Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

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The cabin had stood empty for 9 years. Sometimes at night I would see the small flicker of a candle burning throughout the night. I never bothered to check, figuring that it was most likely a young couple looking for some privacy.

Besides, it wasn’t my place to care anymore. Actually, I’m not sure if it ever was. I certainly thought so at one time. But in my seventy years of living on this earth I’ve discovered that I’m very often wrong. Especially when it pertains to people and what is right for them. Many people have often said I should solely commit my energies to my flowers, and certainly they are a worthy endeavor, but flowers do not speak back when one speaks to them.

Oh, I talk to them still despite their lack of consideration for my feelings. They seem to like it and helps them grow nicely thereby ensuring that I keep winning ribbons at the shows, but I’m not crazy. Even if my daughter would like to think so.

That’s another one. Constantly complaining that I meddle in her affairs too much. But if you ask me, if I didn’t meddle at all she’d complain that I neglect her. That’s another thing I’ve discovered in my old age: With people it’s always something.

I think it’s in our nature to complain. It’s the only thing that ever gets anything accomplished.

The cabin never complained. That’s why it stood empty for so long.

After Murray died nobody seemed to know what to do with it. There was talk of his son coming to claim it but after the way the boy took off I doubted it. I was right. Nobody ever did hear from him.  For a while people would take turns keeping it up, sometimes using it for small functions, but after the town built a recreation center it made no sense to drive all the way up to the lake. Then the road up to it got bad and, well, you can figure out the rest.

I’m not sure what woke me that night. I’m not known for a light sleeper. Maggie used to say sleeping next to me was like sleeping next to a corpse. I always objected to that analogy. After all, how many times had she slept next a corpse I would ask her.

I like to think I felt the heat, but with a lake between the two cabins that’s highly unlikely. Most likely as not I heard the sound of the sirens as the town firetruck made its way to the fire.

I pushed the covers away from my body and walked slowly to the window. I could see the flames through the sheer curtains.

It didn’t take very long for the cabin to burn down. It seemed to me that the main concern was making sure that the fire didn’t spread to the surrounding woods.

I watched as the men packed up the truck and drove away, then continued to watch the smoldering remains until the early morning rays of the sun made me realize I’d been up all night.

It was only then that I opened the window.

Perhaps it had been an illusion that I’d been able to feel the heat of the flames, but the smell was no illusion.

I left the window open and returned to bed.

I breathed deep and fell into a fitful sleep.

“There’s no reason to care anymore,” I remember thinking as I drifted off.

Published 11/03/03 in Writing • | Views: 2201 times | Print

3 Comments & Trackbacks

is there more going on there than a fire?

Posted by Bobby  on  11/03  at  10:55 AM

i didn’t know there was going to be a fire. i thought it was going to go in another direction which probably answers bobby’s question. i think there is something going on there though i’m not quite sure what it is.

i may play around with it some more and see what happens. and i definitely have to fix that horribly clunky flower show line.  wacko.gif

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  11:40 AM

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