Neil Gaiman, in his master study class said that you should keep a compost book–a book of ideas, starts of stories. And while this log would most likely be undeveloped, it would provide you with material for future stories when you or it had matured.
This story, “Homearama” was in my compost book, actually the very last page of the book. I jotted down the words last summer when I saw a brochure on a new development in my hometown. The image was captivating in its starkness. I haven’t changed a single word from the original. I hope you enjoy it.
She is a white fox now and hidden from view. It’s hard to see her, especially on misty, foggy days. But she’s there, white, silver, vixen and wise. She knows all the tricks, old and newly invented; so beware when she slips across the corner of your vision. She’s up to something, to be sure.
In yonder year she was red and blazed like the sun. A shot, a comet, a blast of color she was, slipping in and out of the hen house, under the fence, through the hedge, into the woods. Her long legs admired, the swish of her tail–envied. Her head held high, she pranced about, skipping across the brook, into the stream, swimming, bounding into the river–currents ignored–she emerged–on top–always.
She is all this, still. She’s bold, she’s bright but ignored. You’ve been warned. If you see her, you might not, you probably won’t but she’s stirring the pot, she making things happen, she’s molding you and you have no clue.
Their brother sometimes comes with them
But mostly, they come alone--just the two of them.
They are getting braver which may not be a good thing, in the end.
They don't startle at every sound.
The man next door walks down his driveway towards the garbage cans.
The cans make a noise as he tosses in his trash.
They glance his way for a moment, then continue grazing.
They are not bothered by the cardinals and chickadees feeding.
One of them watches the feeder swing, perhaps interested in the seeds.
When the older brother, born the year before them, comes, he stands back and watches. He might eat a kernel of corn. I've seen him lick them and clean their ears--copying what their mother did for them.
They lick each other now that she's gone.
Someone said they saw a deer carcass at the abandoned house on Traylor road. Buzzards were hovering around.
It was probably their mother--she's been absent for two weeks now.
She probably went there to die quietly.
The fawns will survive the coming winter. They are putting on weight.
I put out the corn everyday for them.
(c) Glenda Kotchish 9/28/2021
Be quiet. Be still. Don’t move a muscle. You think you will not cause change? Not true.
Just by being, you are causing changes. Every breath you take, changes something, moves something, colors something.
What if you stop breathing?
You can’t escape this, Even in death, you continue to change–your body changes and you cause changes. Your decomposition will give off odor and you will become nutrients in the soil. The bacteria will consume you, change you and become other things. Your energy passes into other forms.
Embalmed and placed in an airtight vault where you will not succumb to deterioration? You will take up space my friend–your presence will continue.
A pebble in the flowerbed, buried under a weed, flew up from the weed wacker and hit the sliding glass door. A tiny pebble–moving at just the right speed, striking at just the right spot, shattered the glass. I watched the glass ripple and break into tiny pieces. The crackling sounds were eerie. Every few minutes the cracks would ping as the break spread to the furthest edges of the door.
I put up a sign. Don’t open this door. Danger, broken glass–a reminder for myself.
This happened at home–my safe place–a place where I go and collapse on the couch, flick on the T.V. and tune out of the world and all the things that happen out there. Nothing happens here. From the couch, I look out the sliding glass door at the birds and the deer who come nibble on my plants and drink from the bird bath. They share the seeds I put out, the birds and the deer. But now that view is cracked and fuzzy, too.