Bachelor Weekend, and a Haunting

Old What’s Her Face* went south along with the grandkids. She’s got some visiting to do, and I’m left to my own devices.

Tonight it’s a cold beer, probably some peaches, and a good book. Then I’m going to budget editing and writing into the rest of the weekend. Somehow, I’ll figure it out. Saturday date time is out, so I’ll work on my stuff.

It wasn’t a haunting, exactly. Lorelei, my Muse visited me Wednesday and wants me to start writing again. This is when those little vignettes come to me. She’s been pouring it on thick lately, and it’s time to get on with it. Regular readers may remember the bit about the couple in Africa.

Writing it down is one way of remembering it for later. This vignette came to me on the morning commute. Who knows whether it will make it into a story, or not, but the good ones usually do. Here we go:

I awoke in the middle of a dry lake bed. The throbbing in my head was less important than the disorientation. Where the hell am I, and how did I get here?

Heat waves rose from the encrusted pan of the lake and obscured the mountains. I sat up slowly; now the throbbing was important. I put my hands alongside my aching temples, they were immediately wet with sweat. How long have I been here? A slight breeze only made it hotter, like fanning a fire.

A black dot bounced from side to side in the heat waves, but it was a long ways off. It was easier to see the sky. A lone vulture circled, but he was up pretty high and not worrying about which of my parts were the most succulent.

When I looked back down, the back dot was closer. God, I hope it’s a jeep. I stared for a long time and it was coming straight at me. The closer it got I decided it was a cow.

I stumbled to my feet and looked around. There was nothing but white salt pan as far as I could see, except in the direction of the cow. Mountain peaks rose above the heat waves and I decided that was the direction to go. Maybe there would be shade. Three steps later, and I was on my knees. How long until sundown?

The cow was closer now. It had horns, and it’s long hair was moving in the breeze. A cow on a salt pan isn’t completely unusual, but a long haired cow in the desert was unheard of. It stared at me and plodded forward. Is it going to hurt me? Does it matter stuck in the middle of nowhere?

The cow resolved itself into a yak. It was black and white, and wore a saddle. It walked right up to me and stopped. Then he spoke, “There’s a water skin behind the saddle. Get on and let’s get moving.”

I must have been hit on the head. My fuzzy logic figured maybe a drink of water would clear the cobwebs, then I could ask the yak what happened. Crazy, but that’s what I thought at the time.

The water was warm, but it was wet. I grabbed a fist full of yak hair to steady myself and stepped across the saddle. What the heck, at least it was a way out of here.

The yak turned and headed back the way he came. From my vantage point, I saw his tracks and he followed them perfectly.

“Where are you taking me?”

“To see him.”

“Is it far?”

“Pretty far. I didn’t grow this fur coat around here.”


And that’s all I got. Another vignette that I need to dwell on. I may have to write these stories, because they are pretty intriguing. Maybe this guy can be in the Africa story somehow. They have plenty of salt pans. Maybe not.

This one feels more like a fantasy, but could be paranormal. No sign of science fiction here.

I have two new molecules rattling around in my head. More will join them. When they start playing nice it usually becomes a story. There are many old molecules there too. Sometimes they make friends with one of the old ones and become a story. A future story. I already have one for now. Or maybe they’re good enough to move forward. I don’t know.

*Not my wife’s real name


Filed under Muse, Short Stories & Vignettes, Writing

12 responses to “Bachelor Weekend, and a Haunting

  1. Too hot in here. I had to post an ice cave on FB today. It’s sweltering down here. Probably in Africa too.


    • I’m torn about what project to start. I’ll probably go with my partial outline, but the recent vignettes intrigue me.

      This guy’s story feels like a zen journey, or the fool’s journey from tarot. Maybe I ought to start typing and see where it goes. I’ll probably wind up in Shoshone Ice Cave with a peach daiquiri and a robot girl.


  2. I think your character’s in Afghanistan’s Godzareh depression. There’s definitely a story there, too, Craig.


    • Godzirra? (Sorry. It was an hilarious old John Bellushi skit on Saturday Night Live.)

      This guy feels more like a zen journey to me. It could be any desert; Jackass Flats, Death Valley, Area 51, Namibia. He feels like he ought to go on the fool’s journey.

      Glad you liked him.


  3. It was the yak that made me think of Afghanistan. That’s about the right distance for a yak to have traveled all the way from Shangri-La to find this guy. A Zen journey? Sure. Bring it on. I’ll be looking for it.


  4. I think your yak is your way of taking your mind off the big Bed, Bath and Beyond bill you’re going to have at the end of the month when Mrs. What’s her name gets home. πŸ™‚


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