Today's post was going to be about effigies, eulogies, or elegies - any of which would probably have made an interesting story prompt. But I took the dog for a walk in the woods today, and I changed my mind while I was out there.
I've posted about these woods before: they are a little corner of amazing wilderness tucked away at one end of our small city. A lot of teenagers party in them at night, and they leave behind the usual evidence: the leftovers of campfires, broken beer bottles, crushed beer cans, bags of picnic garbage. (Nice, kids: Smoky the Bear says Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires. Also, Clean Up Your Shit.)
Occasionally, people leave things behind in the woods that trigger my imagination: how did this happen? Why would you leave that behind? One of my all time favourites was a pair of men's jeans, with a giant hole ripped down the seam of the crotch. The weirdest part was that they were oh-so-neatly laid out across a tree branch, as if the owner planned to return and fetch them. They were there for the rest of the summer, and for all I know, might still be in there somewhere, probably lining a squirrel's nest.
Today, I came across the weirdest collection of stuff to date, clustered together in a grove of hawthorne trees. It seemed a bit sinister to me, and I decided to let my imagination work on it and turn it into a story. How could these things have come to be there? Feel free to speculate in comments or in your own fiction about how all these items could have come to the woods. I'll have to leave you with just a list: I didn't have my camera with me, although I wish I did, and I might take it with me next time in the hopes that the stuff is still there. Here's the list:
- A green plastic bucket, broken out at the bottom on one side, but with some rainwater pooled at the bottom
- An inhaler, submerged in the water in the bucket
- A small purse, completely empty except for a large hair clip
- A neatly folded wad of coarse brown paper towel, the industrial kind you find in public restrooms
- A wadded-up black t-shirt
- A bouquet of individually wrapped tampons, tied at their bases with string