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The Elder

A former brave. ​

The day seemed to be looking bright, even with the grumbling and dark storm clouds that crept along the valley’s peaks. This valley, nestled with all the other valleys in this belligerent mountain chain, was like any other. They were all hidden lands filled with miles of lush green grasses and purple wildflowers, an escape from the outside world. Every once in a while you could discover a lone oak tree of great mass that provided a haven from the harsh sun.


In the middle of these rolling hills, an edifice stood, a blue bungalow with a shingled roof and small white picket fence. The nearby surroundings were indifferent except for a tall oak adjacent to the home. On the creaky old porch sat an old man. He rested in a tattered and squeaky rocking chair, just as he had done years before.  The old man with the wrinkled face, heavy creases, and worn blue jeans stared off at the horizon and then at a robin fluttering above the oak tree. In his right hand, he gingerly grasped a worn wooden cane. The former branch was as weathered and scared as his feet from the Trail of Tears. Rocking back and forth in his rocking chair, the former brave from many moons ago started to tremble. For a moment, the bitter wind sounded like the mothers' and children’s cries. The widower shut his eyes. He awoke only to find the sun just higher above the vast horizon.


Staring off again into the hazy distance, the old man let out a deep breath, sighing. Oh how he wanted to go beyond the white picket fence and into the world past the valley.


- Karaghen Hudson, October 2010

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