Day Five: Be Brief
Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path.
Between the Lines
by Lenee Cobb
As I pulled the car to the side of the logging road and parked, the sun filtered down through young leaves and spritely-tipped branches. What would have been gray and spooky a few moments ago now appeared welcoming. Car doors quietly shut, so as not to interrupt the birdsong, and I locked it up and motioned my brother and our neighborhood friend to follow me down a deer path I knew by heart. Moss cushioned the ground, giving it a springy effect beneath my tennis shoes. I swept aside branches so they wouldn’t flick those behind me, and kept heading steadily downwards, stopping at one of my favorite places by a little-known stream.
We idled a while and then traipsed into the shallow water, crossing it, and climbed the opposite bank. There was another trail here that followed the watercourse that seemed to pull us down it on the dust of filtered sunbeams. It was irresistible. The further into the woods the pathway ventured the uneasier my brother became.
At a spot where the river stones spread from spring floods past, wide beneath an alder forest, we stumbled upon an old campsite. A ring of flattened river rock circled blackened remains of someone’s campfire. Within the damp coals, leaning upon the small rock wall, laid a green wine bottle. We stood around the fire pit, staring at that bottle for some minutes before noticing the paper rolled up inside.
Our neighborhood friend stooped down and picked up the bottle, tipped it sideways and pulled out the paper. Frowning, she handed it to us to read. It said, “Today, at this spot, my anger died.”
Three people had very different reactions to the words we read. What do they mean to you?