Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday at collapse, sweet and yearn.

Ritual

In the woods near my home, I discover a trail, a slit of brown in an otherwise overgrown green of spring grasses. I am compelled to follow it.
At this time of day, the path is neither tacky with dewy mud or dusty with fine dust, like talcum powder. It twists thinly past a stand of gnarled oak, a game trail, really.
I follow through the brook, up a hill to where it enters a horseshoe-shaped meadow. In the middle, there’s a sandy mound, a rise where the wild plants have been trampled, beaten back.
Standing on the top of the mound is a girl, her long flaxen hair swirls in the breeze. Her skin is like milk, kissed with the first of many summer freckles. She’s barefoot and holds in her hands a bouquet of plucked wildflowers.
Her dress is as white as her flesh, but slick like satin.
I am enamored. My chest fills with the elevated thump of my heart. Hot breath pumps from my nostrils as I gulp the air, missing the sweet smell of damp grass, wild blossoms. I am consumed, heated, feral.
For I see, coming down a web of similar trails, other young men. Some with their shirts off, forearms and faces tanned, but bodies sickly ashen, a condition of the long winter. Working my father’s fields gives me an advantage, so I peel off my T-shirt and reveal my overall roasted tone, like fine olive oil.
At this, the girl waves, her fingers roll in synchronicity.
And each boy makes a mad dash for the mound. Great battles by twos break out. From a side path to my own, a boy appears from a clump of new saplings. He turns toward me - he’s a head taller and much thinner - and cries in a low, guttural way.
He sweeps a curly lock of hair the color of wet coffee grounds from his reddened face, charges. I pick up curled piece of oak, widen my stance and swing, hitting him in the chest, mid-charge. He collapses into the meadow, eyes stung with tears, arms folded to his ribcage.
I look up at the girl. She’s dropped to a sitting position, the flowers splayed across the hammock of material that is her dress. She’s watching the battles, clapping softly, smiling slyly.
My fierce heart yearns to be with her, so I look for another combatant to vanquish.

23 comments:

anthonynorth said...

The times are long gone when the fair maiden offered a handkerchief to her champion.
Excellent and steamy.

AD said...

this is exceptionally heart knotting!
like seriously!

a mushy woman like me just went on and on imagining :D

sacredcrayon said...

I like it. I found the female character to be a slightly sinister twist that I did not see coming when I started reading. Fantastically vivid description too.

strattonm said...

Fascinating...

Vivid is also a great word for it.

My Now and Then

Ofira Sephiroth said...

Wonderful use of imagery..."Her skin is like milk, kissed with the first of many summer freckles."

Daily Panic said...

all girls secretly want to be "won" there is something to be said about the attraction to a champion.

angie said...

wow.

that hit me like a...curled piece of oak.

Fledgling Poet said...

Riveting storyline...I most definitely wanted to know what happens next!

Linda Jacobs said...

Your descriptions are so sharp and vivid! I'll be dreaming about this tonight!

Tumblewords: said...

A fight to the finish - spurred on by,,, wildly descriptive and vibrant - the imagery in your words is far better than a picture.

Greyscale Territory said...

Impassioned tournament of want and will! Powerfully written!

And also, thank you so much for enlightening me about the sign on the back of the car!

gigidiaz said...

Is it just me that found this almost... arousing? Eeek! I feel like a pervert. Oh well. My favorite yet! Very vivid, easy to see as I read it. Off to imagine the ending of the story now!

Great way to end my long FIU day!

PS Thanks for stopping by =0)

sarah haliwell said...

Interesting read. There must be something wrong with me because I didn't find it steamy or sensual, infact like sacred crayon I though it seemed sinister, and full of meaning, and symbolic, and it engaged my brain. So there, how's that for a different kind of interpretation? ;-)

Jeeves said...

Wow...Enjoyed this...

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

This felt very metaphorical to me or like a fairy tale re-told. This is a story that feels bigger than what's on the surface.

Hal Johnson said...

I wonder if this is allegorical, and that creates a tasty tension in differing perceptions: is this a story with hidden meaning, or simply one of another place and time? Lots to bite on here.

Andrea Blythe said...

Very nice. I love the deep brutal imagery combined with the softer descriptions of the girl, and how she presides over the whole event.

Dee Martin said...

I wanted to warn him as soon as he saw her - stay away! Of course he didn't listen. I thought it seemed sinister too and it made me wonder what would happen if he whupped everyone else - would he get the girl or would she laugh and disappear? Enjoyed this.

Donna said...

I love the many interpretations ... and that the story stands up to all of them.

Wonderful!

lissa said...

I don't know, I think it's a failed attempt, she probably just want to see who will die for her hand, maybe? I think he/narrator should just leave

pjd said...

Deeply sinister character, clearly not what she appears to be.

I love most of the prose, but in places the detail gets a little too thick. Otherwise, this is (as always) a terrificly written snippet. I am dying to know who and what the girl really is.

Stan Ski said...

I enjoyed that - I'll be back for more.

upperlefthandcorner said...

Interesting way to describe the mating game.