Last month was Inktober. This month is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. So, even though I’m not posting everyday, I AM writing everyday. This year’s NaNoWriMo story is about the near future, when, as a part of sustainability and anti-global warming efforts, a new highway system has been developed that uses a tightly engineered moss, instead of asphalt or concrete. Which works great until it starts behaving in independent and inconvenient ways. It takes place in Indiana. (Please remember that, while I’m writing everyday, editing is going to happen some other time.) Some of you might recognize the description of Mt. Baldy…
Just out from the the trees, the Indiana Dunes rose, enormous piles of sand, tufted with brave splotches of greenery, blocking the view to Lake Michigan. The roots of the tall, waving grasses battled the wind for the grains of sand. The occasional tree could be seen, impossibly, halfway up the slope.
Conservationists had their own struggle, keeping the locals from trying to snowboard or ski down the slopes, just to see if they could. There was enough damage from people just making their way to the beaches, despite the fact that some days the ‘fresh’ water lake wasn’t so fresh, and swimming less than advisable.
A young couple looking for privacy in the tall grass and sparse bushes might learn quickly not to show too much skin. The water pooled in quiet ways in inlets and marshes nearby so as to support a robust population of mosquitoes. At least, it had. In the last couple of years the blood-suckers just didn’t seem as bad. Whether or not that corresponded to an increase in local teen pregnancies was yet to be studied, but residents were generally appreciative of the change. It was put down no doubt to government efforts to suppress West Nile, and then the Zika virus.
Those cicadas though.
The evenings especially were getting so bad, people had started staying inside their beach houses with the news on loud of an evening. It had gotten so that the constant chirping even drowned out the roar of the high, off-season waves hitting the sand.
Somebody ought to do something about those, they said, when they got together at the neighborhood mailboxes at the entrance to their small beach community, where they would gossip about basketball, the noisy timeshare that never cleared their garbage bins when they were supposed to, and oh yeah. That new road. It wasn’t supposed to extend out this far until next year, but they must have finished it early because there it was.
Like it sprang up overnight.