The Sorrow In His Call

The loon knows what I’m feeling.  All he knows is the glossiness of the lake and the sorrow in his call.  There is no background noise.  Only solitude in which to wallow.  A lake so still his body creates the only ripple.  The loon, his lake, the song of anguish, and me.

I walk down the weather-worn planks of the dock to the edge and sit with my legs in the water.  My feet make their own ripples and I feel like I’ve ruined something sacred.  Again.  The water is cool, almost warm, which is unusual for this time of year, and I’m disappointed.  I was hoping to feel the frigid burn of my numbing feet succumbing to the cold of the lake.

Looking down at my hands, one on either side of me, a mosquito resting on my right, I think about how worn and used they look.  How worn and used they are.  They are the hands that were meant for work, for holding something tangible, for creating and molding and nurturing.  For holding on and not letting go.  But these are the hands that have failed me.  They are worn and used and they let go.

The air smells exactly how it was supposed to smell – clear and pure.  There is a sweetness to it from the trees and a very diluted hint of smoke, as though a campfire had been burning across the lake the night before.  But mostly it smells new, damp and distractingly empty.

The mosquito has moved from my hand to my knee.  More blood, I suppose.  As I look out over the mirrored water, my mind goes blank, save for his image.  The last photograph of his face my mind’s eye took before the accident.  He was three and tiny for his age and as sweet as he was mischievous.  And that’s how he will forever be.

Without adjusting my gaze, I slip into the depths of the water, dragging the mosquito in with me.  The lake surrounds me and blankets my limp body with its unusual warmth, covering my skin, rushing into my lungs, easing my descent with its slow gravitational pull.

I feel nothing but the sting from my only witness, the mosquito.  The loon, long ago scared away by the innervation of a stranger’s sorrow, his song still ringing through my mind.


I am participating in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. Each week I’ll be tackling a challenge issued by another writer participating in the exercise. This week, Brad McDonald gave me this:

The mosquito was the only witness.

This touches on a previous challenge A Heart Broken Once.  I’m sorry I always write such sad things with these challenges.


10 thoughts on “The Sorrow In His Call

  1. I grew up near loons, and even in a happy mood they gave me the chills. Were I not so ridiculously happy today, I would certainly be depressed now. You met the challenge nicely!

  2. wow

    That’s a tough challenge and instead of making it obvious you really found something unique to focus on. There’s a raw quality (borrowing Kathyrn’s comment) to your writing. Excellent, Jen.

  3. Pingback: The Week In Review: June 13-17

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