This is a short story I wrote based off an image I created and a dream I had. The dream was of myself, living in a cabin on the Klehini River in Haines Alaska, living with my Bloodhound (no such dog exsists in our family, although we did have a hound mix). Not much of it was remembered once I awoke, however I was inspired to write a little fiction. The photo is from a camping trip on the Klehini River in May of 2016.
The whirring. It’s the damn starter again. The precise moment when the issue began eludes me but it must have been going on for months. The hammer on the floorboard is still there, ready to slam at the steel housing to free up the seized componets inside. That isn’t the issue this time. This time its stuck open, the constant grinding, screaming almost, an alarm to warn the world of my entrance. It’s not the ignition, it can’t be. Then the smell hits. Its sweet, and a little acrid. Not like a clutch, no, this is far more familiar. An everyday smell. The coffee pot. Suddenly I snap back to reality, and there I am in bed, with the weight of the 80 pound bloodhound head of my companion Lukas resting on my gut. Here I lay, free of the confines of that old Bronco but now teathered to the sheets by a large slobbering beast. That starter didn’t always act that way. After an eventful trip up Red Mountain in '02 something shorted out and never did act right.
I shove the cinderblock sized dog head off my now grumbling stomach, and begin the opening act of my day. Once dressed, and slippers adorned, I made my way to the book shelf and opened the small humidor next to my Brian Adams photo book (the Inuit photographer, not the Canadian Pop singer). Once the lid opens and the beautiful cedar smell hits, I can’t help but grin. The elation is promptly stifled when I realize the only cigars I have left are a few Backwoods I keep for fishing. What kind of asshole keeps Backwoods in a humidor? As I grunt and mutter to Lukas about the “damn stale cigars” I waddle towards the pantry, the heels of my slippers dragging with every step. Reaching for my tattered and chipped coffee mug, my shoulder tries to give out and I wince, an old hockey injury exhaserbated by life. Finally at the coffee pot I can pour in an ounce or two of Bailey’s and top off the mug. Lukas sees the smile return to my face as I take my first sip and with intention heads to the door, dancing as one does to keep the mind from thinking of the fluids building up in the body. I open the door to let the beast relieve himself while I throw on a hoodie. It’s late May, but there is still a bit of crisp chill in the morning air. I walk a few paces off my porch and call upon Lukas to stroll with me.
Walking along the shore of the river, the sun making a slow appearance and creating a light pink glow throughout the Chilkats. I turn to Lukas and smile, he looks up at me and with what I like to think is admiration in his eyes and a smile back. “How’d a couple of assholes like us get so lucky?” I inquired to my four-legged friend, and with a light “huff” he turned and splashed away into the river bank like a toddler jumping into water filled potholes.