Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Sculptures are Frightening

                I slowed and peeked up the hill.  No cars.  I whipped from the private country road onto the public country road.  A minute later blue lights flashed in my rear-view mirror.  My mouth went dry.  I pulled over, wound down the window, and listened to footsteps crunching in the gravel beside the road.   The blue uniform appeared at the window.
                “May I see your license and registration?”
                I glanced up and gave him a smile.  Green eyes glared above a ridged jaw, and one hand rested on the butt of his holstered gun. 
                I handed out my license before sifting through old receipts, napkins, flashlight batteries, wheel-lock keys, and three years’ worth of insurance cards in my glove compartment. 
                “You didn’t come to a complete stop at that intersection.”
                I shot him a wide-eyed glance.  “That is because I was scared.  There was a bear.  I was trying to escape.”
                His green gaze locked on mine.  “A bear?” He glanced around at the Douglas fir, salal, blackberry bushes, and the naked vine maples lining the road.
                “Yes, we have bears.”
                He tilted his head and pursed his lips.  “Um hum.” 
                “We do.”
                “Umm hmmm.”  He pressed the button on the walkie-talkie attached to his shoulder.  “Run the name Melanie Sherman for warrants.”
                “And coyotes, bobcats and really scary dear.”
                He rolled his eyes.  “Show me the bear.”
                I wagged a finger at him.  “Oh, no.  I’m innocent unless you can prove there wasn’t a bear.”
  He listened to his radio traffic a few seconds before a semblance of a smile drifted over his lips.  He pushed the button on his shoulder again.  “Have the NSA send me their satellite surveillance video of the address I gave you for the traffic stop.  Have them send the last half hour.”
                “Fine,” I said.  “The bear is just around the corner.  It’s a sculpture in the front yard of that house back there.”
                “You were afraid of a sculpture of a bear?”               
                I nodded vigorously.  “It’s very lifelike.”
                He snorted, and tapped my license against his forefinger. “Umm hummm.”
                Tap tap tap.
                “What if another neighbor decides to do a sculpture of a bobcat in his front yard?”
                Tap tap tap.
                “And then,” I said, warming to my subject, “what if another neighbor puts in a sculpture of an evil-eyed black-tailed buck?”
                The tapping stopped and his eyes narrowed.  “So?”
                “Well then the next neighbor might do one of a coyote, and the next thing you know, they expect me to have a sculpture also.”
                “Well the only other things I normally see around here are red-tailed hawks eating dead rodents in the road.  How would you like to have a sculpture of a road-kill-raccoon prominently displayed in your front yard?”
                He stared for a few moments before he handed back my license.  He turned and sauntered back to his car, checking the brush along the road as he walked, his ear cocked, as if listening for sounds of wildlife.

The above was a writing prompt:  Write about something that scares you


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