Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Timed Writing: 3/8/2012

Time: 10 minutes
Source photo: Fence by Katka S.

They discovered the body on the second morning of the first winter fence run. Because the wood plank barrier stretched more than thirty miles over mountains and valleys, running its length for defects and effecting the necessary repairs always took at least three days. Jonathan had never been on a winter fence run before. He was frustrated by how slowly they progressed, as compared to the summer runs. They had to carry more equipment with them in the winter -- tents, heavy sleeping bags, more food and fuel By Jonathan's estimation, they would be out for another four days, assuming no severe fence damage was discovered.

Andrew didn't seem to mind the "more leisurely pace," as he called it. He had been on the fence maintenance crew for most of his fifty years, and he relished the extended outings, rain or shine, wind or snow. There was plenty of snow this time. The pack mules made no complaints, but Jonathan figured they'd just given up on complaining. They certainly couldn't be any happier than he was about spending so much time in the cold.

Jonathan walked a hundred feet from camp to relieve himself before the morning pack-up and move-out. He found a tree beneath which to squat and waited for his bowels to cooperate. His eyes wandered across the snowfield. Occasional rocks and shrubs interrupted the white. Two crows pecking at something a little way down the slope provide the scene's only animation. One of the crows caught hold of something with its beak and tugged it free. It was long, ragged, and blue -- a surprisingly artificial shade of blue.

When Jonathan finished under the tree, he went to investigate the crow's find. They croaked their anger at him as he approached, but they yielded the ground, winging off a dozen yards to watch from a jagged rock. Despite the cold, a faint smell of spoiled meat assaulted Jonathan as he approached the place.

(about my timed writing exercises)

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