White Space

There’s no way an old set of fishing hooks could have a smell on their own; there’s just not enough material to leave a scent on.  But still, my mind ran along on its own to fetch up the reek of live worms shivering in wet mud, beetles spraying their stink, dusty moths from the rotted trunk of a pine tree; all the free live bait waiting to be captured in the backyard which the hooks had once been used for skewering.
Of course there were lures, too.  Some of them unused.  Bug-eyed shrimp made of stretchy rubber and little green minnows with flexible tails, still in their plastic casings.  I left everything in the tackle box as I  had found it, except for a water-droplet shaped, two-pound weight used for deep-sea fishing.  Felt too good in my hand.  Had to keep it right there in my palm and let the light, coal gray iron swing the momentum of my arm for me as I walked into the trees.
Grown into the ivy, under it, entangled in its branches and detritus, musty brown bottles of beer still remained.  They were like the roots of some overgrown, towering giant.  Deeper into the woods, where I guessed my tree fort had been, I could find only one remnant.  A foothold level with my chest was stuck to a tree by a single brittle nail; its head poking crookedly from the center.  The rope swing, the rest of the footholds and the flag were all gone; even the yellow paint we left on the bark was not to be found.  Everything but that one rusty nail and a piece of scrap-wood remained.


  1. mallory

    this one’s awesome travis. i love the imagery of a lonely plank of wood nailed into a tree trunk.

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