Within Time

a hummingbird

by Kenneth Burch

There upon a small branch, sat a beautiful red bird. As it looked from side to side, it began to wonder about its place in the world. With a heart beating at 70 times a second it made its way towards a second tree nearby. During its transition, a blue jay near by had been watching. Midway between the trees, the beautiful red bird was struck and killed by the blue jay, ending the wonderful color it displayed. As the red bird laid dying, its heartbeat slowing, little could it have imagined the events unfolding.

Two miles away, a 911 call was placed from a home where a man had decided to hang himself. He didn't want to have his only son come home from school and see him like this, but he couldn't face his son or his family any longer. The job he had worked so hard at and for so many years, had decided they had enough of him and many alike. The layoffs came quickly.

Five miles away, a woman had finally decided to leave her abusive husband of 10 years. She had spent most of the evening and early morning packing while he was at work. She had thrown everything she thought she needed, into a suit case and after picking up the one photo of her mother, made her way out to her already loaded down car. She was fastened in and about to pull off when the shot fired, shattered glass, brain and blood matter, ended her flight to freedom.

Just around the block, a man in a wheelchair had just finished combing his hair. He was looking forward to a morning stroll around his neighborhood of 15 years. The morning air was comforting and sweet. He was just dreaming of how lucky he was to still be alive, despite his accident, when he was struck by and oncoming truck. The driver’s heart had decided the walk off the job leaving the mind to control the obvious shock and horror.

Across town, a man working on his car had decided to change the oil. He had just finished draining the old oil, and was tightening the drip pan when the car shifted to the right. The soft ground below pushed the jack to the left. He had just enough time to notice when the weight of the car met the ground trapping and crushing him in between.

On a street nearby, a man walks into his home to find a stranger sitting in his living room. The man had waited for this moment for a long time. Love had turned to anger and deceit. But few words would be spoken before the trigger, was squeezed.

At a traffic light a woman sat applying her make-up while awaiting an incoming call on her cell phone. She had just finished brushing and was looking for her name tag when the driver behind her stepped on the gas. She was small, the car large but it made no difference to the brain stem, for it snapped just the same. Seconds later, a faulty gas tank, ignited sealing her doom.

A seedy hotel room to the south of highway 267, holds a young Spanish woman. She has spent most of the last two weeks selling her self for crack cocaine. A less then stellar performance the night before last, has left her with only one option. The pimp, or so called pimp will find her the next morning with her throat slit.

For all that it was, the only job that mattered, no longer did. He was trying to fill the gap left behind so many years ago, when he asked her to marry him. He worked his fingers to the bone and managed to put together a life that seemed all but complete. Her gentle touch had guided him through some rough times. Today however, would be his final hour. The walls of his broken marriage were closing in and for the first time in his life, he had no where to turn. The ever so sweet taste of cold metal would provide the answers he was looking for. Good-bye.

The brick faced house, by the market downtown kept its second story window open all year round. Inside, the boy who had lost his father 12 years ago sits and waits. He was born without the use of his legs and had spent most of his young life dreaming. On a clear day, he thought long and hard. “One day,” he thought to himself, “I will do it, I will fly.” So when the moment was right, the open empty window of the second story brick faced house, was filled.

245 miles away in a small farmhouse to the south, a young woman sits with only one plan in mind. Her mother had ignored her pleas for years, when she spoke of it. Few, if any would understand her situation or her solution. She had found herself at wits ends. The years of abuse had come to her at the hands of a step father, who had found her the center point of his lust. The repeated slaps in the face, from a mother gone cold had given her reasons to heat things up. So as she stood over the bed that was once shared by her father, she found her inner calm. The two sleeping forms would be awakened into a world of fiery hell, as their bodies would scream in horror for the final minutes of their life.

Six blocks away from South Port and Main, sits a house littered with the high times of the 80's. A jungle affair of drugs and party going had left wild times and even wilder nightmares. Weekends of party people loud music and calls to police, had left little to the imagination. Sex had provided not only an outlet, but a way of life. He had tried to contain a lie that found itself telling everyone through a body now decaying in sores and blisters. Drugs had taken most of his mind and now it seems, his body was soon to follow. The needle had been wiped clean on the last part of a dirty shirt. He pulled out the last of the good stuff, and fired up the spoon. A slow drag out, a slow push in, and all that he was, now disappeared into the wasteland of the living.

The ground now became cold as it closed in on a short lived life. With red wings that were once spread with beauty and life, now broken and hinged together. Its small quick beating heart, was pounding in small slow thumps, as it tried to continue its job of life. What was it thinking in those final minutes? Had it thoughts at all? Had it tried to find its path in a light born of certain darkness? Why here? Why had it come to this place anyway? A life that transcends worlds of time and space, had selected this, its final resting place. Having given life one last chance, it failed...

The End