We went hiking this morning, and it was quite lovely.
So my hiking tag the other day may be what attracted the attention of my newest follower, Lindsey. I blog stalked for a bit today and now I’m dying for some good hiking.
Just argh. It’s been a bad fall for hiking here, between work and weather. It’s been too hot or too flooded or too busy.
I took a gander at some of The Blog Propellant’s former prompts, and found another of my favorite kind! I love the challenge of including every suggestion in one coherent story.
Henry looked up at the few stars above that he could see peeking through the trees at 3 am. He’d had a long day on the trail, and didn’t feel like setting up an entire camp when he was done for the day. With no chance of rain, a perfect ratio of breeze to ambient temperature, and few bugs, he had felt secure in his decision. Now he began to reconsider.
Maybe it was a sound that woke him, some creature stirring in the woods nearby. He had no way of knowing and only sleeplessness to show for it. He shifted on his sleeping pad and had a sudden thought: the moon won’t leave me alone. A sincerely odd thought to have, especially on a night when he couldn’t see the moon from where he lay. A very Leto II thing to say, even. A shiver shook through him, and he closed his eyes with purpose. It was time to get back to sleep. Another long day tomorrow.
Sleep refused to come. Henry counted sheep until New Zealand was empty, and still his mind refused to rest. He decided to let it wander where it would, in hopes that he would bore himself to sweet, sweet sleep.
He could still see the shapes of the constellations on the backs of his eyelids, and that led him to think about his fling with the astrologer a few years back. She was always talking about the stars and planets, which he could understand, seeing as how astrology was her first love. He never got into it, though. That was the underlying cause of their breakup: his inability to care enough to appreciate the house that Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius built.
These thoughts led him to consider another former girlfriend, and her preoccupation with ‘the green man of the wood.’ Henry had never gotten a satisfactory explanation for her fascination, so he simply let it go. He blamed this quite admirable ability for most of his relationship choices. Friends of Henry’s caught on to this quickly, and began to set him up with odder and odder girls.
The problem was that Henry liked many of these girls, while his friends did not. He grew more and more distant from most of them, but they still come around sometimes. It was the judgment they passed on Henry’s girlfriends that he couldn’t take anymore.
Having rehashed his entire line of reasoning for escaping his real life on a long distance hike, Henry fell back asleep. His peaceful snoring eventually drew the small crowd of creatures with round, moony eyes closer and closer–the same creatures that had given him the unsettling feeling of being followed earlier.
By the morning, they had disappeared again.
Are you enjoying these more frequent forays into fiction? Do let me know.
The NaBloPoMo prompt for today is a timed writing exercise about the best present we’ve ever received. It specifically instructs us not to overthink; I have spent possibly an hour weighing the values of presents against each other. Hiking stuff? First computer? Books? Movies? Limited edition cosmetics? Kindle? That adorable musical racing pink turtle toy?
But those were items. Physical. Tangible. And none of them really measured up to the simple word best.
Because the best present is always time. Not twenty minutes of writing, although that has its merits, but time with someone you love.
The best gift of time I’ve ever received was our anniversary trip this year. We spent a night at a hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas, before spending three days and nights on Mount Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas.
It was a great trip, y’all.
But now I have to go spend some time. Enjoy yours!