I was a pirate principal at work today.
I really like Rory’s Story Cubes. I think they are great for getting ideas on paper, starting stories and more.
So below is a random story based on the following Rory’s Story Cubes. Its not finished, I find it really easy to start stories, but not finish them.
He had been in his friends and co-workers houses and yards over the years, but he liked his best. Solely because a large forest existed just behind the edge of his house.
When he bought the house there had been a fence marking the edge of his property, but the first thing he did, before even setting up the living room or kitchen, was tearing down the fence blocking the forest. He liked the view of nature unbound, and although his property didn’t extend into the woods, he considered it his woods.
This particular area of town was largely abandoned. He had no neighbors to speak of, the houses on either side of his house had been abandoned long before he moved in. His house had been a “fixer upper” in every sense of the word, and to a large degree he had fixed it up over the last two years. He had replaced the lights, some wiring, torn down some walls, and shingled the roof.There was still flooring to be replaced, the basement in particular needed work, the walls showed that it had flooded years ago, but as a whole the house was livable.
What he liked about the forest, and this tree in particular was that it provided solitude he found no where else. In his house he felt connected to everything. Even when his phone, tv, computer, et. all were off, he still felt that connection. Here in the woods, in this giant ancient tree, he was truly alone.
There was no cell service this far into the woods. And no other humans had been out there in years as far as he could tell. He felt like a burglar, a thief stealing this slice of isolation for himself. But it was his space. And despite being a grown man, he liked the idea of a place that was his.
When he first discovered this tree he decided it was enough of a landmark in the woods to make it a little supply center. He put some plastic tubs out there with books, some water, snacks, flashlights and other odds and ends. At first he worried other people may find his things, or that animals may get into it. That worry slowly left him as he realized how isolated the woods really were.
Over the last two years he had slowly realized that no large animals came near the tree. He occasionally saw all sorts of wildlife in the woods; squirrels, deer, birds of all kinds, and even foxes. He knew further back in the woods was what he assumed was a bear den, but he had never seen any bears himself, just clues of their existence. But around the tree, he saw not paw prints, no animals lived in the tree, birds seemed to avoid it, nothing to indicate that animals had ever been in the tree.
But it was more of what made the tree special. What made it special and his.
Occasionally he had found things around the tree that concerned him.
A few months after he discovered the tree Jimmy came across a large mound of disturbed dirt – as if someone had just buried something. He dug up the mound but found nothing buried there. He eventually convinced himself it must have been an animal burying something, possible a bear, although he never had found any evidence of the bears coming close to the tree before, and did not find any paw prints, or footprints anywhere near the mound.
A year after finding the mound he found two strange objects. A baseball, brand new with no scuff marks at all was next to the tree. Again, he dismissed it as something an animal had found and carried into the woods – despite no telltale clues.
He liked reading while sitting up in the tree. It was easy to climb, a lot of low strong branches. So after putting the baseball in his tub he grabbed a book and started climbing the tree. When he got a few feet into the tree he found a tentacle. By the decay he guessed it had been there a few days and by the suckers he guessed it was octopus – but he wasn’t sure.
This was more confounding than the baseball in his mind. But again, putting 2 and nothing together in his mind he assumed a bird had dropped it flying by. The foliage was pretty thick here in the woods, but he had no doubt it had to have come from a bird flying above.
The time between these two events, the mound and finding the objects was so long, almost a full year, that Jimmy struggled to find any connection. Between events he slowly became at ease again and assumed they were just fluke events. That he was out in the woods isolated, away from anyone else. And just like after the he found the mound, months passed without anything strange happening after finding the objects
Today, as he climbed the tree to find a branch to sit and read on, another one strange object was found. 10 feet up into the tree was present. An honest to god birthday or Christmas present. An orange box tied together with a powder blue ribbon. The ribbon even came to a classic bow on the top. It looked better than anything he had ever wrapped, and it looked like it had just been set in the tree that day.
The color was bright and vibrant, not faded like a present left in the woods for days. Jimmy was confused and concerned. He scanned the forest around the tree, but like both of the previous times strange things appeared nothing was disturbed. There was nothing to indicate another human had been there. Nothing to indicate where the present came from at all. But there it was, 10 feet high in the tree that Jimmy was certain only he had been in during the last two years.
He had conflicting emotions. Part of him wanted to run. Go back to his house, lock the doors and forget it ever happened. Part of him wanted to call the police, swat, whatever you are supposed to do when you find a suspicious package. And lastly part of him wanted to open this package, that it somehow was left there for him. And man was he curious what was inside.
Curiosity of course won the day…..
I’m not sure what I was dreaming about last night, but I swear I was only asleep for 20 minutes when I woke up in a pile of drool. Whatever I was dreaming about was good enough to cause me to drool like a human Niagara Falls. Flipped my pillow over and fell back asleep. Near as I can tell that was it for drooling, just those twenty minutes – I didn’t actually check the time could have been longer.