Scott Wahrenberger

An Endless Time; A Tribute to Jack London


John Stone was not the kind of man given to words; his nature gave him to action and silence. For some this made him a likable man, hard to find a disagreeable opinion in a man who said very little. On the other side of that coin, it made him an object of scorn to little emotional child like men who could through the lens of a bent imagination, place upon his powerful shoulders the hobgoblins of unrealized fears. These things mattered to him not.
 
What mattered to him was the fact that despite a financial poverty he had things that any man could want. In the canoe against the starboard side lay, what he considered the finest bolt-action rifle a man could have. While nothing special in and of itself: Sturm&Ruger Company made them by the thousands, this one was a shooter. A precise instrument of his will, it never missed, he did. More than once, this tool had given him the ability to survive another winter, or to keep his possessions, meager by volume, from the paws of thieves. There are many like it, this one is his.
Separated by two rucksacks and a larger canvas bag, all bound to the canoe by lashings of rope is a brown wool blanket that concealed the truth under an image of non-description. A soft clay like shape, a feminine outline, soft and round without edge, his woman slept quietly.
Truth was he viewed her as a wife, though no ceremony ever confirmed that. She hides from the cool damp morning mist under the ancient heavy brown wool blanket. She stirred mildly and her face slipped out into the gray vapors of atmosphere without waking. Her high checks and steeply angle jaw line hearkened back to her distant Mongolian ancestry, a linage of red-skinned men that existed thousands of years ago. Her straight black fine, glossy hair concealed her ears, and followed the lines of her face.
John Stone watched her eyelids flutter as she passed into a dream state. He paddled the canoe with a greater attention to silence. The paddle barely made a noise in the early morning. The canoe in a silence glided across the flat jewel surface of the wide Allegheny River. This time of year, at this section, the waters are glass.
Moving with the gossamer touch of angels wings, he paddled down stream. Looking at the face of his love, he then looked beyond at the flat water, to the line where the sky touched it. At this point he realized the surface is littered with yellow leafs of the hot summers end. He looked at one particular leaf unmoving, barely touching the water. Undisturbed by the relative behemoth of his canoe, it stayed placidly in its place with an impeccable stateliness. A monument.
John Stone could feel the leaf.
This is what mattered to him.

 

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Scott Wahrenberger.
Published on e-Stories.org on 02/02/2009.

 

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