~ Sometimes, You Just Gotta Finish The Story ~
Thursday Freewrite Prompt: Disposable Diaper
Something caught the corner of my eye, way across the parking lot, as I slammed the driver's door on Green Fleet number 6004. The official number for my daily 'rig', the unofficial moniker for all our odd-palette green pickup trucks, assigned to us workers of the Forest Service.
It had been a long, long day out in the woods. Way too hot, dry, tons of those small, brown, pesky brain-dead flies banging into my eyes, steep as a cow's face slopes covered in nasty brush, and to add insult to injury, I never DID find 'my' tree plot for the day. Just humped up and down the hills in the thick Rhododendron for ten hours, searching high and low for some non-existent orange flagging, last tied onto the brush somewhere around 1927. Yes, some days just seem to go that way. I was in a dour mood, and just wanted to get home to my trailer, eat a bag of chocolate chip cookies, and forget the day.
That's when it hit me. Both the indelible image, and the humor of it all. Which was sorely needed right about now. It wasn't particularly large, or very dramatic, as such odd things in life go...but was just what the wood's doctor ordered, after my less-than-pleasant day.
~ § ~
As I exited the truck, I glanced across the Forest Service parking lot, over toward the only store for miles around. A small, unassuming building about a hundred yards away, straight across from our front office, fully visible through the local city park. (Though calling the small, postage stamp collection of buildings in Lowell a city, is a far stretch.) Irregardless of its size, I would still call this diminutive rectangle of recreation in the city center VERY cute. A tiny green patch of well-mown grass, creatively ornated with various pieces of antique logging equipment, a lone picnic table, a 3-seat swing set, and a six foot-tall working model of a lumber-mill wigwam burner.
As for the Lowell General Store and Mercantile across the street from the park, it's one of those classic places you see in most tiny towns, USA. A small stone and wood building put up long ago in better town times. Standard square, almost-flat roofed buildings, with large front door, glass plate windows advertising in hand painted signs all sorts of local dry goods, finely appointed with hand-hewn wooden benches out on the porch front, placed next to the 1945 Coca Cola machine.
Most days these benches were populated with a few older men, chugging coffee, spitting chewing tobacco into the gravel, and discussing riveting life events, both past and present. Though on this day, the benches were empty. Which no doubt helped make this whole event possible. No one around to end up any the wiser.
~ § ~
As I slammed my truck door, a blue sedan pulled up to the small rental house, ten or so feet to the right of the Mercantile. The car crunched to a stop in the gravel driveway that separated the store and rental, and the driver got out and leaned on the top of the car with his elbows for a moment or two. Nothing strange on a regular day, but for some reason, the lad had that unmistakable look. Like he'd just swallowed a small yellow bird. As I turned away to lock my rig door, I noticed him quickly duck back into the front seat, with only his tennis shoes and shins still visible through the open, drivers-side door.
My rig safely locked, I turned back toward the store, just in time to catch a brief glimpse of a small, white orb, arcing it's way across the deep blue summer sky, up toward the flat store roof. "What the...?"
Edging over behind my truck, to remain unseen, I watched and waited, as the young man pitched headlong into the front seat once again. This time returning with more of the odd, white ammo, tucked into his arms. No doubt still digesting the unfortunate bird, the lad took a quick glance around in all directions, then with his best Kareem Abdul-Jabbar imitation, hook-shot one of the round, white things up onto the flat store roof. Followed close behind, one after the other, by the rest of these small, white basketballs pulled from the front seat. He then glanced around one last time, to see who might be spying on him, then hopped up the steps and disappeared into the small house.
~ § ~
I broke into a wide grin as I wandered across the lawn between the Ranger Station buildings toward my trailer at the far edge of of the compound. All the nastiness of the difficult day in the forest I'd just returned from was completely wiped free from my complaining memory cells. I broke into a pleasant smile, then on to a serious, huffing-ly fun chuckle. Followed by wondering out loud, to no one in particular for miles around, if I could manage a quick ride in the fire helicopter the following Saturday.
"I seriously doubt that Bud the pilot would go for it...not exactly official government business, this...but then again, it would be WELL worth the risk. For both of us. I'm sure he'd LOVE to see what I had just discovered, from an aerial, bird's-eye view."
Yes, it would be a real hoot, to count how many pairs of disposable diapers had found their way up onto the roof of the local Lowell General Store and Mercantile, over the past few years. Deposited 'up top' by the thrifty neighbors. One can only imagine. And also wonder what it must smell like, up on that flat, hot, tar-covered roof in the middle of the blazing summer months. Maybe they're those special, 'Heaven Scent ' Huggies, the one's guaranteed to smell fresh, no matter what. The one's that cost an extra $1.27 a box.
We can always hope.
~ Finto ~
Five Minute Freewrite Post by @mariannewest
This is not a true, Five Minute Freewrite. Or even a Standard, 28 Minute- Five Minute Freewrite. So I made up a NEW category. (We seem to be expanding here...). Sorry, couldn't help myself. Sometimes these short Freewrites cause a mental stir, and things take off, and before you know it, I've laid total waste to the little electronic, five minute timer. (Mentally, I'm not about to break my friendly, digital time management assistant.) It is important to also note, I do edit these short tomes. After all, that's what this writing thing seems to be all about.
So thank you for reading, and have a most wondrous day, if that seems like something you would like to do. -dds
Thanks for stopping in and viewing another Twenty Eight Minute, 5-Minute Freewrite, that morphed into an even LONGER 56 Minute -5 Minute Freewrite thing. If you have any thoughts about very small, yet highly intriguing local parks, working in the woods on a hot, nasty day, scofflaw diaper tossers, or anything else this post reminds you of, please feel free to comment away in the spaces below. I'd love to hear from you.
Please UPVOTE, COMMENT and FOLLOW if you enjoy my works.
And go to @ddschteinn -- There's a whole lot more...
Posted: 12/20/2019 @ 10:50~ Post No. 325
Excerpts From Late-Night Conversations With A Mechanical Cat
Fact Number 161