A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron – Book Review


From the best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey comes A Dog’s Way Home.

A Dog’s Way Home is the story of Bella. Bella, a mixed breed mutt, was born under an abandoned building – and that was when life was easy. Since then it’s been a rollercoaster ride for Bella and her person, Lucas.

Follow along with Bella as she faces the ups and downs of cats, dogs, and humans. She finds herself on the most important journey of her life; to get back to her person and her purpose.

W. Bruce Cameron’s books are probably not going to be literary classics, but they are guaranteed to make you smile as you read them. All of his dog books are fast reads, perfect for a day when you need to cheer yourself up. You will laugh. You will cry. And you will absolutely fall in love with the amazing dogs in Cameron’s novels.

And if you don’t like dogs, then please go think about your life choices for awhile.

Because dogs rule.


Book Review – The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

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Have you ever wanted to sit down with Carrie Fisher, sip on a glass of iced tea, and hear her juicy stories about Harrison Ford? Have you ever imagined staring at her in awe as she reads her poetry from when she was just nineteen years old and still had her entire crazy life before her? Or is that just me?

Well, if that is what you are looking for then read The Princess Diarist. This memoir is like the best gossip fest ever! And I don’t even like gossip!

"I wish that you could love me more so I could love you less." 
- Carrie Fisher

It was a treat to read her her story and her truths. There are entries from journals that she kept while filming Episode IV, including poetry and personal memories. There are a lot of emotions on the pages of this book, but what young woman could resist a scruffy looking nerf herder?

Call his indifference a mystery
Call his arrogance intellect
All you've got to lose is your heart
And a little self-respect
-Carrie Fisher

Yea, me either, Carrie.

Book Review – Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“It should not be denied...that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led west.” 
-Wallace Stegner, The American West as Living Space

Into the Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, an affluent young man who had been given all he could have ever needed or wanted financially-including a trust fund that he gave to the organization OXFAM, a charity committed to fighting hunger. Just over two years later Christopher’s alter-ego, Alexander Supertramp, died of starvation in the Alaskan Wilderness. While the end of his life was tragic, his thirst for life and adventure was not. 

The book is the result of Krakauer following in Alex’s footsteps through America. Alex made many friends along the way, and found a sense of family in complete strangers that he could never find with his own biological family.

He wanted nothing more than to be free. To live by his own intelligence and will. He wanted to go into the wild.

“I now walk into the wild.” 
―Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

If you are travelers like we are at Write on the Road, then I must insist that you read this book. You will feel the emotional journey of Chris McCandless on a different level than the average person. You will be able to understand that wanderlust, and the desire to wake to a new view every single day.

If you don’t travel full time like we do, then I still must insist that you read the book. Find your own wanderlust. Feel the passion to see new horizons. Eat new food. Try the local beers. Hike new mountains.

Become a tramp…

“...make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” 
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

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Story Time – Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

Write on the Road spent a few days drycamping in a ghost town. The spirits that resided there inspired M.D. Parker to share their story.

Silver Rock by M.D. Parker

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.

She loves him through his faults. Miguel is heavy with the drink, but no one works harder than he. She looks around the house. She should try more, she thinks. The wood is chipping and the whitewash she spread along the wall is cracking. She notices a dark stain near the door, like ground in charcoal. She fetches a bucket from outside the door. She returns with a small amount of water and lye soap to scrub it away, but there is no stain. Confused, she looks around before setting the bucket down and gives up trying to remember what she was looking for.

She can’t remember how long they’ve been there, but she can remember the man in his horseless buggy. She’d heard they were becoming very popular in the cities and soon they would be everywhere. She didn’t believe it. His horseless buggy couldn’t make it up the hills like her horse could. He had walked up the last hill to tell her that she would have to leave. The claim belonged to her husband and she was not entitled. Yes, entitled was the word he used. She knew the English, but the man in his fancy suit and horseless… “automobile” is what he called it, he used lots of words she was not familiar with. She chased him away with the rifle Miguel left standing by the door.

Maria cared very little for the fancy man, but she never wanted to hurt him. She just wanted to scare him; make him go. She had to keep everything ready for when Miguel returned. He will take care of the fancy man, and she will take care of their home. That was the deal when they came to the hills outside of Silver Rock, and everything had been going fine until the day…

She would not think of that day. She had work to do, right after she relieved herself. She stepped with care across the rough ground; just a few feet from their door to the outhouse. The sun, not fully over the mountain, did little to light the path.

The day passed, as so many others had, while she waited for Miguel. She filled their water from the hand pump over the well. She made herself some food and had some put away for Miguel. She tended to the plants in her makeshift garden that was bordered by rocks she had placed in concentric circles. She brushed off her dress and set to preparing the oil lamps as the sun touched the western hills. The moon already showed itself, full and bright, as it chased the sun away.

She heard them coming. A rumbling sound. They were following the same track that had been laid down by the uncountable trips with their wagon, hauling what Miguel had pulled from the mine on their way into Silver Rock to get the goods they needed. It came into view. Another horseless buggy, of sorts.

It was strange though, closed in like a carriage of painted metal. Not open like the fancy man’s. She watched as they stopped so near to her home. The wheels looked nothing like the ones on the fancy man’s. His had spokes like a wagon. These were solid and of the shiniest metal, like they were made from pure silver. How rich must the owner be to afford such extravagance? She grabbed the oil lamp from the mantel and turned for the door.  Stopping only a foot past the rifle. She raised the oil lamp to get a better view beyond the shadows thrown long by the setting sun and the rising moon. She could not help her mouth falling agape as people climbed from the carriage.

A man got out first first from the front of the carriage and looked around as if not seeing her. He wore denim of a quality she had never seen. A thin shirt hung over his torso, like an undershirt but with pictures painted on it. The woman that stepped out next was the reason for her shock. She looked like a harlot; a half naked working girl. She wore no dress. Her legs bare, her bottom covered only by some kind of tight fitting pant that ended high upon her thighs. She too wore a shirt with painted pictures, the front low enough to show hints of the breasts it barely covered. harlot or no, she felt a tinge of wonder if her own legs had looked like that before age had taken the youth from beneath her dress.

They both moved and spoke as if she was not there. Ignoring her as she called out to them. This man in his fancy carriage and his harlot companion had no business around her home. They continued to speak with no regard to her. They spoke in clear English, but some words she did not know. She continued to wonder at the woman who seemed so comfortable being so near to naked.  

Maria stepped out farther toward them, forgetting the rifle by the door.

“You see the burn marks? I told you she did it.” The man said to his companion, pointing just behind Maria.

“She must have been so sad,” the woman said.

Maria turned to see what the man was pointing at and saw the charcoal colored stain she had meant to clean up that morning. The two of them walked right passed her, straight into her home stepping with care.

Pare! No se puede entrar! She said too fast, forgetting her English.

“Did you hear that?” The woman was looking around.

“Hear what?” The man answered with his eyebrow up mocking the bare-skinned woman.

“Something, I’m not sure.”

He’s laughed then, “Don’t tell me you believe the stories about her ghost now?”

Maria reached for them. The man’s shoulder was closest to her. A startled half scream slipped past her lips as her hand passed through his shoulder like a wisp of smoke from a pipe. The man turned around and his face fell slack as he stumbled. Then it all became a blur. It happened so fast.

He screamed and the woman did not move but met Maria’s gaze, eye to eye. Maria shook away the shock, realizing she must have missed his shoulder, she had meant to grab him, to tell him to get out of her home. They had no right. She stepped forward yelling at them. Her Spanish and English mixing in her tirade.

Pare! Get out of my home. No entrar. LEAVE!

The man scrambled and stumbled as he tried with desperation to bring his feet under him. The woman broke the ice holding her feet to the ground and grabbed the man by his painted picture shirt. He swung his arms as he stood. Maria stepped in closer holding the lamp at him, shaking it with all the fury that masked her own fear. The man’s arms struck the lamp. Maria saw the flutter of a disturbed smoke trail as her hold on the lantern broke.

She screamed.

She heard the the glass on the lamp break as it found the hardened floor. The man’s eyes grew larger than the full moon inside their sockets.

LEAVE!

They tried to run from her. They tripped and stumbled as if climbing over something she could not see. Maria felt hot.

Panic stabbed at her mind, breaking her fury as she began to understand what happened to the lamp. Its oil splashed as it broke. Her dress ignited as the tiny flame found a new home. She screamed, not for them to leave, but for help, as the flames swirled around her.

The heat. The pain. All so fast.

She saw them fall through, more than run, out the side door. The one that opened toward the well pump. She flapped her arms against her dress, but the oil spread. She ran out the front door. Her body dropped to its knees. Her mind blank except for the pain. The heat. The smell.

Miguel?

Help me…

Por favor, Miguel.

Miguel did not come and the world fell darker than the night should be. The man and his harlot ran to their carriage. Through the flames that covered her eyes, she saw the wheels of silver rolling over the rocks.

She moved through the doorway with a small bundle of wood in her hands. The morning was cooler than she expected, and the fire needed stoking. Maria knelt down pulling open the heavy iron door. She tugged on her dress to keep the hem from catching under her sandaled feet. Only a little, she thought. Just enough to warm the water and take away the morning chill. The day would soon be warm enough. She closed the iron door and stood, wondering, if today would be the day he came back. Miguel still had not come home.


Read more in M.D. Parkers first collection. 
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Book Review – Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

If you want to feel better about yourself as a parent, you should read this book. It gives you some pretty descriptive detail about how to be the shittiest parents possible.

Fourth of July Creek takes you back to the early 80’s, and introduces you to the Pearl family. This family is extremely religious, and heavily lean on conspiracy theories to keep themselves thoroughly crazy as they live in the wilderness, completely off-grid. A CPS worker, Pete Snow, gets wind of the family and shows up to try and help – and it eventually leads to ATF and the FBI searching for the family – and for Pete.

Maybe the conspiracies aren’t just theories anymore.

Even though this type of story is normally not my thing, the novel was good. The characters are colorful, giving you an in-depth look into some pretty serious cuckoo birds, and some pretty intense assholes.

My full opinion – worth the read, but probably only once.  

 

Story Time – Selfie by M.D. Parker

SELFIE by M.D. Parker

“It’s gotta be something inside the lens right?” Denise turned the cell phone’s face back towards him.

Stephen looked at it for a long minute before finally conceding, “You’re right; creepy looking as hell.”

He glanced at the dark humanoid blob in the far corner of the room behind Denise in her self-taken photo.  She had been trying to be coy, sending him the selfie with her pouty face look, adding the message that he better hurry home before she changed her mind about the evening’s plans.  He hurried.  When he came through the door, there she sat, hands shaking as she stared at her phone.

“I mean it isn’t there when I take a regular picture,” she said as she switched the aperture setting and snapped a picture of the room again to show him.  She had already done this twice.  He didn’t blame her and avoided calling her silly.  The shape was just so human-like, and the way the image was angled – it was just there in the darkest corner of the room.

He looked again.  She was right, no black form in the front facing picture.  She was beginning to calm, as she was proving her own theory.  He handed her the phone back again.

“And now, I bet it’ll be there again.  Just like it was the first two times.”  She held the phone up, facing herself and pressed the button.  She saw it again.  The image, that black form, but it was different.  For an unmeasurable amount of time, she didn’t see it – until she did.  It had moved.  The form was in a different place.

“Yeah, but shouldn’t you be able to see the spot on the screen when you face it tha…” Stephen’s voice broke as she saw her face.  All the color was gone.  Those baby blues that he was so fond of were wide and frozen.  Her hands began to shake, slightly at first, but grew in intensity.

“Oh, God.  It’s not possible.”  Her voice stuttered as tears filled her eyes.  She jammed the button again and saw it instantly.  The shape was closer than before.  She mashed it again and the shape came closer yet again. “No … not possible,” She said once more.

Stephen’s face was a reflection of the dumbfounded wave that washed across his mind as she pressed the button over and over pausing only long enough between to see what each push captured.  He reached for her.  He moved to grasp her shoulders and pull her in close.  He meant to bring her into the safety of his arms.  She pushed the button one more time, and his hands closed on nothing.  Her phone clattered hard against the floor.  She was gone.

Stephen looked down.  He saw the phone on the floor and picked it up.  It was Denise’s phone.  He walked toward the kitchen.  “Must have dropped it on her way out.  Better leave it here so she can find it when she gets home,” he said to the earless walls.  He laid the phone down on the edge of the breakfast bar and snatched up a beer from the fridge.  Stephen sat down on the couch and grasped the television remote, and began the wait for Denise to come home.

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Book Review – Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is a vampire novel that was written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, a Swedish author, and was published in 2008. It was later adapted into a movie.

I saw the film before I read the book. And it turns out this was one of those rare occurrences when I actually liked the movie better – and I didn’t even think the movie was that good.

You can tell the book was written in another language and translated to English (translated by Ebba Segerberg). The story was intriguing, but the dialogue was…immature. The conversations left a lot to be desired, and made the characters lack personality.

Admittedly, I read ¾ of the book and just skimmed the last ¼. I’m a loser that should not be writing a book review on it, but here it is anyway.

On a good note, Let the Right One In did have an amazing quote that I will forever remember –
“Real love is to offer your life at the feet of another, and that’s what people today are incapable of.”  – John Ajvide Lindqvist

 

5 Tips for Traveling with your Significant Other

There are a lot of similarities between living in a sticks n’ bricks and living in an RV full time. Meals are pretty much the same. Sleeping is the pretty much the same. Walking the dogs is the same. You know what is different? You are spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your partner while living in a Costco sized tin can.

If you don’t like your significant other, then this is probably not the life for you. For the most part Mr. Write on the Road and I like each other…almost all the time. And when we don’t, we take a walk, play with the dogs, or read a book and pretend the other one doesn’t exist until we do like each other again…actually, that is probably sound advice no matter how or where you live.

We have discussed and came up with 5 important tips for traveling together and decided to share our wisdom (*cough bullshit cough*) with you.

  1. Don’t run out of things to do. Whatever your hobbies are – keep them. I am an avid reader, and if I run out of books I get cranky. If he runs out of laptop battery power, he gets cranky. We have our individual things to occupy ourselves like reading, writing, walking, rock climbing, photography, etc. If you get restless go do something together that you don’t get to do every day – go to the movies, go visit a local museum, get dressed up and have a date night. Just do something to cure your restlessness so you don’t get cranky with each other.

Him: Honey, what you thinking about doing today? Me: PMSing Him:…Oh…Well. I think I am going to take the dogs for a long walk.

  1. While not letting yourselves get too restless is a great idea, it’s an even better idea to remember to take your time. This is your life now; no more rushing, no more time limits, no more alarm clocks. Take a deep breath, and take your time.

  1. Arguments are going to happen – silly little fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes and whatnot. The only difference in living in an RV and arguing and living in a sticks n’ bricks and arguing is the fact that your neighbors can hear you better. RV’s aren’t insulated well, and your campground neighbors can hear how petty and silly you are when you fight. So at least do your best to entertain them.

  1. Never stop saying I love you. You’re going to be spending almost all of your time together, but don’t get so stuck in your RVing routine that you start taking advantage of each other. This is your travel partner, your best friend, and lover – treat them as such.

  1. When things get stressful (traffic, noisy neighbors, bears chasing you, etc) don’t start playing the blame game. You’re in this together, stick together and you can through anything – well, I’m not sure about the bear scenario….

You talkin’ about me?

Bonus Tip: Try not to eat gassy foods. This is my recommendation, not his. Mostly I am hoping he will read this and adjust his farting habits.

Poor, poor Milo.

Valentine’s Story Time – One Last Time by M.D Parker

One Last Time

by M.D. Parker

He could see that Irene had fallen asleep again in the overstuffed Lay-Z-boy he’d always said they had spent too much on.  It served her well now, and that made it worth it.  He caught a glimpse of his reflection as he passed back into the kitchen.  The glass of the old china hutch showed him a face he hardly recognized anymore.

“Jack, you’re sure lookin’ worse for wear.”  He spoke aloud as studied the lines on his face and the lack of hair on his head.  His own voice was unsettling in the quiet.  The wind had slowed, and the rain was but a mist.  He looked at her again and smiled.  He’d come to see this as his favorite time for her; there was peace (he hoped) in her slumber.  He snatched his keys from the counter top and marched out the door.  

Jack made this trip enough that it was a rehearsed dance.  Irene would take her evening nap, and he’d go to the little store three miles away.  He’d grab himself one of those twenty-something ounce beers his doctor frowned on.  He’d back in a jiffy and be sitting there watching her with a tall, chilled glass in his hand.  Jack stopped at the car, holding its fender to steady himself, as several coughs wracked his body.  He spat the ill-tasting phlegm and moved on.

All went according to plan.  He gave a smile to the lady that reminded him of his daughter, and to the young man who, once per week, would fill his car with gas while he purchased his beer.  It all went according to plan, until he rounded the curve of old Point Creek Road.

The storm had found new life sending the evergreens swaying, the creaking of their trunks louder than the whistle of the wind that danced between their limbs.  The rain drops fell large and heavy on the windshield.  Jack’s wipers cleared enough away to reveal a man on the side of the road.  He stood there in a long coat, a tire iron in one hand and the other rubbing his head.  A car jack lay beside his feet and a tire leaned against the side of a small car that Jack knew only one word to describe – jalopy.

Jack eased his car in behind him, leaving the lights on, and swung open his door.  “Havin’ some trouble, I see?”

“Sure am.  I am not even sure where I am and the spare’s flat,” he said stepping back to the space between the cars dropping the tire iron on the jack as he stepped over.

“Where you headin’?”

“Southport, but I pulled over at some diner.  Think I took a left when I should have gone right, and wham, blown tire, and here I sit, ten miles from where I discovered I had no idea where I was.”  They both chuckled.  “Actually, do you have a cell phone?  Mine’s dead.”

“Sorry, I hate the darned things,” Jack said as he walked up to the flat rear tire.  The man joined him.  They bonded, the way men do, over a broken piece of machinery.  They stared at the flat tire as if to will it full of air again.  Two seconds later the experience was over.  

“I really hate to ask this, but could you give me a ride to whatever’s nearest?”  Jack looked the man over.  His long coat looked road weary, and in a hue somewhere between brown and deep red.  His blonde hair showed signs of gray and was thin around the temple, but he was still far younger than Jack.  There was something different, something wrong, in his eyes.  Wrong, but not bad.

“I’ve gotta get back to my Irene. I’ve been gone longer than I like and don’t want to worry her.  Tell ya what.  Hop in, I’ve got a phone you can use at the house.  Just another mile up the road.  And by the way… you made it just outside Point Creek.”

The man agreed and Jack climbed back in and watched as he stowed the useless spare in the trunk.  He came around to the passenger side and as the door came open, Jack spoke.

“Two things ‘fore you sit down.  One, what’s your name?  And two, just in case you’re thinking about doin’ something you ought not be doin’, just know that I survived hill nine-three-seven,  so I know just what I’m willin’ to do. If ya take my meaning.”  As if God tried to emphasize for Jack, lightning flashed, followed by the crack of thunder less than a second behind.  

“Call me Coop.”  He extended his hand, “And no sir, I wouldn’t dream of it.”

The two spoke briefly as they made their way to the driveway marked with the paw shaped sign that read ‘Woof’s Dog Breeding & Boarding.’  Once passed the dilapidated kennel house and inside, Jack pointed Coop off to the kitchen with it’s phone sitting on top of a phone book.  Jack excused himself to the other room and found Irene pacing.  

“Irene, honey, come sit down.  I’m sorry I stopped to help this gentleman,”  He pointed toward the figure barely visible through the archway into the kitchen.

“I … I woke.  No one was here.  I must have fallen asleep right?  You were supposed to fetch my bags and show me to my room.  And then I dozed.”  Her eyes darted as she spoke with the left one falling behind the right.

“Yes.  Exactly.”  Jack tightened his jaw to hold the smile in place.  

“Where am I?  Where’ve you taken me?  Sir, I demand… you explain and don’t think for a minute that my husband will be as polite as me when he…”  Her voice trailed off lost for the words she tried to add.

“No ma’am.  I brought you home.  See.”  Jack pointed to a picture of her and their daughter on the end table. “You said…”

“Don’t-care-what-I-said.” Irene’s words poured out all as one.  She stammered, “Where’s my Jackie?”

“He’s on his way.”  Jack hid his watered eyes from her as he helped her back to her recliner.  

Coop watched as Jack guided Irene into her chair and noted the immobility of her arm as she sat and how he wiped his eyes as he stepped away.  Irene’s voice let loose a quiet little humming rhythm as he entered the archway to the kitchen.  

“I’m sorry.  I should be going.  You’ve been very kind, sir.”  Coop turned toward the phone.

“No, no, don’t worry about it.  She’s gonna be okay,” Jack said, waving off Coop.  “But you should call Terry’s Towing.  Reasonable and honest.  Might take awhile with this storm comin’ in, but they’ll do ya right.”

“Thank you.”  Coop flipped the pages of the phone book, found the number, and called.  He listened, without watching, to the rustle of the paper bag and the clink of glasses.  He heard Jack speak again to the lady with the white hair and the useless arm.  He hung up the phone after conferring with the voice on the other end and providing them the number written on the base of the phone.  “They said it’ll be at least ninety minutes.  They said they can help after they finish with some accident on Route 39.”

“Figures.  Almost always somethin’ bad on that road when the storms hit.  In the meantime, have a seat.  Irene’s settled in.  Can I offer you a drink?” Jack held out the already poured glass.  

Coop accepted the offer and took a long drink of the brew before removing his coat and taking the seat Jack offered him at the small table.  Small talk was had for a few minutes, until Jack was arrested by another round of coughing.  The conversation drifted off and Jack began watching the woman in the chair.  

“How long you two been married?”  Coop spoke softly knowing that mention of his Irene would snap Jack’s head back to this reality.

“Oh my, been forty-nine years now.”

“How long has she been like that?” Nodding toward Irene’s chair,  he examined every muscle of Jack’s face.

“It’s… I…”

“I’m sorry.  Too personal.”

“No, it’s alright.  I just, well, it’s hard ya know?  It’s been a while, can’t really say for sure, it started slow.  We almost didn’t notice until just before the stroke, just before the incident with Trinity.”

“Alzheimer’s?”

“Damn that evil word.  Ya know, I’ve seen men killin’ each other, face to face, for reasons they didn’t understand.  But I ain’t never seen anythin’ as evil as this.”  His face turned toward her.  He watched the back of her head, knowing she had dozed again.  His eyes teared up again as he thought of  her standing there before the judge during their first wedding, the secret one, before he shipped off to that God-forsaken land a million years and miles ago.  

“So, what happened with Trinity? A dog, I presume?”

“Yeah.  She was a character.  Irene had been breedin’ dogs for nearly a decade when this one was born with some kind of messed up leg.  Damn thing had to be amputated.  Didn’t slow her down a bit.  Trinity, she named her.  ‘Cause she was on three legs and Irene said she was sent by God himself.”

Jack began to cough again, harder this time.  He held the table with one hand while he produced his ‘snot rag’ from his back pocket.  He hacked until the chunk broke loose and concluded its journey in his handkerchief.  The taste of blood on his tongue was unmistakable, but he continued as though he had never paused.

“So, Irene had been forgetting things, names, what she was doin’, that sorta thing.  But then one day she forgot to close the kennel gate.  Trinity was running in the yard, watchin’ the other dogs, that was her thing.  She never went near the road, except that day, chasin’ after one of the dog’s that was brought in for breeding, or boardin’, I never kept track of which was which.  Trinity saved that other dog, but she never even saw the truck.  It broke Irene’s heart, and mine, to close up all the kennels. I think she cried for three days.  That’s when the doctor told us.”

“How long, Jack?”  Coop’s voice dropped to a less subtle tone.

“How long what?”

“How long have you been sick?  I guess the better question is, how long did they give you?”

“How… what, the hell… how?”

“Jack, listen to me.” His voice cascaded into Jack’s ears.  “I can help.  But I will only do so if you want me to.”

“What-the-Sam-hell are you talkin’ about?”

“Jack.  Look in my eyes.  See it.”  And he did. Jack looked into the the deepest set of brown eyes he could recall.  He saw something in them move, like clouds on a breeze.  The flat tire was no accident, but something, from some other where, told Jack truer words were before him.  This man knew what to do.  He followed those eyes down the rabbit hole.

“I, I don’t understand.”  His voice cracked, his eyes leaked a single tear down his cheek.

“One step at a time Jack.  Now tell me how long?”

“A couple months.  It’s inoperable, pretty far along.  I’ve made arrangements.  I already have a nurse that comes by a few times a week.  I had to make sure my Irene was taken care of, ya know?  I just want…”

“What Jack?  What do you want?  You must say it.”

“I jus’… I just want her to see me again.  She almost never remembers who I am.  I just wanna tell her one last time that she’s the most beautiful woman in the world.  She deserves to hear it one last time before I go.”  His hands shook as he spoke.

Coop stood and took Jack by the arm, guiding him into the living room where she sat.  “Talk to her, she will need to be awake and she will need to see you.”

Jack looked up at the man who had become so strange, and somehow more, as he knelt down in front of her.  He looked into her sleeping face and saw not the lines, but the years.  He saw the the dinners, the birth of their daughter, the day they hung the Woof’s sign up.  He saw the fights, oh there had been some doozies, and he saw the dances, the ones they’d shared in public and the times they had danced alone in the dark.

He looked up to the man standing behind the chair, hovering over them.  He watched as the man he had been calling Coop rolled up his sleeves to reveal a strange tattoo.  The visage of a golden arrow etched into the skin.  Jack eyes could not be torn away as the ink started to glow and the arrow began to move.

“Wake her, Jack. Gently.  Don’t watch me. Talk to her. Tell her everything that you want her to hear.”

Jack eyes returned to Irene’s face.  A wave washed across his mind – erasing away every time his heart had broken when she didn’t know who he was.  He spoke to her.

“Can you hear me?  Irene, honey?  We have to wake up now.”  Her eyes came open and Jack froze.  An eon of time passed in the next second.  Irene’s mouth opened to speak.  The arrow of gold rose like a specter from the man’s forearm and was held in his hand.  His hand pulled back, then thrust its tri-bladed tip into the nape of her neck.  Jack’s throat made way for violent words, that would precede his actions, but were lost in a race won by Irene’s own mouth.

“Jackie?  What are you doing?”

“Wha…what just…?”

“You shouldn’t be all squatted down on your knee like that.”  Her voice, like the sound of trumpets from heaven, came to his ears.  Jack could hardly remember the other man in the room. Irene took his hands as she stood.  He barely noticed that the arrow had turned to mist and disappeared. He took no note as the man stepped into the kitchen and then out the door with his weary old coat.  He did not feel the tearing pain, from the series of coughs his body released, in between the joyous sobs as she pulled him against her.

“You. my love, sound terrible.  Come, let me get you to bed.”  Irene moved without waiting for an answer.  Jack had none to offer.  He let himself be led by the hand to the bedroom.  She sat him down and helped him undress before laying down beside him.  

They laid, locked together, as they had so many times over so many years. Jack finally spoke again, “I love you, my beautiful.”

“I know, Sweetheart.”  

She laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes as Irene one last time.


To see more of M.D. Parker’s work visit him on Facebook and on Twitter

 

 

Products We Love!

Write on the Road’s Favorite Products for RV Living

MORE POWER!!!

SOLAR!!
We have EcoWorthy Polycrystalline Solar Panels


Now that we have power, what do we do with it?

Invert it.


Cast Iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet is a must in the RV. It’s a baking dish, a frying pan, and a weapon.


Baking Stone

Not that kind of baking or that kind of stoned.
Using one of these baking stones in your propane oven can help distribute the heat evenly.


As awesome as having a smartphone is, sometimes they aren’t as smart as you need them to be…especially when you are driving and there is no service and suddenly all the map apps in the world cannot help you. Which is where this comes in handy. (We actually need to get a new one because the smarthubby left ours in a McDonald’s in California)


In order to accomplish the Writing part of Write on the Road we have matching Chromebooks. They are perfect for writers!


To be able to enhance my blog posts with my completely cheesy or inappropriate photo captions, I need this to take said photo’s.
Kodak AZ521 Digital Camera


And last, but certainly not least…

The French Press is my daily precursor to having to human.