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The Rising Bridge

The Rising Bridge

This is a short story commenting on the vagueness of human morals and ethics by representing two possible courses of action in a morally vague situation through a split personality. The difficulty in choosing the 'correct' course of action is shown by the two personalities criticising each other.

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Literary fiction


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Nathan Venator (Australia)


~~Forever is what you swore. Do you remember that? Into the blinding pearls that glistened for you, you swore until the end of days. Together you sat on that bridge and spoke of living in the sky on a bird of paper, and writing stories filled with names not far from reach. Looking off that bridge, you stared together at the sun and smiled at its set, because you were happy it decided to rise at all today.

But then came the inevitable change of season. It began to rain once a moth, once a week, every day. And the day came that you were both too wet, too cold to sit on that bridge anymore. She took one final look at you, and as her eyes held you, you saw they were filled with blame. She smiled at you, past you, and walked away.

She found someone old, someone new, someone borrowed, and someone blue. And as she strode down the aisle of mirrors, she saw only white, while you sat in your room and laughed. Looking into the vast emptiness that drew into it everything, but was still found wanting, you laughed. You didn’t know why, and you didn’t care.

Eventually the gates came down from around that bridge and you stepped on. Shadows of her danced around you and for a brief second, you wanted to dance along. Staring off into the sunset as you always had, you caught sight of another bridge. The once joyful curves and angles of its structure, now angry and violent, bent and warped beyond repair.

She stood on the edge of that doomed bridge and looked into the water. The pearls broken and streaming tears down her face, and she was within grasp of your words, within grasp of your hands. You began to reach out, but as she watched the wind carry her tears off into the sky, a smile pulled at her lips. You turned and walked off that bridge for the last time and as the splash reached our ears, tears fell from my eyes. But from yours fell only blood. And it fell on our hands.

Tell me, why did you laugh?


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

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