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As the leaves clung with desperation to the trees, a man no older than thirty clenched a
black notebook in his hands. He sat stiffly on the green park benches, with nothing more than a
light spring jacket for warmth. The few people that were outside were bustling about, too busy to
care about anyone but those related to them in some way. Even the birds were flying away, not
paying any other attention to anything else. The man looked up at the grey sky and shivered at
the bitter breeze passing through.

"Grant," he told himself, "you've been through worse. This is only late autumn."

Grant glanced around, spotting a frozen lake, dying grass, and then a crushed pen. He
reached for the pen right in front of him, grabbing it with his middle and pointer fingers and then
promptly stuck it in his left pocket of his jacket. Grant opened his note book; glancing at the
poems he had spent most of the book writing. He wrote most back in the war, during the nights
he couldn't sleep. Only once was there a poem Grant couldn't finish in one night. For him at
least, it was comforting to know that maybe someone would be able to listen to him even when
he was gone.

He needed someone to converse with during the long, frigid nights, someone who would
tease him every now and then, and someone who could love him. Grant realized something as he
slipped the pen out of his pocket. If no one would love him, he would just make one, using a few
blank pages of his book and his pen. He started by describing her appearance, small and slender
with bright green eyes. He made her with small, delicate hands that looked like ivory, and had a
voice that sounded like window chimes in the wind. He decided she had long strawberry curls
with freckles on her cheeks to match. He felt his heart ache in the excitement, because the girl he
was making up was his same age.

Grant then found himself wanting to talk to the girl, since according to the journal; she
sat right next to him. He knew whatever he said, needed to be written down, though, or else she
wouldn't hear him.

"Hello, what's your name? You look awfully cold," Grant wrote down, trying to learn more
about her.

"Lauren Baker," she said to him like magic.

"Oh really? I'm Grant Weaver. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Hehe, I'd say quite the same for you, handsome."

Grant blushed hard enough to make his entire face seem like salami. Lauren giggled as
this small complement affected him so much; it was as if she had not seen any man before him.

"Hey, let's go by the museum, that's where I work, you know."

"Sure Lauren."

By now, Grant was lost in his own imagination, far away from reality. In his mind, he
was strolling down Central Park, conversing with a girl that appreciated the marks and scars he
had gotten through war.

"So, I heard Vietnam was pretty rough, I'm glad to see you got out okay."

"Yeah…I suppose… the silence was the worst."

"The silence?"

Grant paused, thinking back to the terrors that vexed him. The screams, the bombs, not
even the cries of naked children running away from war couldn't be worse as the silence. The
silence would loom right against him, waiting to kill him when he was unsuspecting. It still
hasn't left him. Grant shook his head.

"For two years, my entire world was a battlefield. Death and tears were normal. They still are
normal, death happens every day, every hour. Crying, I bet every minute at least. But, the
silence… It slept in your bones, it let you know loud and clear what you were. When my brother
Rick died on the battle-field, I was killing someone else's brother. Causing some poor sap to die
and leave something undone. I would've never thought about that, I would have never known

what I was, if later that night, my brother's remains weren't brought to the camp. Damn right I
learned what I was."

Lauren glanced down at the pavement, as if she regretted what she had questioned. Her curls
grew into tangles as she twisted them through her fingers. She carefully raised her head, gazing
into his deep brown eyes. Grabbing his hand, she said nothing, but as he clenched her hand and
they both leaned forward, they kissed with the dried leaves around them, crumbling in the wind.
As she pulled away, Grant protested for a moment as the cold wind greeted his lips.

"Don't let me out of this kiss," he mumbled, just low enough for Lauren not to hear.

"Grant, Right across Pensword Street and we'll be there at the muesuem. Hurry, let's go now, the
cars will wait."

Grant nodded, torn half by lust and half by old regret. He saw Laurens hair bob as her
feet trudged through the brown leaves pressed onto the street. A red car whipped around the
corner of the block. A sickening smack was made as Lauren's blood splattered onto the street.
Tears were streaming down Grant's face, making the wind frigid . His lips turned blue, his nose
was bright pink, and his hands shook in terror. When he tried to run to her, he was no longer near
the street. He was on his bench, holding his notebook and pen. The silence took over; convincing
him of things he didn't understand.

"I killed her," he said to himself, "I killed her."

He stumbled to Pensword Street, only outside of his journal, the sign read Lording
Avenue. The street was cracked and uneven, and there wasn't any doubt that the name had
changed multiple times as the town grew to this city.

"The girl, she was just hit by a car here!" Grant said, exasperated.

A man with a body like a snowman glared at him with dark eyes and said, "No one's ever
died on this road."

"That's impossible! Lauren just died! Didn't you see her? You had too…"

"No, I'm not off my rocker; I know what I've seen. The Lord hasn't killed anyone on this road.
He wouldn't even kill a rat like you," the man said, allowing his words to go quiet.

Grant opened up his notebook, planning on jotting a quick thought. The numbness in his
fingers made the journal slip out of his grasp, and the papers were soon pressed against the street.
In his despair, he saw Lauren's limp body in the center of the papers. Grant rushed onto the busy
street in haste, about to touch her ivory hands. "I don't want to live without you," Grant said,
before he was hit by a car, making his bones shatter like glass.

A poem lay in a pool of blood, and as the words grew lost in deep red, the silence
whispered the poem through every home as a reporter hurried quickly to recite it. On the paper
was a poem faded and old and still with glossy ink.

          "What if the sword kills the pen/ What if God kills the man/ And if He does it with love/
Well then it's death from above/ And death from above is still a death/ So what if nothing is safe/
So what if no one is saved/ No matter how sweet/ No matter how brave/ But if each to his own
lonely grave?" The reporter said three times before being overcome by silence.
This was also for a project, I had to write a story based on a song. Originally, I was going to do "Eet" by Regina Spektor, but ended up getting a great idea and did the "Sword and the Pen" by her instead.

I don't like this story as much as I once did, so please comment and critique on how I can improve!

Was it too obvious?
Is it too busy?
What's your favorite part?
Description and imagery okay?
Anything you dislike?
Critique I did:[link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbearycool:
bearycool Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Student Writer
"then a stepped on pen" wait, what?

I think that part should be fixed real quick right there, sincerely from your local grammar nazi.

Besides that, I found it a nice piece with really great wording, diction, and description.
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Thank you so much! :D
Reply
:iconruminzal:
Ruminzal Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
Wow. One mechanical error I spotted "even the cries of naked children running away from war could(n't?) be as(take out as) worse as (change as to then) the silence."

Besides that, it's slightly choppy in places. I suggest simple proof reading.
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
Thank you!
Reply
:icongreygal2000:
GreyGal2000 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow that's really cool :D Great concept!
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:icongreygal2000:
GreyGal2000 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
:D
Reply
:iconvagrant-inventor:
Vagrant-Inventor Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012  Student Writer
This is really amazing! I like how I almost forgot that Lauren was written in by Grant. It has such a sad ending though...
Reply
:iconsaevuswinds:
saevuswinds Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012
Thank you :)
Reply
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