“When the constellations came out at night, they were still perfectly aligned with his inner sense of direction. The world laid itself out before him.”
Hi. I’m B.T. Lowry. Welcome to this week’s scene of the week, Lonely.
It was all too easy, walking through these pines. Making lean-tos at night, trapping rabbits… Even the snow had a crisp layer which supported his snowshoes nicely. Fischbach peak could be tough to climb this time of year, but it was nothing that Hasran hadn’t done before. When the sun rose, it was always just where he thought it would be. When the constellations came out at night, they were still perfectly aligned with his inner sense of direction. The world laid itself out before him.
That night he came to the old cabin that he’d used last year on this same route. He tied the sled onto a tree trunk, out of habit from camping on slopes. The snow could shift and the sled would slide. It was better to be safe.
He creaked open the door. Inside, the cabin had degenerated more since he’d last come. Other men must have made camp there. New scratches marked the floor, and someone had even forgotten a tin mug.
He went out and got his mat and blanket from the sled, then laid them on the bed. Coils sprang out in every direction but it was still better than sleeping on the floor.
He brought some dry wood out from the tarp. He’d have to leave some pieces here for the next person, though no one had left any for him. He melted snow to drink, and poured some of the boiling water into a bowl of oats and bran. Salt would be a luxury. He sat on the bed, and soon found himself staring at the doorway. It creaked in the wind, and light leaked around its edges as though heaven shone outside. Someone had carved a scene into the planks: a woman walking up a mountain.
Artists. Hasran wished for a moment that he had some hobby like that. The long nights were making him crazy, like Uncle had been crazy. The problem came in wondering too much what makes humanity tick.
When I was a kid, my family and I were cross-country skiing through a Canadian pine forest, when we came across an abandoned shack. The snow came half-way up its sides. Snow-laden pines surrounded it and the forest was preternaturally quiet, with the snow absorbing all sound. I clambered down into it from the surface.
The wooden planks on the walls had warped so that light streamed in. A cot took up a quarter of the total space, with rusty bedsprings coming out from mulched cotton. I imagined some hermetic trapper living there, or someone who just couldn’t find peace within civilization. It’s that experience which inspired this story.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to see this scene expanded into a story, then tell me in the comments that this is the one you want. If you want to see what I can do with a deeper story, pick up my novel here, Fire from the Overworld. It is the story of two young mystics who fight to restore balance in their desert village, when war erupts among its spirit rulers. Feel free to sign up for the new scenes in your mailbox each week, along with guest posts, and my thoughts about living, loving, investigation and creation.
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August 16, 2015 | Categories: Blog posts, Short stories | Tags: Author, b.t. lowry, best, Bevis Lowry, bleak, canada, creative, desolate, different, emerging, episodes, episodic, favorite, fiction, flash fiction, forest, forgotten, funny, genre, good for children, hare Krishna, hermit, imagination, learning, loney, most, New, Non-European fantasy, odd, popular, religious, scene, series, short story, snow, spiritual, spirituality, themed, unique, visionary, weekly, winter, writer | Leave a comment