It’s that time again. I warned you when I restarted the blogging engine for the autumn that I would be posting short stories that have nowhere else to go except the directory of no-one-is-ever-going-to-see-it. This one is a personal favorite for a few reasons. The accompanying art are quick drawings, sort of development art.
I don’t always remember where my inspiration for a story comes from but I clearly remember a late night walk with my dog Charley that inspired this. One unresolved aspect of the art is that I would prefer to not show the ‘wild thing’ in close up. I didn’t want it to be demonstrably human or not human. But these drawings are just roughs.
Fantastical Tales of Occasional Oddness
There’s a wild thing living deep in the forest. He’s been wandering for hundreds of years. He has long brown hair and doesn’t brush his teeth. But don’t call him Bigfoot, for his feet are just not that big.
He eats berries, small rocks, twigs and turtles. He even munches on an occasional squirrel. He is a simple beast who usually keeps his distance but sometimes just can’t help himself.
His favorite pastime is watching the sunset and the stars and moon come out. He sits all night counting stars and making up names for them. He makes a wish every time he sees a shooting star. Sometimes they come true, like the time he found a whole bag of potato chips and that was exactly what he was hungry for. Sometimes his wishes are big. So big that he’s not sure he would even know if they came true.
Some people have seen him climbing trees and sleeping on rocks warmed by the summer sun. Or snapped a picture of him nibbling on road kill or throwing rocks at them while they swim. But most of the time, no one sees him.
He found an old radio and listens to ballgames. He likes the sound when the crowd roars its approval. He’s getting older. His legs hurt. His teeth are falling out. Some days he even forgets his way and has to run across a highway.
Lately he’s been wandering in the pouring rain.
Buildings keep getting taller and new houses spring up. He wonders if maybe he’d be happier in outer space? He’d like a place on the moon where he could live in peace.
He’d learn to eat freeze-dried ice cream and drive a moon buggy. He’d get a giant telescope and keep an eye on earth and hook up an antenna so he can listen to ballgames.
At times he’d miss the forest and the rivers and lakes. But his new life on the moon would prove fulfilling. He keeps himself busy with puzzles and working in his greenhouse. He also likes to jump. He can jump really, really high on the moon.
That’s where he lives now. He can sit for days counting stars. He’s named almost all of them by now. He still makes a wish when he sees a shooting star. But he knows some of his wishes will most likely not come true because the Earth is a busy place now and there’s no room for a wild thing.