Around the August Loam
Old sturdy trees and new bushes below waited in the sun and the ceiling sky began to turn as if on a dime declaring that it was getting ready for something or else creating an event. Sometimes at dusk there you could see the horizon and before it were purples dashed with darker purple or blue streaks and it didn’t matter what shape the clouds had taken as now the racing night would begin to gather itself and envelope everything like a daemon that knew what to do and how to follow itself with no secret doubt or outside influence. Sometimes before that if you looked it could be known that hawks circled the loam and its outskirts looking for what they looked for. Often there was only one hawk and at other times two or three. Someone had put a board across a couple trees to sit on and watch goings-on and the board was enough of a man made cut artifact to be absorbed properly into a natural world. Microcosms lived within macrocosms and mud wasps built things while army ants marched through and ate railway ties that were once retaining walls proud but now through years and sun and all the other things time delivers, had succumbed a long way.
On one side a highway allowed the carrier and load trucks to pass through and these were always anonymous and mean tempered, bringing diligently the urban wastelands to the otherwise rural and before then unaffected land. Up the way a one story brick church waited and a man inside prepared his exegesis of ancient text for his parishioners to listen to when the hour came. If you stood on the end of the loam and looked straight across to the west it was a sky full of the purple again and the electric lights like permanently stationary lightning bugs caught in time showed strange birds and insects maneuvering around underneath and overhead. The highway stretched to the horizon with telephone cables and later on in the deeper times and hours of the black, coyotes would sound that they had managed to kill something somewhere in the middle of the loam.
For those whiles and that entire decade in fact, the loam and its outside environs maintained the best equilibrium that could be managed. The relationship was becoming strained, compromised, and slight fractures were forming. The old sturdy trees for better or worse just observed and nobody, not the shrubs or wildflowers, not the holder and guardian of sacred text, not any of the humans in fact, or even the trucks in the night, could tell exactly what would become of the loam or its surrounding areas that housed the purple dusk skies and sometimes the wandering families of foxes and the stretching wires and whiles.
Brian Barbeito is a resident of Ontario, Canada. His short fiction has appeared at Thrice Fiction and NFTU (Notes From the Underground). He is the author of the experimental novel postprandial.