference between being alone and being lonely is . . .

  4. timotheous128 says:

    This is really quite good, Joseph! I love the use of blackbirds; they add a certain element of… I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this was really good. 🙂

  5. Another engaging story. I like the return, when they gave him shots, of the image of black
    shoes going in many directions, from the cornfield of his mind. I have a strong feeling of
    sympathy for Eli, even without knowing what he has done, what threat he carried out. Your
    descriptions are clear and strong.

  6. Yeah I’d kind of like to know what he did also. I’d like to think he didn’t really do a thing that was all that bad. Maybe I should’ve called him Algernon and given him flowers.

    Thank you.

  7. Now That’s going too far. (get it?)
    Colby

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