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The cabin has always been called just that, “the cabin.” It was as though there was only one in the entire world. To my family there was. These are the stories about the cabin. MORE

Art Imitates Life

Lori Narlock

You might know that I've been working on a novel for the last 18 months. It's set at the cabin, which I've mainly fictionalized in the book. There are a few exceptions, including a scene that includes a shotgun I found once and never saw again. 

It happened the year before my father died. I spent a week with him at the cabin prepping it for painting. While he tackled some of the more challenging tasks, I filled in all of the seams of the roof and walls with caulking. Occasionally (a lot) I took a break and cleaned here and there.

When it came time to tackle the always overstuffed linen closet, I started on the bottom shelf, organizing the assortment of tools, then sorted towels and sheets on the middle shelves. When I pulled a chair over to clean off the very top shelf, I reached up and slid my hand around under the miscellaneous linens. Halfway across the shelf my hand hit cold metal. It was a shotgun.

I asked my father who it belonged to, assuming it wasn't his. Although there were lots of guns at the cabin--everyone seemed to keep one under their bed--I’d never known my father to own one . My father told me he didn't know were it came from. "It's probably your brother's," he said.

A few years later, when Lisa and I were once again cleaning out the cabinet, I stood on a chair to check on the shotgun. It was gone. 

In the time since I've thought about the shotgun and who owned it, how it got there, and who took it away. While I wish I knew, I also love a good mystery. Don't you?