Brian Harrison is On the Hunt

Waipio Valley

Brian Harrison – our contestant from Asia – just submitted this. We couldn’t help but wonder what kinds of creatures he was looking for. Can you?

The Wild Descent

by Brian Harrison

I reimagine them peering over the brink dipping their long snouts, their twisted lips, and gleaming eyes into the fog of the valley below. Sealed off for the longest time in a habitual daze framed above the clouds rollicking among starlight and the sun’s glare, they were rarely seen or heard of again. Bizarre creatures upon the mountainside, writhing shadows, of all different shapes and sizes. Colors and contours mixing and matching without space to roam as is their nature. It was reported that they would frequently come down from the heights, entering the valley, with the clap of thunder, charging through the fog, and be found in full display about the pools and vast savannahs in seemingly intelligent order. Some reported this as being a marvel; others simply banal.

Few have seen them. Wild, they were. Maybe terrifying, even malicious. Though, sometimes kind, perhaps benevolent too. But strange, always strange and quite unpredictable.

Researchers came. Came to study them. But the more they studied them, the less they appeared. It was only in a certain lachrymose appreciation for them and the surrounding in which they’d roam that they would appear. But this has been sometime. So now, I advance trying to keep myself from any unsolicited grasping after learning their habits.

But one habit of confused mystery, I will mention. It is how they are so distant, and so absent, and unexpected. It is believed by some that if they do not wander down the mountain in quite some time, storms accumulate, winds blow fierce, and the dark clouds settle in, and the rain falls like razors of ice. All dark and horrid things happen when wild things do not roam.

But wait? Was that the thunder or the sound of the forest being swallowed up by their presence? I see movement among the trees. I feel the earth rumble and quake. They appear again. Motioning out of the misty clouds above into this visible white space of the here and now.

13 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Within “The Wild Descent” there is a constant question of what is it which is never answered for me. The descriptives are both lyrical and rhythmatic with mystical and natural underpinnings which allows the story to have a bouncing cloud and portense to what is decenting.

    My thought is that the reader will be drawn into an experience that they themselves have never lived. I love the use of the word combination of “lachrymose appreciation” which is a curious contradiction of emotions giving us an agony and ecstasy vicarious impression of nature being both threatening and mothering.

    I very much liked this journey puzzle which was well written and flowing in impressions.

    • Brian Harrison says:

      Wow. Thanks for your attention.
      And appreciation. It means a lot. You seem very sensitive with words. I like it.

    • Brian Harrison says:

      Thanks for the input.
      Yes, I tend to get a bit wordy. But here I think I wanted to show that the words are the very things descending from the mountain of the imagination. Wild and mysterious. I don’t think I properly revealed that at the ending. But thanks for reading and the critique.

  2. Michael Stang says:

    I got excited when I knew I was never to see the beasts. It is difficult to hold one’s interest (even in flash) with words like “It was reported” “some responded” “Maybe terrifying” “sometimes kind” but that is exactly what you did. The mythical reference was a head on the nail.
    Best to you.

    • Tiffany V says:

      “I reimagine them peering over the brink dipping their long snouts, their twisted lips, and gleaming eyes into the fog of the valley below. ” I can create my own from here, and there is no story – only a theme and variations on these ‘X-file’ creature which were conjured beautifully. Mike is right! Kenneth is right! Brian is write! Write on!

      Though if you were to create a story from this, please share it with us. I’d be happy to ask the Thorntonator if we could do a special blog on a special story, or perhaps another contest… to write the story ’round it. Hmmmm? Fan fic for an AWWYP fan… something to consider. Please consider it, Thorn.

  3. Thornton Sully

    Too much concern for words? Yeti does create an intrigue! What is good about this entry is that it allows reader participation by not spelling everything out. This is an important element in all writing, and demonstrates confidence in your reader. Well done. Did you ever read The Snow Leopard?

    • Brian Harrison says:

      Ha. The snow leopard from The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Yes, I guess that was lingering in my subconsious when I wrote this. My trek to Kilimanjaro last summer and also the Ngorongoro Crater which was in my mind when I described the mountain. (except the wild things are below, not above). And if I am not mistaken, the picture that you used for my story is the Ngorongoro Crater itself. Glad that we are on the same page.

  4. Diane Cresswell says:

    My imagination was flying with this one Brian. You captured it without revealing what was coming down the mountain slopes – the wild things. Very well done.

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