Island by Kim Hutchinson

A woman stands on a rocky outcrop at the edge of the lake of legends. She stares at the distant island, a black hole of tales resting on a bed of crystals, a place from which stories did not escape.

The woman seems neither very young nor very old. She is not tall or short, thin or fat, nothing to distinguish her except that she is bent, weighted down.

She tries to let go of her thoughts. Thoughts, she tells herself, are just emotions with stories attached. Let go of the story and know the emotion. Stop thinking and feel.

She remembers her grandmother’s house, drawers full of newspaper clippings tied up with string, collected stories, stories that had nothing to do with her grandmother or anyone else she knew, but clung to as if they held answers.

She wondered how many others had stood on this spot since the ancient ones, the original inhabitants, had discovered the seven islands that mirrored the Seven Sisters.

The woman placed a small wooden raft on the water. On top was a plain manila envelope stuffed with history, documents, photographs, love letters and momentos. She lingers, hesitating, then lights a homemade fuse and sets the little raft adrift on the outgoing tide.

The flames grow bright as the small flatboat of stories floats off on its journey to the crystal island.

The woman watches, hearing the voices of all who stood there before her rise, then fade away.


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Filed under Kim Hutchinson

19 responses to “Island by Kim Hutchinson

  1. Randal Houle

    This tale gives me something to really think about. Much subtext here. Good approach to the theme.

  2. Really nice, Kim. I love the image, the import of what the woman is doing.

  3. Len

    very visual. i love the homemade fuse and the image of that. nice.

  4. So ethereal. I wonder what the backstory is here…

  5. I love this story. “the small flatboat of stories” and “the manila envelope” make me think of what it is that we all put into our stories; history, photgraphs, memories… Beautiful.

  6. John Riley

    “Thoughts, she tells herself, are just emotions with stories attached.”

    I’ll have to remember that. Fine details. Good one.

  7. So much surface material for a deeper premise going on in this tome. I liked the setting and the descriptives used for the non-descript woman. The entire piece evokes so much more; speaks volumes in a stripped down essence. Nice use of white space, too.

  8. What great advice: let go of the story and know the emotion. I’ll give that a try. Loved your story. Doris

  9. Wonderful story, almost a fable. I love how setting that lit raft liberated her from her history. Though I wonder if at some point she’ll miss the tether of geneology. Peace…

  10. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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