| An exerpt from the short story entitled Walk of Deception
|HEAVEN AT PIER'S GORGE
| I awake to the thunderous roar of rapids that sound of a jumbo jet taking off. A
sharp pain inside my scull from another over indulgence of drinking, sends a
tingling chill down my spine. Rising to my feet, I shake my head in the
absent-mindedness of where I lie. A great wall of jagged slate on the other side of
the raging river faces me. I am amazed at the work of Mother Nature, especially
the small pine tree that has grown out from the middle of the wall, twisting out and
then straight up to the blue sky above. The raging water sixty feet below has a
filthy showing of yellow, grey and black.
I feel shaky upon my feet as I mumble this noise is deafening. I begin to walk
along the precipice of Pier's Gorge, joining another path that leads down a winding
slope. Tall green needle pine and spruce trees that surround me reach to the blue
heavens above. Carefully stepping down the rooted dirt path I witness in the
distance the many colors of autumn foliage. The true beauty of nature paints a
picture for me with a sheer fascination. The different shades of brown, red, yellow,
purple and green waver in the breeze. A strange feeling has erupted inside me, as
I'm able to witness the many colors and see nature like I never noticed before.
Is this really possible? I ask myself as I near the bottom of the winding dirt path
along the river's bank. The boisterous sounds of the rapids have gradually
dissipated that I can hear the ruffling of leaves and birds chirping from all
directions. The raging water of the river has turned to a smoothness of dark
I've captured a new sensation of my life as I focus on the water with only a few
ripples to overcome. Leaning up against a huge pine tree, I glimpse at the soiled
clothes that I wear, smelling the crud of my own body sweat. I rub the long scrubby
beard upon my skinny chin and think that this is not right. That I am isolated from
the rest of the world, a desolate being standing up against this here pine tree
observing in awe the true nature of existence.
What is it that I'm experiencing? Why should this new found feeling of life come
abruptly? Why are the colors and sound of nature opening my eyes and ears?
Why is the cool breeze I feel upon my body making me want to shiver with joy?
Exiting the dirt path upon a gravel road, I begin to walk back to the main asphalt
highway. I am alone and think that I must get back to town. I have never felt this
way in all my life. I mull over the thought that God or some universal power has
intercepted my line of thinking and decided to take over my life.
I yell to all of nature surrounding me, is there truly a God? As I continue to
strut along, I remember my belief that there was only a punishing God. It was easy
to blame God whenever things didn't go my way. It was God's fault for my life of
misery. My nostrils suck in the autumn smell of nature. The bright sunshine
peaks from behind a puffy white cumulus cloud, glistening off the many colors of
autumn foliage. Two chipmunks of light brown and black spots dash across my
path, sounding a squeal for wherever their destination. I yell at the small critters
as I stop in my tracks. In the open air are several birds flying, swirling, chirping of
different sounds; starlings of shining black, orange breasted robins, small sparrows
of white and gray, and a red-wing black bird that flings on by me, landing on a
fence post twenty feet to my right, where a white-tail deer points her face in my
direction from a meadow of tall grass. She flips her ears up, jerks her head, and
leaps back amongst the forest flashing her white tail high.
Lifting my head up I witness a huge cumulus cloud taking shape of an angel
spreading her wings, I yell to the whole world. Are my eyes deceiving me? Is my
imagination playing tricks on my body and soul? I lift my arms to rub my eyes to
the disbelief of what I see. Mesmerized by what I do see, I feel a distinct fire
engulf my skinny body as I clamp my hands together and skip along the gravel
road toward US 8.