Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things I know about that time of year...

Today I write a little of the season and some about me.As the Holidays roll in, the laughter, the smiles, family and good food, so all to often does another. Depression. It seeps in without one even seeing it. The causes are any variety of reasons from the lack of sunshine to the cold to the increased pressures of holiday gifts and gatherings. The results can be devastating and last from a short time to a very long time. People who suffer from this seasonal disorder do not always have depressive states aside from certain times of the year.
Statistically, medical science can give you 100 reasons for this depression. But If I learned anything from my close involvement with medicine and statistics, I learned that each and every single individual is exactly that... an individual. Each person my react differently to the seasonal changes that occur. The real issue perhaps is to ask if there is any way to prevent this or to end it sooner than it may have run.
I think one thing that is very important is not allowing yourself too much time alone. The alone time may seem to be what you need but truly, it only gives you more time to think. Thinking is not always a good thing if you are feeling depressed. The mind can play funny and not so funny tricks on our minds. It also allows us time to sit and ponder what we do or do not have. Try and stay focused and keep yourself occupied with loved one. Tell them where you are and ask them to try and help you in any way that they can.
Get outside! One of the easiest things to do this time of year is to seclude ourselves from the outside. It's too cold, it is too windy, the air is rough are just a few reasons we can use. Try and make yourself go outdoors even if it is just to run to the store. A sort time outdoors is much better than none at all. the sunshine is good for you and your depression and even if there is no sun, the fresh air is also good for you.
I think about myself and the state I am in right now. When you are already bipolar, it takes so little to bring you to this place. If you have a loved one that is bipolar, this can be a hard time to understand and deal with their Lows and highs and feelings of greatness and of worthlessness. Those are already issues that are daily and the holidays often bring them to a very rough and dangerous place.
I walk around right now, feelings of worthlessness and at the same time, thinking I can accomplish anything. Emotions flying around inside of me so intense that small things or things meant in a good way, take me down deeper and faster. Wanting to do so many things and yet unable to bring myself to do any one thing leaves me depressed and confused. Stopping and staring, unable to make a decision, knowing my day is slipping by and that I have accomplished nothing. That loved one you are noticing changes in as the holidays draw nearer might need some words of encouragement. They may need to hear they are good or they are wanted and needed, even if they do not believe it when you say it. It plants a seed of hope in them. Try and be understanding and if they need to walk away for a moment or two, reassure them you will not be far away.
I wonder today, as I have wondered for so many seasons, if I will get through them. I have good support team and so I know I will. Money, gifts, a 100 things race through my head. Not so different from any other person with or without bipolar. But for those of you that Do have loved ones that suffer from any type of depression, know the signs.
Symptoms of winter SAD include:
Increased need for sleep
Decreased levels of energy
Weight gain
Increase in appetite
Difficulty concentrating
Increased desire to be alone
Depression can hurt. Not just the person that suffers but those that love them. I hope this opens a new avenue for some and gives a little more insight to those that suffer. I hope everyone walks through the holidays hand in hand with a loved one...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The End!!!!

Mark's shot hit Kellie's uncle in the right shoulder. The impact spun him around and tossed him to the ground. He rolled over before Mark could get another round off. He scooped Tara's body off the ground and covered himself with like shield. Holding his gun to her head he began to shout.
"I will put the next bullet right in her head if you move! I only knocked her out but you can bet I won't this time! There won't be enough of her pretty little face for you to scoop into a spoon! Now back up and put the gun down!"
Mark looked at Tara and then back at the uncle. He knew if he put the gun down they were all dead. He looked or someway to get a shot at the man without hitting Tara. A movement caught his eye and he looked over to see Kellie, sneaking up behind her uncle. As she neared where he was sitting, the door to the warehouse came flying open. The second man from the warehouse ran outside waving a gun and screaming.
"You better drop that gun Mister, or I will kill you all myself!"
"There's another one out here somewhere Stan! It's my niece and I think she is hurt! Find her now and I will take care of this guy! Just find her and kill her. Daddy is dead by now anyways!"
Mark saw Kellie slip inside the warehouse. It was the last place that they would look for her. He knew now he had to hold his ground until he saw Callie and Liza free. Several minutes passed as the two men stared one another down. Th other man was now standing next to the Uncle.
"Did you find her, you idiot?"
"She must have got away because i don't see her anywhere."
"Got away? You idiot, where the hell is she going to go!?"
Mark saw his chance and he took it the shot. This one hitting the uncle directly in the head. As his body toppled over, the second man started shooting. The bullets were hitting inches away from Mark and he couldn't get a shot off. Suddenly... another loud noise resounded off the buildings. This was a high powered rifle of some sort. Mark shuddered at the thought of a third man he hadn't seen. This would be the end for him for certain. He realized that the shooting had stopped. He lifted his face from the sand and looked up. There, standing not fifty feet from where Tara and the uncles bodies laid, was Kellie. She was holding a rifle and had it poised on the second man. The man was just standing as if he were frozen. Another shot rang out and Mark watched the man's body crumple to the ground. He laid on the ground, eyes staring blankly at the ground. Slowly Mark stood up half expecting one of the men to stand up and shoot him. No one moved.
"My daddy was an excellent teacher," was all Kellie said. She laid the rifle down and walked towards Mark. He ran to Tara's body and lifted her into his arms. She stirred when he lifted her and he hugged her close to him. Sh tried to fight him as if she were unsure who held her. She opened her eyes and stared into the ace of her father. She hugged him around his neck.
"I knew you would come for us one day. I always knew you would Daddy." They all walked into the warehouse. Mark saw Callie and Liza standing near the cage door. They had the look of uncertainty when he first walked in. Then... they saw him.
"OH thank God it is you. My God I thought they killed whoever was out there. Get us out of here!"
Mark smiled and took the keys from a table near the cage. He unlocked the cage and Callie and Liza pushed through the door before he could open it completely. They hugged and hugged and cried and and just held to each other. Callie looked up and saw Kellie, quietly watching them.
"Who is this young lady, bleeding badly from her leg?"
"This" Mark said as he pulled her into the huddle, "is the young lady responsible for me being here. If not for her, you might never have been found. We thought you all died that night on the mountain. This is Kellie and I will tell you all about her later."
Mark watched in silence as Kellie dialed her cell phone. He waited as she spoke to someone on the other end. He saw her face change from sad an worn out to a huge smile."He is Alive! I am talking to my Daddy! It's all going to be good."
The sounds of sirens were getting closer. Within minutes the warehouse was surrounded by every cop and state trooper that was available. Statements were taken and all was taken care of.
One week later Kellie's dad was released from prison. Legal issues were settled and they began their new life. The following week was Thanksgiving. The meal was a gathering of family and friends. Mark had his Thanksgiving with his beloved family. Sitting at the table with them was Kellie and her father. Time would be needed for all to heal but now, they had time...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Part 5...

Kellie's Uncle winked at Mark an then pointed towards the cage at the end of the warehouse.He mouthed words to mark rather than spoke them out loud.
"They are mine now. You left them alone and I took them. If you want them, come and get them."
Mark could hear the laughter come through the steel. He felt a kick or punch on the steel and it vibrated against his ear. Fear gripped him as he tried desperately to figure a way to save his family. He had not come this far, not found the family he thought dead a year ago, just to go home without them. He would rather die than live that nightmare ever again.
"What happened in there!? What did you see through the window Mark!? Are they in..."
Mark cupped his hand over Kellie's mouth. "Shhhhh, they might hear us out here! Your Uncle and his pal are in there. I saw Kellie and the girls inside too. They are in a cage at the end of warehouse."
"A cage! What do you mean a cage?"
"A cage, Kellie, a bloody cage! Your Uncle saw me and now we have to figure out how we are going to get them out of there. We have to make sure they Ar safe before we do anything."
"No! I knew this was going to happen. That mad-man is going to have my father killed! Damn you, you promised me we would be careful! You never cared at all about my father!"
Mark grabbed her and pulled her closer to him. He looked her directly in her eyes with a look that told Kellie she should listen to him. "Your father is surrounded by guards right now! No one is getting near him! My wife and daughters however do Not have that luxury. We have to think for a minute and figure out how we can get past those two idiots in there. We need a distraction so that one of us can get inside an get them out of that cage."
"How are we going to do that? They will kill either one of us as soon as they see us."
"I don't think so. I think your Uncle is sick in the mind. I am depending on that fact to help us. He will want to make me suffer in some way. A mind like his derives pleasure from hurting other people. If he thinks he can cause me more pain than he already has, he will jump at the chance."
"Tell me what to do and I will do it. I want to help your family too. I want to prove to you my father didn't make this happen."
"We need to back away from the building so we can figure this all out. One mistake and we will all be dead, including your father."
They moved back to the car. Slowly Kellie backed the car up to another small building. She parked behind it where they could see the warehouse but not be seen. Mark reached into his pocket and to Kellie's surprise he pulled out a handgun. She stared at the gun and then up at Mark.
"Where did you get that? Why didn't you tell me you had that with you?"
"There was no reason to show it to you before now. What we need to do now is get their attention out here. Our best bet is to lure them outside so one of us can get inside. Once we free the girls, we can make a run for it. Any ideas on how to get the out of that building?"
Kellie didn't answer Mark. He turned to see why and anger filled his mind all over again. Kellie was at the back of the car, talking to someone on her phone. As he walked back to her, he caught the conversation.
"Listen to me! We are there and they know we are. They are going to kill us if we don't get help! Please Daddy, I need you to do this. It's the only way we will live!"
"What the hell do you think you are doing? Give that freaking phone!"
"No damn you! My father is the only one that can save us now. He has to convince the guards that we are here. They can send help for us if he can do it! Please Mark, trust me. It really is our only hope unless you think you can shoot them both before they shoot us.
Mark looked at her, his anger giving way to reason. What she said made perfect sense. Now all they had to do was convince the guards that her father was telling the truth. Mark nodded at her and reached for the phone.
"Let me talk to him, Kellie. I won't do anything to cause harm to anyone." Kellie handed him the phone and listened. "Listen, this is Callie's husband. We don't have lot of time. You need to give the phone to the guard. Tell him who I am quick and then let me talk."
"Don't you get my daughter killed! She is all I have left in this world."
Mark was taken by her fathers words. The panic in his voice and sincerity were not attributes Mark had ever allowed himself to apply to this man. He realized that this man was not a killer. He was a father, just like Mark. He also wanted only the same thing Mark wanted. He wanted his daughter alive.
"Listen to me and no one we love will die. You need to give the phone to the guard. I will talk to him."Mark heard the phone clanking on the steel bars of the cell. He could hear voices but the were faint. Then a new voice was talking.
"Look buddy, I don't know who you are but this is Bull! Some ploy to get this guy's visit to hell postponed I am sure. Well it isn't..."
"Please listen to me! If you don't, innocent people will die, including my family. I just need you to listen for a minute."
"Talk... you got three minutes," was all Mark needed to hear.
I am Mark Talsman. My wife and daughters were thought to have been murdered by that man you are watching. He told his daughter, who is with me that he thought my family might still be alive. HE was Right! I found them here in Laredo. They are alive but they are being held in a cage by the two men that took them from me. That man you are watching never killed anyone. Whether he lives or dies matters little to me right now. I am not trying to save him. I am trying to save my family and his daughters life."
"Why should I believe any of this? I don't know if you are just killing time here."
"What in God's name would I have to gain from that!? Tell me what!? Please call the Laredo police and get them to the East side of..."
Suddenly a shot rang out and echoed off of the steel walls.The bullet lodged just 25 feet from Mark's head. He dropped down to the ground quickly. "Do you hear that!? That is gunfire and someone is trying to kill me and his daughter. I am going to hold the phone up to the air and you can decide. But whatever you decide, do it fast!"
Mark held the phone in the air for the guard to listen. "Hey buddy... I nearly took your head off. I think I like this. I might play with you for a while. Or maybe I will just shoot your girlie's for your entertainment. Look pretty boy, I have the one I call Blondie out here with me." Mark peeked around the corner and saw Tara. He winced at seeing the man holding her by the neck. "See, isn't she pretty? She is sort of my favorite, you might say. Now I could shoot her real fast if you like, just for fun. What do you think?"
Mark heard the hammer click back on the gun. His heart was beating so fast and so hard that it hurt his chest. "No!!! No, don't shoot her. What do you want me to do?"
"I want you to come out here and show me you got nothing to shoot me with. I don't know how you found us but I think there will be a killing in a certain prison today!"
Mark heard Kellie cry out when she heard her Uncle. She was going to yell at him to not hurt her father. Mark grabbed her and again stifled her voice before she could speak.
"No, listen to me. They don't know you are here. He all but just said so. We finally have something good on our side. See if the guard is still on the phone." Mark tossed her the phone. Kellie out it to her ear and spoke.
"Are you there! Helloooo, is anybody on the phone???"
"I heard it all and have called the Laredo police. They should be there in like 10 minutes or so. Just stay whee you are and keep this line open for as long as you can."
"Mark, they are sending someone to help. Should be here in 10 or so minutes. We only have to hold them off until the police get here!"
Kellie's Uncle shot again, this one grazing Marks shoulder. He fell backwards from the impact of the bullet. Kellie rushed over to him and quickly put her hand over the wound.
"You are hurt Mark. We need to get you somewhere I can tie a tourniquet around your shoulder."
"Lets just concentrate on getting out of here alive, then we can worry about me."
"Hey my friend... watch this!"
Mark looked around the building. In horror, he watched the gun being pointed at Tara's head. Mark looked down for a split second. He heard his daughters voice again. The same sound that he had heard a thousand times in his sleep.
"Daddy, help me please! Please Daddy, don't let him shoot me. Pleaseeeeeesee!!!!"
And then the shot rang out. Mark watched as his little girl slumped forward and fell to the ground. Her body strewn down like she was nothing more than a rag doll. He dropped to his knees, his eyes flooding the ground with his tears. "Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! God no, don't let this happen. Pleaseeeeee!" His sobs were very loud. Kellie cried with him as she looked out at the body laying in the middle of the road.
"One down and two to go, buddy! Unless of course you want to show yourself to me, Now!!!!!"
Mark, barely able to move, walked out from behind the building. He motioned for Kellie to stay where she was. "We still have to kill this Monster, Kellie. Wait for my signal and then run out to distract him. When he looks at you, I will shoot him. Do not hesitate when I tell you to run!"
Mark walked out in clear sight of Kellie's Uncle. He held his hands high above his head, the gun concealed in his back pocket. He was half way to where Tara's body laid when he yelled. "Now Kellie, Now! Run for your life!"
Kellie's Uncle, shocked to see her run out from behind the building, raised his gun and fired. The bullet flew directly at Kellie and ripped through her knee. She screamed out and kept running as fast as she could. Mark took aim and fired at her Uncle...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Part 4...

"I understand that this creature is your father. I know the reason why you want to save him. But you have to understand that he, whether directly or indirectly killed my wife and daughters. He took away from me everything in this world that was precious and good to me. He took away... My whole world."
"Mark, if you will just listen to me for a moment. I need to tell you what my father told me."
Mark stared at her through squinted eyes. He wanted to listen and hear what she had to say. He needed to know if she had anything more to tell of that horrible event. He also feared what she might open up for him. He had all the bad memories he needed for now. He would listen until it became to much for him.
"O.k., talk. But I will cut you off if it sounds like you are trying to make your father out to be a hero."
"Fair enough. I saw my father a week ago. He was distraught, more so than normal, given where he is. He told me there was something he had to tell me. A secret that he had kept for fear of his life. He did not tell anyone because he didn't know if they would believe him. The two other men in the vehicle that were at your car had visited him at the prison. They told him that before he could ever get out, they would have him killed if he talked. One of them is my Uncle on my dads side."
"Jeeze, is your whole family killers!?"
Kellie sighed aloud. "Please let me finish this. My father told me that he was left for dead because he refused to go along with all that happened that day. He heard them say on the mountain that it was lucky he was dead or they would have had to kill him. He knew then that he wouldn't dare say anything to anyone. He told me that my Uncle and his friend had not toppled the vehicle with your wife and daughters over the cliff. He said thy took them out of the vehicle and then pushed it over."
Mark grabbed her by her arms. He pulled her close and stared into her eyes. His body shook as he began to speak. "Are you telling me that they are still alive!? Is that what you are saying to me!?" Mark could feel his whole body quivering and his heart racing very fast.
He told me that he saw them load them into their vehicle and drive away. He was so afraid for his life and never figured he would be convicted and especially not be given the death penalty. He thought that maybe he could get out and find them. He wanted to tell people but after they visited him another prisoner approached him. He cut my father and told him that he would die if he tried to tell anyone the truth."
"Why then is he telling you this now? What made him decide to become human!? Damn you and your father! A year has passed without my family! Ive mourned them and cried more than you could ever even imagine. I have lost everything and almost took my own life several times! What gave him the right to Not tell someone!!!!???"
"I know it is terrible but I am telling you now. I need your help if we are to get them out alive. My father told me that he knew where they would take them too. He said they had place here, in Laredo, that the came too to hide pelts of animals they had poached until they could find a seller. He figured it was the only place they could have taken them if they didn't kill them."
"So you don't really know if they are alive or not. You are just assuming they did not kill my family when they felt it was safe. Why didn't you go to the police with what you know? They could have gone and checked it out themselves."
"And have my father end up dead!? You don't get it, do you? I am trying to save my fathers life and help your family at the same time! Why is that so hard for you to understand!?"
"Where is this place that they might or might not be? We need to get there and check it out."
"Mark, we have to do this in a way that no one knows until it is over. Somehow we have to get my father safe also. If we can't do that the we wait until we can. I will not risk my fathers life for a maybe. Will you help me?"
"I have a friend that works in the prison system. He has a lot of authority. Maybe he can help us."
"No maybes Mark! It is either quiet or not done. My Uncle is a horrible man and he means what he says. He will have my father killed and if your family IS a live, he will kill them too. There has to be a way to do this."
"Can you get to your father?"
"What do you mean?"
"Can you call him and talk to him?"
"Yes. He is on death row and only a few more days and so he can have phone calls from family most anytime. Why do you ask me that?"
"Call him Kellie. Tell him to raise hell so that there is a guard near him at all times. Fake a suicide attempt or whatever it takes. Once he has a guard there full time, we can get my family out."
Kellie placed the call. She told her father what she was doing. He was glad sh had taken the initiative to do that. She heard him making a racket in the cell. He had left the phone open for her to listen. The last thing she heard was a guard telling him he was now His business and he would no longer have private time. The phone slammed down hard in her ear. She began to cry.
"It's done. Lets go find your family." She started the car and drove to the far East side of town.
"You seem to know exactly where you are going."
"I remember coming to the place my father is talking about. We went there in the fall but I never really knew why. I guess I do now."
They sat in silence until Kellie turned off onto a gravel road.It was in the middle of the Industrial area of Laredo. Old Trains and warehouses sat empty and Idle. The air smelled of old oil and and rotting lumber. The trains were rusted and looked as if they had not been moved in a very long time. Kellie drove past it all until she saw the warehouse. It was not very big and the dock ramp was covered in orange. Rust from not being used had nearly eaten through the steel. She parked the car behind the warehouse. She and Mark got out of the car, careful not to slam the doors.
"Remember Mark, even if they are here, we do nothing until we know the coast is clear."
"I understand, Kellie. Trust me, I don't want any mishaps either."
They walked around the backside of the building until they found a window. Mark slowly raised his head to look inside. He saw boxes stacked to the ceiling, boxes marked only fragile on the sides. He could see a truck parked inside, near the door. There was a wood stove in the middle of the warehouse. It wasn't rusted in any way. Mark thought that was a good thing. I might have meant that someone was using it. He ducked down as he heard a voice. He pressed himself against the cold steel so he could listen. What he heard both froze his heart and made it beat faster. It pounded at his chest so hard he was afraid it could be heard. He held Kellie down so she wouldn't look in the window.
"It really is time, Frank. Roger will be dead in a few days and we won't need to keep these ladies around. Let's get rid of them and be done with this whole matter. Why we kept them for so long is beyond me anyways."
"They were leverage you idiot! If that dumb-ass talked, they would be our only way out of here! With Roger dead, we can dispose of them and forget it ever happened. Lets finish wrapping these pelts. We can put their bodies under the pelts until we find a place to dump them."
Mark felt his heart jump in his chest. They were here! His family was alive and he had to find a way to save them. He waited until he could hear the men moving things around. He looked in through the window again. At the far end of the warehouse he saw it. A cage, about the size of a refrigerator box. Inside the cage he saw them. His eyes welled up with tears so that he could not see clearly but he had seen them. As he stared into the window he was suddenly over taken by fear and dread. His eyes cleared and he was staring into the face of the man Kellie called "Uncle." The man just smiled and took out his gun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Part three...

Kellie drove on, allowing Mark to settle in to the warmth and safety of the car. She watched him as he stared out the window into the still falling rain. "A penny for your thoughts?"
"I don't know that the are worth a penny. You might be better to toss them in a wishing well. The return might be more gainful."
"I'll take my chances with the investment." She smiled warmly at him and then looked back at the highway. "I know you have questions as to how I know you and where you want to...Need to go. They are not easy questions to answer and you will need an open mind to understand and believe them. That will be entirely up to you, Mark."
He turned his body to face hers. She looked so familiar and yet he was certain he did not know this young woman. "I am listening, Kellie. Tell me what I want to know, please."
"One year ago, almost to the day, you and your family set out on a vacation. You were going skiing as I am sure you recall. Your dreams and talking in your sleep have told me that much. Half way up the mountain, your vehicle got stuck in a hole."
"I know all of this! Tell me something I do NOT know!"
"Patience Mark. It will all come together when I am finished. You left them in the vehicle to get help at the bottom of the mountain. While you were going down the slope, you saw another vehicle going towards your family. The vehicle contained three hunters on their way to the same resort you were going to. Shortly after you saw them reach your family, you saw the Explorer you were driving go over the side of the mountain."
Mark buried his face in his hands. He began to cry as the memories flooded his mind. The screams were slipping back into his ears and he wanted to ask her to stop. He wanted to beg her not to go back there again... wanted to but knew somehow that he couldn't stop it. Kellie waited for him to look back at her before she continued.
"The men were not good men, Mark. You later learned that they had not stopped to rescue your wife and daughters. They were going to hurt them in bad ways. Your family fought, as you could hear from where you had stopped on the mountain. In the fight, one of the men was hurt badly."
"He said he had tried to pull Callie from the Explorer and she had clawed his face and kicked him in the head." He began to cry again. "HE said she fought like a wild animal. She hurt him so badly that he was only semi-awake through the rest of the ordeal! I never believed him, you know! He was lieing to us all and the stupid lawyers believed his story!"
"Well they had only his words to go on, Mark. Right or wrong, it was how the legal paper-work fell out. He said that he saw the other two men grab your daughters and pull them from the truck. You heard them calling out to you Mark. It is a sound that has haunted you for a year."
"He said that they did things and then tossed them back into the Ford. I couldn't help them Kellie!" His voice became louder as he spoke. "Do you understand that I could hear all that was happening!? I knew what those men were doing and I was helpless! No, not helpless! I was useless to do anything to stop them or help my daughters or my beautiful wife!" His sobbing filled the car and Kellie found her self crying now. How she wished she could end his pain sooner but she dared not go to fast. She needed something from Mark as much as he did from her. To let her emotions take over now would take away all of the reasons she was here, in the car with this man.
"Mark, I need to finish this before we reach Laredo. The man told the courts that they could hear your screams coming up the mountain side. Your voice echoed as if you were nearly standing next to them. The men began to panic. They winched the Explorer so that it was almost of the side of the mountain road. They unhooked the winch and then pushed the vehicle the rest of the way over the side. Your wife and daughters went to the bottom of the canyon, never to be seen again. He said they screamed all the way down so he knew they were alive when the other two men pushed them over. He passed out and the two other men must have thought him dead. They must have figured he would be blamed for it all and so they left him, laying in the snow. When he woke next, the police and rescue units were at the site where the vehicle went over."
"They could not recover the Ford, Kellie. I was at the bottom of a canyon, to far down and too narrow for anything or anyone to reach. Their bodies are laying at the bottom of that God forsaken canyon, laying there without a final or proper place to rest! My God, they trusted me and I failed them. I left them to the mercy of those men. Men that have never been found, out there, living their lives out, doing something I will Never, ever be able to do again!"
"Mark, focus here please. You came with the rescue unit. You jumped out ahead of the others and you grabbed the man laying in the snow. You had beaten him nearly to death by the time they pulled you off of him. The man was in the intensive unit for 3 weeks, most of his real injuries given to him by you."
"You almost talk like you feel sorry for the man! I should have been allowed to kill him! A lot of the officers told me they wished they had let me kill him! God, how I wanted to do just that!"
Laredo was now in sight. The time was now if she were going to tell Mark why she was here with him. She shuddered inside at the thought of telling him. She feared how he might react and now wished she had never gone searching for him. It was too late for those thoughts now. They were in Laredo and now and she prayed silently that he would understand. She needed him to or all would be lost for her. She pulled the car off the side of the road, just outside the city limits. Mark sat staring at her.
"You received a letter a week ago Mark. It had no return address on it and no indication who had sent it."
"All it said was that the answers I seek are here, in a warehouse on the East side of the city. That is why I..." Mark suddenly turned around to face Kellie. He stared hard at her and felt anger begin to build up inside of him. Recognition set in and he reached out and grabbed her by the throat. "You know all of this because you wrote the note! You know so much about me and that guy left in the snow because he is your father! I recognize you now from the court room. You defended him and tried to convince the court he was knocked out and didn't actually play any guilty part!"
"Please Mark, I can not breathe! You are choking me!"
Mark suddenly realized what he was doing and let go of her throat. He pushed himself away from her. His mind was going a million miles an hour. "Why!? What the hell are you doing here? And what does the daughter of one of the men that killed my family, right before Thanksgiving want with me!?"
"My father told me something recently that no one else knows. Something that might be of interest to you. He is to die in the electric chair in four days."
"Good! Sorry I won't be there to see it happen!"
"I understand why you hate him but he is My Father! What I know I hope will keep him alive but I need your help. Please stay with me until we finish this.I beg of you, please."
Mark stared into her eyes, She was crying and the fear in her eyes was matched only with the look of pleading. He would wait and see what she had to show him.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

part two

The rain had subsided some as he walked along the highway. His thoughts were set now on reaching Laredo and the woman that he hoped would make this all better. He tried not to think about one year ago,almost to the day. His mind seemed to go where it wanted to these day. A car approached from the East and slowed to a stop in front of him. Mark watched as it backed up until he was standing beside the passenger door. Slowly, the window came down and he was looking into the face of a young woman.
"You look like you could use a ride. If you want, climb in."
"Thank you very much, young lady. I might get your seat drenched though."
"Nothing it hasn't been before. Please, get in before you freeze to death."
He made no attempt to debate with her any further. The car was warm and he didn't know how much further he could have walked in the storm.
"You really shouldn't be picking up strangers in the middle of the night, you know. I appreciate that you did but..."
"Who says we are strangers?"
Mark looked at her as the lights from an on-coming car shined on her face. His heart skipped a beat and he blinked his eyes to try and focus. She smiled at him and then looked out the windshield. He sat staring at her until she spoke.
"Mark, you are staring at me. Is something wrong?"
"How do you know my name?"
"You told me when you first got in the car. I am sure the cold and rain hasn't been kind to you. It is alright. We should be in Laredo by morning. Why don't you try and rest some."
"Laredo? Why did you say Laredo?"
"That is where you are going isn't it? You said it was but if there is somewhere else you need to go..."
"No, no, Laredo is where I am going. I guess I just don't remember telling you that either. I must be more tired than I thought. I don't even know your name."
"Kellie. Why don't you rest and I will wake you when we are nearing Laredo."
Mark knew that he needed to sleep but he also knew what came with the curse of sleeping. he tried hard to fight it but the lull of the cars engine and the warmth coming through the vents were to alluring. He didn't know when he drifted off but he knew he had, just by the memories that flooded his sub-conscious.
"Let's go, ladies. Everything is packed but you girls. We should be to the resort by noon." He remembered the drive. The weatherman had promised fresh snow and it looked as if mother-nature was going to oblige. The snow increased as they drove up the mountain. It wasn't long before Mark found himself driving in a foot of fresh snow. He could feel the tires slipping under the wet snow. His mind raced ahead to just as the Explorer slid off the road. There had been loose gravel under the snow and the back end of the big Ford was pulled into the cravess made by the sliding gravel.
An hour of digging and winching had left them "Stuck! That is what we are ladies. We are stuck good."
"What are we going to do Mark? We can't stay here to long. The girls will freeze up here."
"We will be fine, Callie. I can ski down the mountain and get help. It won't take me long to get down and bring back help. The heater will still work for you."
He remembered the last kiss he gave to his Callie. The girls hugged him and told him to hurry. He fought to wake himself. He screamed out in his sleep and called their names. He reached out and grabbed hold of the dashboard, squeezing it tight. He was oblivious to the young woman beside him, stroking his face,whispering gently to him. "It's alright, Mark. We are going to make it all good for you, sweet man."
He remembered seeing the vehicle going up the mountain as he skied down towards the small store at the foot of the mountain. He wondered who was driving and if he would stop to help his girls. He heard the screams again. He saw their faces plastered to the windows, their fear still on their precious faces. He remembered thinking he should stop and go back up the mountain. Their perfect Thanksgiving was about to be changed forever.
The events that followed were known to him only because of what had been relayed to him and the police later. Tara screaming, clawing at the window, Liza calling his name over and over again! "Daddy, pleaseeeee, don't leave me here! Don't let me die down here! Pleaseeeeee!"
He heard Callie screaming as the man pulled at her body, yanking her from her seat, her legs entangled in ski gear, holding her inside tight. He struggled to hold on to her. Mark's armed flayed all around the inside of the car. He felt the warmth of an arm an held on to it with everything he had inside of him. He could feel the arm sliding in his hands. His grip tightened, he pulled it towards him. He buried his face in the warmth and cried.
"Hang on to me, Baby! Don't let go of me, Callie. I need you so much in my life. Please do not let go of me!" He heard his name being called. He saw the Vehicle falling. He remembered now, looking up and seeing the other vehicle stop right where his family must have been. Echoes of a wench being operated, the screeching of metal again rock and the moment he saw the headlights of their Explorer shine straight up. A huge beacon, telling him the Ford was standing straight up somehow. That was when he heard their screams for his help. Callie saying his name over and over again.
"Mark. Mark, you have to wake up! You are making it impossible for me to drive! please let go of me!"
Mark woke with a start. He saw the Young ladies arm held tight in his clenched fingers. He realized it was not his Callie calling to him. It was his saviour from the storm that he held to. Not his Callie at all. He loosened his grip and looked away. "Oh God, I am so sorry. I was dreaming and thought you were..."
"It's ok Mark, I understand. We will be to Laredo in less than 3 hours. We will make this alright then."
"I still don't know who you are or why you picked me up. And why do you look like someone I know? You need to give me some answers."
"I am what I am, Mark. You will understand when we get to Laredo."
"They died you know. I left them alone to die out there!!!!" He began to cry again.
"You did what you thought was right Mark. It is going t be alright... I promise you."

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Thanksgiving Prayer... Part One.

He had not had a decent meal in weeks. Sneaking through trash bins to try and survive simply was not going to work any longer. Maybe it was the town he was in. Perhaps some different scenery would make his luck change. He gathered what was his and packed it in his Army bag. It wasn't much, but it was his. The rain falling on his head only served to remind him of where he had come to. He had to stop and think sometimes about where he had been. Car after car passed him as he walked the dark lonely highway. The lightening, the dark purple clouds that he was sure separated Heaven from this Hell he was in, lit up the night sky. He swore he could see the heavens right through the clouds when the lightening sparked and sent it's furious electricity to the ground. The ground shuddered beneath his worn out boots when the thunder crashed above him. Sad, lonely, tired and hungry, he walked the road without a clue where it would take him. Perhaps if he had known, he may have decided to have one more meal from Kentucky Fried Chickens well stocked dumpster.
Mark had not always been the man that walked the road this night. there was a time that he was a somebody. He was a father two times over. He was a husband that loved his wife more than anything else in the world. He was a son and an Uncle that was very adored by all he knew. A compassionate man tat wanted only to live his life with his wife and children. Not to much to ask for...or was it? from where he was to where he walked today, one would think he had asked for to much. And today, watching the clouds come lower to the ground, hearing the loud crashes of it's powerful strength, Mark... hated God.
He found an abandoned barn and took cover in it as the winds and rain cut through his exposed cheeks like a knife wielded by a Samurai warrior. The barn was open on one side, where the wall had given way. Mark found a small corner of the barn and sat down,leaning against the wall and remembering. His mind drifted back to that last day and though he tried to fight it, the memory won again.
"Hey baby, I have all the winter gear and skis loaded up. Tara an Elizabeth will be out in five minutes." Mark cried out in his sleep as the voice of his beautiful wife crept into his dream. Callie... the most beautiful woman in the world Mark would say. Her long auburn hair fell over her shoulders like a fleece an hung way below breasts. Her green eyes danced as if they had tiny fairies in them. She had a medium build that suited her perfectly. When she walked in her Levis, it was like watching a beauty queen taking the runway and making it her own.
"Alright then it looks like we are ready to go, Cal. Girls" he called out... "Let go! We want to beat the traffic on the long mountain trail."
"We are coming Dad, don't stress." It was now the voice of Liza that echoed through out his mind now. He reached out to the empty air as if he were hugging her. tears exploded from his eyes and he tossed around recklessly, trying so desperately to wake up. His body needed the sleep and was not going to let him wake this time.
Liza, 17 years old and a full fledged tomboy, she was the image of her mother. Her green eyes smiled at Mark and she flashed him her pearly whites. Teeth that had cost more than their new explorer. She was slimmer than her mother but had all of her mother's spunk.
Tara came bounding right behind Liza..Even when going to an outdoor event, she was dressed to kill. She looked like Mark, her dirty blond hair and huge blue eyes drawing people to her. Her smile was intoxicating and she seemed to more glide across the grass than walk. Mark smiled in his sleep for only a moment. Suddenly, his smile was replaced with a frown. Tears ran down his cheek again and he half lifted off of the floor in an attempt to stop the madness he knew was about to begin again. "No", he called out into the barn. "We can't go! Tell me you want to stay home, please! God, no, Stop it! She didn't do anything to you! Let her go!"
Mark could see her face, hear her voice calling out to him. "Daddy please, don't let this happen! I don't want to die! Please save me daddy. I am begging you!"
Mark saw her beautiful face, it's beauty changing from pure preciousness to the horror he saw when next he saw her. Tara, Liza and his beautiful Callie all were gone. Taken to heaven far to early, while he was forced to stay behind and relive the terrible ordeal that had now brought him to this barn in the middle of no-where. None of them guilty of anything more than living life and loving it. The thunder crashed outside again and a streak of lightening lit up the inside of his haven. He snarled at it as he woke fully. How dare it try to come inside the only safe place he been in for a very long time. He grabbed his duffel bag and went back outside , the rain still strong enough to sting his face. At this point, Mark really didn't care.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How long is forever???

Forever... Such a strong word. A word that has so many meanings and dimensions. "To be ever lasting", "never ending" "everlastingly, permanently, always, eternally, immortally, until the end of time, until Doomsday, until the Day of Judgment, on and on, ever, perpetually, always, evermore." I sit here today, the wind blowing and the snow looking as if it may be serious. I think of the many places we use the word forever. We love forever. We have days that seem to go on forever. We swear that our kids take forever in the bathroom.
But in reality, how long is forever? It says it is infinite. "extending beyond measure or comprehension: without beginning or end." That seems like a very long time and yet as we age, it doesn't seem long enough. When we are in love, forever seems so very short. And when our hearts are broken or hurt, we are certain that it will hurt forever.
As always, something brings on my writing and causes me to blog. This morning I woke and was looking out the window at the snow. I shivered at the cold that I knew would greet me when I stepped outside. I suddenly went back to a snowfall that I will relive forever. A snow that I wish could have lasted forever. Sheila and I were married in September of '82. Less than a month later, we had snow on the ground. Living in the Black Hills of South Dakota, it was not unusual to have 10 inches fall in a day. We had come home from a visit and Sheila was a little pregnant with our first daughter, Samantha. Save yourself the trouble of doing the math. Love happens.{smiles} We lived outside of town and had fields all around us. There were old street lamps along our driveway. We went outside and walked hand in hand in the snow. She suddenly leaned forward and grabbed a handful of snow and stuffed it down my back.BRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!. We chased one another and fell in the snow and made snow angels an ended the night perfectly.
Another forever came with that memory. We could not have known that it would be the last time we would run and play in the snow. Ten months later... Sheila was stricken with Muscular Dystrophy. Our life and the snow changed for us "forever."
How long is forever? It is as long as a memory, as short as a day and as precious as life itself. It is the time between falling in love and a snowfall and 24 years of Love. It is an eternity and it is a moment in time. Ever-lasting and magical...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Bloggers Own Novels... Available to YOU!!!

I have been writing Since I was 12 years old. I started out writing Sappy songs. Slowly they became Love songs and story telling songs. I wrote and sang songs for many years, never really feeling it was where I wanted to be. Many years later I did go on to produce a CD of 13 of my favorite songs I had written over the years. I was 45 by then. In the mix of those years, life took on many changes. I was a rancher and a mountain man in Canada. I was the eyes for my blind brother an the legs for my wife many years. Life was sometimes hard but it has never been Bad.
I was a soldier turned husband and father. Two of the greatest blessings a man could be given. I was Bipolar and functioning, happy and in love... For 25 years, I continued to write songs and sing. I also dug out a novel I had hand written from the time I was 13 into my late 20's. I re-read it and thought that maybe I could add to it and make it a real novel. My interests having changed over the years, I finished it but decided to leave it sit on the shelf. What had happened while re-writing the novel however was this. I had been "bitten" by the writers Bug. It flowed through me like a river an burned inside my soul like a forest fire. I KNEW where it was I wanted to be. I began to write whenever and where-ever I could.
With a wife stricken with Muscular Dystrophy, two baby girls to raise and a life to live to it's fullest, I bought a laptop and wrote from any where. Hospital rooms that were a constant in our lives, the front seat of a car, a lake we stopped at to enjoy an inspire all worked for me. We lived a beautiful life and raised our children and remained in Love forever. And in the middle of it all, I wrote two novels. I submitted them to a publisher and became what I am today. That same man that is a father and friend and sometimes a singer... the same guy that has been a manager, a laborer and a KFC employee, became a twice published author. The poet, the care-giver and the Son and Brother found his Niche'.
So much more to tell but that is why I have 100 blogs for you to read. But, I also have a CD and 2 novels that could fill in your late nights or quiet moments when the kids are in bed and the house is Still. Scrolling down to the bottom of my blog site will give you a nice insight to what the two Suspense novels are about. Abduction and Until Death Do We Meet are both available through Amazon books and Barnes and Noble as well as Abe Books and Walden's. They are also available through me by ordering them direct. The added bonus to ordering them trough me personally is that you not only get a signed copy from the Author But... I enclose one of my Cd's free and I pay shipping in the United States.
Ask me about them... I will give you the details. Thank you for reading this. Always, Darrel

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today, I will write about something you will see ONLY today. I do not like politics in my blogs as we are all individuals and have the right to vote how we wish. I come against actors and singers and anyone that uses their position in the lime-light to promote their own intentions or political stand, as if we were too stupid to think for our own selves. I will not use my blog to do what I condemn other for doing.
My Purpose for writing today is not about the men and women running for offices through out the United States. This is for our boys In Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi and Korea and anywhere else we may have soldiers fighting for Freedom. It isn't relevant whose Freedom they are fighting to give or preserve. Whether they are trying to free a country or watch the borders of our own great country, they are out there. They are putting their lives on the line for so many reasons. Fighting to give freedom to countries Oppressed by their leaders. Stepping forward because their country has asked them to do so. Proudly displaying our Freedom Flag for all the world to see. The Stars and Stripes waving in the wind to offer Freedom to any country that is not able to experience the Freedom of choice that we in America take so often for granted.
Since the fight for freedom of slaves, the war with the French, our fore-fathers taking back or holding on to the freedom that so many died to give to us. World War 1and World War 2, a nation that gave so many lives in Viet Nam and at Midway. Soldiers that I am so proud of and that I am proud to call Our heroes. These brave men and women fought also for the very reason I am writing today. They fight today in foreign lands to assure our safety and for one other VERY important reason. They have ALL given to us, fought for OUR right to live Free in a democracy. To raise our children in the Land of the Free and to know freedom that few other countries know. A freedom that we Do way to often just Assume we will always have. I guess time will tell on THAT issue.
Today... we have that right sitting in front of us. Your personal vote is not an issue here to me, nor is mine to you. If you do NOT exercise your right to vote today, then what are you saying, what are WE saying as a Free nation to ALL of those brave men and women that died so many wars ago? What are we speaking to the Heroes that are fighting for us today? Let us not be a people that let All those lives that have lived and died for us on the battlefields be for not. We are Free to vote today Because of them. We are a free Nation because our brave men and women have made us so. Today, when you exercise your freedom, take a moment and say a silent prayer for our Soldiers. Pray for their safe return home. Pray for their safety while they are away fighting. And say "THANK YOU" to each and every one of them as I am doing HERE today. I will thank them and pay homage to them one more time today when I Vote.
DON'T Let this one get away! THANK YOU to ALL of our Soldiers. And I pray God Blesses America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Always, Darrel

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A great way to Make some fast money.

I have advertised for this survey site. Now, I am writing about them. I have watched my PayPal go up daily now for a month. How is it doing that? Very simple, really. I just wait for the offer to come to my e-mail and then CLICK! It opens to the DollarSurvey site and away I go. One survey, one dollar in my paypal account, usually within one day.
I do not get any special pay nor credit for you joining this site. I get only the satisfaction that with others working this site, it will be here for a long time. Please take the 10 minutes it will take for you to sign up for and watch your paypal add up. Surely you too can use an extra dollar a day in your paypal account. It doesn't get any easier than this to make a buck! Give it a try.
I would like to add that I had a problem with one of the surveys. I wrote to the administrators and received a very prompt response from them. It was courteous and they addressed the issue and it was fixed and done in a moments time. That is what prompted me to write a bit about them. It is nice to know that the survey site has real people, just like you and me, watching out for our interests. What a great site to be a part of.

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