Northern Ohio Gothic
(a writing exercise i did for B)
– The wind blows, and the snow falls. “Is this lake effect? We’re so far from the lake.” But we are never far from the lake. It waits, ever patient. It watches. You sip your hot chocolate and close the drapes.
– She had an idea. “Let’s rake up the biggest pile we can and jump in it!” She sank into the red and brown abyss. You miss her when the leaves change.
– It has been a thousand years since the sun has shone. You have begun to doubt its existence, but you cannot speak the words, for to speak is to call the End. “It feels warmer today,” they whisper. You slip on your sunglasses and play along.
– A fell wind on the air whispers to you of the danger in the fields. A coyote cried last night, until it was quieted. By whom or what, it is better not to ask.
– The skeletal fingers of the trees reach for you, but you would run to them if it meant an end to the rows of corn. It has been hours of driving, yet they persist. You can see the trees in the distance, but to cross the fields to reach them would be death. You turn the radio dial until you find something without static.
-- You feel the thunks as you drive over the potholes. At any moment, a sinkhole could open up and swallow you. You're so used to the roads that you're not sure you'd notice. The craters in the earth throw your spine out of alignment and back in.
-- "O-H," someone says. Was it shouted or whispered? You can't tell the difference anymore. You look around, and there is no one in sight. Your lungs contract. Your vision starts to tunnel, and you can't hold it in anymore. "I-O," you cough at last. A wave of relief sweeps over you. You are at peace.
-- There's a new roller coaster. You fear for your life, then collapse in hysterics when you stumble away at the end. Your badge of honor is an unflattering photograph, tucked away until next year, when there will be another new ride and another new photograph and one more death shaken off.
-- You hate everything. You hate every person in the world, and you hate your house, your state, your country, your president. You're hungry, but you hate everything in the fridge. You're bored, but you hate everything on TV. It's sunny and 65. You hate the weather. You turn on FOX 8. You hate the news. Your kids wake up and snuggle with you. Your best friend calls. She hates everything too. Another banner day.
-- The television crackles with static. Perhaps the company is providing substandard service. Perhaps it's the wind. Perhaps a spirit has become trapped, sucked in by the dish outside. You prefer not to know. You'll try again in an hour.