Thursday, July 19, 2012


I never feared walking in the dark until that tumbleweed rattled off the side of the railroad track into my path.

No wind, just the moon and stars.

The tumbleweed didn’t tumble. It scuttled. Then froze. Its core gathered black, but the spindly tips were grey or white or moonbeam.

It snorted. Then scuttled some more.

I backed away, hoping to find the turn in the trail that brought me to the weed.

It snorted again.

From the core, beady eyes stared.

A nose sniffed. The weed growled quietly, like a cat.

“I’m leaving, buddy,” I said to the weed. “Don’t get nervous. I’m leaving.”

The weed scuttled some more and a cloud shadowed the moon.

From the core of the weed, the beast, two faint stars glowed. Filtered moonlight reflected off the quills.

The constellation porcupine blinked, and its two biggest stars went out.

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