Updated date:

Victors and Lesser Men: Free Write by cam

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 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

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.


Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 09, 2016:

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.

Lawrence Hebb on July 02, 2016:


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.


Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 19, 2016:

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.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 19, 2016:

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.

Deb Hirt on June 19, 2016:

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 from london on June 15, 2016:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 14, 2016:

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.

Ann Carr from SW England on June 12, 2016:

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 from southern USA on June 11, 2016:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

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 from southern USA on June 11, 2016:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

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.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 11, 2016:

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.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

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

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on June 11, 2016:

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 from Hyderabad, India on June 11, 2016:

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.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 11, 2016:

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

Related Articles