FathomOnline

 

 Fathom Jan. 1997

Cover

 

Inside Cover

 

Poetry

Mary-Kate Arnold
Jamie Reynolds
Natalie Meisner

Prose

Trevor Rockwell
Rachel Melis
Mark Anderson

Articles

Jamie Reynolds
Andy Murdoch
Andre Narbonne
Andy Murdoch and
Jennifer Reynolds

Artwork

James Matthews
Mitchell Weibe

Extras

Ads
True Confessions
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Mark Anderson

 

 

The Yellow Truck

     There was a town, actually it was more of a city, and at one particular end of this city there was a driveway. The drive­way was like any other driveway except for the fact of the bright yellow pickup truck that rested within its confines. It was not a new pickup truck. It was, in fact, as far as pickup trucks are concerned, quite old. Most people would have considered it to be an antique. Its corners were rounded, from its roof to its wheel-wells, and it seemed to belong more to a cartoon than it did to a city street.
     And there was a young man, young insofar as men are concerned, who used to walk past the yellow pickup truck every day on the way to his classes at the university. He wasn’t sure whether he liked or disliked the truck, he only knew that it usu­ally caught his attention. Possibly because nothing else on that street was particularly interesting. Or possibly there were other reasons.
     One night the young man was walking home late from his university classes. As he left the university building, he noticed that the clouded sky had suddenly cleared, revealing a multitude of stars and a half of a moon. He found himself removing his jacket and sweater, the air becoming relatively warm, relatively in the sense that it was the middle of winter. The young man found he was enjoying the unexpected shift in weather, and decided to walk a new way back to his apartment, in order to stretch out his enjoyment.
     He had been doing just that, as he rounded a corner onto an unknown street and came upon the yellow pickup truck. Its engine was running, and one of its doors, the one the driver would enter by, was open. The street was empty of life as far as the young man could see.
     After several uneventful seconds the young man decided to pursue the only logical course of action and got in. He put his foot on the gas pedal and the engine revved higher. He pressed in the clutch, put the truck in gear, and pulled out into the street.
     He was driving, but his turns came from an intuition he had not previously experienced. Soon the young man and the pickup truck passed the city’s edge, and found themselves on an empty, old highway. The moon was not full, but its glow was strong. They were moving inland, toward the valley. The young man rolled down his window. The air on his face felt clean and good. He could smell the rich earth beginning to thaw.
     The old highway came alongside a farm road that the young man found himself turning onto. He was rolling across a long grassy field, the tires following two dusty wheel-worn grooves of dirt as they rose into the oncoming moonlight. The tall grasses brushed gently against the side of the truck. For a short while a dried out creek bed ran alongside them, and then disappeared.
     The road came to the edge of a forest and entered it. The trees above formed a tall canopy of leaves that the moon pene­trated in short powerful bursts. The young man had the feeling of driving in a long cathedral, and switched on the headlights for the first time.
     A long curve ended, rising to a hill. At the top, a young buck stood in its center, and moved casually aside for the passing of the truck. The air had grown increasingly warmer, and in the beams of his headlights the young man noticed leaves sprouting from the branches of the winter trees in their darkness. The roadside bloomed in the pale silver light, with flowers not expected for several months. The young man and the yellow truck continued to roll on through the forest.
     Soon the road came alongside a small river. The young man saw trout jumping over rocks glistening with slime, captur­ing the wingtips of unsuspecting butterflies and pulling them back down to the water’s surface. Hundreds of salamanders scurried along the banks, flashing like fiery jewels as they fed on the mosses that grew in the cracks of some of the rocks.
     The road ended in a large clearing of packed brown earth. An enormous waterfall loomed to one side, one solid torrent, falling from hundreds of feet above into a deep circular pool, hol­lowed out over the course of centuries. The entire river passed through one small cleft, dividing a wall of solid black rock into perfect halves.
     The truck stopped and the young man turned off the engine. He emerged from the truck to the smell of new leaves and the birthing of crickets. He looked around. Close to the edge of the pool there was a large flat rock that sat within the water, ris­ing just above its surface. The young man walked to the water’s edge, took off his shoes, and leapt.
     He found himself standing on the rock, his feet half sunk in thick moss. He looked around him, at the waterfall and the water and the half moon and stars and trees for a while and sat down. He felt a bulge in his shirt pocket and remembered his for­gotten pipe and tobacco. He sat down on the moss, and slowly packed the pipe in the way his grandfather had shown him, so it would burn evenly and not go out. The young man lit a match. He was captured by its glow and it burned down to his fingers before he noticed. He lit another and put it straight to the dried leaves in his pipe, and inhaled the slightly sweet smoke. As he exhaled, the smoke lifted above his head and out slowly over the pool, where pale blue butterflies gathered on the cloud until it dispersed. The young man sat smoking for a long, long time.

 

last updated August 17, 2007 | © 2007 Fathom Publishing
poetry, prose, and artwork © individual authours | website created by Alana Paul