199 Extracted Words – The Tease – February 2019

February 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.

As she stepped out, she decided the view was even more impressive once the day turned on its side. It was early evening, and they were at altitude, but the warm mountain air lingered. The smoke from the valley fires had begun to aggravate the sky.

“Sunset should be amazing tonight, with all that smoke in the air. Even looks like some clouds in the southwest, hope it’s not heavy.”

“I guess we could use the rain, in any dose.”

“Sure can get some nasty stuff out here this time of year.”

They continued to tell each other things about the weather that they both already knew, until they were seconded by rumbling in the distance.

“I guess those two are going to be in there a while?” Mann finally addressed what she had been thinking. “What evil lurks in the hearts of men,” he laughed.

“It’s the stuff that lurks in their other parts that concerns me,” Jessie replied.

221 Extracted Words – The Tease – January 2019

January 2019

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a work in progress.

… they cleared the ridge’s final incline, the walls of the world fell away, releasing them into full panoramic exposure. She was truly amazed. Obviously, Mann was loaded, wealthy, spackled with the stench of riches, (none of which she had any objection to) but she never expected this. He actually had good taste. His second (or third) home was not just some giant, Frank Lloyd Wright-scholarship-winner’s graduate thesis insult, super-glued on to the limits of the slope. It was a true architectural effort. Some cabin, the thing was four or five thousand square feet. But the slate and pine components accented the terrain, almost as if the structure had erupted from the rock itself in a seismic upheaval of building codes and rebar, or sprouted organically, like one of those massive burls stemming from a coastal redwood, distorting the bark, changing the tree’s form from within. And then she thought about her experiences and how her life had been distorted from within more than without and she wondered if that was how Bart felt too. And she knew, if she ever developed the confidence to think of herself as brilliant rather than merely street smart, then this would be where it started, because she was being brilliant and not just sensible.

 

309 Extracted Words – The Tease – March 2017

March 2017

I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a short story involving a mountain cook.

The wind gusts sideways. Sleet cuts into his cheeks like a sandblaster. He sees the boy pull his sister ever closer. They aren’t equipped for this weather. The boy is wearing a leather coat over a hooded sweatshirt. The girl has an oversized Minnesota Vikings jacket on. They are both wearing jeans and dangling snowboards. The wind turns even harsher, twisting flurries as it whistles through the cables. Hypothermia weather, he thinks to himself. He has to get these kids off the mountain.

He reaches for his radio. “Getting anywhere?”

There is no response. The call button is stuck, frozen solid. He taps it lightly on the rusty chair rail. Nothing. He taps it again and on the up stroke accidentally catches a slat edge, grazing it just hard enough to flip the radio out of his giant mitten. It spins for a moment on the chair’s edge and then drops away. He watches helplessly as it plummets and then splinters on the rocks below.

“Fuck!” he yells without thinking.

The girl giggles.

“Sorry,” he apologizes. “Hey, you guys got a cell phone? Of course you do. All kids have cell phones.”

“Not on us. Mrs. Mathers won’t let us take them skiing. Thinks we’ll lose them.”

“Mrs. Mathers. That your teacher or something?”

“She’s our foster mom. She takes us up here at the end of each season when everything is half off.” The rest of the boys words are swallowed by another brutal gust.

The girl shrieks.

“Hey, it’s all right kiddo. If they don’t get it running soon, they’ll just send out a snow cat to get us down.”

There’s no device on the mountain that can get them down from the Witch and he knows it. Their only hope is for the lift to resume running. But he isn’t about to tell them that.

 

 

 

 

Mt. Rainier

Late Summer at Paradise – Mt. Rainier’s south slopes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quartz Mountain – Aptly Named

Quartz Mountain, just south of  Mt. Spokane, offers spectacular, views.

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The views from Quartz Mountain are spectacular, but the sights along the trail, including Nordic huts, weathered trees and the stones that inspired its name, are part of the story as well.

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