I'm glad you were able to bring him home Pac and pray that he continues to improve.
Thanks so much for taking the time to add to this wonderful story when your plate is already so full.
I'm glad you were able to bring him home Pac and pray that he continues to improve.
Thanks so much for taking the time to add to this wonderful story when your plate is already so full.
If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under... Ronald Reagan
Bringing your hubby home is the best medicine you could give him. He will feel so much better there and so will you!!!
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -- Maya Angelou
Being PC will be the death of us all yet!
"But we've got to have faith or we have nothing. We have to have faith in our God, our resolve, our cause and our brother patriots."
Black, Leo - The Last Stand on Earth.
Jennings took the piece of paper and looked casually at the name and number. "Sure Benny, I can get this through in about 15 minutes, say, why don't you get a bite to eat and then you can spell me while I run home for a minute."
Benny took the request at face value and headed for Brett's diner. No more than his heels had cleared the door, J turned around and confronted Alan. "Look, you maybe king where you work; but it's not cutting any ice here. Your going to blow all of our covers if you continue to act like such a jerk. Not only Dad, but my family also. I won't permit that Alan; so if you wake up some morning 'dead', it's because you couldn't contain your arrogant nature." Older brother stood toe to toe with younger brother, underscoring the seriousness of the moment.
Alan dropped his eyes first. "Yeah, I'm sorry. It drives me crazy, all this waiting and watching. A threat I can understand, but this nebulous 'maybe' is frustrating."
"Hey, I understand, but a terrorist threat against you and your family includes us. And you will not bring that problem here," J forcefully enunciated. "The Sheriff and all the people in this community are good people, decent folks that would give you the shirt off their back's. So tell me Alan, how many shirts have you donated lately?" Jennings was mad.
Alan turned his back to his brother. There was a long pause of silence and then he said, "What are we going to do about Kent Lawrence. He will slingshot into this town like the hotshot reporter he is to collect up his baby girl. We'll be dammed lucky if he comes alone."
"I know," Jennings said quietly. "It looks like we are going to have to bring Benny on board for some of this. I'm going to send the contact under Ben's name, hopefully we can keep ourselves out of it all." He got up to pace the floor, sat down and decisively made radio contact with the dispatcher at the clearing house, forwarding the contact name and phone number of Lainey's parents.
Benny walked into the office with two large containers of stew. "Alan," he questioned, "Did you get supper? If you didn't, Brett sent over a bowl for you."
Alan accepted the hot steaming crockery bowl of pretty darn good smelling stew, "Thanks man, I'm starving."
"Crackers, spoons and coffee or water in the break room," Benny added as he spooned in a heaping mouthful. "So quiet here, and such a disaster down there," he gestured toward the West and the coastline.
"What about news on the downed helo?" Sheriff Ben asked the two McCann brothers as J made plans to rush home for his supper.
"Yeah, it's been found. Reports of a laser light, large caliber rounds and a spotlight have all come forward. What sob's would shoot down a fact finding flight anyway," Alan growled. Privately he had his suspicions, but they were better left unspoken for the moment.
"Say Ben," J paused in the doorway, "I sent the contact. Time will tell the rest." he added. "I'll be at home for a bit, I need a shower." and he was out the door.
Inga sat with Wayne, keeping tabs on his progress. Doc appeared in the doorway, "that's all the patients for tonight. How about I duck over to Brett's and grab whatever he has cooking?" he tweaked his wife's earlobe.
"You sure know how to sweet talk me," Inga teased back. "that sound's wonderful. I can't believe how hard this has been. I'm exhausted and I know you are more tired than me. If you'd like to sit a spell, I'll run over there," she offered.
"I'm up, and your down, so stay sitting. I'll bring enough so we can try feeding Wayne, he look's like he is ready."
Doc pulled on a jacket to counter the cool night air. "Be right back," he promised.
Inga moved about the room, pulling the curtains, filling the ice and water container, cleaning the nightstand; busy she missed Wayne's first request. Speaking louder in a raspy voice, he said very clearly. "I need to pee, I'm about to bust a gut."
Recovering her composure, Inga provided the urinal and said "welcome back, that's the second time you have given us a scare."
"I was gone," he said simply. "Grandma called me back. Have you ever seen Jesus?" he asked abruptly. "He told me it wasn't my time if I had people who loved me here."
Wayne's statement hung like a bell resounding in a clear mountain morning. Inga could only shake her head no. "I've never been that far, close, but never at the foot of the staircase," she said softly, knowing Wayne would understand.
"Yeah," he agreed. "I can only say that it's really something."
You should tell Mom," Inga encouraged, "it would mean more to her than you can know."
"Know what?" Doc came in on the end of the sentence, carrying 3 steaming containers.
"Wayne's awake," Inga reported. "I'll let him tell you."
The day was winding down on the Wilson homestead. Christy had her bath and was tucked in bed. Dishes were done, Cheryl was in the bathroom and Ev was laying on the floor doing the exercises Doc had given him. Clora was at the kitchen table reading one of Ev's survival books when a spooked and snarling Ruby came up from her place by the stove and howled.
Evie and Lainey were finishing closing the house for the night, when Inky scratched at the back door in a frenzy. Howling and whining, he pushed hard on the wood. "Let them in," Evie instructed, "they have a reason."
Lainey opened the door and Inky barreled in, little Junior in his mouth. He howled again, and the shaking began. Another earthquake, or aftershock. At this point what difference did it make. Another stinking shake, rattle and roll.
May God bless you Pac as you take care of Mr. Pac. Praying for you both. Thank you for giving us some of your precious time. Please don't overdue it though. As much as I love your story I know you need time for yourself also.
Thank you all for your prayers. I can feel the strength. Mr. Pac was in a top notch rehab facility, but it's not the one on one he sometimes needs. Here if he wants to get up at night, he can. I have buzzers on the doors, so I am alerted if he trys to leave. That way I can sleep.
We have modified a lot of things around here with an electronic key, that prevents them being used. It is enough for now.
Pac, first thank you for keeping us up to date on Mr. Pac.
I'm sure we are all keeping you and him in our prayers.
And thank you for the new chapter.
There are so many good people here enjoying the stories that you write and that you so willingly share with us. Evie praying for Wayne reminded me of some prayer warriors I have known, who would "pray through". Standing with you Pac.
Wow, another EQ and a terror plot! Cranking the pucker factor on this one! Glad you didn't let Wayne die. He seems like a good egg.
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
Sounds like you are taking good care of Mr Pac. I'm sure he is very glad to be home!
Thanks for continuing to write this wonderful story during this stressful time for you!
If we aren't showing a little love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?
Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
"Grab the lamps," Evie shouted, "don't let them fall, we'll burn if they do."
Lainey grabbed both oil lamps and stood braced against the kitchen sink. Evie grabbed her last remaining bread bowl and cradled the old gray antique in her arms. The quake this time was a roller; a slow undulating movement that acted like a wave on land.
The homestead creaked and groaned, downstairs the sound of breaking jars could be heard. Evie was real tempted to throw a tantrum. This was the last straw, breaking her carefully canned produce and meats. She had always kept her full jars on the floor, and Benny and Clora had persuaded her to start using the shelves so she didn't have to bend over do far.
Evie realized she had forgotten to shut the stove down, and started for the insert. Another roller came through and she lost her balance planting her hand on the hot surface. Snatching her hand back instantly, she felt the stinging heat blister through her palm and finger pads.
Half dropping the bowl in the sink, Evie used her good hand to fill the bowl with water and plunged her hand in the icy coolness.
Helping Lainey, Evie cupped her other hand around the oil lamp chimney and blew out the flame. "Put it on the floor, hold it with your foot." Lainey did her best as the floor continued to buckle.
"My gosh," the young woman gasped. "This is the longest one I've ever been through. We've been through a lot when we lived in California, but this is a monster."
"How is your hand Grandma?" she inquired. "Is there anything I can do?"
Evie was feeling the pain right smartly. "Yes, go in the drawer to my right and get the flashlight. Let's get that last lamp shut off. Then I need you to open the flour bin and feel down the outside of the flour sack on the left side. There will be a small cloth bag. Pull it out, it has a couple of silver dollars in it. They need to go in the water. You need to get them wet and rub one at a time between your palms. Let the water fall in the bowl.
"Why?" Lainey wanted to know. "what is the idea behind that?"
"It's a type of disinfectant," Evie explained. "It's the fore runner to colloidal silver. Have you heard of that?"
"Nope," Lainey said succinctly, "never have. You sure have some interesting ideas though. Where did you get them?"
Evie was busy rubbing the coins with her free hand, the two halves clinking together. "This may only be an old wives tale," Evie shifted from one foot to the other," but I need to do something."
The earth moving stopped, giving the women a reprieve for the time being.
Seems like 'the fates' are really out to get Evie's family. Hope they can survive until the quakes, etc, calm down a bit.
thank you for sharing more of this wonderful story! glad to hear your husband is home. While many nursing homes can be comfortable none of them can compare to one's own home. Prayers for you and your family. God Bless.
What's the name of that town again? I'm staying away from that place. lol Where I live the wind may wreak havoc on the landscape now and then, not too badly, but you can always count on the ground being there.
This story just gets more and more exciting, and what's going on with the brothers? We haven't met Lainey's dad yet either and he already sounds like a force to be reckoned with.
This is a great story, thanks Pac.
"My material grandmother was a mean, blackhearted woman that thundered Bible quotations at the drop of a hat. She knew everyone's business, and never missed an opportunity to 'enlighten' them as how to improve their lot in life. What she got from people was what she gave them."
Oh my, such a sad thing to know about one's own kin.
My heart breaks for the reasons why she ended up being the way she was.
What dreadful hurt she must of endured to turn out so wrong.
My maternal grandma was very much the same.
The sadness she endured is too much for any poor soul.
She gave out what was given unto her.
After learning more about her history, I can now see the "why" of her
bitter root resentment and judgment of others.
It does not make it right.
But forgiveness is a gift to give those who have harmed us.
Yet, we are given wisdom to not "accept" any further harm from them.
May you find much help and comfort dear lady as you set about bringing your
beloved husband home once again.
And thank you so very much for your stories.
I just read that beaten egg white is good for burns.
Thanks for the new chapter.
At the Wilson ranch house, Clora grabbed the oil lamp and rushed to the sink to hang on. The undulating roll and and flow of the ground shaking the dust from the log rafters. Cheryl came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, dripping water all over the floor.
Sputtering her indignation at the rude interruption of her bath, Cheryl yelled at Ev to get Christy. Ev was on the floor trying to get up, every time he got to his feet the roll would knock him back down again. The book Clora had been reading bounced and jostled itself along the table top, falling off the edge to smack Ev as he grabbed the table leg to steady himself.
Howling louder than Ruby, Ev lurched to his feet, slamming the book back on the tabletop. Standing there rubbing his collarbone, he missed the book bouncing itself back over to the edge to fall this time on the top of his foot. The air turned blue with curses, Ev backed away from the table to collide with an overturned kitchen chair, falling with a solid thump on his rear.
"I give up," he said piteously. "I can't take anymore." he turned over to lay on the floor.
The men in the Sheriff's office called the quake in, triggering the tsunami sirens. The radio worked until the wires loosened from the tower and it crashed, falling across the backside of the jail. The only inmate, the one of the shooters Wayne had caught, commenced a religious conversion right there and then.
Benny thought it sounded like the song 'Mississippi Squirrel Revival', the officers learned a great deal of information in a real short hurry. Muffling his laughter, Benny wrote names and confessions as fast as he could.
Alan rapped the radio hoping to get it to work, and it flared a burst of static. The garbled talk that came over the speaker sounded like a foreign language, difficult to understand. He ignored the outburst, and tried modulating the receiver to no avail.
Jennings was seated at the table, eating the last of the spaghetti and meatballs Tammy had managed to hold back for him. He was so stinking tired, and the problems just kept coming and coming. No way to catch a break. The old house creaked and swayed the kids zipping downstairs like leaves falling out of the trees.
"Not again," Tammy sighed. Zeus whined and howled, the kids were screeching and yelling and the lights went out, plunging the the house into further disorder. Dishes went flying off the table, the pot of water and spaghetti tipped off the stove flooding the floor with hot water and sticky pasta starch. Tammy was shouting in pain as the hot liquid washed over her bare feet, J grabbed the oil lamp and missed.
The oil lamp skittered off and fell to the floor, the resulting blaze as the oil ignited fizzling out as it collided with the pasta water.
J felt along the counter till he reached the junk drawer and the flashlight. It wasn't there. Raising his voice above the klaxon's of his excited children and burned wife, Jennings McCann restored order with a horrible roar of anger.
"Where is the flashlight that is never supposed to be removed from this drawer," the steel in his voice promised trouble if it wasn't produced immediately.
The 'don't knows' floated in from all the kids, it was Tammy who said "The flashlight has dead batteries. It's in the Burb."
J felt like banging his head against the cabinet. How many times........ he swore in frustration and said, "we need to get out side. Do you kids remember where our family meeting place is?"
Kids grabbed each other and marched for the door in conga line fashion.
"J, I need help," Tammy spoke with more calmness than she felt. "I've burned my feet." The floor buckled and twisted once again the pantry door opening and the contents spilling out, cans rolling like small depth charges across the floor.
J picked up his wife and charged for door. The second they were out the door the roof collapsed in the old house, the old wood splintered by the forces coming from below. The ancient sand and mortar foundation crumbling into quarter sized chunks, the rotten concrete tipping the main part of the house into the basement.
These people need to catch a break somewhere.
Oh my! Just when you think things can't get any worse too.
Folks, my internet was out all day yesterday. Will have a chapter this afternoon. Thanks for reading.
Wow. When it rains, it pours. Great writing though!
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
"I hate that house, I never liked it from the moment I laid eyes on it. Good riddance you stinking, crumbling piece of no good crap." Tammy fought tears as she sat on the front fender of the Suburban. J dipped shop towels in water and laid them on her feet.
"I'm so glad I didn't put any more time and energy into that junk pile. I just couldn't get my heart into a remodel and I'm so happy it didn't happen. Oh J what are we gonna do?" From ecstatic to morose in three seconds, Tammy viewed the enormity of their predicament.
"Mom, Dad, can we sit in the car, it's cold out here." Carl broke into Tammy's trance. J said 'yeah sure, here...take the keys and start it up." Teenage Carl jumped with alacrity to get the chance to sit behind the wheel. Some things never change, J thought with a snort. Kids will be kids.
There were shouts and yells from all over town, as dazed people called for family and then friends to find if they were alright. At night the extent of the new damage was unknown, but most of the people were accounted for. J wondered where the heck his dad was, he wished the old duffer would show up and let them 'find' him. He knew he was supposed to meet them at the corner of the property during any emergency. Sometimes the seniors were as much trouble as the kids.
Evie and Lainey sat down in the now quiet house. "I'm glad it stopped," Lainey whispered, her hand still gripping the oil lamp. "Good golly, that was a big one. I sure hope they stop. Are you OK Grandma?"
Evie shook her head, not sure if she was or not. "I think so honey, I've lived here 40 some years and this is the first earth quake I've had to deal with. Well," she amended, "the other one was the first, this one second."
"Look out the window toward Ev's, and see if they have lights," she asked Lainey.
"Yes," she replied, "lights and smoke from the chimney...I think. It's hard to see."
"How's your hand?" the young woman questioned.
"Better, I'm gonna live...it's a long way from my heart. It still smarts, but I can stand it." she finished with a huge sigh. "Drat it anyway, how silly can an old woman get. I haven't burned myself for years."
"Do you think we should be out side?" Lainey wanted to know. Looking around she inspected the old house for damage but actually found none. "What broke downstairs?"
"Jars, I suspect." Evie answered.
Davis McCann helped Wayne on one side and Doc supported the other. Inga held the light and opened the doors. Shaking from the emotion and fright, Inga shivered in the cool night air. "I've got to get a coat," her chattering teeth made it almost impossible to understand what she was saying.
"We all do." Doc agreed. The quake had severely agitated Wayne, the young man insisting he be allowed to go outside. Davis had been at the clinic talking to Wayne about renting the small house he owned. The one that was somewhat close to where Inga's mother lived. Davis was already tired of living town, and he knew Alan didn't care where he threw his hat.
Davis chatted with Wayne, the only person that seemed able to calm the nervous man into cooperating with the level of care that he still needed. "Come on," Davis persuaded, "Let's sit here and make sure that you haven't resumed bleeding. Doc is getting extra blankets and such. How ya feeling Wayne, any problems?"
Dizzy, weak and trembling, Wayne wrapped himself in a blanket and leaned against the railing to the porch. "I'm fuzzy," he admitted. "Just don't seem to have much strength."
"To be expected," Davis sympathized. "Realistically, you can plan on being out of commission for a couple of months. In any other time but now, they could blow you full of high powered antibiotics and you'd be working as soon as you felt like it. But nowdays,...." he let the implications trail off. "It just ain't gonna happen."
"Simpler times and simpler ways, have their drawbacks" he added starkly.
Wayne simply nodded, rather than use the energy to speak. He sat quietly, a measure of how ill he really was. This was the young man that adhered to the 'walk it off' philosophy of medical care. After Wayne had left the hospital when he recovered from his uncle's beating; he stayed with Evie. She fed him broth, parked him out side in the sunshine, and in general let him do as he pleased.
Thank God Grandma never fussed at him. He exercised by walking, sometimes spending the whole day going to and from the barn. From one chair to another, over and over until he could make the circuit once, then twice.
The clean fresh air, and an adoring dog that asked nothing but a pat on the head and freedom from the excessive demands and punishments of his uncle; slowly healed Wayne. His body healed, but his mind remained jittery and on edge. Wayne took to the woods, using the solitude to de stress himself.
Then there was Sandy. Why he was thinking about her right now, he didn't know. Sandy was and was still a problem. He sure liked her good enough, but he shied away from thinking he would enjoy being a steady man for a woman. He didn't feel capable of handling all his own problems and those of another person were so daunting, he was scared.
Davis was talking to him and he missed most of what the man said. "Ah, Mr. McCann, hold up a minute. I didn't hear what you said," Wayne admitted sheepishly. "I was out in the forest looking for the trees." he lightly excused his lapse of attention, Sandy would and did hold his interest above all else.
Brett, Abby and Trey carefully inspected their sturdy looking but old enough to be historic building for signs of damage. Several years before, Aunt Inga and Pastor John had worked and reinforced the old diner building. A retro-fit of current building codes required by the state had been a wise investment.
Some of the facade brickwork had fallen, but it was cosmetic and not necessary for structural integrity. Shouting to his friends and neighbors, Brett invited them to the cafe to sit inside, out of the cold.
The majority of the people were OK; the new state man brought his wife in and asked how to get ahold of Doc. Brett volunteered to go get his Uncle, and had Abby create a comfortable spot for Tammy. Benny showed up to look after his 'people', and to give a message to Jennings.
"J, Alan said to tell you he got through to the problem area and to let you know it was due in about 36 hours." It rankled Benny that Alan and J communicated with each other in such cryptic messages, keeping him out of the 'loop' so to speak. But he let it slide this time. He might be young and a lowly county Sheriff, but he wasn't stupid.
J caught the look Benny gave him while delivering the message and knew they were about to have a problem being so secretive. Why Alan felt it was necessary to be so over dramatic, he didn't understand, but it was on the verge of wrecking the good rappor he had with Benny.
When ex-sheriff Will and his family came in the door, J heaved a sigh of relief and left Tammy in the capable hands of Doc and Inga. Motioning to Benny and Will he spoke low, urging the two men to follow him back to the Sheriff's office.
To his credit, the moment the three men walked into the office, Alan knew exactly what was coming down. Jennings was going to bring them on board. Extremely unhappy about the situation, Alan sat on the edge of the desk with tightly folded arms and a black scowl.
It took a while to lay out the whole story in a comprehensive manner. Will nodded thoughtfully several times but didn't say a word. Benny was exasperated and somewhat angry but the longer Jennings talked, he could see the other man's point of view. He didn't want to give up being a bit stiff over the whole scene, but held his mouth.
"So with the terrorist threat and now the appearance of Kent Lawrence, we have a couple of big problems keeping the lid on this," J stood up to pace the floor. "None of our family suspects why we are here; although our Dad is no dummy, he knows there is a reason for the sudden uprooting of everyone."
"Will having Lainey at your Grandmother's cause a problem?" Alan ground out at Benny, acting a touch too superior for Benny's liking. Alan could see that the young woman was googly eyed over Benny, and wanted some sort of immediate assurance that Benny was experienced enough to act in a professional manner.
Benny stood up, so he could look down at the fuming Alan. "I don't think so," he said shortly, "do you have reason to think otherwise?"
"Knock it off Alan," J said disgustedly. "For a guy that needs help, you're sure going about it in a screwy way."
Alan didn't like the way the ex sheriff was looking at him, like he Alan was some kind of revolting bug. Standing up, he shoved his hands in his pockets and walked over to stare out the darkened window. The only light in town was over at the diner, a lot of people milling around, coming and going.
"Lainey's dad has a news hound nose," Jennings said once again. "We can count on him to be able to smell a story; and break our cover. Anybody have any suggestions?"
"There is a solution," Benny offered. "We have a cabin deep in the woods, that Alan could use. He would simply be out of sight. There's enough room for you to take your whole family camping," he told Jennings. "It wouldn't be unreasonable, your house is pretty much down as it is."
"Your Dad has offered to rent our house and act as a nurse for Wayne as he recuperates; so Wayne won't be out there. The cabin is actually his, but he would offer it in an instant if he thought you needed a place to stay." Benny presented a simple, practical solution; in his simple, practical way.
"Could work," J allowed slowly. "We'd be gone when Kent came to see his daughter. What do you think Alan?"
It was plain as the distrust on his face that Alan didn't think much of the 'plan.'
"I don't have anything better," he finally said. "What have we got, 24 hours to get out there? to be on the safe side?" he supposed.
"Come daylight, we can salvage as much of your household as we can J. and then leave. Can we drive to this cabin?"
"Not all the way, it is remote." Benny clarified. Alan nodded. Not enthusiastic about the way the family would all be thrown together, he grimaced at his reluctance to just give in and go with the plan. Alan was sure J and Tammy's kids would just drive him freaking nuts in a day.
"I'm going to have to ask Wayne if we can use the cabin, and he will have to keep my sister away from there," Benny was thinking out loud.
"Your sister that rode up here with Kent's daughter?" Alan queried briskly, back to not liking the way the plan was headed.
"No," Benny countered, "this is my youngest sister. She's supposed to be living home and helping Grandma, but she's run with us so long, she thinks she owns the cabin as much as we do." he laughed.
Alan was anything thing but amused. "So you have two sisters?" he mused.
"And a brother," Benny answered. "A Grandmother, my Aunt Inga and her husband the Doc. Somewhere I have a Dad, but the government has him locked up." Suddenly Benny was tired of trying to jolly and humor Alan. He was done being helpful, let Alan come up with his own solution. Benny crossed over to his desk and sat tiredly in his old swivel chair. It creaked with an alarming sound as he settled into the old wood.
The town of Evergreen settled into an uneasy quiet for the night. Brett kept the cafe open for coffee and sandwiches and a warm shelter. A lot of people declared they weren't afraid to sleep the night in their homes, but were compelled to run outside several times as after shocks tremored during the rest of the night.
Evie was up bright and early the next morning. Her hand hurt, so she fixed coffee and then sat at the table with her hand in a bowl of cold water. Looking out the kitchen door window, she could see several blurry shapes in the predawn light. Quickly she dried her hand and went running for Hap's old Enfield.
Wow, that Alan guy is a real jerk! Love this story! Can't wait for more!
I think I hear a mountain lion, I better go
"How big a boy are ye?"
So say we all. . . .
Bad, I really enjoy your avatar. I have a uncle that looks like that, especially in the morning before coffee.
sss thank you for reading.
Alan needs an attitude adjustment, thanks for your hard work PacNorWest
Easing the kitchen door open soundlessly, Evie checked the old rifle for bullets and brought the Enfield up to her shoulder. Inky let a little whine and she turned to shush him. Returning to the business at hand, she sighted down the old iron sights as the heavy gun wobbled a bit. Drawing a deep breath, she let it halfway out and gently squeezed the trigger.
The cow Elk crumpled in her tracks. The rest of the small herd stampeded back into the timber, as Inky barked and Junior yipped at the percussion that hurt their ears. Evie felt a bit rattled by the tremendous noise, but was happy she had secured meat.
Lainey came barging into the kitchen, baseball bat in hand and frizzy hair standing on end. "What happened?" she gasped. "What are you shooting?" Sniffing, she wrinkled her nose and said "Eeww, that stinks."
"Supper," Evie said in a somewhat prideful manner. "That old gal has stomped in my strawberries for the very last time."
"Grandma, that's not very civilized to shoot from the house. That poor Elk should have had a running chance," Lainey complained.
"Fine," Evie turned around to impale Lainey with a severe stare, "you get your Elk running; and just remember tonight at supper where the meat came from. Now I need you to get your clothes on and run over to Ev's and tell him I need some help."
Lainey went to dress, feeling a bit like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. This was weird and weirder, like time had regressed into Daniel Boone's era.
Clora had been starting breakfast when she noticed the Elk wandering into Grandma's garden area. She was thinking about grabbing one of Ev's guns when there was a rifle retort from Grandma's place. Trust Grandma to be up and alert, she chuckled.
Ev opened the bedroom door seconds later, stuffing his bare feet into boots and snapping suspenders over his shoulders. Gun in hand, he was ready for action. Clora wanted to snicker, instead she reported happily, "Grandma got an Elk. I'm supposing she's gonna need help. Do you have your hunting knife?"
Ev's head swiveled like a TV platform. First at the unexpected Clora in the kitchen and back again to the window overlooking the pasture and the outline of Evie's house in the distance.
"Elk," he said groggily, "there shouldn't be Elk around here this time of year."
"Don't tell that to Grandma," Clora cautioned. "Here comes Lainey to get you, how about you get ready and I'll hurry breakfast?"
Ev got properly dressed, helping Cheryl into the living room couch. Clora put 3 large oatmeal raisin cookies and a mug of weak coffee on the table for Ev. She poured another mug for Cheryl and put the pot back on the stove to perk some longer. She had to have her coffee a bit stouter. Ev and Cheryl must be weak-kneed Norwegians to enjoy such pale brew.
Lainey picked her way across the pasture, stumping through the dew wet, high grass in a pair of Benny's old muck boots. It was a strange feeling, never in her life had Lainey put on a pair of used shoes. She almost walked out of the too large boots, her foot crushing the rubber side wall and twisting her ankle. Catching herself just in time to keep from falling, she put pressure on her own broken wrist and felt a bone grate against bone.
Great, she thought. I just get the swelling down so it can be casted, and then re-injure the darn thing. Boy did it smart this time. That was a real hurt.
She knocked timidly on the sturdy plank door, and nearly fainted when bushy haired, bushy bearded Ev, toting his rifle answered.
Lainey managed a frightened squeak, which brought a protective bark from Ruby. The red heeler materializing at Ev's side baring her teeth in a fearsome snarl.
ya know,if Lainey makes it through her experiences with this family, NOTHING will ever phase her again. lol! thanks so much!!
Lainey sure does have a case of culture shock, but she better get used to it her old world is gone.
Anyone that's ever hunted elk knows the best place to shoot them is not more than 50 yards from the road! Looks like Evie improved on that! Great chapter!
"It's going to attack me," Lainey screamed with all her might, quaking in her to large boots. "I'm gonna die!!!"
Taken aback at Lainey's hysterical rant, Ev stood in the doorway with his mouth open, glued to the floor.
Coming forward to greet her friend, Clora arrived just in time to grab Ruby's collar to prevent the heeler from launching towards the visitor. "Ruby, DOWN," Clora ordered. By this time Christy was up and standing in the room crying at the upsetting commotion.
It took Cheryl yelling Ev's name to bring him out of his trance. "Ev! for heaven's sake, act alive!" she ordered briskly.
Clora finally deciphered from Lainey's crying and whimpering that she had hurt her wrist again. "Grandma needs Ev to help her with a Elk," her blubbering voice said haltingly. "It's a great big thing."
"Is Sandy there?" Clora wanted to know.
Lainey shook her head no,"haven't seen her."
"I can't leave then," Clora smiled apologetically; "but I know you can handle it. Grandma will show you what to do."
Ev and Lainey started out together to cross the pasture, but she couldn't keep up to his giant stride. "Go ahead," she urged, "I'll be there in a minute." Alone, Lainey used the time to feel a bit sorry for herself. This was like a nightmare trip through the house of crazy mirrors. On top of it all, that scary dog kept turning around and growling at her. What a crappy day this was starting out to be.
Evie waited until Lainey was headed over to Ev's before slipping out to cut the jugular vein on the cow. That city gal had some different notions, and Evie wanted her out of the way for the beginning processes. That blamed hulk of Elk was lying full length of the strawberry bed. What rotten luck. They were gonna make a mess of the berries she needed. She let the blood flow into the ground, she could use the fertilizer.
Evie got a bucket and shovel and started digging up plants. Might as well save as many as she could. She filled one bucket and then another. Ev got there as she finished all the plants she could easily reach.
"My Evie, that's a mighty fine dry cow. You did good work," Ev approved. Ruby sniffed the cow and then bristled at Junior when the pup bounced up to her. Ruby had to snap at Junior to teach him 'meeting manners' and how to treat a lady. Ev finally said "Ruby, that's enough." and she walked over to lay with her back to the house wall, ignoring them all.
Lainey walked up as Ev checked the jugular cut Evie made. She promptly threw up. Miserable, embarrassed to the bottom of her feet and totally unsure of what to do next, Lainey turned around and looked toward the forest. Shoulders slumped, she looked like a bedraggled little girl in her daddy's boots.
Evie took pity on Lainey and asked if she would run into town and get Sandy and Benny. "We need quite a few hands, this is an enormous cow," she explained matter of factly. "When you get back, I'll start you washing jars."
Lainey nodded and went to find her own boots. She could walk to town, yes, she could do that. Maybe there would be enough time to slip in and see Doc. Her wrist really hurt like the dickens.
It was closer to town than she thought, Lainey walked right along as she held her wrist tenderly. Benny was coming out of Doc's office when she rounded the corner and spotted him.
Benny had made arrangements with Wayne for the use of the cabin, and had the McCann's gathering what they could find . He looked up to see Lainey and his heart thumped a couple of extra beats. He straighted his spine and cleared his throat, "Morning" he greeted her. It was obvious that Lainey had tear streaks on her face and was holding her arm gingerly.
"What happened, did you get hurt?" he questioned seriously.
Lainey took a deep breath, "I have a message from Grandma, she wants you and Sandy to come out to the house and help work a great big Elk that she shot this morning. I need to see Doc, I hurt my wrist again." Lainey looked at the ground. She was sure that Benny could see her disgrace, she so wanted to impress him. He was about the most handsome man she had ever met. Instead, she was a weakling to his kind of life.
Benny put his arm around the gentlewoman and directed her back into the clinic. Lainey blinked back the nerves she was feeling, and allowed herself to be ushered in the waiting room.
Inga looked up when the door opened, and rushed to help Benny. Doc came in from Wayne's room and opened the nearest treatment room for Lainey. "I thought you were supposed to be careful with that wrist," he teased.
"I tried," she said with trembling voice. "I fell this morning and hurt my ankle hurrying over to Ev's. It's been a long morning."
Tammy and J pulled items out of the rubble, handing them to the kids that had formed a fire pail chain to fill the Suburban. Tammy thanked God that all her tools were still in the car, at least she had a way to make a living for them. J was so bogged down in his official duties, but hadn't seen a paycheck in weeks. The care and feeding of the children and themselves took a lot of cash.
J whooped when he found his personal weapon, he had been worried it might fall into the wrong hands. That was a load off his mind.