trout [ 8 ] September 2000
Damon Falke


All the Other Places
Damon Falke

At 2:30 the sawmill train began its sluggish pull from Harrisburg to Jackson county, as it did every night, hauling slabs of rough-cut yellow pine, dull blades, and saw dust. The train shifted and grinded its way past the homes of sleeping workers, past the elementary school, past the water tower and into the woods on the edge of town where its whistle blew. The sound, thick and emphatic, carried through the wind and leaves, resonating from tree to tree, before vanishing into the humid air and heavy darkness.

When he heard the whistle Zane lifted his covers and eased out of bed. He sat in the chair that he kept by the window and parted the thin yellow curtains obstructing his view. He leaned closer to the window, and, nearly pressing his face to the glass, watched the last of the train lights diminish and disappear into the woods. As soon as the train had faded, he began to sense that familiar calm. It permeated in from the now quiet woods and filled his house, filled his very room. The calm seemed as natural as the night itself, and for a moment, he did his best to think of nothing but the calm and the peace that came with it.

He sat for a while longer, looking out of the window at where the train had been, at the swelling shape of the wind blown trees. A storm, he guessed, is blowing up from the coast. There were many storms in September, and almost always they came from the south, from the coast. Sometimes they blew in from the lake country to the east. Either way, they were often fierce and sudden. It wouldn't be enough, though, not enough rain to shut the mill down. Not this one. He got up from the chair and slid the curtain back in place. He then walked out of the bedroom and into the kitchen.


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© 2000 Trout &
Will Fox

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