Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Date With Fate - flash (not quite) fiction

A Date With Fate? As two mid 20-something art students in 1975, we took off to Northern California for winter break. Yes, hitchhiking - the only way to travel. Speeding across Nevada (or was it Wyoming?) on the Interstate Highway we surveyed the stars. A tiny light moved faster than possible in the middle heavens witnessed by two. My first UFO. The driver missed it with his eyes on the road. With pretty good luck, after three days and singing "every song that driver knew" to several kind strangers we finally arrived in Mendocino. Molly, Tom's old girlfriend, and her honey bun were house sitting just outside of town in large furnished redwood home. It had a full-wall stone fireplace and a bank of windows along the length of the house with a view of the Pacific. A spindly catwalk stretched 20 feet from the yard to a rocky out cropping 40 feet above the crashing waves. It was a cool windy day, the sun glinting on the water. A narrow cliffside footpath led in either direction on grassy low hills studded with scrub oak and dwarf cypress trees. We thought we could see the curve of the earth. Pausing to to drink in the view, I stood right on the cliff edge then looked down at mighty waves smashing into the rocks below. A little of the weather-worn sandstone started to give way, and as quick as a cat could wink its eye, it collapsed beneath my feet. Instinctively I grasped a scraggly little cypress tree. Tom grabbed my other arm and pulled me back.