They’re doing some road repair in the neighborhood (better late than never, right? Right?) and part of it is trimming trees that have grown wild for about a decade or so. Which meant some of my morning run was spent dodging mad Arboreal Technicians and sprays of sawdust. The run itself was dire–some days the body is heavy and unresponsive, and hauling it through multiple miles is on par with cleaning the Augean stables. You just reroute a river and hope for the best.
Anyway, coming home, I saw the gigantic truck-hauled woodchipper they were using to eat chunks of tree as large as my body…and I had a number of thoughts.
Really, to be a writer and to play the what-if game so constantly it becomes a reflex can lead one into some interesting mental morasses. This particular one led me to Fargo, and thinking huh, what would a body do in there?
Look, to have a brain is to not fully be in control of it. Really it is.
At that moment, walking Miss B past the spitting, grinding machinery (she was uneasy at the sheer volume of noise, but too tired from keeping up with me to really protest) I thought, what would happen if I suddenly ran up there and dove into the thing? Or anyone, really? If you started a story like that, where would it go? Hmmm…
After a few seconds, I realized a couple guys in heavy work clothes and a coating of wood shavings were eying me curiously. Because I’d stopped and was staring at the chipper’s dark maw, Miss B edging away from the huge noisy thing and giving me a Very Concerned Look. I thought of trying to explain, but the Arboreal Technicians already visibly thought I was half off my cupcakes, so why bother?
There are a number of moments in one’s life where one just has to smile nervously and walk quickly away. This was one of them.
Still, the image won’t leave. I have a fuzzy idea for a zombie apocalypse story now that starts with just that scene…
…which is a plot bunny I am trying not to feed any carrots to. Sigh. People laugh when I call the urge to write a socially acceptable mental illness. I’m beginning to think they perhaps shouldn’t.