The Hummingbird's Touch

The Hummingbird's Touch

A Story by Curiosity's Virtuoso

Just a little hope...

The Hummingbird’s touch.


I flew feet first out of my seat, through the door, and out into the already bustling hallway. The jungle off reason was draped over me within seconds, ruffling my golden locks and scuffling dirt into my white mary janes; a procedure which I deemed cyclic. Barely standing above the waists of adults I pushed and prodded before finally breaking through where the highway met a pasture. Heart pounding, my flight continued down the steps and across the parking lot where I was met by a sea of never ending treetops bursting with color. I scampered into them further before feeling a rough tug thrust me backwards, causing me to fall Whipping my head around I frantically attempted to pry the nitch of my pink knitted sweater out of a branch’s grip. I scrambled to my feet and propelled myself faster than ever toward a cleaner path and fled down it. My eyes ignited with the vision of my goal, but dimmed at the recognition of a familiar figure. The restlessness within me grew weary and my head lolled back in defeat followed by a desperate huff. I lost. Again.

“…And the crowd goes wild! Oliver Clyde the amazing, the magnificent, the-“ My brother started.

“Mega cheater!” I cried out.

“Oh stop it, Am. I won fair and square. You know it.”

“You’re older, bigger, and your classroom is closer to the door!”

“So? I still beat you.” He rubbed in, making a face at me. I folded my arms and glared at him. He just chuckled. “Oh cut it out! Its not that it matters.” He was right but my fresh, uncluttered mind still wished to prude at his actions. “Common, we’d better get going.” Oliver turned and began walking with me sourly pouting beside him down the rim of the lake. We enjoyed claiming the lake for ourselves. It served as or play set in the summer and occasionally ice rink on icy winter snow days. Beside it a large, perfectly domed hill clung to the water’s shore. There sledding and picnics occurred. The whole area was shaped heavily with trees that were now vibrantly blossoming into pastelled clouds.  It was beautiful in the spring, but it gleamed so much more that particular year. Oliver dropped his gaze toward me and something must have caught his thirsty eyes because they landed right back where they started. My own questioned his with curious irises, testing his answers.

“What?” I asked dumbly.

“Did you get snagged on ANOTHER branch, Amelia Renee Clyde?”


“You did to!”

“Did not!”

“Then prove that.” His fingered pointed to a loosened curl on the arm of the cotton crusted with the remains of loose bark. “And don’t say someone bumped into you with their pen sticking out and it grabbed.”

“Let mom worry about that, father dear.” I answered back sarcastically.

“Let mom worry about what?” Called out a familiar voice. My mother sat perched on a large rock, her small white notebook clenched in her hand. Mama was always notorious for popping out of nowhere whenever she was needed. Her hearing was above exceptional.

“Nothing really mama. Just snagged my sweater a bit.” I muttered to her as we walked the distance between us.

“That’s the third one. You’ve got to be more careful with them, dear.”

“Sorry mama. Whatcha’ writing?”

“Oh its just  a story.”

“Is it a happy story?” I questioned. Mother nodded.

“Yes, I suppose so.”

“Can you read it to us?” Oliver asked. Mama nodded again and smiled, scribbling down some final words. Our mom was a very good writer. Oliver and I often enjoyed her thriving tales involving hidden places and unspeakable adventure with thrilling twists chained to the end. Mother stood up, the cue to seat ourselves. We climbed up on the large rock she once had been sitting on and adjusted to our comfort. The boulder had been serving as our setting for at least four years. Mama claimed it opened our minds to more imaginative topics; something about it feeling more natural. When we were settled she took her place behind us, her light brown waves gently sweeping over the side of her face. We leaned into her and watched her hands open the book wider. There were no pictures like usual, but my mind easily laid them down for my mental sight to absorb.

“A hummingbird buzzed gently around a crowd of trees, swarming as air caressed his feathers. He was a busy little thing, searching hard for his favorite red flower. The little bird knew it wasn’t long before blossoms turned in the hands of summer winds. He had to get them while they were extra sweet. Every year the flower came back even brighter and bigger than the previous. Humming along to the beat of his heart, the bird flapped his wings faster and faster. A tiny opening caught his eye just as he was about to cross the river. On the other side of the arch formed with branches stood the brightest color he has ever seen.

‘Look at that!’ He thought. Through the twigs sat a bright purple flower with a burst of gold in the center. The air finally loosened it’s suspension, allowing him to flow freely toward his temptation. With hurried flaps he flew into it, his tongue sweeping into the yellow trumpet to grab at it’s sweetness. This one was even sweeter than his former preference. Licking at his beak the hummingbird savored the flavor that was even brighter than it’s color. It wasn’t heavy and overtaking such as the artificials humans consumed. The liquid was as light as air, but after, vapored mist hung untamed between his breath. A fresh, crisp feeling rejuvenated him with a final slurp. The hummingbird then glanced up when he was satisfied, taking in the unfamiliar area he had wandered into.  There were  blossoms clinging to leaves, fanning dandelions, and other birds building nests. However to his right stood one lonely tree, one that contrasted greatly against tiny wisps of fresh grass. Its branches were ridged and stripped, leaving only burdensome experience of the past. It was paralyzed in time. The hummingbird frowned. It was spring, another chance to become new again. The tree shouldn’t be dead and dull, but youthful and lively. The little bird flew up to one of the tree’s branches and landed.

“Why won’t you paint, tree? Spring has sprung and there are colors everywhere to be seen! Won’t you join the celebration?”  But of course the tree did not answer. The hummingbird twitched his wings, the beams of sunlight still gleaming reflectively from them boldly. He knew if the tree did not contribute the painting would be incomplete; the very same painting that was working so hard to shine. “Common now, you’ve gotta try something.” He begged, but the tree simply stood. After a moment the bird gave up, sighing as he began to flutter back home. However, he would come back. The next day and those that followed he returned to suckle on that one delicious flower. Everyday his feet settled on one of the tree’s branches. On the end of the fifth day the bird had noticed something that wasn’t there before. A tiny bud had formed on the first  branch he landed on several days ago. His beak quirked into a bright smile. The tree was actually growing again! The little bird of hope had restored life back into the tree’s dormant limbs. Remaining dead leaves finally let go and before long it flowered just as extravagant as the others. The tree might have been a late bloomer, but it was still so beautiful. Light pink, darker shades, and white decorated the exterior. The bird came back every day to visit the tree and watched its flowers turn into great big leaves. The tree continued year after year and even well after the hummingbird was gone it still replenished itself. All it took was one little glimpse of love, no bigger than a bee, to keep its life going for hundreds of years to come…” My mother looked up from her story and to us.

“What made you write that one, mamma?” Oliver chirped.

“Your father.” He said, smiling down before allowing her hand to travel to his hair before planting a kiss on top of it. I wouldn’t understand the meaning of that tale for another twenty years. Days passed and began again, seasons tumbled, and time spent it’s ability on making a flip book out of my life. Years struck over and over, like bolts of lightning in a field, surprising those standing under tall trees. I was one of them.

I left my mary janes for high heels and exchanged kitted sweaters for something more stylish. The same happened with Oliver. My brother displayed a braveness within him; one I had admired. In his late teens Oliver decided he would follow in father’s footsteps and join the war effort. He left my mother and I home with a promise of his quick return. Mother was devastated for months. Our father was killed in battle about four years before Oliver left. Neither one of us wanted him to go but he felt it was his duty to take father’s place. We watched him leave that fall. I married young and by age 24 I had a child of my own, a little boy.

Everything was going well, my brother was fine and mama grew used to his absence. Three weeks post my son’s first birthday my mother took a turn for the worst. She fell extremely ill. We didn’t know what it was at first but then we found that she had been ignoring it for years, not wanting us to know. I sent for my brother with a letter but he never returned.  I buried our mother 6 months later, killed by the terminal illness bound to her. That was when I began gathering her books together for my own remembrance. I fell upon her old white book, the one that was present for most of our childhood. The once crisp white surface was dinged with trapped dirt and penciled pages inside were smudged letter into letter.

That day I left my son in my husband’s so called ‘care’ and started for a path that once was so familiar to me. With the book in my grasp I returned to the place where we would listen to her stories every afternoon until we grew out of them. I stood holding onto what was left of her, not wanting to believe her death. It was a week after the funeral and the first time I was able to just be alone. Distant family had been staying with us for the past few days but everyone was gone by this morning. The house was quiet and everything was practically normal. I stood overlooking the lake for a while on end, watching the silent ripples falter toward dry land. It was spring again and tadpoles nipped at the lake’s rolling surface while bees hungrily stumbled around in search of pollen. Grass was beginning to sprout through the blanket of dried leaves, contributing to a more enjoyable appeal. I glanced down at my mother’s book and opened it, my eyes burying themselves into the warmth of the pages.

“Guess you finally beat me.” My head shot up and my body twisted around faster than I’ve ever willed it to.

“Oliver.” My mouth whispered. There on the forest edge stood a familiar young man far to old for his age. He crunched his hat within clumsy fingers, displaying cropped light brown hair now chopped precisely to match combat boots and camouflage. The man’s posture was strictly ridged and straight, melted bulbs of light still but dull. Scars and bullets can do a physical number on someone, but the damage behind the skin was even more gruesome. Not only was my brother a hero of combat, but a survivor. I ran up to him as if it had been a century. When I collided into him he wrapped a pair of strong arms around me almost shockingly. Oliver was actually home. I wasn’t sure for how long he would be, but for now he was.

“How did you know I was here?” I muttered happily into his shoulder. Oliver shrugged beneath me.

“I had a feeling you’d be here, but that husband of yours did help.” He smiled and pulled me at arm’s length. I laughed.

“Look at what they did to your hair, looks like a lawn mower ran you over. Like one of those perfectly sculpted bushes.” Oliver smirked.

“Yeah they chopped it up, but it looks alright.”

“Suppose so.”

“You don’t like it.”

“Well I can’t rough up your hair anymore, how’d you feel if you couldn’t do that to mine?”

“I don’t have to worry about that, do I? You still have a full head of hair, little sis.” Scrubbing my locks down with his hands. Rays speckled they’re way back into his irises but they never reached their capacity. We continued talking for hours, reuniting with each other beginning with where we left off 7 years ago. He told me of his encounters and I shared about my life as a family woman. Neither one of us brought up mother’s death. We didn’t want to and she wouldn’t have wanted us to either. It was as if we were children again, laughing and teasing just as we once had done. Then came the time where he asked about mother’s book, which now lay tenseless in my hands. Even the grumbling water held its peaks and a heavy amount of serious weight sunbathed in my brother’s question.

“Can we…maybe read something…” He asked huskily, gesturing to the book. With slight hesitation I bit my lip and looked up to him with wide eyes, only to see his twice as large. I agreed and opened the book to a random page, beginning to read aloud. Although I was not certain how we landed on that page I was glad we did. As we read I noticed similarities and understood miles more than I ever did as a child. The story reflected not only my father but Oliver also. For a moment, a brief pillar of effaced seconds, we sat on that rock as brother and sister; reading with my mother under the spring's affection.  For a moment life was simple again and that in itself made all the difference. When the words ended I looked up to see Oliver’s eyes reflecting with welled tears. I couldn’t help but see the buildup of 7 long years boil within him. I thought he was lost. However, as I attempted to shelter his frightened undertone, trembling behind a front-facing facade, I couldn’t help but spot the sight of a hummingbird. My pupils followed the creature up into a dying tree where it landed shamelessly in bold awareness.

My brother was a brave man. He was always there if his little sister needed him whether it was to scare away monsters from under my bed, leading me through foggy forests, or killing an insect. He was fighting for the lives of thousands now on a truthless battlefield, unsure and ever-changing. Yes he was very brave indeed, but the bravest thing my brother ever did was when he finally learned that maybe, it was ok to cry.

© 2011 Curiosity's Virtuoso

Author's Note

Curiosity's Virtuoso
...a story within a story O.o
This was written for my creative writing class, to which I greatly thank! Without it I wouldn't be here right now! We had to write a story about what was going on in the picture.
The painting is called Golden Childhood by Donald Zolan.
Hope you enjoyed it!

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Wow, very well done. You're a really good writer, and keep writing!!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on June 12, 2011
Last Updated on June 12, 2011
Tags: Hummingbird, bird, hope, little, tiny, small, brother and sister, tree, rock, story, springtime, beautiful, blossoms, flowers, war, military, tearjerker


Curiosity's Virtuoso
Curiosity's Virtuoso


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