This story was inspired by a family visit to upstate New York and the enormous Adirondack State Park. The statistics on the park size are astonishing: it covers more land area than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. I guess New York state is kinda big.
On such a vast backdrop, I wanted to write a small story. An old man, Walter, goes swimming every morning, but one day is disturbed by some kids. It turns out bad weather puts their lives at risk, and the old fella is there to act as their savior. But not before they are forced to spend a night on an island in the middle of the lake…not far from shore, but too far to risk using the boat to get back. Has he really saved them?
The effect is a kind of cross between Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons or C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and a story of brooding horror. If Jonathan Swift got hold of it, Walter as the traveling anti-hero would be the Brobdingnagian giant to the kids’ Lilliputians. You just can’t trust big people.
The story might be seen as sinister and creepy and I’m fine with that. 🙂 Ultimately, I wanted it to be a story about irresponsibility (the absentee parents and absentee babysitters) and accusation (of the old man). An old man left alone with some kids must be up to no good, and yet events might prove otherwise. To accompany the story, there is also Video 4, Have You Ever Left Your Kids With Babysitters and Worried?
“A Slice of the Adirondacks” is Story 4 in my writing sequence, and will appear in Trio 2, A Slice of the Adirondacks and Other Capers.