A good while back, I posted this story and forgot about it. This Monday I went to our writers' critique meeting and I had nothing new, so I pull this one out of the pile and read it. It was interesting how there were varied opinions on the "meaning" and "direction of the story; maybe it doesn't make any sense. I thought "what the heck", I asked another writer friend to look at it and they whacked it to "smitheriens", but I like the suggestions they made. I figured that I would run it back through the ringer one more time and hopefully someone will give me their idea(s) on what the durn thing is about. sooooo.....
A Circle Unbroken aka Old Fence Post
The blue 59 Chevrolet Apache pickup easily climbed the grassy knoll looking down on the valley of the neighboring landscape. The Texas summer had been hot, way hot. He hated winter, but the tilt of the planet had finally allowed a crispness to fall upon the bristling grass. The cirrus clouds painted a giant canvas of O’keeffeian beauty in the western horizon. The panorama reflected off the polished aqua blue paint on the hood of the old truck, mirroring the picturesque light show. It would soon be dark.
Turning the key off, the six cylinder engine came to a complete stop. He just sat there listening to the crackling of the hot engine cooling down in the fall air. Reaching his arm out the window, the chrome button on the door handle easily unhooked the latch of the door; the inside latch mechanism had long been broken. The truck was old. He had actually taken his driving test forty two years earlier in this same truck. You hold onto old friends that have helped you along over the years.
That fence was not going to fix itself. Replacing a single post would hobble through the winter. He and his daddy had strung this fence when he was still in high school. Tough, but the elements and time had given it’s toll on the whole run of fence. The loamy Texas dirt was soft so digging the hole next to the existing post was finished in short order. Hammering the galvanized staples into the new post, securing the old rusty barbed wire would take very little time.
An orange ray of Texas sunset reflected off the rolled up window of the passenger door on to the old dilapidated post. The smooth decades-old surface was cracked and splintered. The barbed wire had left scars and discoloring up and down its torso. Still upright, the Old Codger like post had served its intention well.
With a grunt and a shuffle, he clawed around behind the seat and finally found his fencing pliers. Grabbing the head of the long since rusted staples, he gave each one a twist and a pull. The evening wind let out a sigh of relief as the wires dangled free from its crimped existence With a “whoomp“, the new post found its new footing; it was ready to take over in this relay of performance. Three whacks each on the wire strands and the new staples were set to hold. Throwing the pliers back under the seat, he stopped and looked at the old post. Working it forward and sideways, soon the dirt had loosened around the footing. The post landed with a clatter in the bed of the truck. You don’t just throw away something that has helped you along over the years.
Darkness was winning the battle. He glanced at the empty hole. Not sure if you make a sound if no one is there to hear you, but the old codger spoke with a chuckle,
“That’s a hell‘uva note”, when you’re finished as a fence post they take you out of a hole and put you in one when you start out”.
“Sounds kinda backerds to me”
“Old Blue“ roared to life the instant he touched the starter button.