It has been a busy year, and I haven’t yet had time to develop a newsletter–BUT I DID: finish a short story, finish the edits on the two books coming out in June, co-curate an art exhibit, take a 10-day trip to Israel, survive a snow storm, and I am beginning the prep work on my next novel (finally found an idea I have real passion for).
So here is a glimpse of my newest short story. If you like what you’ve read, you can follow the link to finish the story at the end.
The End Is Where We Start From
The morning light filtered through the thin fabric of his tent and he rose to consciousness slowly, trying to remember where he was. It wasn’t the single bed in his cramped apartment. That he knew for sure. The mattress was too hard, the air too chilly.
Camping, he remembered, groaning as his eyes adjusted to the dimness of his tent. He was in a state park known for its bike trails, and his intent was to spend all of Saturday and most of Sunday biking before heading back to the city and his boring IT job.
He had arrived at the campground with his bike in tow, just as the sun was beginning to set so he really hadn’t had a chance to look around, get a grasp on the terrain. His time had been spent setting up his tent, making sure his bike was locked to the rack on the back of his sedan. What was it his father called it? His Oldsmobuick? A line from some Chevy Chase movie that was before his time. He shook his head. Honda, the new Oldsmobuick.
He sat up, blinking the sleep from his eyes. He needed to get a start on the day if he wanted to finish more than one trail. There were numerous challenging bike trails within the park he had camped in, and he wanted to explore as many of them as possible.
Now, definitely more awake, he unzipped his sleeping bag, slipping into his bike shorts, sleeveless top, and a pile pullover to ward off the early morning chill.
Then, pulling the zipper to open his tent, he stepped outside to get ready for the day. He deliberated which was most important, and then opted for putting the coffee water on to boil before making a run to the bathhouse. The water was getting close to boiling when he returned, so he quickly readied the French press before retrieving a couple of hard-boiled eggs from his food pack.
Taking a deep breath, he surveyed the sky. It looked like it was going to be a glorious early autumn day—cloudless with temperatures predicted to be in the upper 60s. He heard the water bubbling and lifted the pot to pour it into the carafe, then, as he waited the four minutes for it to brew, he peeled an egg and studied a trail map. Which trail did he want to bike first?
This one looks intriguing, he thought, biting into the egg, if for no other reason than the name—Lost Limbo Loop Trail. Someone had fun with that. It was an unusual name for a bike trail. The common denominator was usually something like Lakeshore or name-of-park or something natural that involved pines or oaks or even more boring, the trails named after the colors that outlined them on the trail map.
He always preferred the trails with off-the-beaten-track names like Turkey Run or Ghost House Trail. Something that made you wonder why they were named that, but those trails were rare.
Well, Lost Limbo Loop first, he decided. It was an intermediate trail and only twenty-five miles long. That would definitely warm him up and only take a portion of his day.
The alarm on his iPhone chimed, and he pressed down on the grounds. He could already taste that first cup.
It wasn’t until he was packing up that he noticed that the campground was eerily silent. He was rarely the first person up. The ubiquitous AARP folks who frequented these campgrounds were usually awake before even the sun could drag open a sleepy lid. But, while he could see RV upon RV parked all around him (he was the exception in a tent), not a soul was in sight. Odd, but he didn’t guess it really mattered.
He intended to have this site one more night so he left his tent up, but packed everything else away in his car. Even his sleeping bag.
Yes, I’m that paranoid, he thought, glancing over his shoulder to see if anyone had noticed. He hated to admit it but he was doing a bit of glamping. It was just that he liked having the ability to re-charge his phone, computer, what-have-you, and even read by lamp instead of lantern when he returned to camp in the evening.
Hydration pack settled firmly on his back and stocked with his emergency first-aid kit, some protein bars, and a few other things to munch on, he climbed on his bike and wheeled out of the campground.
To continue reading . . . go here: The End is Where We Start From