Victors and Lesser Men: Free Write by cam

Updated on June 11, 2016
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 150 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.


The terrain was rugged, the air hot and stagnant, and the mountain they climbed was high.

In their muddled minds, the first to the top would win the struggle for domination, would hold the high ground from which to fend off the other, keep him down, drive him back to the bottom.

They were equals, too evenly matched for one to conquer absolutely. At times, all progress was halted, and toe to toe, blow by blow, each made ready to exploit the first sign of weakness.

The higher they climbed and the more they fought, lesser men they became. One lost an ear and could not hear, the other an eye and could not see, both lost dignity, but they battled on. At times, one seemed to have the upper hand and would bear down on the other to strike the fatal blow, a blow that never landed, and the race for the top was resumed.

One found the single moment of advantage and bound the other as he slept. The free one climbed on, unhindered, and dreams of domination clouded his mind, blinded him to reality.

The bound one struggled against the bonds, and horrors of domination clouded his mind, blinded him to reality.

A mouse crept among the rubble of the hillside to the one who had lost hope. The smallest creature nibbled at the ropes until the man was free, but far behind his opponent. He would not, could not surrender, and he set one foot in front of the other, eyes on the goal, heart set on the goal.

In time, he caught up and the battle was renewed with vigor unmatched by previous duals. Blood, sweat and tears poured from their bodies into the dust of the hillside. They fought until they could fight no more.

The two lay on the dry, rocky ground, physically exhausted, emotionally drained, spiritually empty. Neither could win, both would lose. For the first time, they looked into each others eyes and realization came like a sunrise. One could never be master over the other because each was both lord and servant.

They climbed on, side by side, because gaining the top would make them victors, not over each other, but over the fallacy of their original quest. They would claim the victory together, because that was the only way victory could be claimed.

When one faltered, the other helped him up. When one lost hope, the other kept hoping. In this manner they would continue to climb until one day, black hand clasped in white and raised to the sky, they would realize The Dream.

Landmark for Peace Memorial Sculpture, Indianapolis, Indiana

Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy
Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy | Source

Excerpt from the "I Have a Dream" Speech by Martin Luther King Jr

Speech by Robert F. Kennedy After the Shooting and Death of Martin Luther King Jr.

Questions & Answers


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      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 23 months ago from Central Florida

        Chris, your timing couldn't be more perfect. The world needs to heed the words of great men past and great writers present.

        I'd never seen or heard the speech Bobby Kennedy made until now. His words touched my heart. It's so sad he was assassinated just 63 days after making it. I absolutely love the monument. It would be wonderful if it were duplicated in every city in the United States.

        Thank you for this. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's a little more enlightened after reading it.

      • profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 24 months ago


        Loved this story and what it stands for. Let's not forget we are all equal, yet let's not try to fit everyone into the same 'mold'

        Great story.


      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Deb, Thanks for reading and for that comment. Somehow we have survived and probably will survive for some time. But I know what you are saying. Eventually we will succeed in ending life on this planet whether by war or by an environmental catastrophe. Thriving is what we want to aim for, thriving together as a planet, not as races and nations at war.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Manatita, thanks for the visit. I'll take this opportunity to raise a point about my story. Is anyone wondering about the mouse? The story is highly symbolic, so the mouse does have meaning. I hope you don't mind me slipping this in here, manatita. Don't know how many will see it, but we shall see.

      • profile image

        Deb Hirt 2 years ago

        That is the only way that this world will survive--united. We cannot stand divided as we have for centuries, as we have not yet gained ground.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 2 years ago from london

        Great story and most profound message between the lines. God bless you, Bro.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Ann, sorry I waited so long to respond. I appreciate your words about this bit of writing. When I can't come up with anything else to write, a free write usually helps.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

        I love the way this just progressed from your mind and your 'pen'. It certainly produced a great result. I love the analogy; it works so well and its message is powerful. The futility of fighting, of dominance, is so clear. Brilliant!


      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

        Wow, that is interesting and especially seeing the results of such a cool story and metaphor for life so-to-speak.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Theresa, thanks for stopping by and reading. Free writing, at least the way my sons and I define it is writing with no prompts or forethought. Just start writing and see what comes out. This one just started with two men walking up a hill.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

        This free write here is wonderful, Chris. I've heard of free verse in poetry, and so this is a first for me, and I enjoyed reading. Or maybe just never heard it called that before.

        Expressive and beautifully creative with deep philosophy of life's struggles.

        Peace and blessings

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Eric, thank you for reading. It is liberating when we give up our struggles to dominate our fellow man. We are equal to every person on the planet. No more and no less than equal.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Just awe inspiring. One of my greatest freedoms came to me when I stopped competing against others. Struggling with others is such a better climb. Thanks for bringing this important lesson to the forefront so eloquently.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Venkatachari M, Thank you. I was equally surprised to see how the sculpture and story were connected.

      • cam8510 profile image

        Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

        Thanks John, the RFK/MLK memorial and the story represent every man who fights or ever fought this battle. What is really cool to me is that I didn't know about the sculpture until after I wrote the story and was looking for photos. The ending of the story and the sculpture fit perfectly.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

        Excellent story. Wonderful narration of the journey with their inner thoughts and struggles. I am amazed to see it delved around Martin Luther and Kennedy. Wonderful ending.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Wonderful, Chris. I didn't realize it was portraying Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.


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