“High Tops and Graffiti”

12 11 2011

For Levi, with great affection for one of only a dozen people with whom I have had dance parties in front yards in Illinois.

I swear, I didn’t mean it to happen. I was just a nice kid from the suburbs, transported to city life by a combination of cultural expectation and parental pressure. The big University was the only “acceptable” choice for the son of a successful businessman and an Ivy-league graduate. I’d have given anything if they’d let me go to art school in England but a biology degree from a prestigious university was my only option. At least as far as THEY were concerned.

I’m getting off-topic. Like I said, I never meant it to happen. All I wanted was to keep my head down, get done with my four years and get OUT. Once I had a job they wouldn’t be able to tell me what to do. I have never had the illusion that being a college student made me in any way independent. A host of teachers, RA’s and my ever-present parents made college another gilded cage. And the gilding was flaking off with dangerous rapidity. Read the rest of this entry »


“The War With the Raccoon People”

12 11 2011

I have a feeling of creative energy and the desire to write a story. I asked the all-knowing facebook and my friend Tim came up with “The War With the Raccoon People” so here ya go. Dedicated with nerdy affection to Tim.

Not all the tunnels the children made were of the hands-and-knees variety. Of the half-dozen children who frequented the green space behind the suburban sprawl, only two liked their tunnels low and close. Anna built her pathways high and wide, Jeff used tree limbs to make bridges over nothing instead of tunnels through the brush. Zach liked to make small corridors through the thorniest bushes and slimiest mud. Nobody followed Zach for long. Alyssa (“Lyss” to all but her mother) refused to use anyone else’s paths and instead followed the animal trails. It was Lyss who first saw them.

The green space was a last bastion of earth, stone, and tree in a city which expanded daily, throwing itself onto new ground with every exhalation of smog and cement. Covering something like five square miles the forest had been early claimed by deer, squirrel, rabbit and coyote. No other animal stayed long in a place so near the stink of human.

No animal, that is, until the raccoon came.

Raccoon are scavengers. Clever with their paws and more clever still when faced with the challenge of outwitting humans. It took only a couple of raccoon to lay claim to the entire green space before they moved their entire clan. Lock, stock and weapons they came, bringing their intelligence and their long-standing hatred of the humans whose blind power sought ever to kill all creatures but themselves.

Unfortunately, the humans were too big to be fought off by even the smartest raccoon warrior. At least, the adults were.

Lyss saw one. A glimpse only and that too quick for recognition. Drawing herself up and squinting she followed the line of waving ferns until they moved no more. It took one long whistle to call the other children to her. Read the rest of this entry »