A tribute

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The Night

The Night

The night was crisp and clear as I rustled the leaves during my evening walk. Twilight settling in caused me to reminisce about the days I walked with my dad. Dad would increasingly get restless at night after dinner. Mom was always glad to be rid of me while she cleaned up the dinner scraps. My dad would hold my hand whistling a little tune as we walked. Tonight I started to whistle one of those tunes, ‘When you wish upon a star’. Dad was great when it came to watching movies with me even when I wanted to see the movie 1,000 times he knew all the lines and we would act it out together.

I find myself wishing upon a star tonight wanting that man back that held my hand. Seeing him as he was not as he is, old, bent, and slow in mind due to Alzheimer’s. If he could be as stealth walking as he was when I was little we could take this walk after dinner whistling, ‘When you wish upon a star’. Instead, I spend afternoons allowing him to act out what he remembers, many times the same thing 1,000 times over. I owe that to the best dad a girl could ever have.

He used to kid me because he could tell me the same joke 1,000 times and I would always laugh at it. As a little girl, I laughed because I knew dad was playing with me. Now I tell the joke knowing he will laugh as though he heard it for the first time. I tell the same jokes 1,000 times just to make him laugh 1,000 times. Some friends have asked how could I possibly do this every day? I say: “Because he is 1,000 times a day better than most dads.”

Behind the Glass By Christine Swiderski

Every fall we go to a Lodge in the utmost Northern part of our state. My parents chose this destination and the time of year to see the fall colors and see less of humanity. In the summer the Lodge would be swarming with families trying to get away from it all. Now that I am in my teens, my choice would be to stay home or at least bring a friend. I even try to concoct excuses to bring a friend or stay home. I always lose that game.

The road is lined with trees which seem to spiral its way around nature. I stare out my window hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife which enjoyed the freedom I do not have. I was deep in thought when we pulled into the driveway of the Lodge. Slowly I glance up and notice peering out at me from a window was a girl who looked to be my age. I waved with enthusiasm figuring I just might be able to make a new friend.

After unpacking I set out to find the room the girl behind the glass may be staying in. The hallways are long, lit only by sconces on the walls. As I approached the door, I felt a cold chill. I shrugged it off thinking it was because I am out of my comfort zone. Normally I do not extend myself to strangers; I was determined to have a good time this year with someone my own age.

I knocked at the door there was no answer.  I soon gave up and went out to get some air. I walked around the front of the Lodge thinking maybe I missed judged where the room would be. Looking up to the window I noticed a shadow just beyond my view. There was no doubt in my mind someone was standing there not wanting to be seen. I wondered why she did not answer the door.

Just before I walked away a gentleman walked up to me and said: “Hi I am Mr. Sullivan my wife and I own this lodge. That window you are looking up at used to be our daughter’s room. She disappeared about 10 years ago. We keep the door locked not wanting to disturb anything in the room just in case she might come back to us. She was about your age when she disappeared.”

I said: “Mr. Sullivan? I saw a girl in the window when we pulled in. Maybe someone found a way into the room.”

He said: “That is not possible I am the only one with a key. But I will go check, just to be sure.”

I was not convinced when Mr. Sullivan told me in front of my parents that he had checked the room and no one was in there nor had they been for some time.

My dad asked what Mr. Sullivan was talking about and I told my dad what I had seen.  My dad said to leave it be and find something else to do other than snooping around the Lodge.  I went to the dining room poured myself a cup of coffee and decided on a cheese Danish. I sat down, still pondering what I saw. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a tall, lanky guy walk in, he glanced over at me and gave me a chin-up nod saying hello. I nodded back and continued to eat my Danish.  He walked over and asked if he could sit with me. I shrugged and pointed to the empty chair across from me. I noticed he had chosen the cheese Danish as well.

Once we shared a little about ourselves I found out he was there against his will as well. We both laughed at how we tried to get out of coming, especially how futile it was to even try. I told Brian about what I saw in the window.

He said: “There is a rumor that the Sullivan’s had a daughter who was kidnapped. There is another rumor that Mr. Sullivan locked her in her room so she would not go out with boys.”

I said: “Mr. Sullivan did not seem that creepy. He was genuinely worried that someone may have breached the locked door.”

Brian asked me if I would like to meet him after dinner. I said sure. He told me of a spot that had an abandoned cabin we could hang out at. We could build a fire and he would see to the refreshments. It sounds like heaven compared to hanging with the boring adults around the campfire making Smores and singing stupid songs.

After dinner, I told my parents I did not feel well and I wanted to go into our room to watch TV. My dad asked if I was sure and said I would be missing a huge bonfire and plenty of singing, dancing and telling of ghost stories. Gawd, that sounds awful. I went to our room, showered, and changed into jeans and a sweatshirt. I grabbed a flashlight, matches, my cell phone, pepper spray because a girl cannot be sure when it comes to guys.

When I arrived at the abandoned cabin Brian was inside and there was smoke coming out of the chimney. When he said fire I really thought it would be a campfire. I went in Brian had a blanket and pillows laid out in front of an old stone fireplace.

I asked: “Brian, are you sure it is safe to burn in that fireplace? It’s so old. I am wondering if the chimney can take the heat.”

Brian shrugged and said: “I have come every year to this spot and never had an issue. Come over here I have cold beer and whiskey.”

I walked over, while I was sitting down Brian handed me a beer. I then asked Brian: “Did you know Sullivan’s daughter?”

“Yes, I met her once or twice my family comes up here every year in the fall,” Brian said

I said: “Really? So does my family. Mr. Sullivan said his daughter disappeared 10 years ago. How old were you?”

“I was 9 years old; my parents paid Melissa to babysit while they went to the bonfire.” He answered.

We sat for a while staring into the fire sipping beer and whiskey. All the while I was wondering if Brian knows something of Melissa’s disappearance.

After opening my second beer I asked: “Brian do you know anything about Melissa’s disappearance?”

“I was 9 years old when it happened. I had a crush on Melissa. The police asked me if I had seen anyone unusual that night, I told them no. It is true I never saw anything unusual. There were two other families with boys Melissa’s age that came up every year at the same time. My parents would pay Melissa to babysit me. Melissa would give me junk food and $2 so I wouldn’t tell anyone that she was not with me the entire night. She would sneak off with the other boys. She always came back smelling like cigarettes and beer. I told the police that but never told my parents. I guess the police asked them questions so I never thought anything about it.” Brian said

I started to wonder about Brian. I wonder if I am not asking the right question. I waited till we finished our 3rd beer before I asked: “Brian did you have anything to do with Melissa’s disappearance?”

“No, but the last time I saw her I told her I had a crush on her. She laughed at me and said she would give me a gift. She took her clothes off and let me do anything I wanted. I was on 9 years old I did not know what I wanted to do. She laughed at me because my body knew what it wanted to do but I was too young to know what to do. She showed me. I was angry that she laughed at me. I was humiliated.” He said

Brian turned to me and smiled: “I was only 9. I can laugh about it now.”

I nodded and I was glad I brought the pepper spray. I got up and said: “Excuse me I need to do my business. The beer is going through me.”

I went outside carrying my purse. I had no intention of going back inside. Something did not seem right. I found a log I could lean against, I really did need to take a piss. My pants were down, from the corner of my eye I could see Brian come up around a tree in front of me. He said: “I know what I want now and I know what to do about it.”

I could not stop peeing my bladder would not shut down. I started to scream. At that very moment, I saw another person come in from the dark. I shined my flashlight just in time to see my dad walk up and hit Brian on the side of his head with his fist.  I was never so glad to see my dad.

Brian was on the ground my dad standing over him cursing at him and threatening to do grave bodily harm if even so much as looked at me again.

I started to walk towards my dad he looked at me with a mixture of relief and pissed off. I thanked him and apologized.

He said: “Come on let’s go. Next time your mom and I come up here you can stay at your cousin’s.”

I nodded my head and apologized again. I told my dad about the conversation I had with Brian. My dad said he would speak with Mr. Sullivan. I did not find out till we were home that Brian was arrested for the disappearance and murder of Melissa. They found her remains in the crawls space of the abandoned cabin.

The girl behind the glass was trying to tell me she did not run away.

 

Do I?

Do  I ?

Do I answer the call?

Do I give my all?

Do I stand in the gap?

 

Even when the call is obscured?

Even when the call is unpopular?

Even when I am demonized?

 

Do I stand my ground?

Do I risk my life?

Do I pray?

 

Even when the stand is unpopular?

Even when the risk is my life?

Even when I pray and the answer isn’t Popular?

 

60’s we were cursed!

Later there was a new verse.

What will today bring?

 

The Commander and chief is smeared!

Other chiefs scurrying for cover.

I am called to stand in the gap!

 

Integrity does not adhere to hoax

Popularity is not a jump from a bridge

I stand in the gap!

 

I am a Marine!

I am Army!

I am Air force!

I am Navy!

 

I am your gap!

I uphold the values!

Your hearts may waver, I won’t!

 

Disruption

When the power goes out the electricity has been disrupted. When a voice is silenced the power has been disrupted.  Disruption, with the expressed purpose, to silence something you disagree with seems childish to me. It brings to mind my sister blocking her ears all the while yelling “la la la la”. Only because I told her she could not borrow my sweater. There was no gain for her she was being a brat.  I am telling you all this to explain what happened today at the mall.

I had just finished trying on a dress. I stood holding the hanger up trying to decide if I wanted to buy it or just move on. In my head, I was saying: “Do you need this dress or do you want this dress?” I decided I wanted and needed the dress. As I carried it to the cashier I heard voices being raised near a display of T-shirts. One woman wearing a hat was saying: “I don’t see what the big deal is?”

Another woman said: “What is written on it is insensitive.”

The woman with the hat responded: “I don’t see how it is insensitive; all it says is Girl Power. That is a slogan from the 90’s. My daughter would love it.”

The other woman responded: “You should be teaching your daughter that it’s a sexist slogan.”

The woman with the hat said: “What is it to you? I don’t understand why you care what I buy my daughter?”

The other woman said: “I am tired of you people who cannot understand our society, it is not all about men and women or boys and girls we should be all one in thought and power.”

I shook my head at that convoluted thinking. She is disrupting just to disrupt. Or maybe she is disrupting in the hope that one day we will change our minds just like my sister. What my sister ended up doing,  while I was out of my room she took the sweater put it in her backpack and wore it when she got to school. I did not find out till it was too late. I suppose it is a form of programming. Are we slowly being programmed? When I was a kid we were told that TV was being used to program our minds through their subliminal messages. I always thought that was a bunch of whoa. Now with obstructionism, violent protests the set rule seems to be anarchy with no thought for the rule of law.

God made us all different, no snowflake is exactly the same. A diamond in the ruff has to be polished to perfection as does a pearl.

I work in advertising, and my work involves listening to the subliminal messages of humanity. Watching and listening to these two ladies trying to understand each other gave me the sense maybe one side understands the other side and tries to confuse the other side to keep them off their game. Sarcasm facilitates irony to mock or convey contempt, and there is plenty of contempt going around.

As an advertiser, I try to harness that which is the trend in society. Obstructionism seems to be part and parcel with Judges these days. Sadly Judges are to be non-political and impartial in their judgments’ upholding the constitution and rule of law.  I need to ponder how to harness this and relate it to the product I will be pitching.

Hair Products are an easy product to advertise, but making people believe they need each and every product within the line your client are offering is the challenge.

Acirema products offer Shampoos, conditioners, hair spray, gel, mousse and shining serum.

My pitch to my clients will take place as soon as we land.

Acirema shampoo will enlighten your very style through the cleansing power without stripping its natural beauty and ability to seduce

Acirema Conditioners will soften each strand as you push back the obstructive disenfranchised strands

Acirema hair sprays, gels and mousse create a beautifully coiffured look giving freedom to choose your style.

Acirema products do not discriminate they are good for all hair Textures men and women whether dressed for success or merely needing to use the restroom of their choice.

The product will be portrayed successfully with adults in various jobs being nonconformists in a confining job. You will stand out in style and brilliance liberally adding definition and conservatively hold its style.

I am not sure my clients are ready for something that edgy but I know they want to be noticed and I believe the best way to be noticed is not to be loud but to be controversial. The squeakier the wheel the more attention it gets.

I want to offer this product as a unisex product, unscented unencumbered for undiscriminating minds and use.

As I disembark, I waved to the two passengers who had a scuffle over ideology; I walked over and handed them samples of Acirema products. I said to them: “Hope you each enjoy the products. They will enhance what is already beautiful in each of you. Depending on how you use the freedom they give you.”

They seemed happy with their freebies; most people are happy with a handout. Now if I can actually get people to buy it for themselves to enjoy the product as it was intended would be idyllic.

Error

 

Winter is struggling to stay in the mix, while spring is trying to push its way thru. In all fairness, it is Springs turn. I am curled up on the sofa considering going through my bills. I do everything online, even though many have told me it is better to have a paper trail too many mistakes are made online and also the cyber bullies.

For once I would like an error to be made benefiting me for a change. I am not sure what exactly but if by chance more money is placed into my account, I would immediately pour myself a cocktail and call in sick for work. Depending how much of an error, if it were large enough I would move my money to an offshore account before anyone became the wiser. I would then head for some out of the way place and leave this manure behind me.

Adding an extra teaspoon of sugar in my latte I decided to delve into my bills. One by one I paid them leaving me nothing for playtime or groceries for that matter. The game I play is when money gets this thin I will take a one day job for play money. Before logging off I checked my bank balance.  I stared at the screen for the longest time before I could convince myself what I was seeing was a reality. There were too many periods between too many numbers.

I started running through my head if I knew anyone at the bank well enough that they would play a cruel game with me. At the same time, I started running scenarios through my dream escape. Yes on rainy cold days I would fantasy what I would do with 7 million plus dollars. I even went so far as to check out banks that I could set up an account within a short amount of time online and transfer the funds. Once I went in person to the bank I would again set up an account with another bank and transfer half the funds. At that point, it was fun deciding where I would live out the rest of my days.

OH, what the hell! I am going for it. Within an hour I had set up a Swiss account. My passport is current, I got off the sofa, with a Bluetooth headset plugged into one ear I started packing and calling airlines. There was a flight to Switzerland leaving in 3 hours. I am going. I left just enough cash in my old account so I could get currency to leave town. I will do this through the ATM at the gas station. No human eyes prying, take what I can get and hit the road. Money in hand I drove to the airport and left my car in long term parking. My car is an old rust bucket; it would cost me more to fix it than buy a new one. The car only had a $100 trade in value, I checked to see what I could get for scraping it, I would get more on trade in.  I am glad I do not need to make that decision.

First class is nice with wait service, menu and a soft blanket and pillow. I decided to kick back watch a movie before taking a nap. This is a long flight I want to be rested when I arrive. The movie was Gone with the wind, color version. I love that story so romantic and tragic at the same time.  After my snooze, I ordered a meal, Chicken salad on a croissant, delicious. Now onto a cocktail or two; I was surprised they were not too watered down. Another nap should take me close to landing time.  When I woke it was to a sound of a scuffle, my first thought was “Just my luck we get hijacked or the plane explodes.” None of the sort just an unruly passenger complaining about a crying baby and another about someone’s hat that said “Make America Great Again” Good grief why can’t people grow up!

We received the command to put our seatbelts on and trays in the upright position. I did as I was told, my stomach gurgled its nervous twinge hoping I did not come all this way only to be turned away for insufficient funds because the computer figured out its error before I got here. I have even considered moving portions of it to two other banks but my fantasy did not go that far so I need to do my homework.

Now a year into my most excellent adventure I had decided to settle in Scotland for six months then onto a warmer climate. Barbados sounded good for 3 months after that I went to Germany, France then Hawaii. Yes after a year I figured I was safe and want to be closer to home.

Hawaii is as close to the mainland as I want to get. Fresh fruit every day picked in my backyard. Hawaii is warm and sunny most of the time it doesn’t get better than this anywhere in the world.

I decided to live cautiously not drawing attention to myself. I bought a medium family home, if I were on the mainland, what I paid for this house I could have bought a McMansion.

I walk early every morning and I have had a date now and then but I do not want to get serious with anyone, I do not want to answer too many questions, this seems to be the only drawback to my new lifestyle.

One late night it actually rained, I was pleasantly surprised, the sound made me homesick. Sitting back with a chilled Chablis, music playing there’s a knock at my door. I never have any late night visitors; I tried to decide if I was going to answer it. The decision was made for me; a tall man was standing at my doorwall peering into my living room. I slowly walked over and asked through the glass: “What do you want?”

He said: “My money back.”

I stood looking at him wondering if he was a representative of the bank, the Feds who is this guy? I asked: “Do you have any ID?”

He yelled: “Open this Fucking door or I will break it down! You would not know me if I showed you my Fucking ID.”

I went for my phone. He yelled: “You call the police we both lose.”

I let him in. He stood just inside the room dripping wet angrier than a jilted woman. I backed up near the front door, stood with my arms crossed waiting for him to make the first move. He asked for a towel I threw him a towel and reached for my wine. After drying off he walked into the kitchen opened a cupboard and came in the room with a glass. He slowly poured himself a glass of wine and sat on a barstool. I just stood off to the side not knowing what to do.

He said: “You don’t remember me do you?”

I said: “Yes now that your inside in the light we went out a couple of times. I was pissed you never called, I thought we had something good.”

He said: “We did have something good, the problem was I embezzled the money I dropped into your account from some very nefarious fellas. You took off before I could call and tell you what my plans were and ask if you wanted to tag along.”

I said: “I would have said yes. The answer is still yes.”

I slowly walked over to him leaned in to give him a kiss on the cheek. He turned and gave me a luscious, sensuous kiss. Yes, every nerve in my body remembers him.

We sat down and he wanted to know how much I had left. I told him most of it I lived frugally because I did not know how else to live. He smiled asked me to marry him. We married the next day. We decided to stay in Hawaii for a year before moving. His plan was to move every two years across the country. Next stop California, from there New Mexico after that we will have to decide.

The error of my fantasy was not this good.

 

 

On the Chain

On the chain

I live on a farm with my dad, my mom passed away when I was born.  My dad’s views are old fashion; he believes if the animal doesn’t produce something that sustains us, such as food or fiber for clothing they belong on a chain. He considers them pets and pets belong on a chain. My dad has two pets he has raised since thy were young. When I do chores the livestock get fed, watered and fresh bedding first; only after that do the pet’s get fed. Dad says he doesn’t care much for people, they tend to stick their nose in your business and they do not understand the old ways. Because of his feelings about people I do not bring my friends home with me, I usually go to their houses to hang out.

Brian is my best friend we spend a lot of time together. I like going to Brian’s house he is allowed to have his pets inside where they seem happier and more part of the family. I asked Brian why his dad lets him have his pets in the house and he said: “My dad believes they are part of the family and that they would be lonely outside.”

That made sense to me and I have decided to talk to my dad about allowing me to bring his pets indoors as well. I know at first he would not warm up to the idea but maybe if I keep trying he will finally allow it. Especially in the winter when the weather is so cold. I am glad we live in the south because we do not get snow, we do get a lot of rain and the pets get wet and cold. I try to keep their bedding dry and even give them blankets to curl up in but it just does not seem to be enough.

Today after school dad finally has agreed to let me bathe the pets, and play with them. He usually does the bathing and playing, I watch out the window when he does it, I want to learn how, and he said the best way to learn is to watch.

I came home and dad was in the kitchen with all the things I needed to bathe the pets, one’s name is Marcy the other’s is Patti.

I walked outside and as I approached the pets, Patti started to cry. I felt sorry for her because I figured she did not like baths. Dad said it was normal for them not to like baths but eventually they settle down and enjoy the play time.

I have to admit I enjoyed giving them their baths and playing with them. I told dad I could not wait to do it again. He said I could do it once a week and he would do it once a week. I was thrilled.

The next day I was at Brains and told him about my time with the pets. Brian seemed confused about what I did; so I explained to him exactly what happened I figured his dad did not allow him to watch when he gave his pet a bath and played with her. I felt sorry for Brian not being able to watch, especially since he only had one pet.

Sitting here in detention at the police station I hear my dad say: “I kept them as pets, the urine is good for the lawn it produces nitrogen and the heels aerate the earth.”

A man walked into the room where I was sitting and asked if I wanted a beverage. I said yes, water would be nice. The man brought me water and a hamburger with fries. I love hamburgers and fries, I could only get them when I was at Brian’s.

The man sat next to me while I was eating and asked me if I understood why I am there. I told him it had something to do with our pets and that it was against the law to have them outside on the chain. The man then started to explain to me that women are not pets they are human. A pet would be a dog or a cat but not a human being.  I shrugged and told the man my dad said they were pets, I knew they were human but I thought it was okay to treat them like pets because they were treated better than most women.

I sat while the man who gave me the hamburger left the room I heard him speak to another man. “Did the boy give you anything? “

The man with the burger said: “No I don’t think he realizes his dad was into Human Trafficking.”

The man with the burger came back into the room sat down and asked me: “ Do you understand what sex is?”

I said: “Yes that is what you do with pets.”

He looked at me as though I was an animal. I yelled: “I am not an animal you just don’t understand about pets.”

Morality.jpg

Michigan ranks #2 in human Trafficking

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/20/human-trafficking-real-problem-michigan/79055920/

http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-164-60857_67980—,00.html

 

Need help? United States:

1 (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Languages: English, Spanish and 200 more languages

Website: traffickingresourcecenter.org

 

Game On

Game on

High School was tough on me, I was tall, lanky, with pimples; you name any adverse condition that would make the girls go yuk, that was my affliction. I made up for it with smooth, humorous personality. My dad was ruff on me I always figured his discipline was for my own good. I spent a great amount of time keeping my self-occupied. It was difficult to find things to do around the farm after chores. One of my favorite pass times was using a slingshot to shoot squirrels out of the trees, giving the dogs an advantage. The dogs were always annoyed at the squirrels. No competition when you are out of reach and can jump limb from limb. I would tell the dogs ‘Game on’ they would get into position.

I would spend a long afternoon entertaining myself and the dogs. The summer after high school was the time my body started to become more muscular, acne cleared up my voice deepened. At that time I knew I was coming into my own. I cannot say that I held a grudge against the girls who never gave me a chance but I also did not give them any advantage like I did the dogs. One summer evening I was working at the local gas station as a mechanic. My boss said I was a natural. I have a gift, I can hear what is wrong with the car and go right to the problem. Bob’s Shell and Service became very popular. My boss did not want anyone to steal me from the station so he was generous with time off and bonuses. A red Jeep Wrangler pulled into the station; I was just wiping my hands,  glancing over I could see a blonde I recognized from High School, her name was Melody. I spent countless nights imaging what melodies I could make her sing. She walked into the garage straight in my direction and asked: “Is there someone who could look at my jeep? I hear a weird sound.”

I smiled and said: “Hey, Melody, you probably do not remember me I am Jake Thorton.”

Her eyes went wide she smiled and slightly moistened her lips, she said: “Wow Jake you have changed. How are you?”

In my mind, I said ‘Game on’

I said: “I am good, your brakes are your problem. Let me pull this truck out and you can pull your jeep in.”

“You can tell just by hearing me pull in?” Melody said

I nodded and motioned her to pull in. After I repaired her breaks I told her I would like to drive the jeep to make sure there were no more problems. She said she would like to go along, I nodded told my boss I would be right back.

I opened her door she slid in with a sweet smile. I made sure to make eye contact but I would not give her the benefit of flirting with her. I kept it all business, even when she place her hand on my knee during the short drive. After we arrived back at the station she paid for the service, and then came back to the garage where I was working on a mini van’s timing. She leaned into me just enough for her breast to touch my arm. I looked at her and said: “You are making me uncomfortable please back off.”

I could tell I pissed her off but she was not relenting, she handed me her phone number and said: “Sorry, I can see your busy. Call me.”

I took the slip of paper and put it into my pocket and resumed what I was doing. ‘Game on’

I did call her and asked if she wanted to meet at the riverside park. She agreed and said she would bring a picnic and that I should bring beer. The silly girl doesn’t realize I just nicked her from the tree and the dogs will enjoy the chase.

When she pulled up I was sitting on a folding chair I brought along. My dogs were sitting alongside me. She came up and asked if there were another chair. I said we would not need one.

Turning to my dogs I said: “Game on” they instinctively growled; I looked up at Melody and said: “You better run” She stood transfixed for a second too long they had her down on the ground. Her screams were muffled by the napkin  I stuffed in her mouth. Once she stopped screaming and her body was lifeless I told the girl’s, let’s go. Reaching into the jeep I grabbed the picnic basket and shared it with the girls. After all, they deserved it for playing the game so well.

The Blitz

 

The day started just like any other day. My feet hit the floor running. The power had been out for 2 days due to a wind rain storm. I need to get the woodstove cranking to heat the house. The generator is only used to keep the food cold in the refrigerator or to take showers.

The dogs need attention first so I let them out to do what needs to be done. I grabbed some kindling and firewood. The girls came back in the house with me. Once the kindling took, I set logs in hoping they put out enough heat to warm my backside. Living out in the middle of nowhere not too far from somewhere can be challenging but I would not want to change it for anything in this world.

Frank left early this morning he will be driving his truck to Ohio today. I try not to worry when he leaves the house. He got up late this morning so he did not have time to start a fire. I was too lazy and cold so I stayed under the blankets and enjoyed his kiss goodbye.

He called around 7 am to let me know he was doing well. He had stopped for coffee and a Sausage McMuffin. What concerned me was that he said there was trees down and debris in the street. At that time of the morning there was not much traffic near us but the closer he got to town the more traffic to watch for as people were swerving to avoid downed limbs and trees. Trucks cannot stop on a dime and Frank is on a schedule.

He promised to call after 12 and told me not to worry. As soon as he told me not to worry only made me worry. That was a signal to me the roads were more treacherous than he initially said. Frank was holding back so I would not worry. Darn him.

Lunchtime came and went and still there was no call from Frank. By the next morning, I was beside myself with worry.  I called dispatch asked if they had heard from Frank. No one heard from him not even through the CB. When I heard about the CB, I knew something was terribly wrong.  Frank’s supervisor sent out one of his office help to take a cursory look. Frank has a specific route which will make it easier to look for him; he never ever deviated from his route in case there was an emergency.

The Governor of our state had issued a state of emergency due to so many without power and road conditions. He urged people to stay home unless it was an emergency to give workers time to clear the roads.

A sick feeling went through me. I started to wonder if that goodbye kiss was the last I will receive from my Frank.

An hour after my call to Franks supervisor I received a callback. Gordon told me they found Frank’s truck and will send someone over to talk to me about it. I dropped to my knees and cried out like a wounded animal.  Not realizing I had not hung up the phone, I heard Gordon weeping.

The knock at the door startled the dogs they started to bark. It was all I could do to pry myself off the floor and answer the door. There were two uniformed police officers at the door, one was in blue the other had a starched white shirt and blue slacks. I knew by his name tag he was the chief of police.

They came in and the officer in Blue introduced himself as Officer Prentice and with him was Chief Tyson. I nodded whispered for them to come in. My throat was raw and dry, my knees were wobbly. Officer Prentice took my elbow and helped me to a chair. Chief Tyson knelt down in front of me and started to tell me what they found.

He said:” Mam, we found your husband’s truck. It had been torched, I say torched only to say the fire destroyed the cab of the truck. There are remains which the coroner will need to test to be sure that they are of your husband. I am sorry about how brutal this all sounds but I need to know if Frank was concerned with regards to the mechanical integrity of the truck. Did he ever say he had problems with the truck?”

I answered: “Frank owned the cab, he kept it in top condition. His job was to pick up what needed to be delivered, take it to its destination and return the container to the yard. “

Tyson nodded and said: “That is what I needed to know. I will give you my card and I promise to contact you when we know more.”

After they left I called my sister she came right away. We sat drinking wine and crying together. It took over a week before the Chief came to my house and said: “I am sorry to tell you this Mam the remains of the person who was in the truck have been identified as Frank. Dental records and fibers left behind.”

None of this made sense to me. They said it looked as though the fire was intentionally set.

“I feel as though I am losing my mind. That is why I made the appointment to see you, Doctor Sturgeon. That was a year ago. I moved out of state because I could not take the memories at every turn of the road. Yesterday while I was at the Home Depot I swore I saw Frank. He was with a woman and 2 small children. My breath caught in my chest. I wanted to call out. Instead, I carefully walked over to get a closer look. I am telling you Doctor it was Frank, same mannerisms, voice and the way he leaned in to kiss the woman he was with.”

“Keri, sometimes these things happen after such a severe shock. Give yourself some time. If you see this person again, walk up and strike up a conversation. You can simply ask for directions. I believe you will find this man is so similar in his appearance and that is what convinced you it was Frank.”  Sturgeon said

After I walked out of the Doctors office I was more convinced it was Frank. I called Chief Tyson and told him what I saw. I also admitted I went to see a Doctor but after leaving the session I was more convinced it was Frank.  I asked the Chief if it is possible for someone to fake their death. He said yes.

I went back to the Home Depot but did not see Frank. I know Frank and know his habits he likes McDonald’s. Early the next morning I went to McDonald’s with my computer and sat in the corner. My hair is shorter now and I colored it. When Frank I were together I never wore makeup. I wear makeup now and I do not believe he would readily recognize me. I did not have to wait long, Frank walked in with a young boy in tow. He ordered and they took a table near me. Frank’s back was to me. I called the Chief and told him where I was and what I was about to do. He cautioned me not too. I told him I was determined to do it and that I would keep the phone on so he could hear the conversation.

As I approach the little boy Waved and said: “Hi Lady.”

Frank turned and his face turned pale. I said: “Hey Frank how are you besides alive.”

Two uniformed police officers walked in. They immediately arrested Frank.  He is not being cooperative or forthcoming as to the reason for the deception.

I hope he fries in hell.

Before the Moonlight

 

Interesting what our expectations are when we are born. The first year through high school the main goals are self-centered, feed me, love me, and pay attention to me. Reality strikes all of us sooner or later. We all pray it doesn’t happen to the innocent at the hands of evil. Unfortunately, that is the way of this world, good and evil plays a role in all lives.

Many of my friends, if they made it to adolescents, had to be home by a certain time or they would meet some construed consequence. My curfew was to be home before the moonlight. One night I decided to push the curfew.My question is what could possibly happen in the moonlight that was evil? All the songs and movies spoke of passion and love is experienced in the moonlight.

I and 2 girlfriends decided to press the envelope and stay out past our curfew. We each had boyfriends who were more than willing to join in on our rebellion.

We agreed to meet in the park at the pavilion. Tables line the cemented floor, covered by an arched roof. The guys got there first and they started the party before us. We giggled and hoped they didn’t drink all the good stuff.

Marsha, Melisa and I each took our swig of the Ripple wine first, then we grabbed ourselves a beer.  John brought a radio and had it turned to our favorite radio station. John grabbed my hand and we started to dance in the Moonlight, Steve danced with Marsha and Frank with Melisa. I knew there was nothing to fear from the moonlight. This was wonderful as the music played we danced and drank.

One hour into our romantic rebellion, Melisa was the first to say: “Did you hear that?” We all laughed and said no. She shrugged it off and considered it a matter of a guilty conscience. What was odd about the evening is no one feared the repercussions. Next, Marsha and I said simultaneously “Did you hear that?”

Everyone stopped to listen. The music was still playing; the tune was ‘Another one bites the dust’. Every time I hear that song it makes me rock as though I am ready to jump.

The pavilion was in the center of the park. You could see light at a distance. The only light that night was the moon. Someone had either broken or shot out the two street lights along the sidewalk leading to the pavilion. Until this moment it did not bother me.

Soon we could see there was someone coming toward us. Just a talk shadow making its way towards us, finally he emerged out of the shadows allowing the moon to cast filtered light upon his face. John spoke up and said: “Greg it sure took you long enough to get here.”

I right away knew something was off. John, Steve, and Frank have been friends since elementary school, Melisa, Marsha and I only met them a month ago at the beginning of our senior year. Greg smiled and said: “I decided to bring something extra to document this perfect evening.”

I bolted for the car hoping Marsha and Melisa had the same miss-givings. They did not. I feel overwhelmed with guilt for not staying and fighting for and with them. Neither survived the rape. Don’t get me wrong the guys did not kill them physically they did it to their souls.

Not all romance ends up at the altar. Some romance is perpetrated in the moonlight to hide its evil.

To this day the moonlight holds no special love nor warm fuzzy feelings it is a cold reminder of that night I lost my 2 best friends. Rebellion has a cost and a net gain, unfortunately, the gain is only incurred through loss reminding us wisdom also comes at a cost.