If I thought for one miserable minute......

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
#1
"Grandma, I've got a problem." Sandra poked at her supper, uninterested in what there was to eat. "There's this kid at school that wants me to go to the dance with him. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I'm not very interested.

Evie put down her fork and gave Sandy her consideration. At thirteen, the girl was beautiful. But better than that, she was kind and responsible. A youth that could, and did, make a grandmother proud.

"Well honey, the first person you have to please is yourself. I do want to tell you," Evie toyed with her fork, before answering; "I honestly feel you are too young to be dating for a dance." Evie frowned.

"Tell me," she continued gently "what do you feel?"

"I think I'm glad you don't think I'm old enough. I like the guy fine, but not like a boyfriend." Sandy was pretty emphatic about her position. "Some of my friends,..well they are interested. Is there something wrong with me?" she wavered a bit, suddenly doubting her stand.

There was a creak, then a groan then a breaking, splintering sound. "Oh, it's an earthquake," Evie gasped, grabbing at the table. "Quick, we have to get outside."

The warm Spring afternoon was filled with the omnimous sounds of grinding rock, the jiggling earth rolling and undulating with wave upon wave of released tension. The barn bucked like a bronc as it rode the seismagraphic terror.

From out of nowhere, Wayne came running into the yard. "Come" he urged with ragged breath. "I don't know if we are high enough. This will cause a tsunami." he pulled hard on Evie's arm. "We have to go, NOW!"
 

seraphima

Veteran Member
Good grief, that's got to be a record for throwing us all off the cliff! Can't wait to see what happens next. I live in tsunami country, makes it very real for me. Where's that dog, and the rest of the kids? Hoo, boy!
 

Jeff B.

What is left when honor is lost?
That was a quick hiatus!

I'm sure this'll be as interesting as the previous story...

Jeff B.
 

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
#2
"Easy Wayne, old ladies don't travel fast. Especially when the ground won't stop moving." Evie tottered as aftershocks kept rolling.

"Sandy, hang on to Grandma. Spread your legs, like your standing on the deck of a boat, roll with them." he shouted as he dove in the house. "Are the BOB's still in the pantry?"

"Yes," Sandra yelled. "Be careful."

Wayne came scrambling out the door, 2 fairly large duffel bags in hand. As the trembling continued, the top section of the stovepipe came clanking down.

There was a loud crash inside the house, Evie turned to look, dismay on her face. Unconscious habit had her stepping back toward the house, going to see what had happened.

"Gram, you can't, com'on we have to go, this is important," Wayne hefted the duffel's, looking surprised at the weight. "Sandy, guide her," he ordered.

Across the pasture, he could see Ev ushering Cheryl and Christy outside. Ev reached in his pickup and tooted 3 times, motioning a 'come over' arm wave. The trio started down the drive way; Ev came roaring down the road, the pickup sounding like a rat-a tat-tat noise as it hit the bumps at high speed.

Wayne threw in the bags, hoisted Sandra in to crouch in the back, practically picked Evie up and deposited her in the front seat. Hopping in the back, he hit the cab sharply and Ev turned a circle and went for high ground.

"Hang on," Ev ordered loudly, he turned and headed for the ridge. The ground was cracked, fissures opening here and there, disappearing and reopening at random. Huge pine and fir swayed, and rocks tumbled. Behind them a cedar of ancient age toppled across the road. Dust and branches flew around in the air, a thick haze hanging in the choking dust.

Sandy shivered as the cool breeze blew across her back. Wayne handed her his coat, never taking his eyes of the road behind them.

"Thanks," she muttered as she wrapped the too large coat around her. "This is a bad one, isn't it?"

"Sit down, there are rocks and limbs in the road ahead," Wayne reached for Sandra, pulling her down to the pickup bed as she started to topple over.

"We left Inky," Sandra started to tear up. "I can't believe I forgot him."

"He'll do OK, animals have sensitive abilities to tell things like this. Tell you what, I'll go back for him when we get you and Gram to high ground," Wayne's hand trembled as he handed his friend a hanky. He sure couldn't stand to see her cry. It was stupid of him to forget the dog, he knew how sensitive she was. Sandy nodded and gave him a smile.

Higher and higher the old pickup toiled, Ev dropped a gear, slowing considerably as he had to weave in and out of rocks and downed trees and branches of all sizes.

Nearing the top of the ridge, Ev had to stop when he couldn't maneuver around a tree. Cutting the motor, they all listened to the silence. Not a sound, no birds, no small animals rustling in the brush, no wind. It was spooky silent. Every thing but Christy. The five year old chattering like a magpie.

Wayne vaulted lightly to the ground, opening the tailgate and handing Sandra down. Quickly he unloaded the jumbled assortment of bags, boxes and duffel's and the largest, ugliest old army tent he had ever seen.

"We need to go back," Wayne said to Ev quietly as they lumped the camp goods to a open area.

Wayne eyeballed the height of the surrounding trees and moved the tent another 20 feet into the small meadow.

"I like the way you think," Ev said as he passed with a tub of stuffed animals and toys. Wayne smiled as he looked at the very unnecessary items. Kids, but Christy settled on a blanket setting up her friends in order of importance. Playing, she was near yet not in the way.

"Look," Sandra cried, pointing toward the distant ocean. As far away as they were, it was easy to see the water receding.

The two men exchanged a look, both hoping they had made the correct decision. Ev grabbed for Cheryl's and Christy's hands. "Dear Heavenly Father," he started, giving Wayne, Evie and Sandra time to reach for each other.

Ev's strong voice prayed aloud as he asked for protection and mercy. The ground trembled again as the onrushing wall of water hit the land. Several more aftershocks moved the earth.

"I need to sit down," Evie said weakly. "This is quite a happening."

Wayne picked her up and set her on the tailgate. "Thank you dear," Evie patted his arm.

"Here Grandma, sit here," Christy pulled her blanket to the back of the pickup. Evie smiled and nodded her agreement. "Let's go over by the tent, we can use the blanket to sit on there." Evie looked at the ground, and started to slip herself down off the tailgate.

Ev was closest, so he grabbed her by the waist and put her gently on the ground. "I think you should have the chair, the ground is too cold." Ev tried not to show it, but he was startled at how little the old woman weighed. If she didn't wear that skirt, that had more yardage in it than a Bedouin tent, she would probably blow away.

Cheryl and Sandra worked at gathering material for a fire. Rocks were placed tn a keyhole design, pinecones were pounded with a rock to form a dry base for the dead sticks. Cheryl went to the pickup glove box and retrieved the box of matches. Soon the crackle of fire burned wood and faint blue smoke was headed skyward.

"We'll be back soon," Ev promised Cheryl. She looked at him calmly, "We left some things, would you grab them please. This is important Ev," and Cheryl spoke under her breath. Ev nodded. And Winked. He tugged at Christy's pig tail until she protested, "Daddy, don't do that."

Wayne sidled up to Sandra and handed her his smallest pistol. "Keep it tucked away," he advised. "shells, and a knife. Do you have a belt with you?" At her nod, he smiled at her and loped away. Ev had the pickup running, turning the ancient Ford around to start downhill. Wayne had to increase his speed to make it into the passenger's seat.

Ev looked at Wayne, the bearded youngster looking every bit like the mountain man he was. Neither man spoke as they tore down the mountain to the houses they hoped were still there.


Jennings McCann stomped on the brakes. The sudden lurching stopping the incessant bickering coming from the back seats. The overloaded Surburban crammed with kids, dogs and who knows what.

"I'm gonna throw out all the garbage," he warned in a crabby voice. "I'm real sick and tired of listening to you kids bicker and fight. Unless you want to see all those fancy do-dads thrown over the bank, CUT THE NOISE," he yelled with excessive force into the suddenly silent vehicle.

Tammy McCann gave her husband a measured look. One that said, you asked for this. Now you've got it, your complaining?

Jennings started the Chevy and headed for Evergreen. Even the dogs were silent, as the miles rolled on.
 

wab54

Veteran Member
Alllriighhtttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WWWHHHOOOHHOOOO!!!!!!

I wondered what happened to Wayne.

WAB
 

Rabbit

Veteran Member
I had myself sadly braced for no more stories from PNW and yippee, she's back. I might be hanging on this latest cliff, but I'm happy.

More please.
 

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
#3
"Well Daniel Boone, what do you think will have happened?" Ev teased Wayne. The whipcord lean man grinned back. Brown hair pulled back into a rope like pony tail, a full bushy beard, and Harley Davidson leather pants; Wayne was a throw back to earlier times.

"I don't think it came up high enough to mess with our houses. I was watching as it hit, bad for the lowlanders through."

"Yeah, I think the earthquake will have done more damage to our area. My stove pipe was parting company with the roof," Ev stated.

"That's why we need to go right back," Wayne gazed out the window as he spoke. "I'm sure Grandma had the stove going. Need to close the damper so it doesn't burn the house down."

Ev turned to stare at Wayne. "By golly, I forgot to do that also. Pretty smart of you to think of that during all the turmoil. You like the path your taking?" Ev asked curiously, not worrying about offending the man.

Wayne had come out of his coma by degrees, and he missed the rest of the school year by refusing to be bussed down the hill with the rest of the students. Wayne joined Evie's clan, learning to be his own person all over again. As Benny, Clora and Sandra were taught the basic rudiments of education, Wayne sat through the refresher course never speaking a word. He observed and absorbed the kindness and gentle love freely given by Evie and the kids. The healing heart as important as the physical repair.

Brett visited during the weekends, but between helping Inga, school and learning to be a teen in town, he was a busy kid. Wayne and Brett oftentimes went out into the woods, staying two and three days at a time. A Huck Finn kind of adventure. Most of the time Inky went with them, laying between Wayne and Brett at night.

There is something so healing about the unconditional love of a dog, the brown eyes staring in total adoration. They don't care if and what you have done or had happened to you. You simply belong to them.

The people had helped in Wayne's recovery, but it had been Inky that brought him back to life.

The huge dog was waiting patiently in the yard when they returned. Lying well away from the buildings, he knew his people would be back as soon as they had the young one's safe. Over 10 years old, the oversize Newfoundland was moving slower as age interfered with his puppy antics.

Wayne opened the tail gate and said "load up, Inky." Inky obliged happily. "What do you think, should we take enough for a week?" Wayne was eager to share his woods with his friends and kin.

"I don't believe we need to be gone that long," Ev drawled. "A couple of days at most, just to make sure the houses are structurally sound before we move back in."

Wayne looked downcast, but ducked inside Evie's house to have a look around. "Boy, is Grams gonna be mad. Her best breadbowl slid off the counter and broke. There's gonna be Hell to pay now," he laughed as he carried the dutch oven full of baked beans out to the pickup. "No sense letting these go bad," the rest of the sentence was a mumbled jumble as he jammed a roll in his mouth.

"Hey," Ev protested, "your not the only hungry one here. "I was just sittin down to supper. I'm a growing boy," he complained mainly to himself as Wayne had gone back inside.

"Good God, will you look at that!" Ev happened to glance toward a low, rumbling sound, in the far distance the top of Mount Ranier exploding skyward with ash and steam boiling into the air.

Wayne dashed outside at Ev's interjection. Together they watched the once dormant volcano erupt.
 

kaijafon

Veteran Member
Oh my goodness! what has NOT been thrown at these people!?? Alien invasion?? lol! i love it!!! I love it, I say!!! Super great story!! (all of them!) Now I'm wondering if those "gov'mnt" types will be around.....
 

bad_karma00

Underachiever
Quake, tsunami, and now volcano. They say things come in three's. Is that what you're shooting for? Glad to see Wayne doing so good, too. And poor Inky. We all slow down, don't we, lol.

Great as always!
 

debralee

Senior Member
Hope they find some place better than a tent to stay in. There's most likely going to be a lot of ash in the air from that volcano.
If it wasn't for bad luck these people wouldn't have no luck at all.
 

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
#4
The first thing Wayne did was wet a finger and test the wind flow direction. He nodded at Ev and smiled. Luck was a West North West wind to carry the ash toward the interior. Good for their area, bad for everyone else.


Cheryl stopped suddenly. Holding up her hand, she motioned for silence. A single chirp, followed by several more sounded in the trees behind the group. Smiling, she relaxed, letting out her pent up breath. "The birds are sounding," she repeated happily. "I take that as a good sign.

Cheryl walked over to stand in front of her daughter. "Christy, thank you for obeying my signal. Would you like a treat for doing such a good job?" Christie's little face was already bobbing up and down, anticipating the reward with glee.

"A piece of gum or a cookie?" now that was a puzzle Christy had to think about. The five year old thought and thought, "Gum please." she finally said. Cheryl handed the child a stick of gum. "Thank you for being polite, I appreciate your good manners." mom said to daughter.

Evie had to cover her mouth with her hand to hide her smile. That Christy was a little firecracker. Such a combo between Ev and Cheryl, the child had the best and the worst of both parents.

Sandra returned from the tent. She had changed out of her skirt, donning jeans and a belt to help holster Wayne's gun. The knife was a handmade affair that Wayne had crafted for himself. More on the lines of a skinning knife, the razor sharp knife was resting in a leather sheath made from one of Ev's cowhides. It was Wayne's pride and joy.

Sandra asked Cheryl if she wanted to take the first patrol. "Go ahead Sandy, I'm gonna get stuff settled for the night," Cheryl moved several of the heavy totes under the rain fly. "Gonna be a heavy dew tonight, shouldn't have anything out that could get wet."

Sandra had her body in motion, heading for the woods to reconnoiter. She felt strong, young and alive. It was such a good feeling to be in charge, rather than have her once weak heart determining what she could and couldn't do. She had grown up running the woods with her brothers and Wayne, until Evie gently called her in and she had to become more ladylike.

It was impossible to be angry at Grandma, but it sure was a lot more fun camping than sewing. Sandy crouched in the heavy brush at the edge of the meadow, listening, watching and smelling. She had deliberately gone up wind of their camp fire, to check for other odors in the vicinity.

Sandra circled the camp twice, before the birds went silent once again. The hair standing up on the back of her neck, she snuggled in next to the base of a concealing cedar tree to alert to the problem.



Jennings pulled up in front of the house he had tentatively spoken for. It was deathly quiet in the 'Burb. The sound of brother Alan shutting off the truck behind him, and their dad sliding into a stop with his pickup and trailer completed the the silence.

"This is it?" middle daughter Sophie asked in disbelief. The obviously older three story house had sagging black shutters on a once white exterior. There was a broken living room window and the front porch railing rested it's nose on the peeling porch floor.

Tammy couldn't say anything, all she could think of was the beautiful house they used to live in. Slowly she opened the door and got out. The dog sitting between Jennings and herself jumped out in excitement, pushing Tammy from behind. Sprawled most inelegantly on the ground, Tammy instantly hated Evergreen.
 

Genevieve

working on it
Evie! You're back, hooray!
Does this story stand alone or is this like another "chapter" in a saga? I take it from juco's post that this Evie person is a recurring character.
Is there going to be references that I won't understand because I haven't read the other stories? Because it seems that way with that I've read so far. If so, I'll stop now because I hate coming in to a story without knowing that it's just a continuation of another.

Thanks!
 

kaijafon

Veteran Member
Does this story stand alone or is this like another "chapter" in a saga? I take it from juco's post that this Evie person is a recurring character.
Is there going to be references that I won't understand because I haven't read the other stories? Because it seems that way with that I've read so far. If so, I'll stop now because I hate coming in to a story without knowing that it's just a continuation of another.

Thanks!
There are two previous stories that occur prior to this one.
 

Echo38

Contributing Member
I am beginning to understand why the old blessing " May you live in interesting times" was actually considered a curse by many. I like interesting but goodness Evie sure has her share and then some. She is a great anchor for these stories.
 

Dreamer

Senior Member
Genevieve,

The first story is "For Pete's Sake" and the second is "A Pride Goeth Before a Fall". Both are fantastic, and not terribly long. You won't be trying to read two 800 page epics to be caught up for this story. PacNorWest has an amazing economy of words, getting across with just a paragraph what many writers need pages to expose. I highly suggest reading the first two stories and then rejoining us for the rest of Evie's story.
 

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
Oh, blush. Thank you for the high praise. I just like to write what people might be interested in.
Hopefully readers could understand Ev and Cheryl were prepared, and lived fairly well.

Evie and family were once prepared, and lost 99% of their preps. They had to depend on others for help,
and would not have survived but for the generosity of their neighbors.

People everywhere died, some by their own negliance, some by nothing more than fate, and others by
violence.

The disasters befelling individuals and the community as a whole, are normally minor inconviences in regular
times. Problems? yes. But workable when the burden is shouldered by all. It is when there is no hope for the future, that
coping skills falter and die.

In order to survive, a basic set of items are necessary. Water, shelter, fire and food.

Some might argue that weapons are necessary, and they are.
 

PacNorWest

Veteran Member
#5

Davis McCann got out of his pickup and walked around stretching his legs. All he owned in the world in the pickup and enclosed car hauler, now parked at his son and daughter in law's new location. The town was shabby and a little rundown, like a high society matron fallen on hard times. Not the manicured subdivision they had just come from, not by a long shot.

Somebody from across the street waved at him, and Davis returned the salute. Maybe this wouldn't be a bad thing, the move to follow his son. He enjoyed a close bond with Jennings, and with his second son Alan. Eh, where he lived wasn't important to him anymore, as long as he was near family. Shrugging, he walked up to where the family was gathering.

Tammy started to scramble to her feet; suddenly the ground beneath her jiggled, shook and vibrated with the powerful force of the earth stretching her muscle force. Kids started shrieking, the dogs were barking in a frenzy, buildings swayed to unseen music, people were shouting and glass was breaking.

Alan made a grab for his father, lending stability to them both. Alan's dog Zeus started baying, the hound type mutt yodeling his dismay with the natural disaster he could feel.

Jennings helped Tammy to her feet; they stood arm in arm riding the undulating ground. The shaking seemed to go on forever, the danger they felt multiplied by the long minutes of terror that was happening.

"Holy Crap Batman," J and Tammy's oldest boy Carl, let the words fall from his mouth as he looked wildly around.


The citizens of Evergreen ran outside understanding that being in the open, away from buildings and trees the safest place to be.

Babies could be heard crying, scared by the way their parents had scooped them up and started running. Children were shouting, car alarms were sounding, and dust billowed, coating everything with grit.

When it was done, silence was louder that the commotion of the quake. Looking around in disbelief, the McCann family had serious doubts they were doing the right thing. Evergreen was one scary place.

Everyone started talking at once. Tammy looked around in a panic, counting noses to be sure her children were alright. "Carl, grab your dog. He's gonna start a fight.........." Too late, she looked as the purebred Shepard ran full tilt into a Husky and they started a spinning, snarling, snapping ritual of dominance.


A small boy darted from a crowd watching in open mouthed amazement. "Ranger, Ranger, you stop that and come home," the childish entreaty was shouted as the boy headed for the violent battle.

"Trey, STOP! NOW!" The tall man burst from the group standing in paralysis. The boy was hell bent on saving his dog, and either ignored or couldn't hear the man's commands, as he ran as fast as childish legs would carry him.

Carl dropped his soccer ball and aimed it with a swift kick right into the boy's churning legs. Three somersaults later, the youngster lay flat on his back, the breath knocked out of him. The man dove at his child, shielding the boy with his body as the enraged dogs tumbled closer and closer.

Davis shook Alan's arm, holding out his cane. "Stop that damm dog Alan."

Alan loped over into the fight. One well aimed whack sent his nephew's big male yelping for the pickup. Panting, the Husky eyed Alan like he was next. Arrogantly, the plumed tail came up over the dog's as he looked down his nose at the interloper. He trotted over to the man and child, licking a slurpy larrup on the child's cheek.

"Carl, chain your dog," J ordered, "or put him in the pickup." Carl looked resentfully at the bloody ear, slobber and scrapes his wonder dog Max had received. "But Dad, Max is hurt."

"Now Carl. This was Max's fault. And yours, for not having him leashed and under your control."

The delegation coming across the lawn didn't look happy. Jennings, or J as he was known, thought his beginning as the town's resident State Patrol officer was off to a real bad start.
 
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