Archive for July 19th, 2011

19th July
written by amber

The Last Doughnut in Yakutat

Mount St. Elias emerges from the fog, nearly a perfect pyramid, glowing in the unearthly eternal twilight that is the Alaskan night in July. I’ve been walking around all night, looking for a doughnut.

Yeah, this is a small town but Yakutat seems to have more than its share of all-night eating and drinking establishments. It’s not for the citizens – they’ve learned that they’d better go to sleep no matter how bright it is outside, otherwise they won’t make it through until real nights resume again. It’s for those damn tourists here for the fishing or bird watching or ice water surfing. They can’t sleep. They want pie, they want sandwiches, they want doughnuts.

I want a doughnut. I’m not a tourist, but I guess I’m not a local either. I almost became one, but not quite.

They don’t grow wheat in this state, so all this demand on flour makes baked goods scarce this time of year. And so Rowan’s Cafe had no doughnuts, and Fred’s Meese Bar had none, and neither did Marlin’s Grocery and Snacks.  I’ve been walking for two hours, and end up at the Swedish Mission, finding the doors open, a few people sleeping on the cots in the back room while Shane’s setting things up for breakfast.

“Got any doughnuts?” I ask. “I can pay.”

“We had some yesterday. Let me see if I have any left.”

He roots around in a huge industrial fridge. “Yeah, got one wrapped up in plastic. But Anna’s put a note on it. Says she spit on it so no one else better eat it.”

“I’ll take it.”

“Okay, I guess you’ve shared enough spit with her already. But I thought you broke up.”

I tell him that we have and I give him a wad of cash for the doughnut.

“Hey!” he yells, as I walked out the door. “This is nearly $500!”

“Keep the change,” I yell back.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website. The project runs from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by making first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Thanks to my mother, Mary Bond, for suggesting this first line, inspired by her recent trip to Alaska.