Friday, June 27, 2008

Short Story: Tumbleweeds

Tumbleweeds by Eaglewing

I'll be back, is what he'd said.

And so he was now. The weary and worn cowboy walked down the hill towards that old town he was sure he'd always come back to. Someday, he always thought. And now he had, on foot. Not even a horse for a companion. He was truly alone.

Covered in dirt from the miles that had come before, he approached the town thinking of pleasures he might enjoy there. As he got closer however, he noticed something amiss, and as he came to the entrance of the 'burg, he realized what he was looking at.

It was deserted, without a single vibrant Soul around. He continued his steps as he walked down the main dust covered street. He was sure it hadn't really been all that long ago when he had sought something better and left the noisy and happening village center with the laughter and voices and headaches of those that resided there. Now he stared at the Heart of the place, all boarded up and closed off. Tumbleweeds rolled down the street as the wind through the boards was the only sound left.

He paused and gave it some thought. It was all rather depressing but predictable in hindsight. Like everything else in his life, it was not what he had planned, but it was the way it turned out. Licking his chapped lips, he wanted to head to the saloon in hopes of finding unopened bottles left behind, but something else was beckoning at the back of his mind. May as well face the truth first, then drink it away.

He kicked in the door of what used to be the hardware store, and rummaged around till he found what he was looking for. Heading back out, he climbed the hill to the wooden boards at the top. A couple minutes later, he was done.

Looking up at the marker that proclaimed the place's name to those who could read the Signs, he read the word aloud along with what he had painted underneath:

Population: 0

It fit. The he muttered something unintelligible before starting back down to the desolate town below and the homecoming he'd earned.

The End.

Comments on "Short Story: Tumbleweeds"


Blogger The Texican said ... (June 27, 2008 9:38 AM) : 

Interesting. Is it going to become a serial? One more question. Why was the population zero and not one? Keep writing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 27, 2008 12:02 PM) : 

Texican: good question! But I suspect if it had read "population: 1" he probably wouldn't have left in the first place. :-)

Just a guess... I'm curious what the author will say.



Blogger The Texican said ... (June 27, 2008 2:41 PM) : 

Hey Eaglewing, two times in one day is a record. I have presented you with an award for your excellent writing skills. Please go to my blog site for the details. Pappy


Blogger Lavinia Ladyslipper said ... (June 27, 2008 5:08 PM) : 

Eaglewing, congratulations on winning Pappy's so richly deserve it, and today's story is a perfect demonstration of your writing skills.



Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 28, 2008 6:15 AM) : 

Texican and OriginalLru: Thanks for reading and commenting and the questions. For starters, no, it's not a serial - just a one off story. As for why it was Population 0, well here goes. This wasn't my usual plot/character/fiction story, it was an attempt at an allegory. The man and the town represent a person, the cowboy being the mind, the town the heart. Chasing something better or ignoring something he had, he leaves thinking he'll return when convenient, but becomes harder and weary and ends up alone and returns to find what was really important didn't wait for him and had left. When the Heart boards up and closes off, and the Soul disappears, the Spirit dies. So inside both the town and himself, the Spirit had perished. Even if he now stays there, there's nothing left of him - hence, Population: 0.

Or something like that...


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 28, 2008 6:16 AM) : 

Texican: Thanks for the award! I will try to continue towards Scribehood :)


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 28, 2008 6:17 AM) : 

Lavinia: Thanks very much for your kind comments!


Blogger The Texican said ... (June 28, 2008 7:21 AM) : 

I sensed a hidden meaning in the story, but I am so concrete sometimes I miss the subtle nuances. Thanks for the explanation. Pappy


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (June 28, 2008 12:16 PM) : 

Surreal; got the allegory, and smiled as I read, even though a smile is probably not quite the normal reaction.

I like it! Are you going to submit it to a magazine or anthology? It's gotta fit somewhere. There are plenty of online mags that are seeking something short and complete like this story.


Blogger KEANAN BRAND said ... (June 28, 2008 12:20 PM) : 

If you do want to seek publication for this piece, try MindFlights (
or Allegory (

Those are just a couple venues out of many.


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 29, 2008 3:31 AM) : 

Keanan: Thanks, glad you liked it! It was something different for me to write. And thanks for those links - I'm going to check them out. Worth a shot, right?


Blogger Eaglewing said ... (June 29, 2008 4:23 AM) : 

Texican: No worries. I always welcome a chance to talk about the rattlings in my head. Thanks for taking an interest!


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