Monday, August 23, 2010

A Miner's Range

This weeks word lead me on several journeys. I finally ended up, far from the mountains of ideas where I began, with Luke. Luke's traplines, which he mines seasonally for furs, range throughout the valley below and up the forested mountainside near the village where he lives. He gathers enough pelts and meat each winter to eat and pay for lodging for himself and his crippled son. But this year he's worried. Strange things have been happening, traps have gone missing and he's only managed to trap 2 rabbits in the past few weeks, no where near enough to survive.

Caught in a blinding snowstorm Luke takes solace in the fact that he could find his way to the cabin, half an hour away, blindfolded if he had to. His only worry is what to do if the storm lasts more than a day or two as his food supply is getting low. This turns to astonishment when he is woken half-way through the night by a loud clapping and abruptly the storm is gone, pushed away onto the horizon. The forest all around is briefly lit with a brilliant purple light. As the lights dance there is a crisp crackle in the air, the cabin and forest disappears, and he finds himself standing in the middle of a gravel road surrounded by the barren dirt of a clear-cut stretching out in both directions. Is he dreaming?

Note: This photo is not related to those mountains in the Miner's Range any more than the story I began this week. It is instead a picture I took just out side Haines Junction in Kluane International Park, Easter 2008. 


  1. This sounds moving. And suspenseful. Both, for me as an adult, as well as for the child and adventurer in me.
    I wonder if there will be a logical explanation for Luke´s experience or if this is the opening of a fantasy story? I hope it is the latter...

    There isn´t much to say about how I myself used the words "Miner´s Range" last week. As I´m too far away from the true mountain range to even know it, the words went singlewise into another draft for what I call "Simon´s Project" by now, and from which I will work out real-time letters later, when the given time has come. But at least, this project has something to do with a mountain and mining too, though more like a kind of archeological excavation.

  2. Yes, it's the opening of this short fantasy story which is set in the middle of my YA fantasy novel which is coming together nicely. There is a fantastical explanation for it which is explained throughout the novel in bits a pieces as the characters figure out what is going on.

    An archeological excavation sounds interesting. Archeology has always fascinated me.

  3. Is this a period piece? It certainly sounds intriguing? I like the title. Unrelated or no, that is a fantastic photo, Leonie.

  4. Thanks Kat :)
    I haven't figured out when this piece is set yet. The book will have stories set in a number of different time periods. It is probably set around the turn of the century. I might keep the title -it's growing on me.

    The mountains in Kluane are beautiful :)