Tuesday, June 6, 2017

One of my favorite writing teachers, Julie Thacker, would use various methods to stir up the creative potential in her class.  There were long term, short term and extremely short term assignments. She would sometimes pass out prints of classic paintings and give us fifteen minutes to absorb our impression and translate it into a very short story. I was lucky to get this work by Magritte. 
Thanks, Julie. Thanks, Rene.

Tabula Rasa
by  DJ Hazard
She was exhausted to numbness, an empty slate with the few remaining smudges of her determination. 
Her children huddled close. She looked down periodically, slowing their progress long enough only to see them respond to her nudges. She had heard songs of other mothers arriving, only then to see that their children had not survived. This would not happen.
Her children were too tired and hungry now to voice their discomfort. For they, too, were blank slates, splashed only by the colors of their mother's voice.
"Keep moving, children, we must keep moving." 
The darkness seemed endless. Phantom sensations tried to discourage her single-mindedness.
Each thrust produced the cruel laughter of the distance yet to be traveled and the darkness tasted like the bitter tears of defeat.
She had heard other songs of yet other mothers who had left their young where they slept in exchange for a faster journey. She pulled her children closer, lest they be chilled by such a bad thought. She would not be one of those.
She looked upon them once more, to be sure of their breath. 
On an empty slate, far from the light, the need to be home and the need to take them there were the last remaining brushstrokes.