Prose

Written by CJ Burkey.

Updated: 2017-02-22

When the sun had fallen and the stars had brightened the sky, the street lamps turned on and slowly warmed up. The sound of water trickling in the nearby pond combined with the sound of gentle crickets near and far to create an orchestra of calmness, swarming over anyone near. The old, dilapidated deck creaked under the weight of the man sitting at its end, his feet hanging over the beautifully reflective and smooth pond. Maybe he thought of life, maybe he thought of his future or past. If, perhaps, he was angry, his face didn't show it. And if, perhaps, he was happy, his face hid that just as well. The temperature was perfect, not too warm, and just a little chill at every breeze, as perfect as could be.

In the pond, big fish and small fish and fast fish and slow fish flew through the murky, yet somehow beautiful pond, doing nothing in particular, and quite happy about it. The rain from the previous day had left the grass slightly damp and the pond just a little bit fuller. The smell of the wet grass wasn't unpleasant, and the pond smelled like a rich forest. The man's whole world smelled of plant life, but he didn't seem to notice. He seemed perfectly content with his current position on the creaky deck.

Every once and a while a car would drive by, its headlights on full blast and speakers too. Other times a slow car would dawdle by and its quiet motor would be the only sound heard for the next few minutes. Between the two extremes, the generic, regular speed vehicles would pass by, headlights just right, not too much light. If anyone were to walk beneath or near the lamps above and around the street, they might hear a small, but pleasant electrical buzz.

The house on the road with the buzzing wooden lampposts and a paved path to a small pond sat just a short distance from that very same road. The driveway entered into the small, but just big enough garage, which was flush with the small, but just big enough house. This house had a shed, in fact, it was near the pond, and it had a garden, not large, but good enough. The plants that usually grew there weren't present, presumably harvested a few days ago.

There were no lights on in this house, or this shed, or even near the pond. The fire pit next to the shed had been extinguished and only emitted a low, orange glow. The stars and the moon were the main sources of light, lighting the forest and trees further back behind the house. If there were deer that lived back there, they didn't show themselves that night.

Before the forest, just behind the pond to the left of the house, there was a piece of land with only long grass. No other types of plants dared to intrude upon the grass and it's growth, and no human did so, either. The four well kept trees that separated the wasteland of grass from the back of the house were tall, their leaves never too low.

But beyond these trees, this wasteland, this forest, what lies feels unknown. It probably is unknown, much of the forest unexplored. There isn't really a reason it's so open and unused, but the man who still sits on that dock is glad that it is. The quietness of the night doesn't overwhelm him, it is still just right. Every once in a while, a little bark of a distant neighbor's dog can be heard, but it only adds to the beautiful feeling of pure bliss that the night brings. The monotony is not unpleasant, but the bark of a dog is like the icing on a cake, without it, the night is still perfect, but with it, it can becomes just a little more so.