England Part II – The Isle of Ely

Its name taken before the draining of the fens, Ely offers a wonderful day of exploration.

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Spokane River – 9 Mile to 7 Mile

July along the Spokane River.

 

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168 Extracted Words – The Tease – May 2017

May 2017

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

So they were scum. That didn’t mean they weren’t doing something good.

“Now, we requested a picture from each of our honorees, something showing what the marshes mean to them. What we didn’t tell them was … those pictures will be used as background for the informational kiosk at the entrance to the main trailhead. We have brought enlargements of the three pictures on stage here tonight.” She again utilizes her thin hands, directing the gathered eyes toward the edge of the stage where three easels stand, covered with canvases that might once have belonged to a dry walling firm, large white blotches, like vitiligo, blanching their forms. As she introduces the first honoree, the tainted canvas is pulled from her picture, revealing a moose with water and camas dropping from its jowls. The dark brown mass of fur is a blunted cigarette burn against the early morning sunrise igniting marsh mist and arrow pines. The crowd acknowledges the exemplary effort.

As she steps to the microphone, he straightens his beard with his hand and shouts, “Bravo!”

Saltese Uplands

Some snaps from the Saltese Uplands, where color and contrast seem to change by the minute.

 

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The Other Side of the River

Approaching the Devil’s Toenail from the north.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Desire

A heron finds its perch at a fish hatchery.

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