Friday, September 12, 2014

Part 80

A much calmer Cochran stuck his head in the door and said, "Sorry Major but Base is calling.  That storm system has done a U-turn after running into another front and is about to slam into this area again.  They said it has also picked up strength as the two fronts have combined or some jibberish like that.  According to them that means that this storm is going to be worse than the last one."

Sarge looked at me in concern.  "Kid ..."

Oh no ... while I'm sure his kind of protection was the well-meaning kind that didn't mean that I was going to make an exception.  I backed up a bit and told him, "I'm fine.  I've survived back-to-back storms before I just need to make sure and get everything tied down and fill my water barrel."

Then there was some squawking coming from Cochran's coat and I realized where the radio was being kept.  He stepped back outside and then turned around in a hurry.  "Situation at base."

"Dammit.  Are they at it again?!"

"Yes sir," Cochran said apologetically.

Sarge turned to me and said, "Dammit Kid ..."

"Go.  You've got things to do.  I've got things to do."

He was torn and I could tell he was fighting ordering me around.  "Aw hell.  Don't know how you've managed to get under my damn skin.  I barely know you."

I smiled and said, "I'm just like that.  Kinda like a rash or something."

He didn't really want to let it go but he nodded.  "A really bad one you awful brat.  The kind of itch you can't reach.  Now you listen to me, I fully intend on coming back.  You will not run off or disappear or anything else approximating that.  You got it?"

"Got it Sarge," I told him, my smile slipping.  "Seriously, if you're gonna go then go.  I've got to do a few things and entertain guests isn't one of them."

"Aw hell."

They were finally gone as a stripped down 4x4 carried them off.  Stupid thing looked more like a canvas covered dune buggy than a real vehicle.  But Cochran had said something to the effect that they had stripped everything off to make them more fuel effecient.  Crazy.  I tell you if I was driving around a bunch of puss brains I'd prefer a tank or something like that, not some tent on wheels.  I won't even go into what a bear could do to a flimsy, soft-sided thing like that.

I watched them drive off and the quiet they left behind was eerie.  No birds or other animals - not even the scavenging kind that should have been after the remains of the puss brains.  That more than anything told me that the storm coming was going to be a dilly.  Mr. Svenson had told me that since God took care of the animals that it only made since for us to keep an eye on what they were doing.  When animals hunted up their holes it was usually a good idea for humans to do so as well.  Thinking on what I needed to do to secure my "hole" I decided the scientists weren't the only ones that could experiment.  But first I needed to know that the Singing Waters camp knew another storm was on its way.

I met two of the younger cousins - named Isaiah and Adam - when I was a little more than half way there.  I stopped short, not sure how to deal with them.  It was obvious they'd been crying - their eyes were red rimmed and their face was blotchy from more than the cold - but it was just as obvious they filled with the importance of their mission.  One of them said, "Storms coming."

I nodded.  "Thank you for thinking of me.  I just heard the same thing from a very irritated Major."

I think it was Isaiah that asked, "The one that had a fit 'cause those others were shooting at Shane and Jamie?"

"That'd most likely be the one.  Big guy, a few gray hairs - I guess about like Mr. Owen - and sounds really, really Southern."

"Yeah, that's the one.  He sure says funny things when he gets mad."

"Yeah.  Well since you know, you know I know, and I know you know, you better get back to camp and I better get back to the cabin.  I don't think any of us want to get in trouble for what Mrs. Svenson would call dilly dallying."

They gave me a curious look, then shrugged their shoulders like whatever they were curious about wasn't worth the time to figure out, and turned to leave.  I stopped them just for a moment to ask, "Is ... is Mr. Svenson really ok?"

"Oh sure.  He ain't happy about how Aunt Ava and Aunt Paulette have laid into him and made him stay in bed but I guess anybody that can growl that loud ain't that bad off."

"Uh ... what about ... you know ... how is everyone ... you know ... Mr. Joe and all."

They looked at each other and then Adam answered, "Mother says we're all shook up but that its as much about what a good man Uncle Joe turned out to be in the end as it is that he isn't going to be with us here on earth no more.  Uncle Owen says to be happy that he's in a better place and that all the things that used to ride him when he was still living can't ride him no more."

I nodded and said, "Guess that's about as good as you can look at it.  Can you please tell your Aunt Ava that I asked how they were doing?  I don't want them out in this weather but I don't want them to think I'm not thinking about them."

"Oh sure.  And Uncle Owen said to tell you that someone will be by as soon as the storm lets up and folks can get out - depending on how much snow gets dumped - to check on you."

We both took off fast after a good puff of icy air suddenly whipped through the pines and set them to squeaking.  After that it was nothing but work for a couple of hours.  Water needed to be brought in.  I piled nearly my entire wood pile inside the cabin.  Then I set to building my experiment but didn't finish before dark closed in and the wind started to pick up all over again.


  1. Thanks Kathy for the update and all of your story's.

  2. Kathy, this one is my new favorite. Thank you. And we're praying for your family to make speedy recoveries. Don't work yourself half to death! We'll be here when your family is recovered and you're rested up.

  3. WONDERFUL ! Your words form such great visuals, Thank you.