Monday, December 31, 2012

Excerpt: A Cabin Tale

When Gods Fail III is being edited. Which might take a while (cover has yet to be figured out). Please bear with me. As of right now, I am adding a link for the story, A Cabin Tale (cover above) which is about a young boy and his grandfather, stuck in a cabin, while outside lurk bears.
Though suspenseful, the story mainly takes a look at the relationship between the boy and his grandfather. It's a tale about violence. Check it out! The above link takes you to itunes. Check out the links to the left for the other sites where this is sold (audio hasn't yet come out).


A branch scrapes against the window, and I jump. My eyes move to the window with the offending tree tips. The wind's picking up, and the branch whips away from the window and back at it. I jump again.
“We should have cut that tree long ago,” grandpa says. “That thing is too damn close. Day like this, it’s gonna fall on us.” He pushes his glasses closer to his eyes as he peers over the newspaper and eyes me. I’m not sure if he wants me to answer. Grandpa can be like that. He says things, usually a complaint, and if I answer or say something I think will help him, he only looks at me. He does the same if I don’t answer either. This time he grunts.
I look back down at my book. It’s a fairytale book that my pa gave me last week. I’m almost done with it. I can hear grandpa snap the newspaper back into reading position.
Another scrape. I get up and walk to the window. Winter is almost here. It hasn’t snowed yet, but it’s cold. My nose presses against the freezing glass. I try to make out any shapes. It’s night so it’s already too dark to see much. The forest that surrounds our cabin is dark and only the branches make themselves known.
They slap against the window and I jolt back. My breath’s left an odd shape on the glass. I rub it out, the squeaking sound, my sound, reassures me.
“Step back from there,” grandpa pipes up. “You’re liable to lose an eye if the branch decides to go through the window.
I step back, scared. Now, in my mind, the branches have the ability to decide whether to break the window, or not. And now the entire forest has this ability. In my mind, a million branches are reaching out to me. I look over at grandpa. He snorts.
He’s about the same size as my pa, though a little shriveled.
“When’s pa gonna come back?” I ask.
“Sit tight,” my grandpa says. “He’ll be back.”
The darkness around us, the branches that can decide, all make me shiver. I feel safer with pa around, and right now he’s out for a trip to the next cabin. At least two miles away. He went through a trail in the forest. I know my pa is tough. But sometimes I worry.
“Get back to reading,” my grandpa says, snorts. “You can’t do much, worrying from there.”
I listen to him and walk back to my book. It’s just rustling of branches, I tell myself. It’s just the wind. I look around our cabin. It’s only one room with one window and one door. If there is something out there, there’s no way it will get in here.
I stare at my book, but now the words won’t string together. Pa always says you should read as much as you can.
Then some rustling starts outside. I cock my head and wonder if it's real. The rustling gets louder. Something's walking through the woods nearby. And it’s big. I even see grandpa tense up and turn his head. My heart starts to pound and I feel like peeing. But the outhouse is at least fifty feet from the cabin. I press my legs together.
“Do you hear that?” I ask.
Grandpa lowers his newspaper again. He’s moving his jaw and staring at me as if I’m a real problem. He’s always like that. No matter what I do, the best I can get is a grunt.
“I heard it,” he finally says.
“What is it?” I ask. I’m worried about us. And for a second I’m also worried about my pa. He’s supposed to be walking through the woods with that thing out there. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him. Mainly because if something can get him, it will definitely get me.
“Nothing. Maybe a bear,” grandpa says.
I stare at him in disbelief. He’s always saying things that scare me. Not like he means it. But he just doesn’t care what it will do to me. I picture the bear coming through the window. We don’t usually get bears out here, but pa always tells me not to confront them. They’re known to carry kids away.
His eyes run over me, and he lets out some air. “Don’t worry. It’s not going to come in here. Or hurt your pa. He has the shotgun, remember?”
That’s true. When the neighbor’s son came over in the evening and said that his pa needed my pa right away, pa took the shotgun and told us to hold tight.
The rustling gets louder. Suddenly it seems like it’s outside the door.
Now I have to pee bad.
Grandpa puts down his newspaper on the table and gets up. It takes him a long time to stand up. He always holds his back like it’s another person. When he gets up, he walks over to the bed and to the rack above it. There’s an ax and he takes it and does a couple of half swings. I can hear the swoosh. I’ve seen my pa with that ax and he’s much faster. But even if grandpa is slow, him holding the ax makes me feel safe.
“Are you scared too?” I ask when he finally moves back to his chair, sets the ax on the table and picks up the newspaper.
He looks at me for a long time. It’s the same look he gave me when I fell once and made my knee bleed. I cried and he stared at me before shaking his head. My pa doesn’t like me crying either, but at least he tells me it’s going to be okay.
“Come here,” he says.
I walk over to him. He smells like old newspaper, and I smell the metal off the ax. Pa makes sure it’s sharpened every day.
Grandpa looks like he’s ready to shake his head, but instead he seems to think of something. I decide I need to say something before he does. I don’t like it when he scolds me. It’s worse than when pa does it. I don’t know how, but it is.
“I know I shouldn’t be scared,” I say.
He nods his head and places the newspaper on top of the ax. He squints.
The rustling around the cabin gets louder. It seems like there are more bears. I’m sure I hear sniffing. He furrows his forehead. “Mmm. Damn bastards getting too close.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment to add to the discussion. Be kind. But let the democratic ideal lead you. And no spamming!