Interring the Subterfuge (Part I)

Finally, he had buried it. As he stepped back another wave crashed down and shot a thin film of water out over the disturbed sand. Soon all signs of his being there would be erased. A stiff wind blew in from the ocean. A storm was coming. Josiah thought back to the day when it first began. He had been jogging along a path overlooking the coast when a flash of orange caught his eye. As he got close, he realized what it was, though his puzzlement only grew. It was a stuffed Elmo doll with its hands tied behind its back to a post. “How strange,” he thought to himself. Elmo was tattered and stained with dark patches of dirt as if he had been through a war; his mouth was agape as the mouths of Elmo dolls so often are. It was a strange beginning indeed. Fate weaves a weird and intricate cloth.

Now, standing on the beach with the wind whipping salty mist off of the waves, that sunny day seemed so remote. Another wave crashed, this one a little further up the beach than the last. The tide was coming in. Checking that no one was around he turned to face the cliffs; the fractured and wave-beaten rock was rumpled in a set of sharp folds. Down the center of one of these folds dropped a steep gully which broke the cliff face and allowed access to the top. Josiah set off toward the gully with a quick and purposeful gait. As he reached the base of the cliff he turned back to watch another wave finish the job of concealing his handiwork. With a start, he swiveled to face the cliff and began scrambling up the gully. The rock holds were polished by the many hands and feet that had passed there before.

A seagull cried as it glided above him, jerking up and down in the pulsating wind. Josiah topped the gully and looked out to the east. The cliffs were crowned by a vast sea of grass which propagated waves with each gust. The grass ran for miles in either direction, punctuated here and there by freshly plowed fields. A highway paralleling the coast bounded the grass. These, and a farmhouse that graced the distant horizon, were the only sign of man for miles around. As he parted the grass and reached the edge of the highway, Josiah dropped suddenly to the ground. He had left his VW Bug parked there, but now it was gone.


4 Responses to Interring the Subterfuge (Part I)

  1. covingtonfamily says:

    I assume that this is the beginning of a short story that you are writing. Am I correct? I am definitely wondering where you are going with this.

  2. Matt says:

    See the previous post if you’re confused. I posted two fairly quickly.

  3. Carol says:

    Love the description; you should have been an English major! If your dissertation is this good, maybe I’ll read it! I don’t get Elmo, though. Why Elmo? Was Elmo even around when you were little? I thought he was newer than that.

  4. Matt says:

    I think you are right that Elmo was added after I would have been watching Sesame Street. I’d like to chalk it up to my incredible creativity, but instead I have to admit direct inspiration. While I was driving to Santa Cruz the other day along highway 1 I saw an Elmo doll propped up against a post on the side of the road. I hoped to take a picture of it the next time I went down, but it was gone.

    P.S. I doubt my dissertation will be this entertaining.

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