Lost

Many years ago I knew a young lady. Her name was Hazel Moss. Her and I would joke countless hours about how her name pretty much described moss. She would argue that it was creative. I would argue that her parents were drugged up hippies when she was born. She never argued with the latter.

Hazel loved to take walks. She’d walk in the woods. Walk around the lake. She’d walk anywhere as long as she could take the camera I gave her for her birthday with her. She loved taking pictures as much as she loved walks. She would give me her camera and ask me to develop her favorites.

Hazel didn’t have a job.  She said that working with people brought her down and exhausted her soul. She preferred to be in nature. Whenever we met we would meet in the abandoned shack in the woods that she called home. She frequented the free boxes at yard sales. All of her furniture, decorations, and necessities came from yard sales with the exception of her pictures. She hung her pictures everywhere. She said they made her feel like she was in different places at once. Like she could fly.

For many years Hazel lived in that shack. She loved it and maintained it as well as you could for a jobless person who lived in an abandoned shack. One day a few drunk teenagers came across Hazel’s shack while she was taking a walk in the woods with her camera. They kicked her furniture. They tore down her sheets, and smashed her ceramics. They peed on her bed and poured gas on her clothes. Maybe this could have all been forgiven. Maybe if they had left after all that I wouldn’t be writing this story. Unfortunately maybes have yet to turn back time. They burned her pictures. They took each one and torched it in the flame of a lighter. Such a small flame and yet, it did such damage. After all her pictures were a pile of charred ash and only a few colorful corners remained, they burnt down the rest of the shack. The wood charred and discarded on the forest floor. I don’t know Hazel’s reaction to this. I don’t know what she did when she came back and witnessed what had become of her beloved home and her treasured pictures. She might have cried and cried. The wailing mixing with the birdsong. She might have yelled and threw whatever was left until her throat was sore. Knowing Hazel I find it most likely that she sat on the forest floor. Quiet for a very very long time.

I do however know what she did next. You see I know what happened to the shack because it was in the news the next morning. I was sitting there with my morning coffee and a cucumber sandwich halfway to my mouth when the story flashed across the screen. It was in that same news story that showed my darling Hazel, laying at the bottom of a cliff off of highway 10. She had jumped, of course, because she would never had ridden in a car. Besides there were no other debris besides her fragile body, now broken.  She was in a better place now I suppose. One positive thought to brighten the pain and sorrow that I felt. At the very end my darling Hazel had learned how to fly.

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So first let me say that this story is entirely fiction and made up. The names are made up, the highway is made up. Even the cucumber sandwich is made up as I’ve never had one in my life. This started as a story to a picture writing prompt that showed only some bare wooden trees. I started out with a very different idea but I definitely like this one better. Please let me know what you think! Thank you very much.

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