Tuesday, May 2, 2023

“In November” by J.H. Olley


Mostly silence – with a sole woodpecker tapping in the distance. Everywhere are shrivelled leaves and, underneath, some last clinging greens.

In a tree, a red-tailed hawk is making a banquet out of what – a squirrel?

The carcass of a lone salmon floats under the branch of a willow that fell in last winter's storms. The raccoons haven't found this one yet.

Further downstream, a set of beaver tracks by the water and fresh deer droppings.

Unlike in the madness of the salmon run, there are no so-called sportsmen. The stream is quiet.

Two p.m. and the sun is already low over the western hills of the river valley – cold and weak.

I find a comfortable log, pull my typewriter from my pack, and start to tap, breaking the peace of the river.


J.H. Olley is a reformed technical writer who has seen the error of his ways and now writes fiction. He lives in Oakville, Ontario. “In November” was first published in Margin Releases: Typewritten Tales of Transgression. 

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

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