The Incense Salesman
And the Wind Continues to Blow
Barnstatter Path, the last old-fashioned unpaved dirt road in all of Treeburg, is normally a quiet stretch of woodlands. Located at the midpoint of a steep hill that’ll make a half-marathon runner feel crippled with exhaustion just driving up it, it’s neighbored above by one White Road – home to a slew of unimaginably wealthy and successful African American families and a single token house of Native Americans who hit the jackpot when they bought the local watering hole and renovated the basement speakeasy into a casino – and below by one Fricker Drive, a pond-butted stretch of bumpy asphalt along which more than half the houses are owned by one dude because all the families keep moving away.
Across the street from the pond, asphalt gives way to dirt and Fricker’s end becomes Barnstatter’s halfway point. This junction is far wider than the rest of either road and rarely traveled, so the locals like to use it as a parking lot of sorts. At one point, Fricker’s pond was the local hotspot and block parties were held there every weekend, but these days it’s more the forest beyond the pond that attracts the foot traffic. One dude – the older son of the first family to evacuate Fricker Drive – was just crazy enough to carve out an absolute snake’s nest of trailways through the whole forest around Fricker Drive before he mysteriously disappeared one day while hiking alone back there, and now that he’s gone, everyone else in the area feels comfortable enough to walk on his trails. Normally there’s plenty of room to park by the pond without worrying about getting your paintjob scraped by the swinging open of someone else’s car door; normally, it’s the perfect place to hike because the only sounds are birds chirping and tree frogs meeping right back; normally, the first neighborhoods on the left after crossing over the Monksville Dam are a beautifully pleasant place to live, laugh, love, and if you’re fortunate enough, to do all three.
Normally, that is, but not as of late, and especially not tonight. Lately there’s been a flagrant string of break-ins on this side of the Monksville Dam, the latest of which went down just now. Half the town’s police cars are currently parked beside the pond at the end of Fricker; the other half of them are parked along the front half of Barnstatter Path in a long single file line leading to the Milligan house, the home of the wealthiest family in all of Treeburg.
Hello Commons, this has been the first subchapter of the eighth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~