On the eastern exposure of the mossy tree in this photo is a hollow, carved out by water under a gnarled canopy of roots. I slid a few feet down the bank to check it out and to my surprise there was a woman tucked halfway in there, pale and shivering. Her wet hair braided with the roots. I couldn't tell where she began and the tree ended. I instantly recognized her.
"Catherine?" Her pained eyes fluttered in acknowledgement. "Why are you under these roots and not back home in the tidy short story I just finished writing about you?"
"You tell me," she croaked, her voice as sandy as the creek side,"I just woke up here and I think I'm dying, but I don't know why."
"Oh," I offered impotently. She rolled her washed out eyes at me. I pondered the situation for a moment and added, "Well, I guess I'll have to write you into and out of this."
"Thanks, Heather," she whispered, "and don't forget the coyotes, Uncle Nut, or the tire iron, okay?" She hacked for a moment then scrunched her gaunt face and spat blood and half an opalescent shell by my foot. I grimaced and nodded, climbing back up the slippery slope.
Following my Captain and Guard to the falls, I gave the scene some thought and as other families trickled into the park after church, I snapped this pic of the kids. Why don't we focus on the cuteness of these two and not the hapless navigator whose imagination at times is crazy-making.