Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
        His ripped shirt is barely visible in the dust and smoke. He kneels in the rubble, bloody faded jeans loose on his hips, tan skin lined with ragged cuts and bruises underneath. Long dark hair, now dusty white and matted with blood, ripples in the wind like a tattered flag of surrender.
        He can't feel the pain.

        Broken jaws whisper of sadness.
        Broken voices scream of loss.


        And his broken eyes turn toward the ground, shadowed with fear and weakness. He clutches his head in scarring hands, ignoring the sharp debris biting his legs. He stares vacantly at the cracked concrete lying in the dust.
        He can't see it at all.

        Young eyes glisten with tears.
        Young lips move with a prayer.


        He knows they're gone, and he can't feel his heart. It was crushed in the disaster, destroyed in the riots and their screams of desperation.
        He's holding a piece of jagged metal in his hand, and he turns it to look at his reflection: tortured eyes and cheekbones lined with tear tracks. He closes eyes that have lost their tears, and puts it against his forearm, biting his lip in fear. And he drags it across his aching skin, where three lines of blood appear, one for each love he'll never get back.
        He holds his stinging arm against his chest, letting the blood stain his heart.

        The tears fall to the dust.
        And he stands up, with the strength of a child.
Inspiration
This story is dedicated to all the Haitian people who have lost loved ones in the recent earthquake.

The recent disaster in Haiti inspired me to write this, as a memorial to those who have lost their lives among the wreckage of Port-au-Prince*. As soon as I saw some of the videos of what had happened, I knew I was going to write about it.

The earthquake happened on January 12th, so obviously, this took me some time to create. I was really uncertain as to what I wanted to focus on, and whether I was really able to create anything worthy to commemorate the pain of those who were effected by the earthquake.
Eventually, I saw a video at a church worship service that had a powerful impact on me, and I connected it to ~Godhelp's image. It was then that I knew I was going to write a personal story. Not a retelling of the disaster, but a story with one boy and his pain.

Still, it took about four days to get that figured out, too. :faint: I didn't want to rush it. I'm really glad to finally get this out there.

Suddenly you'll fly,
With the strength of a child.


Technique
There's not much to say for technique. I wrote this in less than an hour, if you don't count the days and days of thinking or the amount of time I lay in my bed, whirling with thoughts and emotions.

I guess I'd like to say that I tailored the writing style to fit the story, not the other way around something that I think is a good way to write. Also, I intentionally gave very little concrete information about this boy, hoping that he would symbolize much more than a single person.


Special Mentions
~Godhelp's image (see Other Deviations) gave me a lot of inspiration.
~cherrichan13 (I don't know what I'd do without her.)


Groups
For #theWrittenRevolution members: Is there too much description? What do you think of the layout?
:iconthewrittenrevolution:

This was featured in #Xpose-it's 10 Piece Literature Feature.
It was also featured by =DailyLitDeviations in the January 24th news article, and it was "pick of the day."
Thanks a lot. :faint:


Other Deviations
After Fire




2010 Jonathon Reed
deviantART | Society6 | Tumblr
portfolio.jonathonreed.com
Add a Comment:
 
:iconpamelahoward2009:
Your words have had such an impact on me. I don't usually watch the news and read the papers, but reading this before the author's comments, I knew exactly what this was about.

The way you described everything so perfectly, creating a perfect image in my head of what was going on, it's stunning to see such talent.

Not many people would write of such a tragedy, as far as I have browsed, but I think you've pulled it off in quite a way that the people of Haiti would see you as their god. Well, not quite. :P

The technique you used I have seen before, but it really fits with this piece and gives it a more personal flow.

This piece is a work of pure genius, and I would give it three :+fav:s if I could.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
9 out of 10 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconsolaces:
This is a vividly portrayed piece and highly appropriate, obviously. You have captured the feeling of loss and desperation effectively, and I am sure I am not the only one who wishes to thank you for it. Now, time to break up the mood and begin with my silly little nitpicks. =/

First of all, I noticed that most of your sentences follow the same structure. Take these sentences, for instance:

"He kneels in the rubble, bloody faded jeans loose on his hips, revealing tan skin lined with scratches and bruises."

"Long dark hair, now dusty white and matted with blood, flutters raggedly in the wind, like a flag of surrender."

"And his broken eyes turn towards the ground, flaring with fear and weakness."

...I'm sure you're getting the idea. These sentences have a few things in common: they start with a few modifiers, tell us their subject and their verb, and then give us a clause of description (i.e., those that begin with a comma).

This is a hard habit to break. That, and it could just be the way I see it, but the structure gets somewhat tired and predictable after reading sentence after sentence that share such similar structure. Remember that sometimes such sentences can be broken down into clearer, simpler ones. Complex sentences are good and definitely can prevent a piece from sounding too choppy, but a balance between the two is even better.

I also noticed that you rely on many adjectives and adverbs to paint the picture. And they do, don't get me wrong, but in places they seem to put unnecessary weight on the overall image, particularly in the first paragraph. Remember that precise nouns and verbs should be priority, and adjectives and adverbs the helpers.

Overall, though, I really did enjoy this piece. It portrays everything I think you intended it to portray, so of course take my commentary with a grain of salt. Good luck to you and keep writing.:)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
23 out of 23 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconlightoverpowers58:
LightOverpowers58 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student Writer
May the Haitian people recover and prosper, lovely words.

This piece has been featured here.
Reply
:iconsleepykarie91:
sleepykarie91 Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for writing this.
Reply
:iconstintzi:
stintzi Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Student Artist
I feel sorry for the Haitians
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011  Student Photographer
Yeh. :\
Reply
:iconcurlycutie17:
curlycutie17 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011  Student General Artist
Beautiful. Heart rendering and touching. You have done amazingly well. =)
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Student Photographer
:tighthug: Thank you.
Reply
:iconcurlycutie17:
curlycutie17 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Student General Artist
Most welcome! It was simply lovely! :D Enjoyed reading it.
Reply
:iconjdepp101:
jdepp101 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
truly and absolutely beautiful. somebody has talent....
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Student Photographer
Thank you so much. :heart:
Reply
:iconru-kitsunej:
ru-kitsuneJ Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2010
Astounding. :o
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010  Student Photographer
:aww: Thanks.
How did you come across this?
Reply
:iconru-kitsunej:
ru-kitsuneJ Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
I watch you? :lol:
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2010  Student Photographer
Yeah, but it's old. :paranoid:

This was a kind of creepy message to come across, by the way.
Reply
:iconru-kitsunej:
ru-kitsuneJ Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2010
Yes but you edited it or something so it pops up in my inbox nonetheless. :P

I can imagine. :XD:
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2010  Student Photographer
I did? :paranoid:
*doesn't remember*
Reply
:iconru-kitsunej:
ru-kitsuneJ Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2010
Never mind dear. *ruffles Jon's ponytail*

Jon::iconrlyplz:
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2010  Student Photographer
:lol: Thank ya.

:iconglompunch:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconsweetmahartasongbird:
SweetMahartaSongbird Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010
oh my gosh, that is so impactive, so amazing how well it has portrayed that feeling of despaire.
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Student Photographer
Thanks so much. :love: I appreciate it.
Reply
:iconlozeldafan:
LoZeldaFan Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010
very nice!

one question:
is the preview image along the side a picture of stargirl? that was a good book :)
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2010  Student Photographer
Thanks so much.
And yeah, it is. :love:
Reply
:iconlozeldafan:
LoZeldaFan Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2010
cool :)
Reply
:iconyoolchie:
yoolchie Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2010
I have ambivalent feelings about this one. I really love how lyrical and powerful it is. One sentence sent shivers down my spine: "Long dark hair, now dusty white and matted with blood, ripples in the wind like a tattered flag of surrender."
But, the picky one I am, found some confusing bits.

First the cutting part - I know, everyone is telling you that. It's a lot better with forearm instead of wrist, but stil it's a bit confusing to me. A few moments before he hurts himself, you state he can't feel the pain of his injuries, yet he feels the pain he gives himself.
And - maybe it's just me - why I can't imagine a haitian survivor cutting himself is that self-injury happens mostly in (over)civilized countries where people have other things than how do I make money for food to occupy their minds with.
Okay, maybe it's just me and old, Maslow-based psychology.

The other thing is the situation itself. It seems generalized, which isn't a bad thing, the whole literature works via generalising and specialising, but questions kept popping into my minnd like "How did he knew he lost everybody?" "why nobody helps him to search, or why doesn't asks for help?" I don't know what a shock would do to my mind, but crying for help would be the first thing I'd do, especially if I don't know what happened to the whole town, and all I knew was that our house is shattered.
And the tear tracks confused me too. I guess he can feel his hart if he's crying...

Don't get me wrong, I liked this a lot. I just have a feeling that you got it a bit over-generalized if I can use an ugly word like that:). It was like you wanted to show every side of the tragedy trough this only piece. The indescribeable grief, the sorry towards humanity and the hollowness beyond it.
Grasping to much is darn hard to avoid, I know that... that's why I find writing very hard.:)

Oh and the last line rocks. :)
Write on!
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010  Student Photographer
Ohboy. A critique. :eager:

The cutting part is pretty hotly debated, to tell you the truth. :giggle: I love it.
"He can't feel the pain" is what I think you're referring to. The cutting was meant to give him the pain. His emotions are numb, so here is the sting of physical pain to make him hurt, and the scars will be a permanent reminder of those he has lost. Does that make a bit more sense?
It is true that Haitian people probably wouldn't inflict more pain on themselves but this is how I envisioned it. :shrug:

And yeah, your questions are pretty significant. I could come up with answers but I don't think that's your point. I wanted to make this an isolated symbol of the population's suffering. If that makes any sense.
I didn't consider writing about uncertainty, although that might have worked pretty well. The pain is more apparent if he knows. And ... the chaos is what keeps him isolated. Whether you're a Haitian mother desperately trying to find your child, or a Canadian soldier stopping raiders from destroying a store-front, you're not going to stop and comfort one lonely child, are you?

But still, your points make a lot of sense. Artistic license, then?

Thanks for your critique, I'll keep working on my skills. :love:
Reply
:iconyoolchie:
yoolchie Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2010
Sorry for the late reply!

I'm glad you found my point relevant and didn't just say I was talking nonsense.:)
Thinking it over like this, the permanent reminder thing makes pretty good sense.

And if I (the reader) had known that the boy knows that his loved ones are dead, and he has realized the chaotic outside world won't help him in any way, the whole story and the self-harm would be much more convincing.
Maybe you implied it and I didn't get it with my non-native English, or maybe I should have let my questions go and concentrate on emotions only.

Okay, I'm starting to be self-repetitive now. I thank you for the explanation. It was a boost to my, um, critique skills.:D
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2010  Student Photographer
:lol: Okay, thanks.
Reply
:iconraindropsonroses21:
RaindropsOnRoses21 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is absolutely beautiful, it touched my heart, very emotional. Amazing job XD
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2010  Student Photographer
Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. :hug:
Reply
:iconmspadfoot2:
mspadfoot2 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010  Student Writer
This is beautiful. I have no words. The poetry in between sections is really fitting and lovely. And the emotions are really palpable. It reminds me of something my characters would do.

I really love the concept of him cutting himself on the arm for every love he won't ever see again. It's a really beautiful and painful image.
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2010  Student Photographer
:tighthug: Thanks so much.
Reply
:iconpoetrylovergirl22:
Poetrylovergirl22 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Student Writer
so raw with emotion

very well done
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Student Photographer
:love: I appreciate it!
Reply
:iconpoetrylovergirl22:
Poetrylovergirl22 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2010  Student Writer
so welcome

:hug:
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Student Photographer
:_
Reply
:iconpoetrylovergirl22:
Poetrylovergirl22 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Student Writer
aw that looks like a sad face :/
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010  Student Photographer
Oops. :noes:

:D that better?
Reply
:iconpoetrylovergirl22:
Poetrylovergirl22 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2010  Student Writer
aw well are u ok?
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2010  Student Photographer
Yeah, I am.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconforensicrockinrisu:
ForensicRockinRisu Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2010
:iconthewrittenrevolution: The layout is awesome, IMO. And the description makes the story.
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Student Photographer
:phew: Thanks a lot.
Reply
:iconforensicrockinrisu:
ForensicRockinRisu Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2010
Welkies!
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2010  Student Photographer
:D
Reply
:iconlostsoul330:
LostSoul330 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
w-o-w, such raw emotion, such powerful imagery... Other than that I'm at a loss of words... just wow.
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Student Photographer
^^; Thank you.
Reply
:iconlostsoul330:
LostSoul330 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
u r welcome
Reply
:iconitsaki:
itsaki Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This piece has at one point been submitted for feature to =DailyLitDeviations by myself, so is now part of a monthly feature here: [link] and [link]
:)
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010  Student Photographer
I really appreciate it!
Reply
:iconitsaki:
itsaki Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
no prob! my pleasure :D
Reply
:iconjonathoncomfortreed:
jonathoncomfortreed Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010  Student Photographer
:handshake:
Reply
:iconitsaki:
itsaki Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
:highfive:
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconjonathoncomfortreed: More from jonathoncomfortreed


Featured in Collections

Favourite Literature by suzannebookworm

lit. by onababona

Prose Poetry by RedSky12741


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
January 23, 2010
File Size
1.6 KB
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
3,696
Favourites
133 (who?)
Comments
160

License

Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
×