Tag Archives: story

Gnat Wind – from QuillPill

A few years ago, before Twitter got to going, there was a 3rd Party blogging platform, known as the QuillPill (formerly at quillpill.com) that no longer exists.  The interesting thing about QuillPill was the writing format:  140 characters.

QuillPill was designed to be a story-writing platform that was limited to 140 characters.  A challenge to say the least. But one I really enjoyed taking the opportunity to just see if I could write as story in that format.

Over a period of several weeks I wrote a number of short pieces.  But the one I liked, and enjoyed, the most was one called, ‘Gnat Wind’ and told the story of a  Gnat known as Wilden the Gnat.

I had written the story and then sort of forgot about it. I was building and experimenting with so many platforms that I just completely forgot about QuillPill and .. Wilden.

Some months later, I went back to check on QuillPill and found it gone. Lock stock and barrel.  And along with it went Wilden and the rest of my short 140 character story selections.  I was angered at myself for not keeping a copy of Wilden.

I thought about trying to rewrite it, but nothing came. Over the years I just assumed it was gone. Then just a few days ago, I found, Wilden the Gnat and his story.

So here it is … ‘Gnat Wind’, starring Wilden the Gnat in 140 character bursts.

122216_akilo_wilden-gnat01Gnat Wind
The short story of Wilden the Gnat.

The winds of March blew strong, hard and long. But Wilden knew his day had arrived. He would swarm today. Then find food. Then a mate.

Being as small as a gnat has its trials. But it also has its benefits. Being small you’re not easily seen. But the winds are tough!

Finding shelter isn’t hard, but a gnat must be cautious. You never know what lurks just beneath the next leaf: warmth of home or belly!

Gnats don’t need much to eat. A bit of juice. A tidbit of rotting meat. But March is not an easy time to find either. Life has trials.

Fortunately for Wilden, the sun decided to shine on this blustery March day and he found a bit of fruit tossed aside by a human. Bless ’em.

Wilden’s little eye beamed with delight when he picked up the scent of the fruit. He flew straight for the juicy smell. Just as he…

approached the fruit, he noticed a large dark shadow covering him! As fast as his little wings could beat, he made for a crumpled leaf.

No sooner had he ducked in, when the whole leaf crushed down on top of him; pinning him to the cold earth below. He couldn’t move.

Suddenly there was a loud bursting sound and light began to appear in random parts of the leaf. Wilden didn’t know what to make of it?

Afterall, he was only 24 hours old. He’d not been around long enough to learn much yet. But his education was quickly catching up. He was

in grave danger. And somehow he knew he was, too. Wilden tried to squirm free; no use. Four of his six legs were pinned down. He was in

big trouble! The holes of light were multiplying and getting closer to him. Suddenly the area around him exploded and he was tossed up.

Up, up, up … past the beak of a giant black monster with a golden eye that somehow missed Wilden’s blast to freedom. Amazingly his little

wings began to beat and off he went. Just as fast as he could fly, he beelined it for a bush. When he made it he was a mess. Scared and

bruised, Wilden took stock of his condition. Nothing broken – banged up – but not broken. His wings were a bit wrinkled, but hey worked.

He was alive and could tell about it! Hooray! Boy, could he use a bit nibble of that fruit juice. But he wasn’t going in that direction.

As Wilden contemplated his situation, he caught the faint whiff of a sweet aroma. Popped back to reality, he began scanning the area.

The scent was coming from off his right wing.  Though Wilden had over 300 complex eyes, he couldn’t see what made the scent. Maybe he did

but just didn’t recognized what he was looking at.  Wilden was still pretty shaken by his recent brush with becoming a meal himself, so he

was bit leery about venturing across the open space to find the source of that sweet, sweet smell.  But hunger took over and he slowly

crept out toward the edge of the leaf and into the light.  He didn’t see any danger and the odor was making him so very hungry.  As he

neared the edge of the leaf, Wilden began to see color.  White and yellow- though he didn’t know them as such – he recognized them from

deep recess in his tiny clump of neural cells.  Somehow he knew that was food.  Nervously glancing back and forth, ratcheting his next back

back and forth in rapid succession, Wilden scanned the open area for danger.  He didn’t see any.  He was scared beyond his wits – which

meant he didn’t have to go to far to be beyond them. None-the-less, he was scared!  But hunger took over.  Suddenly he was up and flying.

Once again he was buffeted by the cold March wind, but relentlessly, Wilden made for the colors and the smell.  Up and down, back and forth

his course haphazard his little soft body across the opening. Amazingly, he flew right to the colors.  When Wilden finally settled on the

wide green leaf, he was nearly knocked out by the power of the aroma. He just thought about sucking the air; surely that would be enough?

Next Season

All season long, every day looked promising. He was so elusive, but you were sure the Buck would finally walk into your sights.

But it didn’t happen.

You could feel that big buck just writhe with glee – if that is possible for a deer – when he dropped another can of ‘deer season whoop-ass’ on you again.

Why, you even got a bit of a chuckle.  “Dang! That deer is schooling me hard. Givin’ me a complex you are Big Boy. A regular complex!  Next year. That’s MY year. You wait and see who’s laughing then. Yeah!”

Alas this season ended on the same note as the previous 3. Despite your confidence filled pronouncement, you got your butt kicked again:

Hunter 0  …  Buck 7.

Seven times you’d come to the hunting ground.  Seven times, in hand, a perfectly engineered planned.  Seven times YOU went home seeing nothing more than beautiful sunrises, memorable sunsets, dozens of birds and small animals.  You observed as nature used the shade creatures, formed as the clouds, dancing across the sky to trace the passage of time for all in attendance; you included.

Each day that passed, you left the woods later and later.  Sure the hot coffee, soup and a very welcome, 3 fingers of Scotch, were always a luring siren.  But a stronger pull; even stronger than the urge to hang the Buck on the cross-beam, was keeping you in the woods.

In the early days when you first started hunting you didn’t understand.  It just didn’t figure! Dingle-crackers!… it was cold, wet, tiring, cramped, windy … it was down-right miserable at times.  But so many times, you didn’t even notice it.  You even began enjoying it.

That’s it.  You stayed longer because you just plain liked being in the woods.

After a time, you began to realize that finally, you had begun to act natural.

Everyone who is veteran hunter of a few years, knows that no one needs to head out to their stand at 4am in the morning.  Only a masochist or a neophyte would do this.  Right?

Well, yes.  For the first few years.

Then you would just keep on doing it, because you realize there’s no better place to get your morning shut-eye, wake-up to warm coffee and a roll, see the sun rise, hear the birds wake-up ritual and watch the entire woods world come to life.

Any questions?

Naturally you did your fair share of eyelid surveys. Most likely this was when the Buck got His chance to see you as well. Yeah.  if you hadn’t been having such a good time you might just have taken that ‘big bad boy’ home this year.  Eh?

But you never laid so much as an eye-twitch on the Buck. Yeah. That’s true. That’s OK. There’s next year.

To keep in pattern with the previous years, you religiously went back to the scene of your miserable failure to revel in it’s success.

Because you knew he still roamed the hills, woods, creeks and swampy bottoms.  He was still there; whether you were or not.

The wind would drop and the frost clinging to the trees, glistening like diamond dust with the first rays of the sun would shimmer in place; or the high-noon shadows pouring through the leafless canopy would suddenly go mime; or the misty glow of the forming evening fog would provide a sanctuary backdrop for the moment you’d see him.

Ah, but not before He had slipped silently out of his bed. Never quite revealing his ‘serta-in-the-grove’, stealing his way to a splendid spot, befitting of his regal offering: your annual chance to see Him. Then He would offer his annual greeting snort. On cue, as choreographed as a Shakespearean actor, you look up!

There HE is.

Wow!  He’s grown so much.  His rack has become huge; intoxicating.  His massive shoulders and neck still showing the muscle and blood engorgement of the rutting and mating ritual and exercise.

What a sight He is.

What an opportunity. Yeah, you think, “OH! If only it as still ‘in season’! If only I had my bow! If only …”, but this fades and gives way, to just .. “Wow. He is beautiful. I know he’ll spook and be gone for another year. Wouldn’t I love to capture this image to look at any time of year?” And that’s when you raise the camera and take the 3 photos you get before He is out-of-sight.

Make no mistake about it … this IS His domain.

You know it.

He knows it.

So do all the other animals in the woods.

“Yes.”, you say to yourself.  The the ephemeral wisp of the moment takes on a Brigadoonesque atmosphere.  Time just seemed to stand-still while He stood there.

Surrounded by the royal walls of his riparian realm.  Each woodland surface draped in the muted glow of the diamond dust of late fall frost.  Winter is soon to appear.  His rack will once again fall, feed the mice of the woods and possibly tantalize a woodsman seeking the fallen coronets.

The ice fog hangs thick across the winter wheat field in the distance. “My, Oh, My!” You repeat to yourself as you remember how it provided the ermine backdrop so fitting this royal creature.

The fog begins sending drizzles. skittering down through the branches now as you make you way back to the truck.

One last time you turn and look at the opening where He, The Buck, stood, showing Himself to you. A shiver runs through your system.  No, it’s not the cold.  It’s the anticipation.

You’re already planning the Next Season.