In the Valley of the Dry Bones – Parts I, II, III

In the desert, the scattered bones begin to rattle. The camels grow skittish, sniff the dry air, move off with determination. One arm bone seeks a wrist while that wrist seeks its palm and finger bones. A finger – one index bone – pokes from beneath the sand and looks around. Despite having no eyes, the index finger locates a thumb and the other fingers that once are attached to the same hand. The bones of the hand join together, then find the wrist which is already connected to the forearm. The forearm then looks about for its upper arm and shoulder. Once together, these collected bones seek out and find the neck, the jaw, the skull, the spinal column and its many vertebrae. The hip just comes along with the leg bones attached to the knees and the knees attached to the calves and the calves to the ankles and the ankles to the feet and toes. The entire skeleton stands.

Once on its feet, the skeleton – despite the lack of eyes – notes many other bones strewn across the desert waste skitter across the dry ground to join with other – like-minded ? – bones to form other skeletons which then rise on their boney feet to walk in formation as one mighty army.

Despite a lack of brain power, the skeleton moves with purpose toward an unknown enemy; in its boney right hand, a broad sword.

In a long line of marching skeletons — the clatter of moving bones would assault its ears if the skeleton had any — the first of its kind places one boney foot before the other to advance across the desert wasteland to the wall of a great city. Its broad sword raised, the skeleton slices the air as if killing human beings but no one is there. The desert is empty, the wall is secure. The skeleton slides the broad sword through its rib cage, places its fingers onto the wall and climbs. The movement up the wall is awkward but effective. At the top, the skeleton falls into the courtyard below, breaks apart like pick up sticks. The bones come back together, one by one. The skeleton takes the broad sword and stands.


copyright 2014 R Jack Winter



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