The Four Corners, I: The Beginning

This is the first part of a short story I began a couple of months ago, and continued to write because it was so enjoyable to write. Is it enjoyable to read? It is a strange story I know, and strangely written, but when was a good story not strange? I would be really value your thoughts on this; it is not a genre I have tried very much until now.

Once upon a time there lived a girl, but she had Vision. When she wrote a story, the words weaved together, tangling off the page like black spiders, and made a pile of letters. When the wind blew they would blow out into a globe, and catch in colours, catch in flowers, lilac flowers, and many other things; and, soon, a house was built, a small-sized house with lilac trees of flowers outside; a wooden house, with ladders, ropes, and bunk-beds.

If that was what had come into her dream.


She lived well, she lived alone. She was either seven or seventy-three, but often things like age blew by with the wind, too, so that was only a guess, hazarded. She had a beautiful smile, and crooked teeth. And when she laughed, the birds came out in the sunshine. If the Sun happened to be shining. When it didn’t, she never laughed, but sat inside her cabin and made a warm fire, burning, and smoking, and she smoked a pipe, and thought, quite a lot.


One day, she stood up out of her chair, in the bright, beaming morning sunshine, and it creaked. And she said, I have quite finished thinking now. See, she had been thinking so much lately, that she often thought into the day, sometimes without sleeping. But this night she had slept freshly, and got up, and the thought she had been lacking had just come to her, just when she stood out of bed. Am I standing on my head?, she thought. Because it was so rare that she had those kinds of thoughts. Thoughts- when not seated somewhere. She quickly drew the curtains and saw the Sun had dawned, saw the mist seeping over the hills, and decided that today was the very best kind of day for sitting out in the sun. Quickly she went and found her chair, and sat out in the cool. And, after not more than two hours had gone by, she stood up again! White was her dress; white was her cap, that she had worn for many a day now. But today, she cast it off at the first word of her speech: I. For, as we already know, she had said, I have quite finished thinking now.


A loud laugh boomed above the sky – above the one or two clouds, but there had been very little cloud in sight that whole week. It was a deep voice, a sonorous voice, and any doubts that the girl had that today was the day were cast off. She had had her last thought, and all the little weaving thoughts that would close off the tapestry of all this time, in thoughts. Even they had come quickly. Like little drops of water, they had struck like musical notes back to the beginning of her story, right the same notes. And when the end touches the beginning, that is when you know that the story is complete. Or, the tapestry is full woven. Or, the thoughts all had.


She had heard the laugh, and it had made her strong as well as sure, and she knew there was no time to tarry. Laugh, she laughed back, and the birds came and tweeted at her one last time, and without further thought she closed the wooden door of her cabin. No pen had she brought; no ink. No needle; no thread; not even a chair to sit and think on. No food she had brought, no bread; not a musical instrument or shawl, cardigan, coat. In fact, she was quite naked, apart from her white dress, straw shoes, and her many thoughts that were finished. She imagined that they sat on her head, like a glistening crown made of water, because they were done. Now, the birds – there were two of them – swooped down, and picked up her cap which she had cast onto the floor, and held it by the laces in their beaks. And she knew that her thoughts’ fruition had now begun, and the cabin would be hers no longer, or perhaps very, very, very much longer. Now, it was to be left.



  1. sangretti · March 28, 2013

    This is great! And, I’d sort of like to make a little deal with you that if you keep this going, and I very much so enjoy where it’s going as far as far as this piece goes, I’ll keep writing the Sparrow story. Maybe that’s me being tired and over-hopeful, or maybe it’s a good idea. Haha, it could go either way.

    • sangretti · March 28, 2013

      (you could take out one set of them there “far as,” I guess I’m pretty tired)

      • Billie · March 29, 2013

        Thanks so much! Sorry this comment’s late- I’m getting used to replying on wordpress- but that sounds like a win-win deal and I’m excited to see more of your writing.

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