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"Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist : Your Story • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

"Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Read the top five entries and vote for your favorite in the current Writer's Digest Your Story competition. (You must be a registered member of the WD Forum to view and vote.)
TiffanyLuckey
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"Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Postby TiffanyLuckey » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:27 pm

Such A Clatter

Morning had finally arrived. I stepped onto the front deck of my cabin home and zipped the front of my overalls as I squinted at the glare of the sun bouncing off the fresh fallen snow. It must have snowed a foot last night.

In years past, the cold snow would have warmed my heart, as I would watch my children make angels and build snowmen. But it’s been lonely living in the wilderness these last few months. The memory of Elizabeth storming out with the kids still cut a fresh wound.

I shook my head to clear the morning cobwebs and remember why I stepped outside.

The footprints of last night’s intruder were still visible in the snow leading away from the house and into the woods. It seemed odd that there were no tracks leading to the front door, only away. I began my trek, shotgun in hand, along the same path of the uninvited visitor who had let himself into my home.

I don’t sleep well anymore, so I was still awake in my bed when I heard the rustling in my living room. I clumsily reached for my gun and flung my bedroom door open just in time to catch a glimpse of the man running out my front door. Three shots fired blindly into the night were all that the intruder escaped with.

Not wanting to hike through the woods in the middle of the night, I decided to wait until morning to check the area. I followed his path, searching for signs that I had hit my target. I live 20 miles from the nearest house, so if he was injured, I would need to find him and get him to town as quickly as possible. As much as I wouldn’t stand for my home being broken into I never wanted to kill anyone.

Splatters of blood were becoming noticeable in the snow. The further I followed, the more defined the blood trail became, and soon I was tracking this man as if I had just shot a deer. The more blood I saw, the more I worried that I would soon find him facedown in the snow—bled out.

A scrap of red and white velvety fabric hung from a low-lying tree branch. It looked to have been torn as the man scraped against it while running in the dark. I held the cloth in my hand and felt its luxurious texture. It was incredibly soft and insulated on the back. I didn’t know who would wear such a thing in the Alaskan mountains.

The blood and footprints were now interweaving with tracks from a small caribou herd that must have recently passed through. I wasn’t surprised when I saw a large sled sitting in a clearing, as it was a common way to get around these snowy parts. But I couldn’t believe my eyes: what I thought were caribou turned out to be reindeer hitched to the front of the very ornate sleigh.

Hunched over the sleigh was a large man in a red suit made of the same material as the scrap in my hand. I rushed to his side. One of my shots had found his leg just above the knee, and he was bleeding terribly. The deer became nervous as I approached, shuffling in their harnesses and moving the sleigh several feet, sending the bloody man to his back in the snow.

I knelt beside him and tried to comfort him as breath strained to enter through his beard. I suddenly felt an overwhelming sadness and woe as the man looked me in the eyes and struggled to grin, dying right there in front of me. And as the tears began to run down my face, a fierce gust of wind surged through the trees as the reindeer took off and in unison leapt into the air. They were gone.

I sat there astonished by what had just happened, and as I gathered my wits about me, I looked down to tend to the man on the ground only to find him nowhere.

No blood was to be found, nor a footprint in the snow. The only thing I have to convince myself it was real is the torn stitch of fabric from his suit—and a wrapped box mysteriously left in my living room.

micbabe
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Re: "Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Postby micbabe » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:27 am

This was a fun story. Thanks!

natethegreat
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Re: "Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Postby natethegreat » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:09 am

I thought I'd seen it all... then I read this. Thanks for proving me wrong. :D

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Don Quixote
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Re: "Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Postby Don Quixote » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:58 am

Great story. It's rare that I truly like Your Story finalist entries. I've read many. First, your story runs circles around the winner of this competition. Yours was the best regardless of what the results were, and I'll tell you why. It's not your writing. I don't think the writing was anything special, though it was effective and did the trick. The trick was an actual good story.Anyone can write well, but your idea made your story. I despised "The Ticker." It over reached in it's language, was obvious and cliche. Remember that in fiction your are a story teller, not just a writer, and the story is what is most important. There aren't enough real creative writers out there and it pisses me off. Of course, I thought your title was terrible at first but the story helped it out a bit. Also, I'm not saying that your story was completely original, but the way you told it was great in it's matter-of-fact way. I'll have to look around here and see if you have anything else posted so that I can see if you really are creative. Good job. You won my opinion.

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Elibet1
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Re: "Such A Clatter" - Your Story #47 Finalist

Postby Elibet1 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:18 pm

Wonderful story.


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