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Surrender by Taylor Triste - [149 words]
Shadow's Adventure by Maritza Vargas Shadow(me) has to find Menchi, her pet dog that oddly looks like a cat, but gets caught up i... [518 words]
Where Does She Go From Here? by Desi Williams It's about my life thus far... in a way. [477 words]
Selection From I Displace The Air As I Walk by Marjorie Kanter "I displace the air as I walk" is a collection of short literary pi... [432 words]
When Robots Go Wrong by Alex Reuille This story is based off of the book I, Robot written by Issac Asimove, to learn more about... [654 words]
Unfortunate Side Effects by Liz Quinlan Some old English homework. It's lvl 7+, though!!! And I'm afraid its not particularly ... [552 words]
Twine-Stiry 3 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Romm 63 by Bryan King Man is has thoughts of killing himself. [750 words]
The Waiting Room Of Evil by Rich Honour A warning to all those who are forced to wait here. [584 words]
The Tunnel by D Shultz A man awakes in a small room to find himself inside something he never would have imagined. [1,760 words]
The Sun Has To Shine On Every Dogs Ass At Least Once by Jeremy Lucko A short tale of James Sheffield. Just a piece of this mans... [1,207 words]
The Phantom Hitchhiker by Liz Quinlan Well. It's about this dude, right... Oh who cares. Read it. Then you'll know. [485 words]
The Human Weezburger by Rachel E Smith When in the future humans are bred for meat, controversy stirs, and one girl in particular... [2,409 words]
The Conservatory by Alfredo Velazquez Rodriguez Velazquez Is a short story about a boy who dreams to play the pianoi but has many struggels to get there... [1,502 words]
The Clearing 2001
The Cat And The Shotgun-Story 1 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Room 63 by Bryan King A crazy man threatens to kill a woman. [246 words]
The Car An The Shotgun-Acontinuation Of The Cat And The Shotgun by Bryan King The woman is now the crazy man's hostag. [791 words]
The Building (Part One Of ?) by Bradley Grimes A man awakens in a white bed, surrounded by white walls. Clueless as to what lays ... [1,158 words]
The Building(Part 2 Of ?) by Bradley Grimes Phillip Morrison continues his travels through the seemingly endless building. [1,767 words]
Stupidallicallidumbocious by Pratik Patel This could be you. [889 words]
Reverend Matthew-Story 2 Of The Insanities Of Hotel Room 63 by Bryan King A buisness man teases Pator. [827 words]
Requis by La Carlotta A short fantasy story. Unfinished. Should be updated soon. [2,113 words]
Nights In The Asylum by James Nite The staff of the infamous Bellsing Mental Insititute begin questioning their sanity with t... [3,479 words]
My Last Addiction by Kimball A story about a young guy and his life's addiction. [1,265 words]
Methought I Heard A Voice Cry by Deborah S Wang Two soldiers struggle with the fact that one is greater than a million. [1,041 words]
Lucy by John A Durler Fred Franks went on an errand, returned seventeen years later. “I got the milk.” He said. “They drink bee... [1,300 words]
Karen's Revenge by Martin Abram Love has really gone wrong this time. [1,392 words]
It Happens; It Matters. by Steve Deutsch After a date with the girl of his dreams, a young boy thinks about the changes in life ... [2,004 words]
How September 11th Changed The Life Of The Freemans by Alex Reuille This story is about 9-11 and how one family felt the effect... [876 words]
Harmless Fouls by Travis M Shreve A short storie for college students. [1,391 words]
God, Help Me, I Don't Want To Die by Bryan King A demon shows a man his destiny. [3,373 words]
Friends Again by Eli Robbins This story is about a kid who doesn't fit in at his new school but he finally does after some hel... [2,365 words]
Firehouse 9-11 by Alexandra C Karones This stroy is about the Twin Tower attacks in 2001. It is about two firemen who are friends and ... [1,037 words]
Confessions Of A Perfect Prom Dress by La Carlotta Drabble. An English assignment. The prompt was "'Parting is such sweet so... [331 words]
Cold Heart by Aaron Aackerman A Mystery washes up on shore. [415 words]
Chapter 1 Inkheart Sequal by Justin A Anfuso This is the first chapter of a story written in the same style as "inkheart" was writ... [528 words]
Big Blind by Phil O'buster When you lose someone, what do you do? Do you move on? Or do you try to forget? And if you try to for... [1,098 words]
Becoming A Bludger by Ian Kidd Humor Personal. [1,500 words]
57 Minutes Until by Bryan King How the end came. [474 words]
Nights In The Asylum: The Bellsing Hauntings by Dylan Michael A story of the director of a Georgia mental institute, a patient, ... [3,478 words]
Bury Me Alone by Kayla Meadows A story of achieving redemption and recognizing loneliness. What started as a sentence of thought... [3,998 words]
Night Visitors by D Shultz Unwanted visitors arrive at a home during the night. [1,199 words]
(Still Not Deteremined) by Wheaton - [1,423 words]
(Not Determined Yet) by Wheaton - [928 words]
Virtual Reality by Susan Friedman Based on a true story. [1,154 words]
Unfinished Business (2) by Richard Kelly This is a bizarre tale of a man who returns to his hometown after 20 years to confess t... [4,458 words]
Touched by Fiona Penmaiden The struggle of a twin to accept her sister's madness. [2,560 words]
Together Alone by Art Becaud A little dark but Hell, what's it all about? [780 words]
Through The Mind Of A Retard by Rachel Lynn Marshall Randoll Edward Miller isn't just any average middle school boy. He's a middle scho... [2,269 words]
Through The Eyes Of The Littlest Stowaway by Susan Friedman This story is about a nine year old girl who stows away on the titani... [1,138 words]
The War Of Dreughs by Hobie - [3,630 words]
The Nightstalker - Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [425 words]
The Nightstalker - Part Three by David Brian The Offender - [465 words]
The Nightstalker - Part One by David Brian The Offender An evil entity escapes hell and wreaks havoc on an unsuspecting world. [273 words]
The Lovely Peasant by G David Schwartz A short story. [773 words]
The Last Sunset by Alice W-M It's the story of a girl driven crazy by taunting and heartbreak. [679 words]
The Last Day by Erika Sutton Amber, a senior American student in Columbia is excited about her last day of school, however it t... [3,003 words]
The King's Best Soldier by Susan Brassfield Cogan Beric races for home, haunted by a Dakhanni demon. [1,270 words]
Sorry, Right Number Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [347 words]
Sorry, Right Number Part One by David Brian The Offender An alcoholic lives to regret his past. [341 words]
Some Things Need To Be There by Steven L Howard You need some things to be there in order for it to be home. [1,611 words]
Sincerely Seventeen by Charice L Boyd A seventeen year old girl who finds love in the wrong places. She had everything going for... [4,112 words]
Rest In Pity-Eternal Friendship by Fithalene Noor Sometimes, animal's friendship is much more valuable. this story gives you the ... [478 words]
Rain Storm by Kaitlin D Fest A girl named Rain is snobby and really smart, her enemy, kyle, is also smart and in every one of her... [3,178 words]
On A Train Headed West by R Campbell A short story. [3,746 words]
Old Man And The Nagging Wife by Baylee Marie A story of an old couple that doesn't get along due to different feelings. This s... [1,612 words]
Nichol's Nightmare by Lynn Jacob Nichol, an older teenager, is faced with Bipolar Disorder. The story describes her, and her... [2,085 words]
Mystic Mirror by Chandra Ghosh Jain "Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type o... [4,425 words]
Mystery Meat Part Two by David Brian The Offender - [237 words]
Mystery Meat Part One by David Brian The Offender No plausible explanation possible. [230 words]
Mistress Mistrust by Ryan Kerr This is a story about a boy who finds out about love and how it an ruin your life. [770 words]
Loop by Gs Blackshaw A man's alternate lives collide and he must decide with whom his happiness lies. [882 words]
Life And Death by Andrea Nicole Newell This story is about a young man who discovers he has a tumor. The underlying conflict is that h... [2,317 words]
Last Caress by Kimball A story about a guy and his lost love. I wrote this in about an hour. needs refinement. looking ... [1,119 words]
Karma Yogi by Neeshant Srivastava It’s about an old man, a farmer and his work. It is a story of life dedication to his profession and... [2,667 words]
High School-Behind The Scenes by Meagan R Minor Jessica Freeman is a student at Lewis A. Morgley High School. She has to deal wit... [2,263 words]
Happy Valentine's Day by Derek Toney A story about a guy who's alone and out of luck on Valentine's Day. [2,178 words]
Goals Achieved by Vanessa Caldwell A teenage girl who strives after her passion while obsticles get in her way. In the end she succ... [2,458 words]
Divine Pigeon by Neeshant Srivastava It’s about a young boy wading through sands of time and his simple triumph in a belief that often... [516 words]
Curiosity by Thrishana Pothupitiya A short story from the island of Sri Lanka. [843 words]
Clutch Touchdown by Nicholas J Pangborn This is a sports story which shows never to give up. [749 words]
Boundless by Leah Russell A girl becomes bored with her everyday job. She overcomes her deepest fears and gains a good friend.... [3,773 words]
Blind Date Gone Wrong by Laura Fleeger Elle and Thomas go on a blind date and Thomas, isnt the most popular guy. [3,491 words]
Be Strong by Jill Johnson The story of a girl, Eliza, who was born into slavery in the Southern United States. She and her fam... [2,290 words]
A Letter To The Boy That I Loved. by The Lost Girl Something that I wrote while I was trying to get over a guy. [848 words]
A Job Well Done by Kimball This is about a guy who has a unique way of getting people to reach nirvana. this is just tell... [2,488 words]
A Final Conversation With Myself by Vijay Mohan Raghavan A failed love and a guys self realisation. [719 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
The Clearing 2001
DESCRIPTION
Nature has its own way of helping us ease painful memories we were certain would never fade.
[1,106 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Literary Fiction
AUTHOR
Steven Gilbreath

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a gradute of the University of Missouri - Kansas City in both creative writing and multimedia. Currently I run my own film & multimedia business in the Orlando area and work on my novels and short stories in my spare time. My hope is to one day exchange multimedia for a writing career before I kick off.
[June 2005]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
Missing - A Short Story (Short Stories) Passing your days by doing only enough to satisfy what is expected can lead to a life not worth remembering. [1,475 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Blues And The Greens (Short Stories) A story of waking up from under the electric blanket of modern life. [1,804 words] [Literary Fiction]
The Clearing 2001
Steven Gilbreath

Steven Carl Gilbreath

(321) 206-3643

[email protected]

545 Daniels Avenue

Orlando, FL 32801-4028



The Clearing

by Steven Carl Gilbreath

    The car skidded to a halt between two parking slabs, tires crunching and piling up murky gravel.  He got out in a rush, slipping on the loose stones.  “It doesn’t mean anything,” gonged, an ear-throbbing clock tower bell.  The car door creaked then banged, half a chalky shoe print in the middle of it. The gongs rang to his feet, kicking up gravel in splashes, leaving scars where the gray ground showed through.  Dust launched off the tiny stones to escape with the afternoon air.  He saw enough to stumble, but all else was flashing white; prickles behind the eyes.  His blood ran thick, pounding its way out, and his chest filled up with it.  The warmth from the falling sun pressed in from all sides, but it could not break through. 

    ‘Nature trail 1.2 miles’ read the hand painted sign.  His fist slammed into the word ‘trail’, attempting to scatter the letters, but it brought only sharp pain and a splinter.  Picking the sliver out with stabs, the man stood at the forest’s mouth while memories slammed into one another, all moving too fast to see clearly, broken by the gongs.  The green trees ahead formed a wall that swallowed up much of the light.  He started down the leafy throat, the trail stretching under him, followed by flashes he could not stop.

Soon his feet grew heavy with every stride until he was forced to push out the blinding white enough to look down.  Mud had built up in clumps, and turning his head he saw it everywhere.  A muggy and decayed scent clung to him as buzzing dove in and out.  Forest surrounded him now but he was outside it.  The path of mud made his continued plodding difficult, but he stomped on, flinging earthy pieces out ahead of him.  

    Not sure if it was a root, stone, or slick mud he went down on his stomach, his hands spread out before him.  The gongs bubbled up through the filth and the skin on the back of his head rumbled.  The fall did not change him and after getting up and digging muck from his face he kept on.  He left the trail behind as he tore through the wood with branches whipping him.  The flashes burned up the undergrowth until he emerged into a clearing.  A lone tree rested in its middle, the only opposition.  The tree was limbless, leafless, lifeless.  Vines clung to it, pulling.  Getting closer he saw the holes where insects had their try.  A dirty prodding finger broke off a spongy chunk and flashes of motion spiraled with it.  The jumble of tiny legs that remained recessed farther into the once-tree now that light and air hit them.  The tree was dead, standing only until something brought it down.  

    His fists were pulled tight, pounding through the outer skin.  Stepping back, he let his feet work, breaking more from the tree.  The gongs threw his whole body behind his shoulder, breaking through one side.  Out of control, he tumbled to the splintered ground.  A tree limb poked him in the leg and as he stood it was held shaking in his hand.  He swung into the crumbly flesh.  Gong! Went his mind.  It doesn’t mean anything,  Crack! echoed across the space again and again until chips floated into his eyes and throat.  Still the tree stood waiting, a stiff and defiant corpse.  He worked as sweat slid the dirt off him in streaks of tan until all the jumbled memories burned up with the heat of his body.  Each swing sent shocks through him, loosening the blood, allowing it to flow quickly enough to ignite muscle.  He swung until everything below his head was a blur, a heavy confusion keeping him grounded.  The last chop tore the limb from him, to let it rest in a pile of wooden skin - the final gong.  Exhausted, he propped his soul against the naked tree with its core still breathing.  Layer by layer, from outside in, the tree had fought him, but with a ragged body resting against it, it too fell to rest.  The man laid down on the smooth grain, shudders shaking his limbs and trunk.  Laughing had leapt out despite the woody dust and cracked like the birth of thunder.  He was alone now that the tree was down and no one heard.  Air ran out in him for sound and he lay there rocking the tree with tiny vibrations.  

    Finally he rolled off and stood up, flakes of brown pealing off his clothes and mixing with the splinters.  He wondered if the tree had given in somehow, grown tired by taking in his thick blood and blinding white and gongs.  Some part of him believed that; the part that crouched down to pat the bare grain and say, “Thank you”.  And so the man left the clearing caked in drying mud and callused by the tree that let him win.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2001 Steven Gilbreath
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2005
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1707
 

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