Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Words on Pictures

Merry Christmas!

Christmas day is usually a very busy day with opening of gifts, eating of great food and visiting with family.  We did all of that today plus some!  With all that was going on, for some reason  I was thinking of this short story that I read in the Provincetown Art Guide.  I'd like to share it with you here.


Nestled between a stretch of cottages and an expanse of sand dunes is a flat, open field bisected by railroad tracks.  The trains no longer run here, so the ties and rails are overgrown with beach grass.

At the "end of the line" is a lone abandoned railroad car - an orange-painted CABOOSE that was once used as a freight office.  Its sheets have been braced and a makeshift stairway leads to the rear door.

We notice smoke rising from a stove pipe on the roof…

George Yater - watercolor on paper


A fire roads in a tiny wood stove and a pot of coffee warms on a burner.  There's a small table and a couple of chairs, a cupboard with canned goods, a wash basin and pitcher, and a shelf with an il lamp and a few books.

Someone has transformed the old "freight office" into a Spartan residence.

In a far corner is a sleeping cot and a MAN makes the bed with military-like precision.

He is in this early 60's body  lean and well-muscled.  The kind of body you get from years of tough, physical labor.  His cold blue eyes and shock of close-cropped white hair stand in stark contrast to a deeply tanned leathery face.

This is a hard man who's lived a hard life.

He begins to pour a cup of coffee, but pauses when he glimpses something out oa small, smoky window.  He returns the pot to the stove, the cup to the table.  From under the cot he retrieves a RIFLE.


It's damned cold outside, but the Man, only in a T-shirt and dungarees, is oblivious to the frigid temperature.  Moving quietly, but with great purpose, he descends the makeshift staircase and searches the nearby sand dunes…


Weaving through the grass is a FOX, and when it sees the Man, it freezes.


The Man aims the rifle…But when he sees THREE FOX KITS running to catch up to their mother>>> He can't shoot.  He just can't.

The fox and her kits disappear into the dunes and the Man turns to the west.  The sun is so bright he has to shut his eyes.  Now feeling the chill, he shivers and hurries back to the warmth of the caboose.  Before entering, he steals one last look at the dunes… and sees nothing but a vast expanse of sand and beach grass.  He betrays a hint of a smile and returns to his coffee.

Written by Mark Protosevich

Here are some fox illustrations I did…

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