My nonfiction story, “Theater in the Night Veracious.” was published in the Marathon Literary Review, Summer 2018.
The ground is wet from passed-on rain; sporadically little drops sting my upturned face, sudden remembrances of a rainy day now at dusk. Chill spreads up my legs and into the small of my back but I am focused on the Lodge Pole Pines that stretch black into a yellow-pus sky. I am struck by the stark colors, black against creamy yellow, how they hold my eye like a car accident. It will be dark soon, and colder. I pull my rain jacket down past my navel and am shocked, for a moment, when my fingers emerge from the folds of clothes covered in black-red stains. I am bleeding. Some forty feet away I can see someone lying against a boulder, eyes closed, gooey brain matter and blood oozing from a crack in their forehead. The woods are quiet but for the distant swoosh of the creek away down the hill. I look at my fingers again and notice the darkened tips have disappeared, camouflaged in the open wound of sky. A tremor ripples through me, from the slow-spreading cold, but also because I am imagining that my plane has just fallen out of the sky, that I am bleeding profusely, without help in a darkening wilderness. I am imagining I am going to die. But not yet. Not alone.