Tag Archives: cabin

Footprints in the Snow

“I’m coming to Canada on a school trip. I’ll be staying right near you. I checked.”

“What?” she asked, a surprised look on her face that he could see via Skype all the way from Philadelphia.

“My professor is organizing a trip for next month for our geology club. He has some crazy notion that there’s a group of kimberlites that might have formed diamonds in them so he wants to abuse our club to become rich.”

She shifted in her seat and he could see she was uncomfortable. Either that or nervous, he couldn’t tell.

“Aren’t you excited? We’ve been online friends for two years now. Here’s our chance to finally meet.”

She thought back to that conversation as she sat in one of her favorite spots a month later. She’d come across the old cabin doing a nature shoot for her Digital Photography course and noticed the dilapidated hunting cabin that was falling apart from disuse. It was cold out and the recent snow made it stand out in the woods; she doubted anyone had set foot in the building in decades. From inside she could see enough of the snow through the giant cracks that had formed between the logs, and while a draft did float through the building the aged walls still kept some of the cold out.

Today was much like that first day she found the building. A fresh snow accompanied a cold day, and she was so nervous about meeting him that she didn’t even think to bring a coat. In her hands she held the best gift she’d ever received from a boy. Last Christmas he bought her the small porcelain carousel, inspired by a trip she’d taken over the previous summer photographing vintage carousels across the country. They reminded her of her father before he passed, and somehow the photographs all seemed to capture that, which she always thought helped her win the contest that helped her attain her first gallery show in the city.

She was to meet him in one hour in a café near campus, and even though they had Skyped for hours every week, he still insisted she bring the small toy so he would recognize her. She had romantic notions which were leading her to such nerves that she needed to collect herself in the cabin, the place she often found herself in moments of doubt, nervousness or deep thought. This one was all three.

She walked to the window, the most comfortable place to sit, and brushed the ledge off with her hands so she wouldn’t get her favorite flower print leggings dirty, just in case. She had no idea where their meeting, or date, was it a date? would lead. She’d fallen for him over the past two years of constant texts, calls, IMs, and Skype dates but never had the desire or nerve to tell him. Why bother? He’d never been a real person she could touch before. All the boys she shunned, all the dates she subconsciously sabotaged were because of him. She hadn’t even kissed anyone in over a year, which was right around the time she realized her feelings. Even though she knew she would never meet him.

But now he was coming.

She turned the little carousel over in her hands, listening to the subtle jingle of the parts inside that would play music if she wound it. They sounded so far away, but she knew she could just twist the knob and they would echo through the cabin at a high decibel.

She looked at her watch. Forty-five minutes until he would be sitting in her favorite coffee shop, the one she’d talked about often and even Skyped with him in so he could see it. She wanted to show him everything she loved, and there was only one place he hadn’t heard of, and this was it.

Maybe she would bring him, show him the hideaway she visited for the big decisions. But then he might notice the fresh footprints and put the clues together, somehow realizing that she loved him. He might say “Were you here today?” and she couldn’t lie to him. She would have to admit it. And he would look into her eyes and ask “What was the big decision you had to make?” and she would blush and smile and he would take her in his arms and she would feel him for the first time after years of wishing and hoping and their lips would meet for the first time in her favorite spot and she would share it with him and maybe, just maybe, he would fall in love with her in that moment.

She would bring him here. They would get tea in little to go containers, and she would show him to her favorite place and hope he noticed her footprints in the snow.

Photographs by Danielle Suzanne Photography. Check out her website or her Flickr.

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The Annual Dare

The Annual Dare

Created with a found photograph from the 1940s, my imagination and my typewriter.

A Simple Piece of Paper

He woke up that morning and knew, just inexplicably knew he was supposed to get into his car and drive.  So he threw a dirty pair of jeans on over his boxers, an old orange t-shirt, and got into his cherry red Camaro.

He turned the key, revved the engine, and then pulled out, no clue where he was going.  How would he decide?  Would the car know?  Would fate just guide him?  He pulled the car out and a sudden honk made him jump, a passing car with a driver waving a fist at him as it passed.  He would have to be a bit more careful.

He pulled off of his street, and knew there was nothing in this small Pennsylvania town that would draw him out with such mystery and magic, so he headed right for the interstate, somehow fully aware that he had a long way to go, even though he had no real destination.  It was only a few minutes before he was driving on the highway, accompanied by only one other car, a blue Ford truck, about a mile ahead of him.  He drove until even the Ford was gone, and he was alone on the highway, not an oddity for this area at this time of day.  The sun had only been up for moments, and after all, it was a Sunday, most people were still asleep.  He looked up at the sun, wondering when the last time it was that he woke up this early any day of the week let alone a Sunday.

He saw an exit coming up, an unmarked one he’d never noticed before, and decided to turn off the interstate, this particular road made of dirt and pebbles, probably a truck exit or something, he figured.  The sun almost disappeared, the trees were so thick here, and as he continued down the road, if it could even be called that, he was jostled all over the front seat due to its giant potholes and general unevenness.  Something darted out in front of the car, a white blur, and so he slammed on the brakes.

Peeking over the dashboard, he turned off the radio, trying to see what it was that he’d quite possibly killed.  Seeing nothing, he got out and walked around to the front.  Lodged under the front tired was a large piece of paper, a map, most likely, so he got back in, backed the Camaro up a bit, then had to jump out and retrieve the paper as the wind took it again.

He chased it into the woods a bit, finally catching up with it as it was momentarily caught by a tree branch, snatching it up quickly before the wind could take it again.  He gently opened it, since it seemed old, and realized it was covered in writing.

As he read it, he became overwhelmed, spellbound, excited.  He could feel the world spinning, actually sense the movement under him, and he could see and hear every leaf in the woods move, every single little motion, he could hear the thoughts of a nearby bird searching out food for her babies, she seemed so scattered in her thoughts.  He suddenly knew, without a doubt, that down the road was a cabin where a family was just getting up to the smell of bacon and eggs, and farther than that a deer was eating a sapling, and a bit down from that a river ran where a bear was trying to catch a fish, and he was even fully aware that today, that bear would not catch that fish, and the fish would go on to have many children, but that the bear would not.

He couldn’t even fully understand what it was that he was reading, but he could see himself, fifty years down the road, a grandson on his lap, his wife, whom he recognized as a neighbor of his, cooking in the kitchen as his family, and some of hers, prepared for some sort of celebration.  He saw beyond that, wars, famines, tragedies, all in the future, he saw planes fall, men walking on Mars, tidal waves, love, he saw everything that would ever happen, understood it all, and suddenly realized what was happening.  He continued to read, and the longer he read, the more of the world he saw, and he wanted to stop but could not, he wanted to know it all before this moment went away, before whatever was happening stopped, he had to know.  He saw cities grow and change, buildings stretch higher, airplanes bigger, cars smaller, flying machines, floating buildings, crime, weapons beyond anything he ever knew could exist, and then, all of a sudden, he saw nothing.

He startled back to the woods at a nearby sound, and noticed a deer crashing through the woods, the same deer he’d seen eating only a moment, or maybe it was a day, a week, a month ago, he couldn’t tell.  He looked around, remembered where he was, when he was, and headed back to the car.  As he climbed back in, he suddenly remembered the paper in his hand, held it up in the air, and just let it go.  The wind took it off in an instant, and he watched as it floated up into the air, back down, and then into the woods and out of his sight.