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Around the Bend and Along the Creek

Around the Bend and Along the Creek

Posted May 31st, 2018 by riboy7

by Orion
in Alaska

May 31st, 2018

Around the Bend and Along the Creek

It was a cold day in November.

The man shrugged on his worn gray coat

And stepped into the icy world.

He trudged through knee deep snow to the old machine;

A yank on the cord, a twist of a key, and the snowmachine leapt to life.

 

The boy and the mother were out in the cold

Harnessing the dogs and hooking them up.

The boy hopped into the dogsled

And covered himself in blankets and furs.

The mother made for the runners

But the movement spurred the dogs

They were excited and anxious to run.

 

They bucked and strained and the hook was dislodged

They took off through the snow

Down the hill they went away.

Down to the creek, they sped across

Leaving the mother far behind.

And the boy still in the sleigh

The dogs flew for miles and miles

Down the creek and nearing the bend

And then stopping, in the middle of nowhere;

The hook embedded deep into the snow

 

The man flicked on the headlights

As the night was beginning to set

As he rushed down the trapline

Every trap he passed was empty but something kept him going

He drove around bend after bend, curve after curve

Finally bursting out of the trees onto the Creek.

 

The mother ran down the hill and over the trail desperately trying to chase the sled.

But the dogs were fast and excited and eventually they disappeared

Around the many bends

The trail forked and she knew that it looped

So she ran back the way she had come

She ran to the car and turned the key

But the engine was dead

She ran to the other one and turned the key

The engine roared to life

She sped down the road and onto the bridge

The mother leapt out of the car and peered into the darkness

She called and called but no one responded

She clambered back into the car and sped away

Not knowing the boy was just around the next bend.

 

The boy looked behind him

Noticing for the first time the absence of the mother

He scrambled out of the sled and to his feet

Scanning the trees behind him for a sign of where the mother was

He turned away and walked to the dogs;

He pet them one by one

Indian, Deiter, Logger, Gunner,

Birdie, Pika, and Jaeger

The boy stopped at Deiter’s side and nestled into the snow next to him.

And waited.

 

The mother ran into the house and threw off her coat

She ran out and through the snow down the hill and around the bends and to the fork

The mother took the wrong trail.

And she ran into the quiet darkness.

 

The man drove along the creek

Through the unbroken snow

The Creek twisted and turned through the darkness

And then he came to a slow

As he noticed the dogsled and the boy

 

The boy sat in the snow staring

Staring into the darkness of the trees

He heard a hum

Buzzing over the thicket of willows

Rising and fading but getting closer

The dog’s ears twitched

The boy stood up and listened

And then through the trees

A light appeared cutting through the darkness and the boy’s reverie.

The snowmachine came to a stop in front of him.

The father slid off the machine

He walked over to the son.

The father hoisted the son into his arms and brought him to the snowmachine

Together they sped into the darkness.

 

They pulled up to the house and the engine cut

The father brought the son inside

And he asked him where the mother was

The son pointed to the green coat on the ground and said

“She was wearing that coat.”

The father disappeared through the door

Back into the darkness

 

The father mounted the snowmachine again and drove it down the hill

And around the bends and over the curves

He found the mother still running

 

The father pulled up next to the mother and said

“I got him.”

 

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