Pride Goeth Before A Fall


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Inga Evangaline Hanson

Grand Prix rider extraordinair
out of a job, out of luck.

Inga turned her face away from the television set. As she moved, she dislodged her heart monitor and it beeped loudly. Lights flashed, a second alarm kicked in and Inga didn't give a rat's behind if she lived out the day.

Within seconds the nurse raced in, anxiously checking the bedside computer station vitals and scanning her troublesome patient for signs of failure.

The nurse fussed at Inga a bit, but the semi paralyzed woman phased out her human contact and returned to her nothing world.


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Six months after her much televised event fall; her horse destroyed by the vet in charge as the pole had speared into the huge liver chestnut's side, Inga Hanson took her first step towards recovery.

There was a year's worth of physical therapy, pain upon waves of pain that would have destroyed a less determined woman.
Inga's recovery was progressing nicely when the economy faltered and then collapsed. The last week in July conference, between the doctors, therapists, nurses and Inga was the last. They couldn't continue to treat her.

The business agent showed up early the next morning with her personal items, a contract, and a bill. It was gather up what few clothes she had, pick up her purse with $150.00 in it and take a look at the bill that was close to $850,000.00.

Inga called her insurance agent who was mysteriously out of the office, and left a message for the woman to call the hospital. "I don't know what to say Mr. Jepson. You told me the insurance would cover the cost, and now you say nothing was paid? Why would the hospital let the bill grow to that proportions, before meeting with the Insurance company?"

It was under these circumstances Inga Hanson found herself out on the street in front of South Carolina's most prestiges hospital with the directions to the local YWCA in her hand.

It was a mean, nasty winter of waiting tables, house sitting and pet pooper scooping to save the necessary money for a bus ticket home. The bus ride was as mean and nasty as the winter and Inga got within 300 miles of home before she ran out of money.
The ticket would get her home; but her stomach was protesting it's hunger every mile turned under the bus wheels.

A little old white haired lady gave Inga a package of peanuts as she got off at her stop. And at Salt Lake City, a small family left her a sandwich and a bottle of water. The bus lurched over the snowville summit and headed to Twin Falls and a raunchy looking teenager with green and purple hair left her a box of fried chicken and a Mountain Dew when he left the bus. It got her through.

As the bus lumbered up the Meacham Summit and sped down the river to Portland; Inga began to feel twinges of excitement. She was going home, a place she hadn't seen in twelve years. Changing buses at Portland for the trip up North , she watched the rain on the window as the vehicle sped along. The monochrome gray and green landscape was soothing, monotonous and welcome.

Inga was furious when the bus ended it's journey 50 miles from her home. Energy and financial cuts, the driver shrugged his shoulders, nothing he could do. Alone in the bus station, she paced up and down. Tired, hurting and out of patience with herself and her weakness Inga started walking the highway towards home.

It was a long vehicle-less walk until a chip truck topped the slight rise behind her and started picking up gears. Inga turned around and stuck her thumb out, hopefully hitching a ride.

Everett Wilson was used to hitchhikers on the long lonely stretch of road. His job as the second shift driver for the chip company had him returning home just before dark, the bus unloaded at 2pm. and people on the move made it just about this far.

The slight female form was limping badly as he approached, but she turned and made the universal sign for a lift. He flipped the jake brake on and it rattled, slowing the truck and trailer. With a hiss of air, the old Peterbilt cabover stopped.

The woman came around to the driver's side and shouted up, asking for a ride. Ev nodded and shouted back to get in. She got the door open, and had difficulty stretching her leg up high enough to reach the saddle tank step. Eventually she made it in, collapsed in the seat and weakly slammed the door.

"I'm headed to Evergreen, are you going out that far?" she questioned tiredly.

"That's my yard," he replied, thinking she sounded familiar, but not placing the voice familiarity. "You up here visiting?" he asked affably, happy to have company on the run.

"I used to live here," the woman replied. "I've been gone a long while. Maybe you know my parents. Hap and Evie Hanson?"


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"Do I ever know Evie; Cheryl and I are neighbors, that must make you Inga. Have you been in touch with your mother, there are many changes at your place, you know." Ev watched the youthful looking blonde's face for any recognition that she knew about her dad.

"Changes at our place, not likely," she laughed lightly. "My folks have seen stuck in the same rut forever."

"Inga," Ev hesitated as he debated what and how much was his responsibility to share. "There are changes you need to know about. As you could guess, the economy has not been kind to your parents. Pete came back and left his family with your mother to raise, the next door neighbor woman brought her kids to your mom and vanished. And, it seems those were Pete's children also. And then.................."

A deer crossed the road a quarter mile ahead, and Ev hit the jake. Where one sauntered, there were bound to be more. The one thing a driver could count on in the hills; mama deer never taught their fawns to look both ways when they crossed the road.
Experience proved him correct as the old faded blue Pete closed the distance to the crossing. Three more deer jumped into the road; a great looking 3 point buck and a doe and fawn. Ev made note of the mile marker. A good place to consider hunting, he smiled.

"I had forgotten about how stupid deer can act," Inga observed, as she watched the graceful creatures stand in the road watching the oncoming truck.

Ev grabbed the leather pull of the air horn and yanked, blasting his displeasure at the deer. Three gears down and then back up as he lifted the shifter on the super nine speed transmission. The Pete was a little short on pulling power, the nine speed the only cheap replacement for the trashed 15 speed that failed the month before.

Ev thought about the part time driving gig he had been lucky to land. It was so difficult to find a job, any job, that a person just did what the job called for and didn't complain. The driving part wasn't bad, it was the loading of the gravity bin hog fuel that was a pain in the back. If you miscalculated the amount of chips you loaded, you shoved your truck down to the correct weight. After the second time of shoveling for six hours, he figured out how to be smarter. Now, he was accurate most of the time.

Ev slowed for the turn into the company yard, swinging wide to allow for the truck and four wheel trailer to hang on the established track. November weather was wet. They had already had over six inches of rain, and it was only the 15th. But the truck yard was oozing mud, pretty easy to get stuck as not. Ev sure as the heck didn't want to chain just to park.

"Give me 15 to finish my log and turn in my paperwork, here's the keys to the old blue pickup next to the fence. Start it and let it warm up and we'll get you home." the part time truck driver smiled at Inga and disappeared into the office.

Inga unlocked the protesting pickup door and pried it open. The 4 wheel drive was difficult to get into, as high off the ground as the old Ford sat. A backwoods boy's pickup, Inga thought with disdain, as she swiped at the mess scattered on the seat.
Inga tried several times to depress the clutch with her injured left leg. The pedal was so stiff she couldn't push it down, besides she couldn't move the seat ahead enough to get a purchase.

"Here I am," Everett announced cheerfully, as he yanked the driver's door open with ease. "Having trouble getting ole Betsy to start?"

Minutes later Inga was deposited at Evie's front door. Ev thought she was kind of a prissy stuck up little miss to be Evie's daughter; but then he had been astonished that Pete was her son.

Evie had looked out the kitchen window when she heard Ev's pickup, and could hardly believe her eyes. Dear Lord it was Inga!


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"Inga, oh girl I have missed you so much." Evie sobbed a little with overflowing emotion. ""I've been so worried, so long with out a word." she shook her daughter by the arm. "Thank God you are here. How are you, you look pale and peaked."

"Mom, it's a really long story for later."Then out of the blue Inga blurted out,"they had to destroy Mars. He was hurt in a fall, mom it was so awful," and her lovely golden haired daughter dissolved into tears within the strength of her mother's arms.

"Oh honey, I'm so sorry," Evie enveloped her daughter with the security of a mother's love.

"Grandma, who's that," Clora acted a little stiff and suspicious as she stood on the porch step. In one, two, three precision, Brett, Benny and Sandra lined up behind their sister.

"Kids, this is Inga, your aunt." Evie looked up to smile warmly at them, inviting the children to join her in hugging the long lost daughter.

Slowly, reluctantly they joined their grandmother, gathering close enough to hesitantly grasp hands around the two women.

Ev saw the small group in his rear view mirror, as he drove toward home. He was so darn tired, so much work that never seemed to end, the chip truck job; man he needed to get home and relax in his chair and smell Cheryl's supper cooking.

His warm house welcomed Ev with the scent of venison roast, potatoes, onions and carrots. Kicking off his boots in the entry, he stopped to pet the red heeler wiggling in ecstasy. Opening the door a little wider, he secretly let Ruby sneak in the house to snuggle in behind the stove.

He looked up to see Cheryl standing there with one hand on her hip, the other shaking the meat fork at him. Unrepentant, he walked over to kiss his wife. Cheryl smiled. There was nothing else to do; but kiss him back

"Gettin cold out there tonight. The big buck is still hanging around down by the old mill road, I'm thinking I might show up there tomorrow and have a chat with him. And I have the newest, freshest gossip in town," he teased Cheryl by stalling his announcement."I hauled Inga Hanson home tonight. She rode from town with me, and when I left Evie;s they were all having a group hug."

Cheryl looked interested, curious about the mysterious Inga she had heard so much about. "What's she like?" she inquired.

"Well, she's a itty bitty thing, not much taller than Clora. Looks like she's had a rough patch in her life however. The outside looks alright, but the eyes are old." Ev said around a mouthful of roast." Man this is good. You got a terrific do on this one, honey. I'm starved." Ev ate in total appreciation of Cheryl's hard work.

Ruby sniffed the air, staring at Ev, she hoped for scraps. Ev pushed his hand down, signaling to Ruby to lay down and be quiet.

Claude flicked a match with his thumbnail, he had been driving by the chip yard when he saw the tiny blonde get in Ev's pickup. Only one person in the world looked like that. Inga was in town.


Contributing Member
"Claude flicked a match with his thumbnail, he had been driving by the chip yard when he saw the tiny blonde get in Ev's pickup. Only one person in the world looked like that. Inga was in town."

I sure hope that Will has given Evie her cabbage stomper back...looks like she's gonna need it.


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Inga felt smothered by all the touchy feely hugging; but she could see her mother thriving on the contact. Somethings never change, she thought wryly. "Where's daddy," she asked as the group broke up.

It was the question Evie had been dreading. "Hap died about 3 weeks ago," Evie teared up in spite of her strong hold on her emotions. Wiping her eyes with the corner of her apron, Evie sniffed loudly, and ushered the family back into the warmth of the kitchen.

Inga felt dizzy and sick to her stomach. Her dad, dead. It couldn't be so. She grabbed the corner of the table and blindly felt for a chair. All kinds of thoughts were screaming through her mind. Brett, seeing that she was going to miss the chair seat quickly pushed it to the side to catch the smallest adult woman he had ever seen.

Evie noticed Inga didn't acknowledge the young man's contribution, so she as a grandmother mouthed the words,'thank you' to Brett. He smiled and nodded back. He felt tall and manly; he was bigger at almost 13, than his aunt. He noticed Benny didn't get any where near his aunt and Clora and Sandra busied themselves by the sink. He might still be a kid, but he could feel tension when he finally noticed it.

Brett had also figured out if he wanted to know something, he needed to get Benny off to the side and ask him then. He could almost always get a straight answer doing that, rather than blurting out.

"Where's dad buried," Inga asked tearfully, blowing her nose loudly and with less grace than Evie had ever heard.

"In the cemetery," Evie looked to the far pasture, tears clouding her eyes again.

Inga stood up and moved like she was sleepwalking, disregarding Brett's attempt to help open the door.

"Let her go," Evie said softly. "She was a daddy's girl, this is tough for her. We've had time to try and understand what she is just learning."

Cheryl was washing dishes when she noticed the small figure headed for the back pasture. "Looks like she's going to visit her dad's grave," she remarked to Ev. "It's too bad she couldn't have got here sooner."

Cheryl looked around to get an answer from Ev, only to be interrupted by his snoring. Sock feet up on the hassock, his head lolling back, Ruby curled by his chair. What a picture they made. Moving with ease she finished the dishes and sat down in her chair to enjoy a rest.

Inga cried for an hour, sobbing the bitter tears of regret and remorse that a daughter cries when she knows she hasn't been the child her parents wanted her to be.


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It was almost pitch dark when Inga came slowly through the pasture. She felt cried out, empty of any redeeming emotion and worst of all, she felt lost and untethered to life. Her dad had always been her hero.
She stopped to look around. There was a bright light burning in the nearest house she could see, and softer, fewer lights in mom's house. There was a dark shape at the pasture fence, it moved when she moved, stopped when she stopped. Inga felt a frission of fear and hurried her steps to the house, the dark mass coming closer and looking larger with each foot she traveled.

Reaching the porch at last, Inga jerked the door open and spun herself inside, slamming and locking the door in one smooth motion.

Evie looked up from the supper she was stirring on the wood stove. "Is something wrong?" she inquired, noting Inga's pale face and harsh breathing.

"There's a bear out there, ma. He followed me across the pasture." Inga panted as she regained her composure.

"Bear?" Evie spoke slowly, recognition dawning. "Oh, that was no bear, that was Inky, the kids dog. He's probably on his way home from Ev and Cheryl's."

"You have a dog that large that goes visiting?" Inga acted like she didn't believe Evie, but a peek through the kitchen door window revealed the huge black mass laying on the porch. "What does he eat,...children"" she asked half in jest.

Benny ruffled his feathers like a banty rooster. "He's the best dog ever, he don't eat people. We feed him dogfood." he said without smiling.

"What a literal little boy you are," Inga laughed at Benny as she walked to the sink to wash her hands. Benny didn't think she was funny, and he didn't like her remark about Inky one little bit. Inga washed and dried her hands and turned to say something in a weird language to Benny. He didn't like that woman making fun of him, and he was sure she had by the way she acted.

Evie put the pot of dirty rice and soupy hamburger beans on the table and asked for Sandra to say grace. As their custom, Evie let Sandra speak her heart and the grace was a trifle long. The second Sandy said Amen, Inga practically stood up to reach the bowls and dish herself up a generous helping. The children stared at her rudeness, and then in silent rebuke they passed the bowls in the correct manner.

Evie thought her daughter must be starving by the way she ate her supper. Inga was starving. Personally she thought the supper was lame. I mean rice and beans with a little hamburger, really now. The cold greasy chicken from that stoner looser was a better meal than this. Inga curled her lip, but ate her fill gladly.

Inga was especially displeased when she found her sleeping accommodations included the couch, and not her room as she expected. Her mom wouldn't budge on her decision, and Inga went to sleep feeling unloved and very unhappy.


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I hope Inga snaps out of it. It would be horrible to have two kids turn out rotten lol. tysvm for the update :D !!


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Evie lay in the night darkness thinking on the path the Lord had set her on. She felt heart gnawing loneliness with Hap gone. True, he was already gone when he died, but he had been part of her rock for 44+ years. Carefully she reached her hand towards his side of the bed. Cool and empty, the sheets on his side taut and smooth. In order to sleep, Evie had to gather his familiar smelling pillow close to her aching heart.

The morning dawned fire red; golden streaks of light that reached toward the purple heavens with an impact akin to Gabriel blowing his golden horn. Evie stood in the kitchen bathing her face in the oncoming morning warmth. In the magnificence of God's handiwork, only prayer was possible. Tears formed around her closed eyes, and trickled down her cheeks.

A thin arm reached around her trembling frame; Benny stood arm and arm with his grandmother as they started another day. Evie couldn't speak but she could hug. It was OK, they didn't need to talk.

One by one the grandkids rubbing sleep from their eyes walked into the kitchen. Seeing the tear streaks on Evie's cheeks, they looked concerned at each other. Benny nodded and smiled; then looking fierce and mean at Brett when it seemed Brett was gonna run his mouth.

There was a scratching at the door, Inky wanted in. That was a surprise as the huge dog preferred to stay outside, but he was a sensitive mutt. He wanted to share.
Brett petted the over sized Newfey on the head. The lump his dad caused still there. The vet had pronounced Inky OK, but the dog lay lethargic for many weeks, until resuming his protective status. Brett gave Inky special attention, he needed to make up for his dad's shortcomings.

Inga woke up thourally annoyed. Those noisy kids were chattering and joking, making quite a racket in the kitchen. She could hear mom instructing the crew on making pancakes. Plates were sliding and clanking, silverware clinking and dammed if that dog wasn't in the house. Rolling over on the lumpy uncomfortable couch, she pulled the blankets up over her face to stop the sounds and unbearable commotion of the morning. Accustomed to solitude, she craved silence. Not here, not today evidently.

Inky noticed the person on the couch, padding over as silently as a big dog can move, he thrust his considerably cold nose under the blanket and across Inga's nice warm back.

The scream was long and drawn out, properly outraged and horrific in tone and volume.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
Whats she doing with no clothes on her back in house full of people, idjit, another premadonna gads. Strghten up. I bet this kind of thinking on her part came from the school syste, your spcial your ,special crap.Thank you :)


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Patty was the first person to run into the living room, and as the tail end of the string, Evie heard hysterical laughter before she made the doorway. Inga was cowering on the couch clutching blankets as protection from the enthusiastic, slobbering Inky.

"He likes you," Brett exclaimed happily. "See, he wants to smell you, that's his way of saying hello." The youngster was standing by Inga's feet and he pulled the blanket back far enough for Inky to slurp on Inga's toes.

Inga thought she was going to die of fright, and that moron of a kid was actually encouraging the dog to touch her.

"Ahh," Inga made a strangled garble of sound, flailing her arms in an attempt to climb the back of the couch, kicking at Inky to make him back away.

"Hey, don't kick our dog," Benny and Brett snapped at their aunt at the same time. Exchanging boyish grins at their co joined thoughts, they grabbed Inky's collar to restrain the dog from extending a further welcome.

"Kids, let's back off and let Inga have some space," Evie tried to restore order. "Benny and Brett, please take Inky outside. Girls, help untangle Inga."

"GRANDMA, the pancakes are burning," Brett was screaming from the kitchen. Inky grinned one last wolfish toothy grin at Inga while shaking his head, stringing slobber all over. Inga ducked, sputtering her violent objections to the spit bath.

Evie quirked a smile at Inga, encouraging her to lighten up and enjoy the action. Inga sullenly returned her mother's stare, unhappy, unamused and unwilling to have anything but her own way. And that included NO DOGS.

Evie sent the three burned pancakes outside with Inky; spooned batter for three more, took a long swallow of strong black coffee, and directed the kids to wash up for breakfast.

Evie was becoming a pro at creating order out of chaos. Pete and Inga had never been the boisterous active kids this group was. It was 24/7 with her grandkids. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger; had become Evie's mantra. Breakfast was over and dishes finished before Evie remembered it was Sunday. They needed to hurry to church. The walk into town had to be slow because of Sandra's slowly improving heart problems and the family slid into the back pew just as the opening hymn started.

When the second hymn began, Evie had Brett and Benny change places to sit on either side of her. She shook her head at the audacious tricks the two of them concocted to torment their sisters; especially when they needed to be still. Patty carefully made sure she sat at the aisle side of the pew. There was a handsome boy three pews ahead, and she liked looking at him. She had caught him looking back at her, until his mother poked him to turn around.

Evie was so busy keeping track of her grandkids, she was totally surprised when the Doxology started. Somehow she had missed the sermon, so to atone for her inattention, Evie hummed the Doxology all the way home.

Inga had refused to attend church with the family. Desperately, she needed a time of quiet and emptiness, that included a bath, and a introspection of what she had and what she needed. Inky was unusually interested in the new visitor and kept very good track of what she was doing, where she was going and why, why, why.


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I loved the part in church. I knew a couple who were raising their little grandson and he was a handful. I was sitting behind them once and every time his grandparents would close their eyes in prayer, he would take it as his cue. He didn't make any noise but he was miming up a mess. Lol


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We have two grandsons that attend church with us, ages 9 and 2. They are following their mother's footsteps. The church scene has been repeated many times.
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The group was almost to their driveway when Ev's old pickup came chugging up behind them. Evie and clan waved, Ev tooted his horn. As he passed, Evie could see the antlers in the back. Ev had been playing hide and seek with that buck all fall, and it looked like he had won the game. Evie wished he had come to church, rather than hunting; but Ev politely declined every time she asked. Cheryl went to the other church in town, but they often walked together and tried keep each other caught up on the neighborhood news.

Evie and Cheryl repeatedly reassured themselves that it was news and not gossip they were exchanging, and they tried very hard to be responsible because of all the listening ears. Sometimes they succeeded, sometimes they failed.

Evie thought it would have been nice if Inga had put the lunch on to warm before they got home, but she hadn't, so they made do with cold bean sandwiches. It could be worse, Evie supposed. She had a package of Ev's stew meat, so they would have a magnificent stew for supper, and maybe some biscuits. The weather was cooling rapidly; the day going from a superior sunrise to a rolling thunderous gray storm front approaching rapidly. It felt like snow, her old bones aching as a accurate weather forcaster.

For the nine hundredth time Evie wished she had an enclosed back porch. It would have made her life much nicer to have a place where boots and coats could live, without having to come in the house. Maybe someday, maybe.

Evie had the boys stack an extra amount of wood in the house, and cover the wood that Ev had split against the coming weather.
Inky was fed and his bed made cozy and arranged with a straw bale dog house in the barn. Evie had noted sometime ago that Inky was putting on extra hair as a protection. The geese had gone south early, the woolley bear caterpillar had hatched with the proper amount of orange and dark brown to signify a hard winter, and the resident jokester, Thomas Redbear had asked Evie if she knew how to tell if there would be a hard winter.

Evie fell for the joke and Thomas explained the native american's way to tell the length and strength of the winter, was if the white man put up a lot of wood. Evie laughed; after all it was a good joke; but she was a bit mystified when Thomas walked out of the grocery store roaring with laughter and slapping his leg. He was very amused.

The weather closed down with a howling wind and rain/sleet turning to snow. Evie went to the closet for the lamps and flashlight and batteries. By 3:30, it was dark outside and the electric faltered and then went out. Everyone moved into the kitchen to stay warm with the fireplace insert cooking supper.

The kids were bored and starting to pick on each other, when Evie asked Inga to tell them a story about riding a Grand Prix horse on the international circuit. Reluctantly Inga obliged with the story of her first ride in France.


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Inga started in talking about being an exercise girl for a stable and progressed up through her first international ride. All the time she was speaking, Patty was gently brushing Clora and Sandra's hair. Soft and shiny, the girl's hair was almost to their shoulders, having grown with the application of better nutrition and rest.

"Your very good, working with hair;" Evie praised Patty as the older girl picked up the hair bands and brushes to put away.

"I think I want to do hair when I graduate, what do you think Grandma?" Patty asked hesitantly. The young woman had been back with the clan for several months, but was quiet, reserved, rarely speaking and seemed to avoid Evie at all costs. Patty asking Evie's opinion was a breakthrough in their relationship.

"I think you have a natural talent in that direction. How about the next time we go into town, we hit the library and check out books on hair cutting and style. You might begin by cutting the boy's hair, if you are still interested," Evie suggested.

Patty appeared to be contemplating what Evie offered, and then made up her mind."I would like that, thank you," she simply said as she headed for the bathroom to put the items away. It's a beginning, Evie told herself. It's a beginning.

The wind continued to blow, wailing and keening around the sides of the old house; shaking and rattling the back door with icy blasts. The sleet had turned to snow that was piling up in the corners of the wooden window frames.

When the stew was finished, Evie dished up bowlfuls for the family and they ate in comfortable silence. The crackling and popping of the fire was a pleasure to listen to, almost mesmerizing in relaxation. Evie had made cookies the day before and she brought out a plateful, water from the storage jug was heated and she made hot chocolate with dried milk and coco powder.

It must have suited the children, they polished off the cookies and drank the hot chocolate. They were debating if they should sleep in their rooms where it was cooler, or in the kitchen where it was warmer. During the heated discussion's intermission, there was a scratching at the door. All eyes instantly shot to Evie for permission to let Inky in.

Chastising herself for being such a softy, Evie nodded yes. In came snow covered Inky. Easing himself over toward Inga, he gave a mighty shake that wet everything in a five foot radius. No sooner than Inky was in and the door shut; there was the spookiest, long drawn out wailing howl Evie had ever heard. It made the hair stand up on the back of her neck, and stopped the children in mid air. Inky turned, looking at the door and growled the deepest, meanest sound he could make.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
Got myself all caught up this mornng :), Inga needs to get off her high horse hehe. Oh oh dog pack, wolves? Isn't having wolf packs back all fun and cozy NOT.


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Claude sat behind the two way mirror watching his empty roadhouse. A dark, scowling expression sat permanently on his face. The only patron was Hobart sitting on the last stool, drooling over Betty as she wiped the pristine bar top. The weather had effectively shut down his trade for the evening.

Claude's foul mood had already sent Sarah slinking away, after he barked harshly at her. Boy, she couldn't figure out what was eating at him. He had been so damm moody the last several days that she had a mind to take over Betty's bar job just to have something constructive to do.

Joining Betty behind the bar, Sarah pretended to inspect the liquor supply for restocking. "He's sure in a snit," she remarked to Betty. "He's acting like his tighties are pinching."

Betty chuckled lightly as she turned around to lean her elbows on the polished mahogany bar behind her. "It's Inga," Betty said as if that explained everything.

"Who is Inga?" Sarah wanted to know.

"Well lets see, she's Evie's daughter and Evie is your sister in law, soooo, I guess that would make her your niece," Betty patiently explained the relationship. "You claim to be set in so close with Evie, yet you didn't even know her kids; com'on you can't be so dense as to think we believe all you say."

"Well," Sarah flounced away, "Ron didn't want to have anything to do with his sister. She was so, common and rural."

"Rural!" Betty hooted, making Hobart look at her with puppy dog eyes. "Rural, that's a rich way to put it. That old woman was born 150 years too late the way she clings to the old ways." The lights went out, and Betty muttering under her breath felt along underneath the bar for the flashlight.

"Blast it, Sarah; did you move the flashlight again. If you don't leave it in the same place, we can't find it," Betty was provoked beyond reason.

"Oh, it's here somewhere," Sarah blithely replied right before she crashed into Betty; who was coming from the opposite direction.

"Listen you twit, can't you do anything right," Betty all but screamed, Sarah's elbow had landed on the side of her neck and it hurt.

"Me a twit, why you wrinkled old hag, don't you speak to me in that tone." Sarah's cold, frosty enunciation was carefully spaced to get her point across.

"Uhh, Betty, I have a flashlight," Hobie spoke into the darkness, offering anything he had to his infatuation.

"Well turn the stink'in thing on, are you daft!" Betty said caustically, trying to get to her feet amid the tangle of her and Sarah arms and legs.

The weak yellow beam shot down the bar to strike both women in the eyes. "Not in my eyes you idiot," Sarah screamed in Betty's ear. Shaking her head at the loud sound, Betty banged her head into Sarah's nose.

"Ohhh, you hurt me!" Sarah screamed again, "You gave me a bloody nose." muffled word's as Sarah held the hem of her fancy black sequin shirt to her nose. "That's worthless as a towel," Betty sneered as she thrust one of the bar mops towards Sarah,"Here use this." The hand connected to the white towel connected firmly with Sara's hand covering her nose, pushing Sarah's own hand into her nose with considerable force.

"You get away from me, your vicious, you animal!" Sarah used her most stinging insult against Betty, as she scrambled to get away.

"Betty, honey are you ok?" Hobart leaned over the bar to find his love interest.

Betty decided she like the solicitous care she could hear in Hobart's voice. It was about time someone recognized her worth as a woman. "I'm here," she purred in her best sexy voice. "Put your arm over the bar and help me up Hobie." and she pulled on his arm to follow her down the length of the bar toward her room.

"Hobart, did you pay for your beer," Claude thundered as he thumped through the door. "If you did, get on home, we're closing."

Hobie sighed. If Claude was around, his walk with Betty was going to cost him money, and he had none to spare. He squeezed Betty's hand and took his flashlight with him out the door.

"Thanks for rescuing me," Sarah used her best sultry voice on Claude, only to get a 'humph," in return.

"I'll lock the doors," Claude dismissed both women. "I'll be in the office and don't want to be disturbed." and he turned on his heel and disappeared into the darkness surrounding the entryway.


Veteran Member
Claude pulled a beer as he walked back to his office. He felt lousy; in a stinking, rotten, foul mood. Straining his eyes in the dark, hurt them as they hadn't recovered totally from the skunk episode. The small flashlight he had, barely lit the way back to the cubbyhole he called a office. He couldn't get Inga out of his mind. It was her fault that he was aggravated beyond human endurance.

He felt like a besotted 15 year old high school boy, moping in his upstairs room. Inga hadn't come to town this morning. He knew that for a fact cause he had watched Evie and her brood traipse in and enter the church. She hadn't come out of the house while her mother was gone, he knew that because he had watched the house hoping to get a glimpse of her. Claude had almost been caught in the storm by waiting so long. Another black mark to chalk up against Inga.

Claude steepled his fingers under his chin. Here he was, a grown man, not knowing what to do over a durn fool woman. He supposed the first move was to get rid of Sarah. She was the most clingy, needy woman he had the misfortune to hire for his lounge. And step 2, he didn't know. He'd think of something.

Ev hoisted the buck with the rope pulley, using the barn rafter. He and Cheryl worked all day skinning, gutting and butchering the buck. The temperature was dropping, chilling their fingers till they could hardly hold the knife steady. The barn was freezing cold, and they took the dish pans full of meat to the house. Cheryl started the stove while Ev went back to secure the barn for the night. Only the dog bones remained, and they would probably freeze, so that would be alright. He dropped the cross bar into the uprights to hold the doors tight against the swelling wind. It was gonna be a weather maker tonight for sure. In fact, the first ice pellets hit the brim of his hat as he reached the back door.

Cheryl had the wood stove huffing and puffing with heat; a skillet full of onions and butter sizzling, waiting for the fresh liver she was slicing on the cutting board. Ev rubbed his hands together in anticipation of a fine meal, none finer he figgured.

Cheryl had the clean jars ready after supper and filled them, the pressure cooker sounds filling the air as they processed. The electric went out just as dusk was falling, the storm rattling the story and a half cabin with snowy fury. Ev lit the lamps, and went to the porch for more wood. The wind stung the ice pellets against his face, and wanted to tear his breath away. A bad storm for sure. Ruby wanted in, Ev smiled and opened the door.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
Claudes gonna get himself into more trouble and doesnt even know it lol. each thing he does he digs a deeper and deeper hole.


Veteran Member
Inga sat frozen at the erie, blood curdling, teeth chattering howl/scream that split the night. It was the type of sound that stops your heart with fear. Every thought of evil things that lurk in the darkness flashed through her mind. When the sound finished there was no movement inside the house.

Finally it was Brett that said "Holy whiz damm, did you hear that!" Inga looked at the door window like the Hound of the Baskervilles was coming through, but nothing but snow against the glass could be seen. Brett went rushing to the door and acted like he was going to open the old white painted panel, when Evie and Inga both shouted " NO!" His hand fell, and he looked so disappointed that Patty snickered.

"Brett you've got to be the dumbest thing on two legs. What made you think it would be a good idea to open the door after a sound like that?" Patty stood by the table furious, shouting at the stupidest brother on earth. That twerp Benny was smarter than Brett, and he and his sisters hadn't moved a muscle.

Inky lay right next to the door, alert and focused on the cold darkness beyond the wood. He was protecting his family, he knew what made that sound, knew he didn't have the ability to counter the threat, knew he would try.

Evie knew what made the sound. " That's a cat. What a problem this is going to be."

Inga snorted, "That's just dandy. Can this mutt be any protection?" She flicked melting snow pellets from her shirt that Inky had shook all over the kitchen. Personally she thought the dog was an idiot just like that Brett.

Ev and Cheryl were getting ready for bed when Ruby cut up, growling. Ev looked out the bedroom door and spoke quietly to his dog, but she was flat out fussed and growling. He walked over to the door and listened, but nothing seemed amiss, aside from the wind. Ruby looked mean and all business, the hackles on her neck were up and she was super alert. Ev motioned 'down' and Ruby acquiesced, but never took her attention from the door.

Ev and Cheryl snuggled a bit, but three relaxing breaths and Ev was out like the lights.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
Sounds like a panther or as the old folks always said a painter. We had 2 jump our car in the back hills of VA. when we lived back there we were visiting smeone way back in,was a wow moment.


Veteran Member
Sounds like a panther or as the old folks always said a painter. We had 2 jump our car in the back hills of VA. when we lived back there we were visiting smeone way back in,was a wow moment.
I bet that was a heart stopping moment. Were the windows rolled up or did ya'll have to do that in a hurry?