Original by Loris Sponda
Short Stories
George Miller  

Short Story: End of Their Ways

Here is the first part of a short story I wrote many years ago. It was published by Fiction on the Web.

Originally published at Fiction on the Web: https://www.fictionontheweb.co.uk/2015/10/the-end-of-their-ways-by-george-allen.html

Finally, the madness ended. An ache filled Garuch’s mind from the onslaught of images that had bombarded the village. Around him, the tribesmen shook themselves in the wake of the terrible storm. He helped as many as he could to their feet. They were weak now but each one managed to stand with his help. Garuch took a deep breath and remembered the old tree deep in the woods where he played when a child. Thoughts of running along the stream and chasing fish in the water filled his mind and made him smile. With all his strength he pushed those memories, thoughts and feelings outward. The people heard him, some smiled, some cried, but all shared the warmth and pushed the feeling of calm outward to the next. 

“Garuch, I would speak with you.” 

Heads spun and Garuch’s feelings of warmth ended the second the sound pierced the air. Behind them all, standing alone in the doorway of her home, the old crone, Merduch, the elder, she who had witnessed the dawn of time and laughed when the mountain fell, stood proud and strong. She bore her gaze into Garuch’s skull, nodded once and turned into her house leaving the stunned crowd in silence.

Garuch lifted the last of his people to their feet and marched to the old crone’s doorway. He flung the door open and burst into the home. Old metal hinges broke as the wood crashed into the wall. Splinters scattered on the floor and several of the boards snapped and cracked. Garuch let his anger flow out of him and flung it inside the home. 

Merduch sat in a chair rocking back and forth with a strange object in her hands. Deep wrinkles etched their way through her rough thick gray skin, each one a testament to her ancient age. 

“You’ll fix my door when we’re done.” Merduch puffed from a pipe. Smoke rose upwards cobweb covered rafters. Tables, with a dozen different items half of which Garuch could not identify, lined the walls. 

Garuch remembered the day when his father taught him to hunt. The method was complex and Garuch did not understand. Even after hours of lessons, the process was beyond the mind of one so young. Frustration, confusion and a feeling of disappointment filled his mind and his heart. Garuch inhaled once and sent the feeling of that day, combined with images of Merduch speaking just moments before, outward. 

Read the rest on Fiction on the Web for free! https://www.fictionontheweb.co.uk/2015/10/the-end-of-their-ways-by-george-allen.html

George Allen Miller

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