"The Wrecking Ground, pt. 25" by Lee Huttner
"The Wrecking Ground" is an essay told in parts by Lee Huttner. We will be publishing a new part each week on our blog. Stay tuned!
A memory: I once set fire to the woods.
Camping in Fair Haven, the fire he had kindled atop a stump caught on the surrounding brush and spread swiftly with the wind. It gnawed hungrily at the dry undergrowth and blanketed a hundred acres in flame. Helpless to stop the conflagration, he instead climbed above it.
Perched on Fair Haven cliff, Henry watched the tide of flame advance with the guiltless, objective perspective of a naturalist. It was a glorious spectacle and I was the only one there to enjoy it.
This was three years past. Now, Henry stands at the Atlantic shore, bleary-eyed from the long journey, waiting.
See: the moon is shuttered behind a cloud. The ocean settles once more to an indifferent black. The radiant beam of Fire Island Light sweeps across the water.
What else might that bright flame yet have to call to the wrecking ground?