Friday, December 19, 2008

A Walk for Christmas Pt.5

Jake drank his coffee as he was told. He wasn't sure whether to drink it fast or slow. The only thing he was certain of was that he needed to remember who he was. He also knew he needed to get away from this man. He watched as the man stripped the hide off of the wolf. Jake knew the man had done this more times than Jake had probably driven a car. Perhaps if Jake could get on his good side, that was assuming the man had one, he could talk his way out of whatever was coming his way.
"I remember, that I am not from around here." Jake fumbled with his words uncertain if they would bring conversation or anger from the man. "I think I am from Denver or some place near there. I keep seeing images that remind me of Denver, though I don't have a clue why?"
The man set his knife down on the table and turned slowly towards Jake. Jake moved back a bit, unsure what was about to happen. The man looked at Jake and then turned to pour a cup of coffee for himself. "I don't know who you are mister. I don't even know how you got here except that you Might have fallen out of an invisible car. What I do know is that you ain't a Ranger. You are too talky for that. You ain't snoopin' around with your eyes to see what I got here. I ain't stupid totally."
"Why are you living back here alone?"
The man reached across the table with a speed so fast Jake never even saw his hand move until it was around the back of Jake's head. The man pulled Jake up near his face. Jake could feel his body tense and the fear ran all through his body and mind. Jake could see the mans eyes, red and harsh as he snarled his teeth at Jake. He wondered if he would have stood a better chance with the wolf.
"I don't like questions asked of me. They make me a little crazy! I might just moosh your head if I take the notion!"
"I didn't mean anything by the question! I was just trying to make conversation! I have not done anyone any harm. All I want to do is get back to where-ever it is I came from. I swear to you, I am no threat to you. Please..."
The man let go of Jake's neck. He leaned back in his chair and stared at Jake for a moment. He drank down his coffee and then motioned to Jake. "If you want more, get it! I ain't gonna serve you!"
Jake stood up and poured himself another cup of coffee. A flash of Sarah's face came to his mind again. This time, he was certain he knew her. Knew her like he would his wife or daughter. He tried hard to think and bring the image back, but it was gone.
"I been back here near fifteen years. I was like you once, all fancy dressed and stuff. Had a wife and some kids too." His words brought quick images of a boy and a girl to Jake. More seemed to come back as the man talked. "We was happy and rich then. I had my own store, what you could buy house stuff."
"A furniture store?"
"No, it was a hardware store, now I recall."
"What happened? Did you lose it or sell it?"
"I gave it all up and came here." The man seemed to mellow as he spoke. Jake decided this was a good time to just sit and listen. "My wife was pretty and my kids loved me. They was young and after she left, I couldn't take care of them. I gave 'em to my sister and left. They cried hard but I had to do it."
"What about your wife? Where was she?"
The man looked towards the wall behind Jake and nodded. Jake turned to see a picture of a beautiful woman. Her auburn hair and green eyes sent Jake's mind reeling. He could see clearly the image of the woman in the chair now. She too had auburn hair and the greenest eyes a man had ever looked in to. His wife, he was certain and this mans wife brought it partially back to him.
"That was her when we were together. She died when she young... too young. She got Cancer and it ate her up in one year. I didn't hardly have time to talk to her about the kids or nothing. Her doctor didn't tell her there was stuff to help keep her with us longer. He just let her die! I went to him and asked him why. He told me that he didn't think she should suffer a lot. "HE" decided that for us. I went nuts and beat him real bad. He wasn't gonna live and I needed my kids to be safe."
Jake looked at this behemoth of a man that stood in front of him. Tears rolled down the mans face and he wiped his nose on his blood covered sleeve.
"Did the police come to get you? Is that why you ran back here?"
"I Didn't Run, Damn you!!!!!" The man grabbed Jake again and tossed him across the cabin. Jake's head hit the wall and he slid down to the floor. The pain was incredible. As he slowly opened his eyes, blood trickling from his head, everything came back to him. Sarah, Mark and Ellie were so vivid. He could see his house and remembered the way he had left Sarah. He stood slowly and looked at the man in front of him.
"I never ran," the man said in a calmer voice. "I did what I had to so my kids would have a life. I didn't want them put in a home with people they didn't know. I just wanted them to be happy." The man sat against the wall and sobbed. "Why did you have to come around and remind me!? Why didn't you just die in that wreck?"
Jake sat back in his chair. He thought for a minute, not sure if he dared speak or not. The story he was going to tell this man might cost Jake his life.

The creatures in the trees were getting braver as the three walked along the trail. They could hear them fighting and growling as they ran to keep up with Mark and his families pace. Suddenly, directly in front of them, on the trail were two wolves. They had planted their paws solidly in the snow and were half crouched. Mark knew that they were preparing to attack. Mark aimed the rifle at the biggest one. As the wolves began to move forward, Mark fired a shot. At the same time, he heard his mother scream. Watching the first wolf fall to the ground, Mark spun around towards his mother. Another wolf had grabbed her by the sleeve on her Jacket. Unsteady on her legs, the wolf pulled her to the ground and began dragging her.
"Stop it, Mark!!! Shoot that thing before it kills Mom! Shoot it!"
"I don't want to hit Mom! Just watch the other one behind me, Sis."
"It is gone Mark, just the dead one is there! God, please help Mom!"
Mark ran forward, the rifle held by it's butt and hit the wolf in the forehead. The wolf pulled away and let go of Sarah. Mark fired off another shot but missed the wolf. It ran off, back into the safety of the trees. Mark helped Sarah off the ground and she collapsed against him. She was sobbing as he felt Ellie's arms go around them. Nothing was spoken. Nothing needed to be said. They walked on as if nothing had happened, determined to find Jake. The cabin appeared out of no-where. They decided to stay in the safety of the trees until they felt safe enough to find who was living in the cabin. They were scared to go forward and even more afraid to stay where they were.


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