Sunday, August 26, 2012

Excerpt: Windmills

There was the first one that grew up next to the Rock Hall.
Then another one sprouted where the Atomic Playground used to be. Which was more impressive, because it was a privately owned one.
And then the biggest one of all, the impossibly huge seagoing one, with dangerously curved clawed blades, and when it got going, you could believe that should even one screw slip off, the whole head would go spinning down into the earth like a saw, splitting the world in two.
Now there is a new younger one growing next to it, just like a sapling off an oak tree.

Here's what will happen when they are all done growing up. The sharp tips of their blades will break and fall off, floating off into the wind. And where they land, they bury themselves deep in the soft topsoil of Ohio, and little metal tendrils grow slowly, like potato roots, down down down through the bedrock until they find the aquifer, that cold calm airless place where the water rests heavy and hidden. There they wait, in that quiet primeval hormonal death called hibernation, until one unpredictable day when the vibrations of the earth are just right, and they start to wake up. Who knows what it is that shakes them, the currents of local politics, the offhand comment of a swing voter, a mild winter that scares everyone into believing in global warming? But wake up and shake up they do, and it's quick, they grow like weeds, taller and taller until their shiny little heads poke through the crusty half frozen dirt of an empty lot, and within months they are towering above our highways, reaching into the upper atmospheres.

 Windmills are not inherently dangerous, but they are not inherently safe either. Most beautiful things aren't. Most really beautiful things can kill you without even noticing. That's the sort of thing that inspires worship.

1 comment:

  1. Wilmington. I know Wilmington as well as I know Omaha, which is to say that I get lost but eventually will find my way to where I am going or coming back home from.

    The Delta Girl family lived in Southport. I don't know where she lives now.

    Since this is excerpted, I am assuming there is more to this printed somewhere, eh? They make a lot of movies down where you are, so I still expect you to become famous for the writing skills that you have. Sorry for not being around more, and especially sorry for rambling. Be well!!


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