Melancholy Chapter 5 conclusion

Melancholy Chapter 5

I had my gun with me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a truck pull away. I did the craziest thing I had ever done in my life, I attempted to shoot the tires out.  I was on the phone with 911 told them what was going on and what I had done and why I had done it. Luckily there was a patrol car near us it pulled into the parking lot as the two guys got out of the truck and started shooting in my direction.

I ran behind Paul’s car and laid flat on the ground while the two patrolmen opened fire on the two guys from the truck. I heard other voices from another direction. I carefully peeked around the bumper and saw the other squad car as the officers opened fire.

I started to cry hoping that Paul was not hurt nor hit by all the gunfire. I stayed put and heard someone approach, peering under the car I noticed the shoes were police issue and I had hoped whoever was wearing them was, in fact, a police officer.

A woman patrolman came around and said: “Keep your hands where I can see them.” She took my gun and helped me off the ground. By this time they had the other men assessed and were pronounced dead.

I told the officer: “My friend Paul is a state patrolman, he is assigned to the human trafficking task force. We were about to take some photos. My back was to him. I went to turn around and slipped and fell, by the time I was able to look up Paul was gone. I called and there was no answer.”

The officer had my elbow and we walked over toward the truck at that moment an ambulance pulled into the parking lot. The paramedics ran up to the truck with a gurney, one stuck his head inside the backseat of the truck he asked in a loud voice: “Paul Morgan? Can you hear me, Paul?”

I took a breath and felt light headed and nearly collapsed. There were two patrolmen near me they both reached out to grab me and walked me to the ambulance.

I asked the patrolmen if Paul was still alive. The patrolmen who had stuck his head in the truck said: “He was breathing when I looked inside the truck.”

 I started to cry. Finally, I heard Paul yell: “Mary?”

With the help of the patrolmen they had Paul on the gurney; he was hooked to an IV. I yelled: “Paul! I am alright!”

I found out later I did not hit any of the tires just the right taillight. I was glad they stopped and that the patrolmen arrived when they did. They also took my weapon until the investigation was completed as with the one that was taken yesterday. Paul was now being placed into the ambulance, he turned to me and said: “You might as well go through the academy, you are better with firearms than most of the department.”

I laughed out loud and said: “I am too old, besides, I thought you wanted kids?!”

Paul was promoted to detective and is no longer doing any undercover work. After his cover was blown we both decided it would be for the best.

I am helping the investigation by using my skills; I am spending hours following the money. This is much more interesting than working at the bank. Paul and I had a quiet wedding and got to work making our first child.

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Melancholy Chapter 4

Melancholy Chapter 4

I have to admit I enjoy having Paul to snuggle up to and I have forgotten how nice it is that Paul gets out of bed before me. Paul turns the heat up and makes coffee before coming back into the bedroom to shower and shave. By the time he does those two things I am in the shower and ready to climb out as he climbs in and keeps me occupied for a couple of minutes.

He finishes his shower while I blow dry my hair. As I apply my face (as he calls it) and style my hair he asks me what I would like to do since it is Sunday.

I answered: “It would be nice to get out of town for a few hours.”

Paul smiled and said: “How about we drive up to Gaylord do some shopping and out to lunch? After that, we can take a long drive home over towards Harrisville, down through Tawas and then back home.”

I loved the sound of that and gave him two thumbs up.

Lunch was basic but good, especially since I did not have to prepare it or clean up after it. We picked up plenty of groceries for the week since I have been shopping for one instead of a couple.

We took the scenic route; the street was lined on both sides with snow tipped pines. Not many people on the road in this area. Once we arrived in Harrisville, Paul asked if I wanted to stop by the Marina to see if the water is frozen over.

The wind off the lake was treacherous but I did not care, I love this spot.

Paul asked: “How about standing near the water so I can get a photo of you?”

I went to the end of one of the docks, chunks of ice were floating, the water was still open and splashing against the rocks and ice chunks it was beautiful on this sunny day.

I said: “Do you remember that rock I stood on?  I want to get a photo near there.”

Paul agreed and we walked over to the rock my back was to Paul when I went to turn around I slipped and fell I heard a scuffle behind me and a humph; I figured Paul took a slide as well. I expected to hear Paul laugh or come over to see if I was alright but when I looked in his direction he wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere.

My heart hammered in my chest my ears sounded the drums of my adrenaline.

I called out! “Paul!”

There was no answer. I started for the car and noticed in the snow there were multiple footprints. I shook the fear away from my thoughts telling myself that the prints were there before we arrived.

Melancholy Chapter 3

Melancholy Chapter 3

Once I arrived back at my house, from the doctor’s office, I finished up with the laundry. Now I am ravenous with hunger. As I scanned my refrigerator for substance a car pulled into my driveway slamming on the breaks. I peered out the window just as Paul was getting out of an unmarked patrol car. He had a bag in his hand from Tim Horton’s.

 I opened the door he said to me: “I am glad you remembered the self-defense I taught you, but you forgot the first rule! Don’t open the door to strangers.”

I smiled and asked: “How did you find out?”

He answered: “The sheriff called me. The man you let into your house has been under surveillance for the past 6 months. He is suspected of sex trafficking. I am not sure if he was here because of me or he was here to snatch you. Either way, we will be roommates again.”

I stood stunned staring at Paul.

He came over gently pulled me to himself and gave me a gentle but romantic kiss. Once our lips unlocked he said: “I missed you, Mary.”

I think that comment surprised me as much as finding out the man I let into my home was evil.

We sat down with our bagels and cream cheese using the time to catch up. Paul’s life has changed mine has not. Paul is now undercover investigating the many leads law enforcement have received concerning sex trafficking. Churches, families, politicians are all into this lucrative business. Children, women of all ages are being abducted and forced into slavery. I cannot grasp the concept in this day and age that there would be a human being subjected to the atrocities Paul was sharing with me. This is America! This is where people come to be free!

My life pales in comparison to what Paul is doing and contributing to society. We sat quietly for a few moments looking at each other. His handsome face has taken on hardness, his deep brown eyes show concern and sadness, yet the way he carried himself and spoke of his job showed sheer determination and conviction.

I asked him: “How can I help?”

He said: “I need you to do everything I ask you to do. I need you to please follow my instructions. I want to keep you safe. I am not sure if they are after me and using you to do that or if you have been stalked and considered a commodity.”

Melancholy Chapter 2

Melancholy Chapter 2

I punched him just under his throat, turned and stomped his foot. He let out a yelp and reached for me as I turned back around and leveled my left foot against the side of his head. He went down like a sack of potatoes. I did not want him to just lay there so I grabbed the scarf I had hanging off the side of my chair and did my best to tie him up. He groaned and tried to revolt; I placed a good firm foot on the back of his knees. He growled in pain trying to get his hands free. I took his hair and smashed his face down to the floor. I did what Paul taught me I am glad those 4 years we spent together added up to something. Paul is a State Patrolman had its perks one obvious one is learning about guns and self-defense.

I dialed 911 the voice came on asking: “911 what’s your emergency?”

I told the dispatcher what just happened, they said they would have someone out as soon as possible. She asked if I was alright and if I was able to leave the premises. I said I am fine the intruder is knocked out and under control for the moment. She said it would be best for me to leave the premises. I told her I wasn’t going anywhere. I ran upstairs to get my gun when I came down he wasn’t where I had left him. I listened carefully looking for a blood trail which leads through the kitchen, he stood up turned to me his face bloodied he wobbled and fell to the floor. I decided to get another cup of coffee sit at my table and hold the gun on him until someone got there.

In the distance I heard sirens; in my house, I heard a grunt. I said: “Just lay there because if you move again I will shoot you.”

There was a knock at the door and a male voice said: “Police!”

I went to the door the officer had his gun drawn and pointed at me. I said: “Officer I am not the bad guy he is on the floor of my kitchen.”

The officer said: “Give me your weapon.”

I did what I was told. I said: “Yes, sir the weapon has not been discharged.”

His partner was already in the kitchen on his radio calling for an ambulance. The Officer standing near me asked: “Do you need medical attention?”

I said: “No I am fine just a sore shoulder and throat.”

It took an hour to finish all the questions I finally had time to look at myself in the mirror. My throat was bruised, my eye was turning blue and my shoulder felt like someone pulled it out of the socket. I decided to call my doctor’s office and get myself looked at.

Melancholy Chapter 1

Melancholy chapter 1

I rolled over hoping to wake up my arm. The position I slept in most of the night left my arm numb. A thought pushed through my mind telling me to get up. I pulled the covers over my shoulders to stave off the cold air in the room.  In the winter, 6 am it is still dark out and will be for another couple of hours. I just don’t want to get up; I can’t see any reason to face my Saturday ritual. The wind bellowed its threatening call telling me the day will be a challenge. I see no challenge other than the stuporous boredom.

Since I could no longer ignore my bladders pressure I roll out of bed only to be greeted with a slap of cold air, and the ratcheting up of the urge to go. I finish my business turn on the shower and ran into the kitchen to reheat leftover coffee. I sip the insipid bitter brew climbed into the shower; where I stood hoping the cascading water will pull the melancholy out of my heart.

I don’t know when I started to feel this way or even why. I used to roll out of bed bounding through the day like Tigger in a Winnie the Pooh book. I am not old by any means, at 35 I am healthy. I am not concerned that my friends have married had kids and divorced maybe the stress in their lives is what keeps them motivated. I really have no stress in my life. My job at the bank is easy for me to maneuver through since I am a numbers person I rarely make a mistake. I am the go-to person when someone does make a mistake, I can usually find and correct the mistake in no time. I have a good income, nice little house on a tree-lined street with quiet and respectful neighbors.

I had a long-term relationship that lasted 4 years, we split amicably; agreeing neither of us excited the other, and that the relationship was just a spacer until someone came into our lives that would be that soul mate everyone talks about.

I turned off the shower, wrapped the towel around me to keep the heat the water created from escaping. I ran back into my bedroom yanking clothing from their containers and dressed as quickly as I could.

Once the bed was made I finished pulling myself together in the bathroom. I went back into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee, while that brewed, I through a load of laundry in the washer, and then grabbed the vacuum to do a quick what for on the carpet and tiled areas.

The coffee’s aroma pulled me back into the kitchen to retrieve a fresh cup of its dark magic. By this time the washer finished my first load. Once I had the first load in the dryer and put the second load in the washer there was nothing left to do but wait.

Sitting with my coffee and newspaper at the dining room table there was a knock at the door. I peeked out of the window to see who was disturbing my small world.

There was a tall lean gentleman dressed in arctic gear, including an Elmer Fudd hat. I opened the door asking what he wanted; he pushed his way in and grabbed my throat.

Frozen Chapter 6 -conclusion

Frozen Chapter 6

The boys tried to stay awake but failed around midnight. I was relieved to see the snow had stopped. The dark starry sky was a blessing and a curse. The clear beauty of it was breathtaking but the deepness of it caused me to fear and mourn for Clive.

I tried to keep my breathing calm, doing cleansing breaths; What Clive called my heehaw breathing. I would breathe in then let out two or three times consecutively.

Loading the woodstove gave me a break from my fears; I puttered around making coffee taking fresh snow into a large pot to melt it for clean water. I just wanted to stay busy to help me not think of all the possibilities and keep myself awake.

By three in the morning, the wind calmed I heard a vague motor sound in the distance. Joshua heard it also he nudged Todd they both jumped up pulled their coats and boots on and ran to the water’s edge. I was not far behind them. The light on the front of the boat was a distant speck like a star in the sky; ever so slowly it became bigger and more relevant. At this distance, we could see a dark figure in the boat. Joshua called out a coyote replied. I called out with a choke hold on my voice but it echoed into the woods.  Todd called out next. Finally the response I had prayed for called back Clive said: “What are you doing up so late?”

We all laughed including Clive.

I stood there waiting to see my Clive shivering with mixed feelings. I love this state and the wilderness we are staying in but at the same time, I want to go home.

Once we were in the cabin Clive told us the harrowing tale. Bears came out of the woods while they were loading up the supplies into the boat. One bear reared up and bolted towards Gary. Clive did not take a moment to think about what he should do, he shot at the bear and thought he missed; it was enough to stop the charge. There was a face-off pause before the bears turned and went back into the woods. The bear who lead the charge went down before a 100ft from them.  Gary did not want to leave the bear, they needed to gut it and place it in the back of the truck by that time the wolves started to circle them. The blood was the draw; finally, they got the bear in the back of the truck; the truck got stuck in the snow. After getting the truck back on the road the wolves took a look at what was left for them Clive backed away slowly got in the boat and high tailed it back to us. Clive was invigorated by the experience as were the boys all I wanted to do was go home. We finished our time there and finally went home to enjoy a warm and wonderful summer in Northern Michigan.

Frozen Chapter 5

Frozen Chapter 5

One thing we were not prepared for was snow. Go figure when you go to Alaska in June you don’t expect snow. We learned quickly that what happens in Alaska is not like what happens in the rest of the United States.

We hunkered down in our cabin by starting a fire in the woodstove. The guys went hunting they came back with rabbits cleaned and dressed out for me to make a stew. We have an iron Dutch oven in our supplies. I started the stew. For lunch, we had more fish and some fresh vegetables. An hour before we were going to have stew I made some biscuits and placed them on top of the stew closed the lid to let them cook.

We had stew and biscuits with a few biscuits left over for breakfast they will go great with our eggs and bacon.

A week and a half into our vacation we started to run low on supplies. Clive and I have a ham radio license, Clive got on the radio asked for someone to meet him on the other side of the lake. The guy who brought us here said it would be more efficient if we gave him a grocery list and he would bring the things with him. Clive loved the idea.

Clive set out an hour later. Clive called me on the radio to let me know he made it to the other side and he had the black truck in view. I knew it would not be more than an hour before Clive would make it back with the supplies.

When an hour and a half went by I started to worry. The boys had asked how much longer it would be before dad got back; I used various diversions hoping they would not see a trace of my fear. They seemed satisfied for the moment; I was concerned and wondered if I had the fortitude it would take to get us out of here. The shortwave ran on a battery I knew I could not use it as I do my phone with a barrage of concern continually contacting any human that could satisfy my fears.

The snow started again when I last spoke to Gary before he met up with Clive he said they were expecting 5” on top of the 6” we received the day before.

The wind picked up it reminded me of the night Joshua was hurt and Clive took him to the hospital. All I wanted to do was cry and go home we did not have that luxury.  It was dark and there were no more excuses or diversions, the boys knew something was wrong. I told them their dad was resourceful and that maybe something happened to the black truck that Gary took us in to get to the other side of the lake. They agreed that was probably what happened and maybe he got stuck in the snow.

 

Frozen Chapter 4

Frozen Chapter 4

The boys only had 7 more days of school our plans for vacation start the day after they get out for the summer. Clive was clever when he booked us for a trip to Alaska. A cabin in the woods with no electricity, no phones only CB to get in touch with any other human. After what we had been through this past winter we felt we could handle the call of the wild.

We packed various clothing to support anything that came our way. Since there is no electricity and the closest amenities such as a washing machine everyone promised to take care of their own clothing.

Once we were dropped off at our boat, it at least had an outboard motor and enough gasoline to get us across the lake 4 times tops. We had so many supplies it took 2 trips to get us and the supplies across.

Todd and Jason are now 12 years old and Clive felt before we left they needed to be proficient with a firearm. I was a bit rusty so we went 2 times a week for a month at the shooting range tanking on different tasks. Clive did various scenarios with all of us. All the what if’s he could think of. Such as what if a bear approached the cabin what do you do. The number one requirement you always have a firearm near you or on your person. Shoot it in the air which hopefully will scare off the bear and also alert the rest of us but more importantly never go anywhere alone.

The boys did not seem to mind the only facility to do our business was in an outhouse. I, on the other hand, felt that this was truly roughing it. The boys and Clive said if they had to take a piss they would do that along the parameter of the cabin to help keep the wildlife away. Let’s face it us girls need to use the bathroom more than the guys.

We had to heat the water to take a shower. We have camped in a national forest before that had no amenities we have some gear that helps bring some of the niceties to your camp.  I set up the shower amongst 4 trees giving me some sense of privacy. Once the water is heated it is mixed with cold water to make the temperature to the liking of the person that is taking the shower. Each of us was responsible for getting the water and doing what we needed to make the shower experience we needed.

The first day I picked berries, the boys (my men) found dry wood. The fire was started before I got back with a full bucket of mixed berries. I took the flour, lard, and sugar to make us a cobbler.

Todd and Jason had surprised us with a fresh catch of fish for dinner. We brought fresh fruit and vegetables with us trying to gauge what we would need for two weeks. Our first meal was spectacular.

Early the next morning I started the water for my first shower the guys decided to truly rough it, we had pure Ivory which is environmentally safe. The guys decided to bathe in the lake. I heard hysterical calls and a trace of boyish taunting. They came back laughing their skin was pink with excitement or the cold. Clive leaned into me and said, “Honey if we had decided to have our first romantic moment the shrinkage would have scared you off.”

We both laughed and the boys asked what we were laughing about. I shook my head and walked away still chuckling I heard Clive say: “Same thing we were teasing each other about when came out of the water. That turtle won’t see light for at least two weeks.”

Todd said: “Mom knows about that stuff.”

Jason laughed and said: “Of course she has seen dad naked.”

Clive said: “Okay guys let’s change the subject.”

I secretly hoped that Clive already had the talk with them by now.

 

Frozen Chapter 3

Frozen Chapter 3

The ambulance stopped Clive opened the door and was backing out as the Paramedic attended to me.

I said: “I did not have a stroke.”

Everyone stopped and looked at me. I said: “You heard me?”

Clive started to cry and said: “Yes Nancy we heard you.”

They took me inside the emergency room. I was poked, prodded, X-Rayed and finally, a doctor came in to talk to us.

The Doctor said: “We have checked for a stroke and did not find anything which would lead us to believe the paralysis was a stroke. Your ears are inflamed as are your sinuses but I am sure that is not news to you. I want a neurologist to see you sometimes the facial nerve can become infected and cause paralysis but I want to also rule out MS.”

I started to cry at the possibility of MS. I looked over at Clive he was fighting back tears. I am so in love with this man who can deal with two emergencies in 24 hours. How does he do it?

They have ruled out Lyme disease, Bell ’s palsy they believe at this point the nerve paralysis was triggered by a viral infection.

They started me on antivirals and told me to rest. By the time we left the hospital the freezing rain changed over to just rain which helped to melt the ice enough for the county road commission to work their magic. Clive called his Brother Kevin to pick us up. As soon as we arrived home the boys were standing in the doorway calling out to me. I answered them: “I am okay.”

Clive insisted on carrying me into the house. I laid my head on his shoulder after giving him a kiss on the cheek.

After a months’ worth of tests, they ruled out MS. The weather finally changed to the promise of spring. This winter will go down in our family history as a Frozen Flurry of Frustration.

Now that Spring has sprung we spun into high gear cleaning out the boy’s closets, donating clothes that no longer fit. Shopped in second-hand stores to find summer clothes for the boys knowing next spring we will be donating them back to the same stores, why buy new when you know they will grow out of them?

Frozen Chapter 2

I sat waiting for them to pull into the driveway, Todd lying on the sofa sleeping. I sat staring at Todd remembering when I brought Jason and Todd home from the hospital wondering if I could handle twins. These two boys are the best of friends and the worst enemies depending on the day.  I am sure this memory will fade from their purview in time and they will take risks and scare the crap out of us again. I just hope it will not be anytime too soon.

I heard the truck bound back into the driveway Clive got out walked to the other side of the truck. I could see Jason wrap his arms around his dad’s neck. Tears stung my eyes, as my heart ached realizing if anything happened to any of my boys it would devastate me. I rely so much on Clive to handle any emergencies I always feel inadequate when something happens. Clive jumps into action without thinking, he is our first responder.

Clive and I took turns waking Jason up making sure he was still cognitive. Every two hours we would do the deed. By 4 am Clive just slept through his turn. I was partially awake and decided 15 minutes passed his turn I would do it and let him sleep.

By morning Jason was bopping around in the kitchen while I made pancakes, eggs, and sausage. My men love their big breakfast. The boys were eating and I went up with a plate for Clive to give him breakfast in bed.

I set the plate down on the dresser, walked over to his side of the bed and sat softly on the edge. As I leaned in to give him a kiss he reached out to me and dragged me down and threw the quilt over us. The boys were busy downstairs eating we were busy upstairs rejoicing. Clive retrieved his plate from the dresser while I cleaned up. I sat with him and ate some of our breakfast in bed.

The weather report was announcing a chance of freezing rain with accumulation of ice. We already had extra bottled water for drinking, cooking, flushing, washing.  Clive and I both were raised to be prepared so as not to put a burden on the professional first responders. Always have an exit plan and a plan to hunker down plan. We have both for our boys and our pets.

The sky changed from sunny winter blue to dark and menacing. The frozen rain that started sound like ice cubes being dispensed from our refrigerator.  Clive and the boys had stacked enough wood for a couple of days inside the attached garage. I went out to stand just inside the garage to watch the ice pellets dance off the now frozen snow. The limbs of the trees were already heavy from the snow, with the frozen rain added to the weight the limbs gave way to its assault.

For some reason, I felt the sudden urge to sit down. I could feel the cold surface of the garage floor. I could not make sense of why I was sitting on the floor with my legs stretched out in front of me. I tried to call for Clive only to hear Jason yell for his dad to come something happened to mom. I tried to tell Jason I was fine I just needed help getting up. Clive came over, he was talking to me but for some reason, he kept asking me if I was alright. I kept telling him I was alright. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. Clive then told the boys to bring the sleeping bag  and a pillow. I heard him on the phone with the neighbor asking them to watch the boys.

Jason wrapped the sleeping bag around me. John our neighbor came over and asked if I was alright. Why can’t they hear me saying yes I am fine! I feel myself being lifted and laid down on the large sled. Clive had hooked it up to the snowmobile. I could feel a pillow being placed under my head and another layer of blankets was put on me and tucked tightly.  Todd placed goggles on me and a helmet. The sled started to move. By the time the sled stopped there were strange men hovering over me asking if I am alright? By now I am yelling “I am fine what is going on” One of the strange men said; “We need to calm her.”

I was placed inside what seemed to be an ambulance. Clive was sitting at my feet while one of the strange men poked a needle in my arm. I am warm now and just want to sleep. I hear Clive call out “Nancy don’t go to sleep!”

One of the strange men said: “She can sleep I don’t think she fell and hit her head. She may have had a stroke.”

Stroke? Me? I am too young to have a stroke!