Thank god for a good orginal from a fellow member. Nice read.
Hey all, I haven't posted - or written - anything original in a while. This is something I wrote over the past two days, just to stay in the game...I don't even know if it's any good because it's a different form of writing for me, but I hope it makes a lick of sense. It's by far the shortest thing I've ever written, too.
Thanks to anyone that reads this. Comments and critiques are always appreciated!
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The Journal of Hank Smith
Today’s date: September 11, 2001
5:45 AM. I woke up obscenely early this morning. The cabin was still pitch black, and when I looked outside, it was still morning twilight. Wispy clouds stretched across the sky towards the horizon, only to be hidden behind the Rocky Mountains. It also smells fresh outside. I must have really been out because judging by the depth of the puddles on the driveway, the rain must have been terrential.
Hmmm. Maybe that cracked branch finally fell off the two dead cedars outside. It’s probably still on the roof. I’ll have to check it out.
6:05 AM. I start my morning the usual way – boiling some water on the wood stove. I know, it seems redundant to write that fact in this book nearly every day, but I like to be thorough. Besides, it keeps my mind active, as you well know by now – and is far more relaxing than the hustle and bustle of the city. Hell, everything up here is, and that’s why I settled in British Columbia. God, how I love Peace River country.
While the water was boiling, I ground up some coffee beans; as usual, thanks to my impeccable timing, both completed simultaneously. Coffee never tastes as good as when you make it yourself from scratch. It really is the best part of waking up.
The glorious orange rays of sunshine are now peeking through the two towering mountains to the east. What a beautiful, special birthday it’s going to be, I can feel it.
6:47 AM. I just returned from a quick stroll around outside in my bare feet. What do you know, I was right! A branch had fallen off of the pair of rotting cedar trees during last night’s storm. I’d better cut those down today – I wouldn’t want them to destroy the cabin. The next closest shelter to here is a good fifty miles away.
Well Hank, I guess even up here, you still have to do some hard work. Even if it is your birthday.
You always were quite the handy man, anyway.
7:28 AM. Dressed now in steel-toed boots, work gloves, dirty jeans, and my fall jacket, I propped the ladder up against the dead trees. This job would be a lot easier if I had one of those electric buzz saws, but where’s the pleasure in that? The saw I’m using has done me proud before, provided plenty of firewood over countless winters; it will be used again.
Besides, if I wanted electricity, I would have built a cabin closer to the hydro dam. But who needs electricity?
11:24 AM. I wore gloves the entire time – nearly four hours – and my hands are still raw. I’ve never sawed that much at once in my life, but it did the job – the two tall rotten cedar trees are now on the forest floor, awaiting further excavation.
I rewarded myself for a job well done with an apple fresh from my tree. A really juicy, big apple. With no doctors out here, you can’t be too careful. I’d like to keep them and nearly everyone else away as best as possible.
1:00 PM. It’s days like this that remind me why I moved away from Toronto in the first place. Not long ago I was out on the porch, having a cold one, when I heard a jet fly overhead. That was nothing new – I live directly under the usual flight path between Edmonton and Anchorage, so I see these things weekly. What was different was that a couple of fighter planes, American if I’m not mistaken, were flying abreast with it. Christ, it was loud.
I moved here to say goodbye to gridlock and car horns, jackhammers and gun shots, rowdy drunks and life’s apparent “necessities”. I traded that all for the crisp northern breeze and the call of the loon. I’m never trading it back. I haven’t had a birthday this carefree in decades, not since I was a small child.
3:00 PM. I can’t get it out of my head. All those planes flying above – it was totally out of the ordinary. What were they doing?
The CB radio in the kitchen has been taunting me all afternoon. It took me months to fix it up, just so I could use it in the case of an emergency. I’ve never been more tempted to turn it on than today.
Infernal curiosity burns within.
Come on, Hank. You’re half a century old today. This would be an ideal present to yourself, would it not?
6:15 PM. I had to get out of the cabin to take my mind off everything. So, I took a stroll down the path to the river, decked out in my rubber boots and with my trusty fishing rod. I’ve never had much luck fishing in my life – Pop never was anything stellar so it just wasn’t in my blood. And, living near Lake Ontario for most of my life – fish just weren’t in the water, at least not ones that were alive. None of that matters, though. I just love the feel of the water rushing by, imagining that perfect cast, and the prospect of maybe, just maybe, catching that big rainbow trout some day.
Whoever decided to name this the Peace River was genius.
I did manage to catch something, too. Nothing extravagant, but it should do for dinner.
7:23 PM. I hacked away at the carcasses of my fallen cedars and, with it, started a fire in the wood stove. In a way, it’s good that I’ve been alone for years up here – Becky never would’ve been able to stomach my cooking, anyway. It’s been years since I talked to her. When she refused to leave the city and live with me in the bush, she packed up and returned to the States. “Toronto is Canadian enough for me,” she had distinctly said, “I’m not going to throw away the last half of my life to be with you and just live in bum-**** nowhere!”
Pardon my language, but I would prefer “bum-**** nowhere” to any large, dirty city, like New York, where she was from. Too much noise, too much crime, too much fear, too much hate, too much despair. If I were living there today, I would have likely killed myself or been killed by now.
This…this is bliss. Ignorance is bliss.
God, I still miss her though, even after all these years. Birthdays aren’t meant to be celebrated alone.
8:15 PM. The sky is fading to a beautiful mauve. The silhouettes of the surrounding conifers reaching towards the sky, the light breeze rustling through the shivering needles, the call of the loon far off in the distance – everything I love about this place.
The world can be such a peaceful place.
Sometimes all you have to do is run so far from your problems that they can’t find you – or just disappear altogether.
However, peaceful as it may be, it will never be perfect.
After dinner, I lit the kerosene lamp and retrieved a photo album from the storage shed, just to see Becky again. She was so beautiful – probably still is. I thought she was the one.
Wherever you are, Rebecca, wherever you sleep tonight, I hope you are resting peacefully. I hope you are out of harm’s way.
The radio still sits in the corner, tempting me. I give it a longing glance; I blow the flame out in the lantern and find my way through the darkness to my bedroom. I just might turn the radio on tomorrow, but for now, I’m going to remain in solitude.
I don’t want anything to interrupt this moment of peaceful, wonderful bliss.
Thank god for a good orginal from a fellow member. Nice read.
Thanks, Youko. I like reading both fanfics and originals, but when it comes to writing, unless it's in RPG form, I tend to like to write my own original pieces from scratch. I just have more control over them that way.
I was wondering if this may have been ill-timed and been considered insensitive in some way, though.
Thanks for reading!
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