Thursday, November 8, 2012

OLD HANGTOWN: Clearing a spot on the frosted window I squinted and peered outside.

Outside the storm continued.  The sleet came down fitfully against the window, and periodically a gust of wind would find its way down the stovepipe and the old cast iron heater would belch smoke from around its damper and its red-hot lid.  After a while the rough plank roof began dripping and leaking like a sieve, and one by one a strategically placed company of pots and kettles joined in a chorus of plops, plinks, and piddles, as they filled quickly with their captured leakage and began to splash rhythmically on the rip sawn floor. As twilight approached, I sat by the potbellied stove staring out the window into the empty street, and listening to the moan of the howling wind as it tore at the shingles and rattled the chimney cap.  I could hear the hiss of sleet as it began to fill the ruts and hoof prints in the muddy street, and icicles began to form and hung in profusion from the eaves. Clearing a spot on the frosted window I squinted and peered outside.  The storm was relenting and I began to see some stars.  I warmed a blanket for myself, kicked back in my chair and leaned against the wall.  I remember watching the firelight from the damper, dancing on the wall behind the stove, and then the cobwebs came and the darkness took me in.  “OBIE’S QUEST” SC   

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