I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as normality.
That is what makes story-telling such an absorbing task,
the attempt to reduce to order the anarchic raw materials of life.
Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh
She once again was tumbling down the hill consisting of jagged limestone rocks and the stubble left over from an unforgiving non-discriminating chainsaw. A chainsaw that had tried to clear a path by cutting through the prickly ash, claiming the bush long abandoned and overgrown just to build a fence to keep their livelihood in and claim the land as their own.
The stubble feeling like shards of glass rips her old faded jeans and then tears at her flesh bringing a pain she cannot ignore this time; more tears run down her already dirty tear-stained face. The old wet smelly cedar rail that seemed so heavy and had been sitting on her shoulders now rolls down the hill in front of her, both tumbling quickly to the bottom of the valley below.
Landing in the lush green grass below with a thud and feeling a brisk north wind blow across her now wet leg she looks down to see red, her own blood now leaking out onto the ground coming from a completely exposed thigh, she removes her worn leather glove with the thumb poking through to clear the debris away and assess the damage. It was indeed a cut now caked and filled with bits of brown withered pine needles that litter the ground mixed with the decaying leaves and dirt. She sits there looking back up the steep incline feeling helpless and the tears start to fall again.
Words from her Grandmother from long ago echo in her head.
“You have to be tough to live in this world and accomplish your dreams.” Those words danced in her head, distracting the pain. Was she right? Maybe this girl sitting on the ground at the bottom of a hill with blood oozing from an open wound and tears running down her face was not tough enough and she would never see her dream emerge through that wall of tears she seemed to be constantly shedding.
This was not the life she had always believed it would be. Naïve would be the word she would use now. Those many books she had read to her siblings during her childhood had always pictured a farmer and his wife smiling, there were always two children, a boy and a girl with golden hair and a faithful dog sitting between them. There was a red barn to play in, a tractor and wagon to ride and an assortment of animals to love and care for but best of all there was so much food sitting in overflowing baskets. It truly looked like a piece of heaven to that girl. A girl stuck in the city with the constant traffic, piercing sirens and crowds of people that would push and shove but never notice her.
There was a house full of sniffling hungry children who she was in charge of while both her non-smiling parents went to work every morning and evening just to put a bit of food on the table and keep the roof over their heads. She knew that must have been very hard because of all that arguing she would hear when her parents did get those rare times together. She read those books to the children loudly trying to drown out those angry voices and they all dreamed of someday moving to the country and having lots of food and smiling parents, they all believed every picture and every word of those books…. they needed to.
She looked down at her leg. Maybe Grandma was right she thought.
With the sound of her crying now being consumed by the sound of that chainsaw roaring at the top of the hill ripping a path through the bush heading to her dream she picked herself up. She wiped away those tears on the sleeve of her jacket, and she spit on her hand and wiped the blood from her leg, pulled on those worn gloves with the thumb poking through and once again picked up that old wet smelly cedar rail and placed it on her aching shoulder. She then started climbing up the slippery hill knowing she would make it this time. She had to.
(This was a piece I wrote for my creative writing class about conflict. (Fiction or non-fiction?) What do you think?