Wednesday, November 8, 2017

An Unlikely Story

Story ideas come from unlikely places, sometimes even from the random comments of others. Like my short story “The Old Scout,” published today by Flyway Journal.

A couple years ago, on a mild Sunday in early spring, Husband and I headed “up nawth” to Franconia Notch, where the only section of two-lane interstate in the country runs between Cannon Mtn. on the west and a section of the Presidential Range to the east. It’s gorgeous country, with soaring cliffs and winding trails, cloud shadows and eagles’ nests, still lakes and snow-fed streams. And if you listen carefully, they will whisper their stories to you.

In the green shadows of pines, Husband and I skidded over still-icy trails beside the rushing Pemigewasset River, here just a brook; visited the noisy, swirling waters of The Basin; and paid our respects to the Old Man of the Mountain, the “Great Stone Face,” which fell in 2003 and is still mourned by Granite Staters. 

Then, a bit winter-stiff and getting hungry, we drove over to say hi to Mt. Washington, tallest peak in New England and home to the worst weather in the world. 

Parked at the side of the highway, we followed a footpath to a pretty spot along the Ammonoosuc River, where we munched our lunch and basked in the sun. Husband skipped a few pebbles, and I let my eyes drift over the mica-studded rocks in the water. A couple large boulders caught my attention. Sharp-edged, massive, clean of clinging moss and lichen, unlike the other worn and greened stones. I frowned. “I wonder where those big rocks came from,” I mused.

That’s when the magic happened. Husband gathered the whispers floating in the air and gave them voice. “Maybe from when Mt. Washington erupted,” he said.

It made no sense, of course. These are old, stable mountains eroding their way back to oblivion. Not volcanoes. But what if? What if…

The Old Scout whispered his tale to me, and you can read it here . Enjoy it, and the next time you’re out and about--listen.