Reads: 188
Comments: 3

It was hot and dry in the canyon. A fat river lurched along the canyon’s floor, but, aside from attracting the occasional mosquito horde, did nothing for the heat or the dryness. For centuries the river had been working to make the canyon--first a slow incision, then the eternal deepening stage--and now, having completed its work, felt no need to do anything else. Dry scrubs grew along the banks; it barely watered them. Spring floods, drunk on melted snow, would tear through; it made no effort to contain them. Even the algae that grew in the few standing pools had a hard time sucking life from the river. It was simply not a giving thing.

A old house was at the lip of the canyon, just above where the river bent around an enormous rock. It was made of thick stone, had walls with small glass windows, and a roof of tin covered it like a hat. The windows were nearly half a foot wide at their bases, ironically thin at their tops. A almost black tree raked leafless branches against the ruined glass, absentmindedly. No light could get through the windows. Perhaps, if it had, eyes peeking in would have seen dust swirling through air over long-denamed objects. Perhaps eyes would have seen things called chairs made of what was once known as pine. Perhaps they would have seen, on the floor, dully colorful things called carpets in another time. Perhaps, with just enough light, eyes would have even seen walls with stone planks jutting from them, and seen delicate, sturdy things on them, no two alike, and wondered what they were.

Wondered enough to, say, try to get a closer look.

But no eyes ever peeked in. Birds built their nests elsewhere. Coyotes travelled past it without stopping. Snakes slithered by without interest. Even dust didn’t stay around long enough to develop any interest in the windows’ secrets. Only the tree stayed.

And the tree only scraped its branches mindlessly against the house.

From the top of the canyon, if you looked west carefully, you would see, on most relatively clear days, a big green Thing. Sparkling in the sunlight, shimmering in desert hazes, defying all explanation, it snuggled a broad curve up to the mother curve of the sky. At night it turned yellowy-green, brown, aqua, near-black, and stark viridian, with glossy whites to highlight. Almost nothing ever came from it, and absolutely nothing ever entered it.

It is in this green Thing that the story begins.

Submitted: January 27, 2013

© Copyright 2022 Iskah E Shirah. All rights reserved.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:



I like your story and your grammar is consistently correct. It is just a suggestion, but when using a description or narration, don't use "very." It detracts from the somber tone and gives the work a less serious feel. "Very" is what I call a dead word and is usually only used when in dialogue between modern characters. I cannot wait for more!

Wed, January 30th, 2013 1:56am


Thanks! I know "very" is considered a dead word, but I'm glad you told me it detracts from the tone. I'll go back and fix it :D

Tue, January 29th, 2013 6:00pm

Ivan Impavido

What a beautiful intro! Your writing is really advanced, I could see the house, the river, and the tree very clearly. (I could even hear the sound of the branches raking against the window). Can't wait to read more :).

Also, sorry to ask, but I'm pretty new here so I would love it if you could maybe find the time to read either one of my 2 short intros to the 2 novels I'm writing. Thanks!

Mon, July 29th, 2013 9:18pm


Glad you liked it! Hope you keep reading :P and I'll try

Wed, July 31st, 2013 6:21pm

A. B. Schuler

Your stuff is awesome. Love it!

Sun, August 4th, 2013 8:20pm


Thanks! Hope you keep reading :D

Sun, August 4th, 2013 1:56pm

Facebook Comments

Other Content by Iskah E Shirah