Raccoon Lodge By Randal Houle

Just uphill from my den, a plain of rock stretches as far as I can see. On the opposite side, there is a group of trees with a pond and I want to take some of the fallen fruit and wash them.

I check the area. There’s the bitter smell of past failures, my brother tried to forage on the other side. He was smashed into the rocky plain until black birds pecked his flesh clean.

These beasts are ferocious and stampede at a moment’s notice. I’ve observed, though, that each day they congregate in vast numbers. Two additional observations: they only stampede from one direction, and two, they never leave the plain. I’ve decided today, when the wheeled creatures congregate, I will cross.

They are resting now. I cross one while it sleeps. Its breath is hot and I scurry to get out of its way. Another looms in toward me, his strange legs rolling. He stops. I run.

Now the creatures seem to be running faster, only in the opposite direction. I had never noticed these. A patch of my brother’s fur is just ahead. He is gone. I got this far by studying the patterns of the herds, but this is new. I close my eyes and run. The giant creatures scream at me, but they cannot get me as I am off the plain.

The fruit here is sweet and the water cool. I think I’ll stay a while.


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Filed under Randal Houle

11 responses to “Raccoon Lodge By Randal Houle

  1. guy

    This had me on the edge of my seat.

    It’s a completely different mood & atmosphere, but the theme of getting across the road reminds of the old Frogger arcade game.

  2. Oh,brilliant! I read through this several times and bow before your cleverness. Awesome.

  3. great pov and superb voice – nicely done

  4. i agree with michael. very unique pov and voice. you also had some nice alliteration at certain points “..when the wheeled creatures congregate, I will cross.”

  5. Squirming in all the best ways. Poetic touch, and loved the voice.

  6. John Riley

    Strange with a great pov. Well done.

  7. Nicolette Wong

    intriguing story, esp. like the ending.

  8. Catherine Davis

    ‘The bitter smell of past failures’ is so fine. I love the calculation here – of course it happens whether or not so consciously. It’s a great thing to witness in this animal mission. And the fear for him is well rendered, so the final safety is, yes, sweet.

  9. Wow, this was so amazingly inventive. Love the voice, the pov, the writing. Peace…

  10. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  11. Pingback: Flash Favorites! | Wink/Nudge

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