The Wilderoot Witnesses

The Middle River churned mud brown aggressive and grew higher and faster by the hour. The rain pounded down for weeks letting up only briefly to drizzle catch breath regain and return with more might. It hammered the small town with such purpose and intent that it was impossible for anyone to step outside run hide or stir from their damp trembling corner. Whatever was low enough to flood flooded. The town was built high and safe but the river attacked and tore at the banks with unfettered fury.
Pummelled was the population of four thousand a main street running from highway to wharf a bank bakery grocery store gas station insurance office real estate broker one lawyer accountant six churches and a giant northern pike that stood sixty feet high and despite its size appeared to be airborne.
The nearest community was only 30 kilometres away yet unaware of the state of emergency. Nothing could get in or out of the town. Anyone approaching or trying to make contact for some reason failed and immediately forgot where they were going or what they meant to do. As the rain worked at wiping the town from the planet something else was erasing it from the minds of people.
Jacob and Sally Wilderoot and their children Mandy and Michael sat in their Odyssey and watched it all. Parked at a scenic lookout with a view of the river and community it nestled. Postcard pretty. They had been there since the first clap of thunder and rain began to fall. They couldn’t go forward and they couldn’t go back. They had lost something. No one whined complained was hungry cranky bored fidgety or nervous. Not a muscle cramped or ached and nature made no calls. Not a word was spoken or missed. The steady hammering of rain on the roof eventually deafened them. They drifted in an out of sleep into and out of one another’s arms. Witnesses.
On the twenty seventh day with a violent roar the sky ripped wide rain heaved into one mighty waterfall fell and was done. The clouds had run dry but the crack in the sky exposed a silver and infinite river of stars. The Wilderoots got out of the van sunk to their knees in mud and looked down to see that both the town and river were gone.
This was not the apocalypse day of reckoning or end of the world. It was simply the end of a river and death of one small town. These things happen. The Wilderoots finally recovered from their trauma and were ready for the much anticipated press conference. The world now aware and anxious awaited word from their trusted anchors. But alas, for every question the same response. It began to rain too hard for the wipers to work we pulled over to wait it out. The witnesses could only say that it rained and rained and rained and then stopped. It rained and rained and rained. And then was over.
Somewhere important people were furiously meeting conference calling pounding their fists and making decisions. This will never do they unanimously agreed. We’ll have to make something up.
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7 thoughts on “The Wilderoot Witnesses

  1. There’s an urgency to your comma-free prose. I find myself stumbling over words as I read, as if treading over wet stones along the river, neither chasing not being chased, just trying to keep up with the current.

    • Your exploration of the early writing is really bringing me back and getting me thinking about the process and unfolding. It was all a discipline to tune up my imagination. 30 minutes a day to get it out. And lets see what the blog thing is all about. It was fun and got me writing. Thanks Carolin, hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

      • The discipline of a consistent, daily writing practice is something I’ve aspired to for years, but have never attained. But I have learned that writing begets writing. and I’m having a lovely weekend, thank you.

      • I think timing is everything. And your right – writing begets writing. I don’t have the writing discipline anymore (though it’s there in yoga and meditation). Writing is a dance and I respect that. Maybe poetry is different than prose too. If I force the work it fails. Sounds like tin. But I’m always ready to be inspired. What works really well for me is reading the work of certain poets – it can be like lighting a match to birch bark and dry kindling.

      • Timing. In every aspect of life, it is everything. I think writing is writing, forcing it squeezes all life from it, dries it out. The juice comes from the vulnerable first words, not even thoughts yet, straight from the belly. Poetry condenses the life on the page. I’ve discovered that if I completely open myself up to the work, the results can reach across continents and create connection, if only for a moment. If I’m forcing it, working from my head, it’s absolute crap.
        I agree completely about reading the work of others who inspire me. “birch bark” stuck with me and ended up near the end of a page in my notebook today.

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