What about Jenny? Writer’s dream too.

Stitched Panorama

Camping in the mountains. A small tent and a bear. A writer dreams.

What about Jenny?

It was dark and cold. The wind howled through the trees as the fabric of the tent fluttered and popped. I was alone and knew that Jenny was also alone in her tent not 100 feet away. I couldn’t sleep. Too much danger. Too much… alone.

I slid back into my sleeping bag and felt my body heat start to generate warmth against the loosely quilted goose down. I was glad now that I had brought the roll of foil bubble wrap and flattened it under the sleeping bag. I relaxed onto my side with my back toward the nylon.

I felt something pushing against my shoulder. It bumped against me over and over. I slowly pulled my hand from the sleeping bag and pushed against the nylon tent.

IT PUSHED BACK… AGAINST MY HAND! SHIT! I jumped back and watched it push into the side of the tent.  I hit it with the open palm of my hand. I heard scuffling outside… and then just the sound of the fluttering tent.

I pulled the sleeping bag up to my neck. The warmth felt good, in fact, there was sweat on my forehead. I dared not close my eyes as I continued staring at the side of the tent for the next attack. A bear? Yes a bear. They have been seen in these mountains. What of Jenny? The bear could have taken her? With the sounds of the tent and the wind, I may not have even heard her scream?

I crawled from the sleeping bag, toward the zippered door. A sudden strong gust blew the side of the tent against me. I pushed my hands against the side to keep it from tearing the stakes from the ground.

IT PUSHED AGAINST MY HAND! I pounded against it with my fist! IT PUSHED BACK OVER AND OVER! As I changed hands it bumped the other. Once I hit its teeth with my knuckle. Then it went away.

I sat and waited listening for sounds of movement outside. Only the wind… and the fluttering of the tent. I was shaking, partially from the freezing cold… and maybe the thought of becoming a bears snack. I slowly reached across and found the tab of the door zipper in the darkness. I had to know what was out there, and if Jenny’s tent was still standing. I slowly slid it up about six inches.  . ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz!

A black nose and white teeth squeezed through the tiny opening.

“AAAAaahhh!” I jumped against the back of the tent almost taking it down. The head raised quickly as the zipper continued to open. A large German Shepherd lept across the tent and laid on my sleeping bag. It wagged its tail as if asking to stay. After I caught my breath, I pulled the zipper back down, and focused the battery lamp on the dog. It laid its head down and looked up at me as if showing submission.

“You’ll have to sleep at the bottom! Move over!” I climbed back into the sleeping bag and rested my hand on the big dog. At various times through the night, she licked my hand.

In the morning I made instant oats on my small alcohol burner, and shared dried beef with the dog in the warmth of the tent. I packed everything into my back pack and went outside to drop the tent. It had snowed last night after I went to sleep, and the mountain was silent in an odd sort of way. As I walked down the mountain the dog stayed right behind me. The only sounds were the crunching of the snow, an occasional snap of a stick, and the heavy breathing of the dog.

We got down the mountain to where we were seeing green again and the snow had turned to mud and weeds. We stopped to rest on a fallen tree, and again shared my dried beef. She watched my facial expressions as she wagged her tail.

But what about Jenny?

I had this dream and went quickly to my keyboard before I forgot it. It was three-o-clock in the morning. The majority of my published and future books start as a dream.

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Pg. 34

Once away from shore, I kicked on the chart plotter and located the salt pond. I locked my manual autopilot onto the course and checked it for the first half hour against the chart plotter. With everything in order, I turned off all the electronics except the running lights and the VHF. My batteries were old, and I used them conservatively.

I had an old radar detector from the eighties that chirped like crazy if it got hit by any ship radar for several miles. I got it from someone’s trash for free. I plugged it into the twelve-volt outlet.

I brought a pillow and blanket from below deck and put on my vest and tether. I wrapped the blanket around my body and lay down on the cockpit cushions. I dropped my face into the big feather pillow, and I could still smell Riki’s perfume.

“I’ll be so happy when my memory fades,” I said to the sailboat.

 

 

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PAGE 44          Jackson Curtis returns to their Teak Ranch in Mexico, to tragedy.

“Before you go home, walk over to the city building and see

Marlin, he’s an expat too, and he will fix you up with a contractor’s

license.”

We drove up to the job site to choose my lots. I had to put

$10,000 down as a deposit, and I chose three lots on the east side

that all had ocean views.

He wrote me a certificate on each one.                      ADBanyan.com

“Now we wait!” he said.

I was excited as the builder rush ran through my body again. I

jumped in the yellow VW bug and headed home to tell Jade the good news.

I was ten minutes from home as a speeding black van with dark

tinted windows almost ran me off the road.

“Fuck you!” As I extended my finger over the rag top and kept

it extended until they vanished from my mirror.

Smoke rolled across the road as I got home. Everyone was in the

trees, and Jesus was spraying water on the trees, trying to keep the

fire from spreading. I jumped from the VW and ran to Jesus.

“Where is Jade? WHERE IS JADE?” as I ran toward the house.

Sol screamed at me, “Jackson!” as the heat knocked me backward,

and I crawled from the flames.

“Jade! . . . Jade!”

Sol and Carlos grabbed me and dragged me into the trees and                                     amazon.com

squirted water on my smoldering shirt.

“Jackson! Jade was in the house. I don’t know what happened. I

heard an explosion, and by the time I ran over here, it was completely

engulfed. I have never seen anything burn so fast.”

“Jade!” as I dropped to the ground in tears.

The fire burned for two days as we all worked to keep it from

spreading. I kept looking into the flames like I expected her to walk

out at any moment. I went out to the boat and went below. I could

still smell Jade’s smell on the sheets. I cried myself to sleep. The next

day, I poked through the ashes and debris. I found nothing. Even

the metal beams were melted and warped. I drank all day as I stared

at the . . . house.

“Jackson! . . . Jackson!” I heard Sol’s voice.

“Wake up!” as he pulled my face out of the sand.

“You have company.” And I looked at a man holding his hand

out toward me. He pulled me up off the ground.

“We need to put this to rest,” he said consolingly. “I am the

minister at Sol’s church. I am also a bulldozer operator. We need to

bury this memory so you can continue your life.”

He hugged me as the tears ran down my cheeks.                                                   amazon.com

I looked at the dozer that his son was getting off the trailer, and

I shook my head in agreement.

As I stood against a mahogany tree and watched, he dug a

hole about the size of a box truck. He pushed the entire remains

of my home into the hole, and his son poured diesel fuel over the

debris in the pit. He handed me a paper, lit it, and walked away.

I threw the flame into the pit and watched the flames devour the

remaining parts of my life. It burned overnight, and he came back

in the morning and pushed the sand over the ashes and regraded the

property. It looked like it was never there, as he loaded the dozer back

on the trailer and left. I lay down on the fresh sand, feeling Jade’s

presence with the earth.

 I have never felt so alone!

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