Aphelion Issue 230, Volume 22
July 2018
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The Burned Cabin

by Ron Larson

Adapted from a story by Vincent O’Sullivan

He had been falsely accused of embezzlement,
And had felt the full weight of the state government.
He was found not guilty by a jury of his peers,
And a great fear was relieved as he fought back tears.

He had to get away from the city for a while
To a place where he could again relax and smile.
He chose upstate Vermont as the right place to go,
So he climbed into his vehicle and hit the road.

Soon he saw a rustic old inn that appealed to him,
So he pulled in, expecting his relaxation to begin.
The jovial old innkeeper welcomed him there.
The former defendant checked in relieved of care.

His room was neat and clean and the restaurant fine.
He then went to explore the hilly countryside.
As he climbed a thickly wooded hill, his path diverged,
And like Robert Frost, he followed a compelling urge.

At the top of the hill, he found a spacious cabin
In a clearing, where a youth took no notice of him.
A match was then struck and thrown at the cabin’s base.
Thru the wooden structure tongues of flames raced.

The young man laughed and then shot himself dead.
The observer feared for his senses and his head.
Yes, the stress of the trial still possessed his mind!
The gruesome scene vanished in almost no time.

When he returned he asked about the cabin on the hill.
The puzzled innkeeper said no cabin was ever built.
That evening he checked out and returned to the city,
Telling the innkeeper that it was an emergency.

Two years later, he returned to the same location.
He was remembered because of his “cabin” question.
His host said: “Last year they did build a cabin up there.
It burned down; three died due to a tragic love affair.”

2017 Ron Larson

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