Stubborn Town is a story of seven chapters, posted serially by me, your snowed in host, Cheeseburger Brown.
It's an ice apocalypse outside. I think I might skip work. Whither my spring?
Also, if any of you out there are teenagers or paedophiles you can now friend me on MySpace. It's social networking, baby, and I'm hep to that jive.
It's a sad place.
Mr. Mississauga climbs down out of the orange schoolbus, rust raining from the step as he tromps over it. Aglakti follows him out, hops down and snaps a pair of shades over her glasses. "So, this is it," she says.
The landscape is rocky and desolate, yellow lichens clinging to the ground around naked foundations and the vague scars of streets. A windowless abandoned car sags into a pebble-lined crevasse, canted at a rude angle with its front end smashed. A dead streetlamp lies next to it, and further on is a newspaper box with birds living inside of it. The chicks cheep.
Mr. Mississauga lights a cigarette. He toes a pile of trash, revealing some beer bottles and a tarnished fork.
Three dozen tents of various conditions are pitched around them, squatting within the crumbled borders of properties no longer there. Many of them have scorched, blackened pits nearby, evidence of early morning fires. The loose edges of the tents flap in the breeze, zipper ends jingling.
Aglakti joins him, hands jammed in her pockets. "Is it everything you'd hoped, Mr. Miss?"
Together they walk down to the old mine entrance, barricaded with boards and spattered with bilingual warning signs. A mammoth crack in the Earth extends from near the entrance cave and across the site, zigzagging like frozen lightning. Mr. Mississauga peers over the edge carefully. The bottom is swallowed by shadows.
He kicks a small rock into the gorge, listens as it taps and knocks against the sides on its echoey way down. At the end comes a sullen splash.
"Were there any casualties when this fissure opened up?"
Aglakti shakes her head. "Nope."
Over the next hill a narrow river sends its crystal clear waters into a small cove, chortling over rounded rocks. This is the inlet after which the town is named. In the middle of a modest delta by the mouth is another stone-slab Inukshuk figure, solemnly standing watch, slowly sinking into the muck.
"Was this site populated for long before the mine opened?" he asks.
"Sure," says Aglakti. "For a thousand years." She looks around and shrugs. "You don't get much in the way of ruins when you build your houses out of snow."
Mr. Mississauga shades his eyes with his hand as he peers into the distance. "Is that the Edge House?" he asks, pointing to a blue-grey shadow on the horizon.
"The sites are very close together."
"Yeah, well, you can walk it if you have to. But it's a bitch when you're hungover."
They return to the bus and Aglakti sets up an awning while Mr. Mississauga hunts for kindling. Aglakti watches him methodically arrange the wood as she bangs a bent metal stake into the ground to secure the sportily fluorescent fly. "Do you do a lot of camping out, Mr. Miss?" she asks.
"Circumstances have often forced me to improvise," he says, inserting a match into the nest of bramble. A curl of smoke drools out. Twigs sizzle as sap turns to steam.
Once it's flaming Aglakti cooks a hot dog and Mr. Mississauga takes in a can of soup. Afterward he sits back to smoke as Aglakti grabs a guitar from the bus and strums at it idly.
A thick deck of wooly cloud starts rolling in from the west.
She sings, "I once knew a huffer boy, but I wouldn't let him know me..."
She glances over at Mr. Mississauga, but he's in a trance. His cigarette has fallen forgotten on the dirt beside him, turning the pebbles yellow. His eyes are flickering and dancing, his mouth tight and grim...
To read the complete novella get it for Kindle!