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#a68 :: Wrist Rocket

April 21, 2008

ENLARGEThe year that she spent chained to the crown of a 400-year-old sequoia was perhaps one of her shortest.

The winter was mercifully mild. The fire season breathlessly exciting but 3 miles away and short.

And the weekly trysts with her strapping support team leader in an elaborate system of web belts and pulleys they rigged up in the densest boughs proved invigorating and electrifying – particularly every time she arched her back and saw nothing but 130 dizzying feet of air between her sweaty brows and the forest floor below …

Yet as June dragged into August, for sale drugs she grew weary of “El Viejo, look medicine ” as she came to call the old tree.

Falcon shit smeared the wifi antenna she used to leech the logging company’s WAN, and squirrels were forever dropping half-eaten pine cones into the weekly Sterno-fired warm bath she cooked up in a galvanized steel bucket on the northernmost platform to scrape off the constant accretion of sap that seemed to cling to her every hair and unclothed pore.

Even the reporters had stopped coming by: “Call us when you’re ready to come down,” the least diffident of them emailed one day.

Oh, she would do much more than call.

In the dead of night, she stuffed her rucksack – the laptop, the Patagonia-supplied wardrobe, the sheaf of letters from Miss Gooch’s 3rd grade class, the photo of her long-dead cat, the airline ticket and the keys to the Boxster that Pedro (for that was the support hunk’s name) kept garaged and ready 3 miles down the road – and climbed into her rappelling harness.

She stepped backward off the tree and hung for a minute, before she locked off the rope.

This would not hurt old man tree, but it might take a logging truck or two with it.

She lit the wick on the little glass pill bottle she had laboriously stuffed with matchheads, gingerly slipped it into the pouch of her WristRocket and stiffarmed the slingshot frame toward a neighboring Doug fir.

Then she drew the burning payload back to her ear until she could hear the elastic creak.

(Adapted from something I posted on The WELL a few years back.)

Filed under: Microfiction, Tool, weapon | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. #a387 :: Pinballs | HEAVY LITTLE OBJECTS March 10, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    […] You can also imagine the havoc you could wreak with a pouchful of them and one of these. […]

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