#172 Snider’s Mountain

by Sandra Cormier

My cousin Ray shot himself at my grandmother’s camp. It’s cousin Steven’s camp now.

Steven found Ray in the old trailer that replaced the ramshackle cottage, which once stood at a drunken angle on Snider’s Mountain.

Water came from a hand pump in the yard, but later Grampy installed one in the kitchen sink. The cracked linoleum floors slanted every which way. Once, a bee stung me when I brought inside a handful of goldenrod to give to my mother.

I crossed a wooden plank over a rushing spring to visit Colonel, an old white horse that lived on the farm next door. If I lifted a board on the little bridge, I could take the metal cup that hung by a string, and dip it into the water to drink.

I waded through waist high grass to get to the wooden rope swing that hung from a poplar tree. Grampy said when a storm was coming, the poplar leaves turned over to show their silver undersides.

Steven let Ray live at the camp when he had nowhere else to go. One day Ray stuffed everything he owned into his Gremlin, left it on a bridge on Prince Edward Island, and hitchhiked to Snider’s Mountain to die.

Is the ghost of the cottage still there? Does Ray still sit in the trailer with the barrel of Steven’s gun in his mouth?

I think about Ray sometimes, but I think more about white horses, poplars, and approaching storms.

When hockey fan Christina Mackey prevents a murder attempt aimed at her idol Jason Petersen, the hockey scene she’d always worshiped from the outside suddenly surrounds her. She’s not sure she wants to be part of that world—too much testosterone—but her attraction for Jason is too strong. Jason is shocked to discover his girlfriend Sheila is behind the attempt on his life and quickly breaks off their relationship. But vengeance has no greater weapon than a woman scorned. As Jason’s feelings grow toward the widow who saved him, his past threatens not only their happiness, but Christina’s innocent daughter as well.

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Dino Parenti said...

A stark but beautiful tale. Wonderful imagery throughout. I loved the silvery underside of poplar leaves.

Bruce Roush said...

Gosh, I love your descriptions, so rich. Every paragraph popped up like a photo of the scene or event described.

Unknown said...

Love the simple, precise description. Very atmospheric.

Sarah Laurenson said...

We do have an interesting theme going. Great imagery and tone. I was right there the whole time.

Unknown said...

Love the simplicity of the voice. There's a lot of intrigue buried within the tale that keeps the reader curious long after. Lovely.

Whirlochre said...

The bee got to me also. Great stuff.

Robin B. said...

Evocative imagery. Something about the leaves turning upside down and the underneath colors showing in the wind stood for me for the rest of the story.