I’ve made the official announcement on Twitter that next week will start our week-long celebration of Halloween at the Literary World of Tom Raimbault. I have succeeded in completing what was supposed to be a mini-novella. But it’s actually a 30,000 word short novel. I didn’t expect to write so much. But I’m sure you won’t mind. There is plenty to divide up throughout next week and Halloween Monday. The title of the short novel is The Dead Forest.
This is the last time I will mention the following: I truly believed that Halloween would not be celebrated on my blog this year. You see, in recent months I have had no time to write. My “career” as a writer has been drastically suffering. But I found a solution. During my commutes to and from work, I simply stare at the road while driving and speak the words of the stories into a nearby recorder. Later I simply type up what I hear while playing back the recording and edit as needed.
There are two stories offered this week. Both of them were created with the voice recording technique. And I have more waiting to be edited.
So what do you think?
Well I think it’s a great idea. I’m back to updating the blog; Halloween week is on; and I can resume writing Mapleview.
Today’s featured writing is nothing more than one of those peculiar dreams that I had some minutes before waking up. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend! Check back on Monday for our week-long celebration of Halloween.
It was a large crate that was shipped to my house. It didn't come from a UPS, or FedEx truck. It came from a freight and logistics company. Upon examining the shipping documents, I was most confused. You see, I hadn't ordered anything recently. Even stranger, there was no money to be paid on delivery. So I accepted the crate. What did I have to lose?
The driver unloaded the crate from the truck and then wheeled it on a cart into the garage. I was most curious as to what it was and eager to open it. What in heck could this be I wondered.
Once the driver left; the wife, kids and I stood around the box in awe. It was then that my wife suggested the obvious, "Well why don't we open it?"
The crate had been secured shut with black metal strips that needed to be cut. The wooden lid had been secured over the crate with black, metal screws. It would be necessary to use a Philips screwdriver, or even a power drill with Philips head. Fortunately I have a drill with collection of bits, one of them being the Philips bit—no need to strain my arm in unscrewing a couple dozen deeply-sunk screws from the crate.
"Zip-Zip! Zip-Zip" The drill did all the work for me while removing twenty four of the black metal screws. When all removed, I lifted the lid. Inside was a Styrofoam shipping block used to protect whatever cargo was inside. The Styrofoam block was lifted out; below were individual sheets of soft foam that were folded into long rectangles.
I touched one to pull it out. "It's all wet!" I exclaimed.
"Wet?" my wife repeated. She reached her hand in the crate to feel and confirmed that they really were wet."
I pulled one out these wet cushions out and was startled to feel a bit of slight movement as-if something were alive inside. "Something moved!" I exclaimed.
Everyone else stepped back. Considering how strange this whole experience was, nobody was taking chances as to what might be wrapped up in the wet, soft cushions.
Cautiously, I lay the cushion on the ground, and unfolded it. I was surprised to discover that it was a salmon fish inside.
It wiggled—still alive! Somehow the water that drenched the cushion was enough to keep the fish breathing throughout the duration of shipment.
“Good heavens!” I exclaimed. “There must be a couple dozen of these folded up salmon in this box. And are they still alive; just trapped in these things trying to stay alive with just a little bit of water. I pulled out another wet cushion and unfolded it. Sure enough, there was another salmon lying inside. And it was alive, flopping around while trying to breathe as best as it could.
"Well they shouldn't be treated like this." I remarked. "This is wrong. These poor fish need water to swim and breathe in as soon as possible.”
My wife and kids looked at me like I was crazy. “They should be fine in there.” reassured my wife. “What are you worried about?”
“But that's not how fish are intended to live.” I argued. “They are supposed to be in actual water so that they can swim around and get their oxygen and breathe.—you know the whole thing with gills and osmosis? I'm not a biologist, but it's pretty much common knowledge that this is how fish breathe. They are not going to do it this way.”
Out of the corner of my eye I could see that one of the salmon was watching me as I spoke. It almost had an expression of relief that someone was being sensible; possibly sensible enough to save it and the others from dying.
“I've got to do something, quick.” I declared. "I need to make something." But what could I have made? I saw a large, plastic tarp folded up on one of the utility shelves. There were also many boxes stacked about in different places. What if I made an enclosure with the boxes—a rectangular enclosure—and then lay the tarp inside. Maybe I could put some heavy stones or bricks on top of the tarp that lay on the boxes. That way it will stay in place when finally filling up the tarp with water. For all practical purposes, it would be like a makeshift swimming pool, perfectly suitable for the couple dozen salmon to stay while I find a better place for them.
So I spent a few minutes gather up and stacking up boxes. All the while, my wife and kids looked at each other with funny faces. Surely they were wondering why I was putting so much effort in seeing to it that the fish had water to swim around in. At some point my wife and kids assisted. Unfortunately, the group effort turned into nothing but arguing and conflict. "No, don't put that box there...! That one will be too heavy on top of the lighter one...! What's wrong with you...? Don't you understand...?"
In the meantime, the two fish that had been unwrapped and lay on top of the wet cushions were appearing frustrated and a bit worried. They were clearly having difficulty breathing since the wet cushions had been unwrapped.
"Oh, we need to hurry up!" I urged. "I don't know how much longer these poor salmon have to live."
I lay the tarp down in the center of our makeshift pool. It was then that one of the kids pointed, "Hey, we have a plastic swimming pool over here that we used to use when we were little. Why don't we just fill this up with water and let the fish swim in there?”
"It's a good idea..." I acknowledged. "But maybe the plastic pool won't be big enough for all couple dozen of them."
In the meantime, the two salmon continued to look all the more worried. When would they finally be able to swim in water and breathe properly again?