Hunger That Way
Originally published in Wayfarer Magazine (Autumn 2019)
I’d heard a story like that once. About a man in Spokane. Or was it Savannah? Went to fishing on that river there, but it’d been quiet all summer. Much of the streambed showing like leg. Dry pebbles. Dried mud with deer tracks in it, maybe coyote too. Nightfall come to him, said he called up the river there, shouting at a campfire light in the trees. His stomach empty for two days, he shouted, “Hey now, have ya got any meat to spare?” The light burned back at him, flickering with a mocking quiet. He walked himself upstream, following along the dry reaches on the banks. That light grew and grew as he come at it, making everything else darker around him. He crested a small hill, outlined in the glow about him, and peered over the top at the other side. Story goes that it won’t a campfire. Says man went back into town and told of how he come across three children set out there, watching a glowing sun just hovering there in the forest. Said it changed him. Said he don’t go hungry no more, even when the river gets low like that.