Borrowed Idea
Posted: 15 November 2006 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Back in April Shane Nickerson posted this entry on his blog. The idea was that he had a picture and wanted to see what stories it would inspire in others. You can see the results by clicking here.

Maybe we could do something similar here? I’ve attached an image to this post that I found online. I take no credit for it. See what it does for your imagination.

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Posted: 19 November 2006 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I like the idea; and the picture. Since I’m from out here in Dakota, I see…a lot of possibilities…

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Posted: 25 November 2006 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I had driven into the mountains in my parents’ car, expecting to easily find the campground where they were staying.  I somehow missed it, but at the end of the dirt road I took, I found an abandoned corral and a small building.  It was getting dark, and I was hungry and tired.  I gingerly rolled the vehicle over the uneven field and pointed the headlights at the building, letting my curiosity and hunger mix together in a not-willing-to-do-the-smart-thing-anymore kind of way.  Perhaps I was too hungry and tired and curious to admit that I was lost and had to turn around and cover ground I had already rejected as “The Wrong Way”.

It wasn’t dark enough yet to justify using headlights - that was just laziness or planning ahead on my part.  I knocked, sheepishly - there was an open window through which it was obvious that nothing inside had been disturbed for at least several weeks, if not years.  With the decision that I had given ample warning to whatever ghosts of the owner might be there, I pushed the door.  The fact that some kind of latch held it in place made me knock again, knowing full well I was playing some kind of game of which I wasn’t completely aware.

Finally, I grabbed the knob, jiggled it, called out “Hello” just to make sure, and turned it. The door opened, kind of by itself.  I guessed it had well oiled hinges and wasn’t on completely level ground.  Still, a door that old swinging open without being pushed much is a bit spooky.  The brief moment during which I smelled perfume called up adolescent fantasies of nakedness in abandoned shacks, but that quickly gave way to a pinpoint of clarity.  It was a question that entered my mind and has rested there ever since:  What the hell am I doing?  The scent was gone, the building freaked me out and I quickly backed out and jumped in the car to drive back the way I came.

As I drove across the rutted field, I hoped that the twilight would last long enough for me to find people who might know where I should go.  Turning onto the dirt road provided a small amount of comfort, but hunger and disorientation dogged me.  I drove about a half a mile, and the dirt road forked.  Left?  I played with words and meanings, hoping some deity might guide me.  Being left didn’t appeal to me, and I was scared that thinking I might be right when I’m actually wrong could get me into a lot of trouble.  So I parked.  I noticed that all the light I could see was either from the headlights or the stars.  I locked the doors.  I’d have to start the car in the morning, so I had to turn off the headlights.  It wasn’t so bad after all:  Moonless nights in the foothills are not nearly as dark as you’d think.

I came out of that night undamaged, but very tired for lack of sleep.  I had seen beauty in it, in the trees with shiny leaves, gleaming in the starlight, and in the stars themselves when scanning the horizon got boring and I decided to tilt my neck down low enough to see up through the windshield.  I had slept, but only in small amounts, and with dreams both beautiful and terrifying.  Hunger brings strangeness to the mind, a strangeness that was there whether I was awake or asleep.

When it was light enough to drive without headlights, I could see that one of the forks probably lead to a nearby dead end.  I drove down it to confirm, deciding that if nothing looked familiar and the path didn’t end after two miles, I’d come back.  This time, I watched for more forks that might present problems on the way back.  I was happy to find the path ended at a neat dirt pile.  Turning the car around was difficult, but I eventually got it facing the right direction and drove out of the dust cloud I had made.

The other fork quickly brought me to a paved road I thought I recognized.  A few miles down, I saw a sign with a place name on it that I remembered my dad saying.  So I took that turn I had missed the night before and found the campground.  The next task was to find the site, one of what must have been a couple hundred, spread out pretty far.  Now I needed gas, and I needed water, and I needed food and sleep and mommy and daddy, so I parked again and rested my head on the steering wheel.

A tapping came at the window.  There was a helpful stranger to whom I related my predicament, choking back the ridiculous tears I couldn’t prevent altogether.  He gave me a ride on his motorbike to the campground office.  I explained that I didn’t know the name of the people whose campsite my parents were visiting, but I needed to get there to drink and eat.  They wouldn’t let me see the list of the campers to see if I would recognize any names, so my new friend suggested we ride around and look.  Thankfully, I soon saw my mom, sitting in a lawn chair, eating a sandwhich, and reading a book.

“There she is!” I cried.  I hopped off and walked to her, shaky from lack of food, teary-eyed, and thirsty.  She gave me the rest of her sandwhich and set about making another.  I can’t remember what was in it, but it was the best sandwhich I’ve ever eaten.

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Posted: 28 November 2006 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I like the unknown mystery of the old home. The story left me wanting to know more about the home discovered and how others would react to the telling of the tale.

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Posted: 27 January 2007 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Someone should mention that Dave wrote a good story, duh.

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