1863. Late winter

It was winter – late winter – and Athol went walking. The trees were bare; the ground had mounds of rotting leaves.

Athol kicked the piles of leaves as he walked. It may have still been winter but a mellow breeze blew the loose leaves in swirls. Athol sat on a log and thought. Just before the leaves began to fall his world was a different place. He was secure in his job; secure in his family; secure in his life.

Now all had gone – no job, no family, no life. The world had changed in harmony with the season. There was no hope. He should stop pretending that things would return to normal. Things wouldn’t. He should try to move on – but how and to where?

In front of him was a broken branch. It must have snapped in a winter storm. The snapped branch looked like the head of a crocodile! Ferocious! Fearful!

Athol moved on; he couldn’t sit and mope forever. He kicked another pile of leaves. It exposed a little frog nestling itself from the winter. It was asleep. It was waiting for the warmth of spring. It would die once exposed to fierce winter elements. Athol covered the frog over with protective dead leaves.

He went on his way.

28 thoughts on “1863. Late winter

  1. João-Maria

    How dare you, what is this? This is tantamount to Calvin & Hobbes just suddenly having no raw and lucid remarks and instead saying “I like trucks”.
    I want Athol to at the very least shoot up a grocery store, or, I don’t know, buy some rope? Leave the ending open, if you want to, but at least let the man buy some goddamn rope, Bruce!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. Bruce Goodman Post author

        We don’t have poisonous things in New Zealand – no snakes or panthers. There is a poisonous spider that once bit the scientist who prized open its mouth to see if it was poisonous. Apart from that it’s Paradise and damp.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
                1. João-Maria

                  It’s not me, it’s probably Bob and his lousy American voodoo. Portuguese sorcery would normally involve the island you live in being swallowed by a manifold flurry of violent tides.
                  Remember Atlantis? I don’t.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Reply
  2. umashankar

    It’s a beautiful opening that begs for continuation. Please don’t tell me it’s the complete story because it is not.

    On second thoughts, his covering the frog with dry leaves so that it may survive the winter is symbolic. Perhaps Nature is protecting him and sunny days await him.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  3. Nitin Lalit

    This is so well written. But knowing Bruce Goodman for many years, I wonder if this story must be read as it is or if it’s a parody of those bleak, nihilistic *coughs* posts out there.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

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