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Location: marengo, il, United States

Friday, December 03, 2004

TRICKY QUESTION

David kneels down on the lower slope of the back yard, waiting for the sump pump to kick in. In one hand he holds the end of a long ribbed hose. Water from the basement pump is expected to shoot out of the black tube at any moment.

Next to his feet an emptied terrarium lays on one side, ready to be rinsed out and cleansed of all the old sand, along with all of the stench left behind by his current pets.

Over next to the house, a plastic container rests in the noon shade. Covered with a scrap of wire screen mesh the boy found while rummaging through Bon Adventure's garage, the pan holds his entire collection of small animals.

Inside the deep pan, a lone salamander paddles around in several inches of clean water. A black cricket perches on his head, hitching a ride.

One medium-sized toad squats on a rock in the center of the tub. Four smaller ones, unsure of exactly where they want to be, hop from the top of the rock and into the water where they quickly change their minds again.

More jittery crickets kick through water of the crowded pool, while others climb about the sides of the jam-packed rock.

The whole zoo looks alert.

David takes the end of the hose and peers inside the thing.

“Dad, does water ever go up-hill?”

Bon Adventure sits in the shade as he pulls and rips at weeds. He thinks for a moment, but dismisses the thought of an odd river in Florida that runs north.

“Not that I’m aware of, son. No.”

“Then what about geysers, dad?”

4 Comments:

Blogger Gone Away said...

Several questions spring to mind. Let me see if I can remember one or two of them. If (and I say if because I still find it incredible that anyone can write so fast with such consistency and ease - if I could do that I'd be a millionaire by now), if then, you are writing these as they come to you, how on earth are you able to see where they all fit together in "From the Edge of the Swamp"? Are they intended to follow each other in such apparent disregard for chronological order? Or are they the components of a large collection of short stories? Or, unbelievably, do you have a master plan of the book in your head and are you able to leap about from event to event, yet knowing exactly where each piece will fit when you finally sort it all out?

This is driving me mad, Way. I HAVE to know.

Oh. I think I've forgotten the other questions...

12:24 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

(chuckles) Okay, I suppose I should take a moment to detail my inadvertant mystifcation of my seemingly well-spring of ideas and kill the myth of my staying power. The Swamp Chronicles I have been hard at, ever since moving here. They clogg up Word as events unfold, so there goes that (no big) secret. With only a few chapters left to faux-publish on this experimantal platform, you see me as one nervouse diver approaching (or teetering at the dizzing edge) the springboard, wondering myself if I will sink or swim as I hurl myself blindly and headlong into the waiting void.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

It's bloody good, Way. You have no need to be nervous. I offer you my services as an editor if required.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

No no no...this case of nerves comes from me wondering what event will might happen next...or will it. Unless you are willing to drive here and set a fire out in the yard...you see, I need material! (be careful what you pray for, I uneasily muse)

1:08 PM  

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