Fiction Fragment Series: Wilder Man & Cold

This post is part of the Fiction Fragment Series; this edition, “Wilder Man & Cold”

Colorado Backcountry Berthoud Pass /
Wood Stove
My wood burning stove

Around 5am he stumbled out of the sleep … somewhat like a man emerging from a heavily wooded forest … looked out the hut-window, saw night and snow.  His relative-friend, Melancholy, spoke to him from inside, triggered by darkness and cold outside.  He closed the old faded heavy wool curtain, shutting out the out, guarding the in.  The man was cold.  And the coldness he felt in his soul was … weighty.  His coldness was piercingly emphasized by the winter darkness, by the snow-cold.  The cast iron wood burning stove, immovable, was also cold, showing indifference with the man in this hut.    If a fire was laid, and started, then the stove would heat up, and give heat … to the man in this hut.  If there was no fire, then the stove would stay cold.  The man acknowledged the stove, in its indifference, and grabbed kindling, sticks, small log, and placed it all, intentionally, inside the stove.    Match, lit, its flame brought to a six-inch stick, and the man in the hut edged the burning stick was into the stove, to light the kindling, to bring about some fire.  His anxietous sense of urgency began to diminish.  He stoked the fire.  The warmth permeated his isolated, Siberian-like being.  A new urgency materialized, a passionate need for coffee.  With a similar focus, a sacred and fine tuned focus, the eccentric man in the hut began the detailed requirements for bringing an excellent cup of Mud to the appointed cup.  The cup was eventually filled with the nectar from coffee beans.  The man returned to the wood burning stove and tended to the fire; and then tended to his heart and soul.  The cold had lost some of its power.  But the battles would continue, until the other side of heaven.  And, he knew that.  He knew that all too well.



    1. Silver Voice, your words are continually uplifting. I will receive your reply as a blessing: that I have a brightly burning stove to see me through the winter with gallons of good coffee. Peace to you and yours through this new year.

  1. T, first off, I love this post. It may only be a fragment, but it is definitely a fragment of my imagination (if you pardon the spoonerism.)

    1) I love the sense of balance and courage in this. Anyone can have a melancholy character, but the tendency is to always make them happy by the end. That may be satisfying, but it is hardly real. In real life, moments of true joy are rare, to be fought for and cherished when they happen. I love the hint of courage at the end…’until the other side of heaven. And, he knew that.’ Freaking wonderful!

    2) Is that your stove? And you can stack wood as close to it as that and they don’t char? When I first got our stove insert (went into the old traditional fireplace) I put a log in front of the fan holes thinking to ‘warm it up’ before I went into the firebox. Ten minutes later it was starting to smoke! Learned that lesson real freaking quick!

    3) I so love that image of the cabin…man that looks sweet!

    Great post, dude!

    1. John, you have blessed me by “hearing” my heart well. Your encouragement is a gift, especially from a good writer with good insight about life and the true substance along the way. Have a good year. And keep doing it with both of your blogs.

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