Vineyards Along The Mosel – a short story


Vineyards Along The Mosel

By Dennis Siluk

He turned his dark green, four doors 1970-VW close to the side of the road, slowing down to an easy ten-miles per hour, looking for a place to park. He found it; vineyards were below him, the Mosel River below that, a castle to the far right of him on a hilltop.

The valley was beautiful he thought; the early sun and breeze of December (1976) crept around him as he stood outside of his car, looking down upon the private lands; he didn’t trespass, just a serious look over the landscape, his twin boys in the car with their mother, Cody found his way out, and stood by him, his father, judging the stretched-out vineyards, he was all of four years old, closer to five. It was a pleasant morning for them, not much green, a cloudy soupy sky, a misty river from where they stood, but the sky was clearing slowly, as they walked along the rim of the highway, it had a sparse, thin barbwire fence, with skinny wooden poles to keep out the public, the exercise kept them both warm; he talked somewhat (the father, more of a mumble), Cody, didn’t say a word, perhaps not needing no answer to what was being said, a few ‘yaws’ from them both as they walked.

They seemed more to pace than walk, walking through and on the patchy brown ground–weeds draw out across the fence; a few rocks being kicked about, both of them feeling simple and alive, free and antiquate. It was a day before Christmas. Now as Cody’s father looked upward, he noticed the sky was filling up with the sun, and now they both could feel its heat; the countryside looked so protective he thought. Only ten-minutes had passed, ten-minutes before they booth started walking back to the car; he could hear noises inside the car, it was facing them. He still couldn’t see the full river, nor the castle completely, the atmosphere was too dense with moisture; a few cars rode by, like hoof beats. It was a good moment, that is, sharing this solitude together, Cody and his father. He started the car headed on down the hill to the Mosel, it was a ting trying now, and he felt a little detached from reality.

As he drove closer to the border of the road, the magic of the previous moment had disappeared, day had fully come, and large geese were pacing the bank of the River, Cody took a long glimpse from the back seat, and once from the confidents of the car, ran down the cement stairs to the rivers edge to touch (perhaps play with the geese that were as tall as him), and it struck out like a snake with its long neck and beak at Cody, and Cody jumped back alarmed–a food perhaps, only to stare at this long neck creature, and look at his father for reassurance, to see if it was favorable to proceed.

In that moment his father saw his slender body, yet strong bones move cautiously, his blond thin hair, his blue eyes, his face was hard, but eyes soft, from good stock I suppose, so he thought. His whole being very sculptured, his grace was erect and flexible.

His head held up firmly, he took his breaths slowly, he had looked deep into his father’s face, look for the go ahead to challenge the beast, and the father gave nothing back but adventure, and life would prove correct (he loved nature and animals).

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