Thursday, March 18, 2010

Smoldering Strand

I believe in stories.  Unseen filaments lingering in warp and woof of time and space, waiting for eyes and ears and minds.
 Last week when I picked up my CSA allotment in town, disorder littered the yard next door.  Empty space where plants stood the week before.  Wood chips and leaves scattered across the lot, and a bundle of recently-cut mottled sticks stacked close to the chain-link fence, on which there hung a hand-lettered posterboard:

"To whoever stole the wood at the curb, DON'T BURN IT.  Oleander is POISON.  The smoke will make you sick." 

I wonder. About the kind of people who take wood from someone else's yard.  Do they eat grapes at the grocery before the grapes are weighed and paid?  

The taking might have been innocent.  They thought wood stacked next to the curb was a trash day discard destined for the dump.  They'd be saving community dollars by taking it.

The street is quiet, lined with homes; the takers probably live in the neighborhood.  Did they walk by again and see the sign before the lettering ran in the rain and the homeowners took it down?  
Nights have been  cool since the sign was posted.   Did the takers burn the wood?  

Did the cat die by the fire, the children suffer seizures?

The strands stretch beyond sight, pulling.

Words and photos by Kathleen Scott,for her blog Hill Country Mysteries. Copyright 2009-2010.


  1. This post is pure poetry, I love the way you've strung these words together.

    "Unseen filaments lingering in warp and woof of time and space, waiting for eyes and ears and minds."
    (this bit gives me shivers! BEAUTIFUL!)

    Y'know. . . now I'm always going to wonder what happened. How does this strange story end? I won't be surprised if it haunts me - I'm weird like that. Do let us know if you ever stumble across the answer!

  2. This is a great post, Kathleen.



  3. A very poetic post Kathleen.

  4. Sounds like a good beginning to your next novel!

  5. Oh goodness, that is certainly a scary thought of someone burning Oleander wood. I hope they see the sign before they decide to burn it.

  6. I have to agree, Kathleen, lovely post with a mystery story at its heart. x0 N2

  7. I too have a tendency to spin stories about the people I am watching, day to day. I'll confess however, my mysteries tend towards the mundane, they certainly do not spring out of the ground, prose fully formed.

    I am deeply happy to know you are writing a book, Kat. Your writing is so clearly a gift to your readers....

  8. thank you for this , Kathleen. an unexpected piece of beauty this morning.

    I too will carry these strands .

  9. OHHHHH-very dark and mysterious. I love the way you've written this and left us


  10. Only a talented writer could describe the act of wood theft so beautifully.


My readers are all geniuses. Can't wait to see what you have to say.