I woke up in the middle of the night with this story in my head. This makes me think that my mind is just echoing something, like something I read in SPY magazine, or saw on Saturday Night Live at any rate, it’s stuck in my head, like a tv jingle or a march. Here it is:
Coyote finally realizes he’ll never catch Bird. He stops running entirely and subsists on boiled cactus and flies. Life feels simple, pleasing and he starts noticing the beauty and charm of everyday things he used to run by. This last about three days.
The Road Runner still runs past him every once in a while, slower, closer. He’s not taunting any more. It seems like he’s concerned, like the bird is afraid that Coyote is broken. Coyote felt broken one day.
One day Coyote realizes that the was certain of two things: That hunting Bird was his life and that hunting Bird was over. He decides it’s time to end his life. But how?
He jumps off of cliffs. He drops boulders on himself. He even puts his head in a cannon. This time, though, he survives with an even greater sense of urgency and defeat. He pursues an ending more than Bird. He stops sleeping to plan the next days attempt.
As he’s preparing to throw himself under a truck while wearing a backpack of explosives and nails, he feels someone watching him. He turns to see Bird. This is closer than he’s ever seen him. He’s never seen Bird’s eyes before. He’s never seen Bird stretch out his wings towards him. He’s never seen anyone reach towards him.
Coyote pauses for a moment, only a frame, before lunging. Bird’s neck snaps easily and suddenly. His legs are stringy from a life of running. Though his eyes were too salty, his heart is hot and tender.
The feast lasts all day and Coyote naps several times during it. He is comically bloated with a grin bigger than his face. At last he knows what victory feels like and tasted like. He feels fuller and fuller. The vomiting starts at sundown.
By the next sundown he knows he won’t make it to the cave, nor to the morning. A second, now unwelcomed, victory comes for him. The Bird was poison to him. He keeps thinking of the last beep he heard from it. It was as close to the word ‘No’ he ever heard from the Bird, but not a ‘no’ of fear, or defeat, but of concern.
Bird had known he was poison to Coyote and spent his life protecting Coyote from this death. He has wasted, and then destroyed, his life chasing the only thing that could kill him, and the only thing that ever cared for him. Coyote also realizes that he can’t lift his head from the road.
The rest were headlights and then a surrounding darkness, a familiar song and a final brilliant logo.
5 replies on “The End of The Road. Runner.”
i have no words to describe how wonderful i think this is. you, sir, have just made my day.
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Really really nice…. Thank you! 🙂
Wow, Jeff you are a philosopher as well as a poet. Have you ever read the Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. leGuin? Peace, Marie
Thanks! Who’s Jeff?