It was dusk when I saw him for the first time. Initially, he didn’t seem any different than the other hikers who came my way. He walked carefully, quietly. He looked up at the trees and down at the fallen leaves that covered the muddy trail. He touched the trunk of one of the larger trees, the one that stood right next to mine. I could see the satisfaction in his face as his hand moved over the trunk, his palm savoring the glorious texture of nature. Read More...
The Sleeping Season
Paul sits by candlelight. The candle is scented with cloves and it reminds him of a different place – a place with manufactured candles that smell of lemon verbena, or Japanese jasmine, or espresso beans. The cloves in this one were brought with them, in a box. There are no more. He wants to move. One thing he’s learned of Alaska: if you stay still, you die. But he can’t seem to do anything but sit. The cabin is dark except for the flame on the little wooden table. He is bundled against the cold. He does not leave his small circle of light. He’s not sure what he should be doing, so he reads her note again. It’s cold. The tips of his fingers are blanched white. Read More...
The Golden Trinket
In the Valley of the Horses, south of the Caucasus Mountains on the Black Sea, a legend prevailed among the Abkhazia people of twin sisters who possessed the magic to make gold bullion simply by placing their hands together. It was said that the sisters — nor anyone in their family line — could use the gold for themselves without it turning to sand, and so in secret, they gifted it to the local poor so it would benefit the less fortunate. Read More...