Stories by Alice B. Clagett


 

Chilao Flats
a story by Alice B. Clagett

The scene, sans the story, but accompanied by the music of Chris Zabriskie, https://youtu.be/HHqT1soRdMY

Yesterday, in the early afternoon, I thought: It's been so long since I visited the Angeles Crest. Maybe I'll go and walk there.

Yearnings of the heart are hard to countermand. Despite the lateness of the hour, I undertook the trek.

What wonderful days are these! Sunlight till nearly 7 pm! The air, bright with the scent of pine, struck through with the sharp trill of hidden, winged beings.

At the far end of the picnic grounds, a trail appeared. Old asphalt, littered with pine cones. Dust of trod pine needles snuffling upwards, into my exultant lungs.

What a fire went through here! What a swath of fallen timber. Long time now since that red wild carnage laid trunk upon blue black trunk, clogging the creek bed, crowding the trail sides, or stayed by their living brethren from that final fall.

Flowers! I thought ... Flowers that follow the forest fire? Long time looking, but flowers there were none.

Only ochre rounds of stumps, beetle hieroglyphics scrawled on unbarked twigs, and memories, falling down into my heart, of that last phone call to my mother.

--a gift from Alice B. Clagett
   1 April 2018

 


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