Friday, January 22, 2010

Guest Write - Lee Hughes

The Mending of the Broken

Melvin sat beneath his tree and looked at the trees in the book he’d borrowed from the big place where lots of books lived, it was a shame that too many had words in them. The trees in the book were all nice enough, he supposed. But none were quite as splendid as his. A brown leaf tumbled down and landed upon the page of his book. Melvin sighed, stood and reached into the pocket of his dungarees for his sticky tape. He stuck the leaf back where it belonged and smiled at the tree. Melvin looked after the tree most carefully, and had done so for three whole seasons. Three seasons had used up a lot of tape, mind. But he’d done it, he’d mended the broken. He’d mended them all, branches, leaves and even the small bird that had fallen all got mended with tape so they wouldn’t be broken no more. Melvin didn’t like broken things. Mainly because folks said that he was broken too. Melvin hoped someone would mend him soon, he’d even lend them his tape, it’d not cost them nothing.

Melvin picked up the midnight feather. He monitored the sky for its owner. He wondered if it was broken and needed mending.

He put it in the pocket of his dungarees.

"Caw." A bird the colour of Melvin's shadow was up in his tree.

"Hey, you broken?"


Melvin took that for a yes. There were so many things that needed mending, most were missing pieces.

Melvin filled his cheeks with air, exhaled, glanced at the shoebox and reckoned it would be mightily unfair if he were to put the bird to the front of the queue to be mended.

He picked up a stone. People called him dumb, but he could throw.

One shot got the bird down. It struggled as he picked it up.

"It's okay, you're gonna be mended up. But gots to be fair, others been waiting longer."

He sat and opened up the box. He took a few bits of bone and some skull and began taping them together, borrowing bits from the bird he'd stoned.

"I mended you, go fly." He held out his hand but it wouldn't take to the wing.

He sighed.

Maybe it wanted to stay.

He taped it to one of the low branches; the leaves were taped on too.

He smiled.

He put the leftover bits of the bird away. He pulled out a small skull he'd found buried in Mr. Merewether's yard, Melvin reckoned it was from people kind, not animal kind.

"I'll get you mended next."

Lee Hughes is a writer of horror, crime, sci-fi, or whatever passes through the bumble of his brainage. He lives on an island for tax purposes, his writings can be found in both print and smeared about the internet on eZines. You can find out more about him at LeeHughes.Net


  1. I absolutely loved this story at Clarity and was actually surprised it did not finish higher than it did. Spectacular use of self talk to create this twisted and demented child-like monster. A masterful piece of flash.

  2. This was by far my favorite story that was posted on Clarity of Night. The extended version here on my blog makes the piece that much more fantastic in my mind.

    Excellent Job Lee, and Thank you for being a great first guest writer!

  3. This piece of work is so amazing that I have to admit that I was disappointed to be a winner in this contest, it should've gone to Hughes.

  4. Wonderful story with that underlying darkness.... like a minefield laid under a field of poppies.

  5. Fantastic story. Loved the pacing.

  6. Yes really loved the story, with just a little piece of darkness as well,very good reading too. Well done .Congratulations.

  7. Thanks all, glad you enjoyed it. And thanks to Nicole for hosting it.