“It was a brick-oven summer: the wild grass on each side of the trail was waxen and yellow. The dusty black oaks withered in sun fright. The ponderosas looked tired and thirsty. It was fire season. One good drunken cigarette butt and the whole ridge would go. The sun squatted overhead, uh, heavy and fascistic. The powdery dirt of the old gold miner's track hugged the wall of steep hairpin cliffs. Below: splashin amidst giant boulders was the South Fork of the Yuba River, crystalline and clean mountain water. White, polished granite walls reflected the sunlight ten-fold. It was like being in the center of a hundred shinin mirrors; even I got sunburned at riverside durin fire season -- I stopped, stared across the river at the black mouth of an abandoned mine shaft, which cut through the solid rock of mountain. Over the years a slim finger of the river had been diverted through the half-mile cave, and it drawled from the lips of the tunnel like spittle from a stroke victim -- I was still breathin, home from Vietnam.” (from a novel by Kevin O'Kendley, slightly altered by suggestion).
Please give to the Wounded Warrior Project, National Processing Center: PO Box 758540/ Topeka, Kansas 66675/ 877-832-6997
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts.
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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