“I remember the day he came. It was a Sat’day. The day it began to rain. I didn’t see him myself that day. Freddy told me.”
“Yes. Freddy was… he was… comin’ back from the lake. He’d gone… fishin’. Yep. Fishin’!”
“At night? Freddy must’ve been poaching. Never mind. I’ll talk to him later. Then?”
“He came at night. In a 4 wheel drive, a Jeep. Good all-American car. ‘Had plates from outta state, Tennessee. But he wadn’t from Tennessee, or from here, Bluegrass. He spoke with a Northern accent. Pure Yankee. No one but a crazy Yankee would’ve gone to the old cabin on the hill in April. It drew attention of course. A stranger. In April. And he lets himself in the cabin that used to belong to old Bob Simpson and then to the Clarks… Had the keys. Some folks in town say he’d bought it from the Clarks. Those guys from the big city have dough. You ast me? I don’t think he’d bought it. I think he rented it from the Clarks.”
“What did Freddy tell you? Remember, I’ll check with Freddy later.”
“Freddy saw the 4wd goin’ up the road to the hill, the one that goes ’round the lake. So…”
“Well, Freddy thought it could be suspicious. Since Freddy is one of them law-abidin’ citizens… He followed the guy to see if he could be of any assistance…”
“Law-abiding? Freddy? Don’t make laugh! Just went snooping. Never mind Freddy. What about you? When did you meet him for the first time?”
“The next day. You know I have a cabin on the other side of the hill. The weather was bad. A bitta snow, sleet, drizzle. You know you can see the old cabin from the road? I saw the Jeep, so I went up to see if he wasn’t a burglar or somethin’. I had the shotgun ready in the pickup. Just in case…”
“What was your first impression of him?”
“My first impression? Distant, not very friendly. Polite, but that was it. You know them city folks. They don’t even say good mornin’ in the elevator. Then, later, I got to know him better. He was all right after a while. That day I got to the old cabin, it was rainin’ a bit. The whole house was wide open: doors, winders. It’s been more than a couple years since old Bob Simpson died, and he’d never kept the cabin well: there was one winder on the side with broken glass. The rain got inside. Made puddles on the floor… The Clarks? I don’t think they’ve come more than once. Since they live in Louisville…”
“To the point, Joey, what did you think of him?”
“Like I said, the whole cabin was open, to ventilate it, right? He was outside. Wore jeans, and a red and black wool plaid shirt. Typical of them Northerners. They come here… thinkin’ we all walk around in red and black plaid shirts and a raccoon hat. Davy Crockett all of us! They start lookin’ around for them horses. Ha! He was standin’ on the balcony, his hands in his pockets. Musta felt cold. April rain is cold. Didn’t even say Hi. Just stood there, lookin’ at me, when I got out of the pickup. He looked all right so I left the shotgun in the pickup… With the door open. You never know. I climbed the small stairs to the balcony, said Hi, shook his hand, told him who I was, that I didn’t know someone had rented old Bobby Simpson’s cabin, I mean the Clarks, and so on.”
“And what did he say?”
“He said Hi, that his name was Michael Ash. I don’t think that was his real name.”
“We don’t know yet. We’re checking with Chattanooga.”
“And what’s his name?”
“Joey, what do you think? I wouldn’t lie to you. We don’t know yet. What else?
“Well, that he’d bought or rented the cabin. I didn’t quite get it right then, that he was writin’ a book, that he thought he would find inspiration in the peace of the cabin, on the hill facing the lake. Typical of city folks. He asked me if there was anyone in town who could help him fix the broken winder. Hey! Don’t you guys have some coffee? It’s pretty cold today. And so much talkin’ got my tongue all dried up…”
“Sure. Dick! Any coffee around?”
“Yeah. But it’s from yesterday.”
“Yuck! All right. Let’s take a break and get some decent coffee done. I sure could use some too.”
The story tells
Of the man
Who fell in love
In the cabin
On the hill
When he got to the old cabin on the hill, it was already dark. Despite the real estate agency’s detailed instructions, he’d got lost two or three times. When he finally found the last steep path off the “main” dirt road, the Jeep’s headlights lit the house up. A log cabin, built above low stone walls. He hoped the fireplace would work. He’d brought most of his mountain gear anyway. He stopped the car in front of the cabin, left the headlights on.
He slipped into his down jacket, went up the short flight of stairs to a balcony that ran all across the cabin. He struggled with the keys a bit. Managed to open the heavy wooden door. At the agency they’d told him they would send someone to turn the lights on. They hadn’t. The light fuse box was just by the door. He switched the lights on.
The cabin smelled of damp pine. The main room had a good size. Furnished in early American style of the 70’s, even had what looked like a large macramé hanging from the ceiling. There was a bear skin in front of a huge fireplace. He bent to touch the bear skin. Stood up with a smile: synthetic.
He went back to the car to get his bags. A high mountain sleeping bag. Would come in handy. A well-traveled backpack. He’d bought food in Chattanooga, a few tools, a shotgun. One never knew. He’d also brought a fancy sound system with a turntable, loads of LP’s, a laptop and a printer.
Dry firewood was stacked next to the fireplace. He stuck his head inside to make sure the chimney was clear. Everything was fine. Within a few minutes the fireplace was roaring, giving at least an impression of warmth. He planned to sleep in the living room. At least that first night.
The old cabin on the hill already had another feeling. There was a small but well-equipped kitchen at the back, facing the trees, on the hill side. The two bedrooms were not very big, but they looked cozy and clean, a bit damp though. He’d have to ventilate everything tomorrow. Open up all windows and doors.
He fixed a quick supper with a few cans. Chopped the few vegetables he’d brought. Stirred everything. He’d have go to town tomorrow to buy something fresh. Like beans. Ha!
He went out on the balcony, with a bottle of Jim Bean and a shot glass. There was an old rocking chair. Perfect. One could half see the small lake about two hundred yards down, on the other side of the hell of a so-called road that went around the lake and the hill. It was drizzling. There were still patches of snow under the pine trees. He listened to the night, the rain. Tomorrow, he’d try to fix the broken window.
And the rain came in…
Dick had made coffee. Bad coffee. But hot.
“And… Nothin’ special. He wadn’t from here, that’s fer sure. But he didn’t look like a bad sort either. Who’d have thought? I told him to ask fer Charlie Watts in town to help him fix his broken winder…
“Of course, Charlie’s your brother-in-law.
“You can’t trust anyone if you can’t trust yer fam’ly, right, Sheriff? Anyway, I didn’t see him the rest of that week, but Freddy told me he’d gone up once to the old cabin. That he had his music blarin’. Scared all the animals…”
“Too bad for Freddy, ain’t it?”
“Come on, Sheriff, you know Freddy’s a law-abidin’ citizen.”
“Yeah. Sure. Doesn’t apply to protected deer off season, does it? Freddy knows I’ll catch him one day! When did you see him again?”
“Joey! Don’t play dumber’n you are. When did you see the man in the old cabin again? And hurry up, ain’t got all day. I still have other witnesses to talk to. Haven’t slept much last night!
“All right, all right, come down, Sheriff. Me? I ain’t got nothin’ to do with this mess. I’m just tryin’ ter help is all. I think it was a Tuesday or a Wednesday. He was walkin’ along the shore at the lake. He looked angry. He spoke alone. Loud. Hollerin’ almost. Kickin’ stones into the water. Pretty dumb! Scares the fish away!
But the woman he loved
Didn’t love him back
The things the sky sees
The things the sky sees
Michael woke up in the cold cabin. The fire had gone out during the night. He mentally added an electric heater to his shopping list. Took a lukewarm shower. (Check the water heater!) He put long johns on, a pair of jeans, a red and black plaid shirt; a gift from Melanie three years ago, when they’d gone skiing for the first time, when everything was still a dream. He could almost smell her perfume, when she’d put her hands on his shoulders. Those hands that would climb to the nape of his neck, and play with his hair, as she kissed him.
A week, already? Hard to believe.
He went outside on the balcony. The rain was gone. He hoped it would take the memories away. The old cabin was at the tip of the lake. It wasn’t really a lake. More like a dam. Part of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The plant was on the other side of the water, about three, four miles of the old cabin. The lake was wedged between the mountains. On the map, it ran from North to South. The cabin was on the hill. To the East. If it stopped raining for good, he might enjoy the sunset. Take nice pictures, but who would see them?
He made some bacon and eggs, pancakes, with real maple syrup that had cost him a fortune in Chattanooga. It didn’t taste different from the artificial maple that he knew, but it was real. Or so the label said. Pancakes with real maple in an old cabin, hidden between the pine trees and the lake… He could almost imagine the wolves howling in the night… As in the Jack London books he’d read as a child. This cabin was a dream, chilly as it was. A dream he’d wanted to share with Melanie, a dream they’d shared, until the last fight. Until a week ago.
“Hmmm? Ah, Ok. At this hour? It’s past eleven. Almost Midnight.”
“Michael, you playing dumb? You don’t understand, do you? I’m leaving, leaving, leaving! It’s over!”
Michael dropped the book he used as a mental vacuum cleaner, to try to wipe his head clean, after he came in from work, mentally on his knees, unable to think. He looked at Melanie, her blue eyes which made a unique combination with her straight black hair. Now, her eyes looked almost black, obscured by fury. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen her like this. The TV was off but the reality show was about to go live.
“You heard me? I’m leaving. I can’t take it anymore. You’re never here. You come in like a walking dead, munch two words through supper, start reading. I don’t think we’ve spoken two words this week. I’m leaving.”
“Don’t ‘but’ me. Don’t tell me it’s just a phase at the office. ‘It’s temporary.’ ‘It won’t last.’ I’ve heard your script too often. What other lies are you going to invent?”
Michael had dropped the book. Got up. Angry.
“Melanie! Damn it! Stop!”
“Ha! Got your attention now? Who are you screwing on the side, huh?”
Michael’s fist hit the wall. Inches from Melanie’s face. Melanie looked at Michael. Her eyes filled with tears. She turned around and walked out without saying a word.
Michael was shaking with rage, with shame. It was the first time in his life that he had nearly hit somebody. And that almost was Melanie. He went to the window facing the street, one floor down. It was raining. He went to the bedroom, saw the suitcase Melanie had left. Michael threw the suitcase out the window. Sat on the sofa his face in his hands. He’d left the window open.
And the rain came inside…
And the rain came inside
The old cabin
Through the old window
Michael looked at the lake. Patches of fog still floated around. The trees on the hill dripped. The rain had stopped during the night. Temperature had gone up a notch. In two or three days, the few patches of snow under the trees would be gone. Or not. In a narrow beam of sunshine, two squirrels had come out, looking skinny after the hard winter.
Michael went to the kitchen. He didn’t much food to give the squirrels. No nuts. He didn’t think squirrels ate bacon or canned beans. Bread maybe? He crouched on the balcony. Started throwing pieces of bread at the squirrels. When the first chunk of bread hit the ground, one squirrel hid behind a tree. The other, braver, or hungrier, came close. Michael waited, motionless. Chip, or was it Dale? hopped to the bread. Sat, rolled his tail up and started eating. Michael threw more bread, closer and closer to the balcony. He looked at the lake in the distance. When he looked down again, a dozen squirrels had fallen from the sky or come out of the ground to fight for the bread.
He still could not forgive himself for the fight. The fist in the wall. He’d nearly hit Melanie. Two minutes after throwing the suitcase outside, he’d gone back to the window. Nothing. Nobody. Neither Melanie’s battered old Honda nor the suitcase. Just a lone sock on the pavement. The suitcase must have busted. He went out for his car. Looked for Melanie all night. He called all the friends where she could have stayed. Woke them up. Got insulted a couple times. To no avail. Melanie had blocked his cel number. He put an ad in the newspaper. He left a message and a good tip with the waiters of all the restaurants where they used to dine. Left them his cel. “Call me if you see her”. He finally called Melanie’s mother, who of course started screaming at him. He managed to tell her that if Melanie ever changed her mind, she would find him in the old cabin in Kentucky. That Melanie knew.
“What about the dog? How did that happen?”
“It was a loan. I lent it to him. You know that dog. He’s a bum. Never can stay in one place. He’s is a friendly dog, goes from one house to another. Sometimes stays there a few days, and comes back. I think he gets tired of my food.”
“What about this time?”
“Well… He prolly liked the food better. Or he liked the guy. Maybe he wasn’t as bad with animals as he was with women. Anyway. It’d been four days since the dog hadn’t come back, so I took the pickup for a ride to see if I could find him.”
“And you went to the old cabin?”
“Yep, to ask the guy if he hadn’t seen a Golden.”
And the rain came inside
The old cabin
Through the old window
On the old hill
The dog arrived one morning when Michael was feeding his squirrel squad. The dog was muddy, and so tired he didn’t even try a run at the squirrels who took no chance and fled, seeking refuge in the nearest trees so they could insult the dog safely.
“Hi dog! What are you doin’ here?”
Michael hadn’t seen anyone in the past four days. The few visits of distant “neighbors” of the early days had become scarce. He finally had the peace of mind he was looking for. Joey was the only one to come around regularly. They would have a hot coffee on the balcony. With a shot of Bourbon. For the cold. Or Bourbon with a shot of coffee. Why pretend? Joey was a man of few words and even fewer questions. They enjoyed the view in companionable silence. When it wasn’t raining that is. Otherwise, they just enjoyed the Bourbon slash coffee. Put some music on. Low. Bull Monroe, Alison Krauss, Hartford. Joey was surprised that a stranger would have good Bluegrass music. Blues too. Muddy waters. Some country. Crystal Gaye. And many others.
The dog was so muddy that Michael could not even figure out his breed. He had a good smiling dog face. When Michael started talking to him, the dog jumped all over him, leaving the jeans and plaid shirt caked with mud.
“Come on Doggie, let’s see what we can do with you.”
Michael took the dog to the kitchen. Fed him a can of corned beef that disappeared in a snap of jaws. Once the dog had finished the third can, Michael decided it was enough and looked around for a brush to try to clean the dog. Weather didn’t lend itself to a bath. Even though the boiler had been fixed by Charlie Watts. What a name for a plumber.
The next morning, Joey arrived around ten. Michael was playing with the dog.
“Hi, Michael! Hi, Bill!” Joey said.
“Bill?” Michael asked.
“Yes. Bill. He’s mah dog. I was lookin’ for him. Sometimes he gets lost for a few days. Hi Bill. What did you think you were doin’, huh?
Bill tried to combine an air of dignity and repentance not very suitable for a Golden. When he realized he didn’t quite cut it, he switched to another tactic: he put his muddy paws on his Joey’s shoulders, to lick his face and be forgiven.
“Enough! Enough!” Joey turned his face away from the face was with a smile. “That’s my Bill.”
“Joey,” Michael asked, “why did you call him Bill? That’s not a common name for a dog…”
Joey sat on the top stairs to the balcony. He started to laugh.
“What’s the joke?” Michael asked. “Why the name Bill?”
“I called him Bill after the new Sheriff. Well, he ain’t that new. ‘Been here seven years now, but he just don’t get it. He still thinks he’s in Nashville, in the big city. He’s also a Tennessee man. From over there yonder. Not from here. Not Bluegrass. He’ll never learn. So, when I got the puppy, he looked all plump and chubby…”
“Like the Sheriff? He came to see me the first week. Just checkin’ and payin his respects he said…” Michael was starting to smile.
“Yep. Jus’ like the Sheriff. All chubby, and with the same wrinkled face, with his droopin’ eyebrows and cheeks. Jus’ like that.
Joey made a face, half Golden, half Sheriff. The two men started laughing so hard they ran out of breath. When they stopped laughing, with tears in their eyes, Joey said:
“But it wadn’t fair to call the dog Bill.”
“Yes,” Michael said. “Poor Sheriff.”
“What poor Sheriff? Poor dog!”
“Why poor dog? I don’t understand.”
“It ain’t fair for the dog. He’s much smarter than the Sheriff!”
They were still laughing their heart out when the rain forced them out of the balcony inside the old cabin on the hill.
“What about the woman?
“She was quite purdy.”
“Joey! That’s not what I’m asking you! You saw her, didn’t you? How was she behaving? Stressed? Under pressure? Did you see them fight?”
“One day I went up to the old cabin. Bill had took off again…”
“What a stupid name for a dog!”
“I told you, Sheriff. I used to have an uncle who loved dogs very much and…”
“Never mind. You went up to the cabin, and?”
“Well, I went up to the old cabin, Lookin’ for B… lookin’ for my dog, and… there was another car. A battered old car. A blue Japanese city thang. Useless here, that’s what I say. But there they were, all three of them. Buddies. Michael, Bill and the girl. Lord, wasn’t she purdy. Long dark hair. An air of Emmylou. Back in the days in Birmin’ham. It would be a shame if… Never mind. The two of them looked fine. Happy. Especially him. And B… the dog was happy too. Dogs can tell. Ah. A funny thang I just remembered. They called each other M. They said they were M&M. And they both smiled.”
“M&M? I don’t understand? What do you mean, Joey?”
“He called her M. She called him M. I might have asted them why. That day they told me they were ‘M&M’. They were in a good mood, I guess.”
The things the sky sees
The cabin, and him
Michael was fixing dinner under Bill’s close supervision. You never know when food will suddenly jump on the floor do you?
Bill heard or sensed the car first. He came out on the balcony and started barking and wagging his tail.
“Bill! Bill! Come here boy.” Michael thought: “I’m catchin’ the local a-ccint.”
Bill stopped barking. Michael heard the car. Then the engine was turned off. A car door opened. He went out on the balcony on time to see Bill greeting Melanie in his usual effusive and muddy manner. Melanie hated dogs.
“M! Get that monster off my back!”
“Bill! Enough already! Sit!”
“Since when do you have a dog?” Melanie asked.
Michael could see the dangerous light in Melanie’s eyes.
“He’s not mine. He belongs to a guy in town. He comes here for a few days and leaves. The dog. Not the guy. Then he comes back. The dog. And the guy too. Hi M.”
“Will you forgive me?”
“No, M. I won’t forgive you.”
They looked at each other. Michael wanted to drown into Melanie’s eyes. He rushed down the stairs. Melanie threw herself into his arms.
“Who gave the bandana to B… to the dog?”
“Melanie did. I think.”
“Didn’t you just tell me she hated dogs?
“Dogs maybe. Not Bill. She loved Bill. Maybe she liked the name…”
“Sorry, Sheriff. As I was sayin’, Melanie gave the bandana to the dog, as a collar. She said he looked handsome with the bandana. You ever wore a bandana, Sheriff?”
“Joey, keep on like that, you’re gonna stay the night. I have a nice empty cell in the back.”
“Come on Sheriff. I was jus’ jokin’. You’ve kept me here for three hours with bad coffee, not even a drop of Bourbon and I ain’t got nothin’ to do with all this.”
“You ever saw them fight?”
“Never Sheriff. Though… You remember the day the two of them came to town, to the drugstore, askin’ for some kind of liniment, that she had a bruise on her cheek? That she’d missed the last step of the stairs goin’ up to the cabin and fallen on her face on the balcony?”
“Yes. Carter told me. And? Do you know more about it?”
“No. Nothing more. I thought that was what’d happened. I believed it, until yesterday.”
She said: say you love me
Say you are mine
And she robbed his soul
Michael was sitting on the balcony. He’d hoped so much for Melanie to come to the old cabin on the hill. He already knew it wasn’t going to work. It was as if Melanie had just come to pick up the fight. She hated everything: the rain that got into everything, the cold, the dankness. She hated the lake. She hated the trees, the wind, the squirrels. Walks by the lake left her cold. Literally. The only one she didn’t hate was Bill. She doted on the dog. Michael suspected it was another way to get at him. Maybe he deserved it.
They couldn’t go on like this. Melanie’s temper was catchy. And he didn’t know how long he could stand it. Neither could he stand the idea of losing her…
“When did you realize that something was wrong?”
“This mornin’, Sheriff. I told yer five times already.”
“I’d like to hear it again. Tell me.”
“Bill showed up at four-thirty, five, in the mornin’, with stains on his bandana. Brownish. Looked like blood to me.”
“They’re gonna check the stains at the lab in Louisville. Go on.”
“Bill was very nervous. Whinin’, cryin’, you know how dogs do? I thought he’d hurt himself on the way home. But no. He had nothin’. So, I went up to the old cabin. To check.
“And what did you find? At the old cabin?”
“Nobody home. Only Melanie’s car. The Jeep was gone. All their stuff inside was gone too. The stereo, the turntable, the LP’s, the laptop… Nothing. There was a lot of blood in the kitchen. That’s when I called you guys.”
“Do you think he killed her?”
“I. Do. Not. Know. I ain’t no Sheriff. I don’t think he did. I hope not. Are we done now?”
“Yes. Just sign your deposition. We’ll be in touch.”
Joey left the Sheriff’s office. Bill was waiting for him outside. They got into the pickup. Joey pursed his lips. Poor Sheriff! He was never going to find out! Joey took the dirt road to the old cabin.
Joey arrived at the empty cabin. He took out a folded piece of paper from his down jacket. A computer printout. He read it again for the last time.
We’re leaving. We just can’t stay in this place anymore. It didn’t work out. M’s car won’t start. That car was a piece of junk anyway. Do whatever you want with it. Papers are signed over to you. You’ll find them in the glove box. We’re sure you or Charlie can find a buyer. We’ll toss a coin for who gets to keep the Jeep.
Cut myself with a knife in the kitchen chopping vegetables for supper, during our last shouting match. Nothing serious, but impressive. Left blood everywhere before I could find a bandage.
Bill’s gone with his bandana. I’m afraid it’s a little stained.
That was the the last fight and the last straw. After we find a place to get a few stitches, we’ll each go our own separate ways. Don’t know where… Doesn’t matter.
You can keep all the stuff, the turntable, the records. It’s yours.
Don’t look for us. We’re not going back to our previous lives.
Thank you for everything
PS. Not our real names, but you already knew that, right?
It was raining again. Joey took a lighter out of his pocket. He burned the letter. He’d never know what had really happened. But neither would the Sheriff.
He looked at the old, empty cabin. An open window banged at the back.
And the rain came inside
The old cabin,
by the old window
On the old hill.
And the rain came in,
Stole the memory and left.
Text and cover photo © Brian Martin-Onraet and Equinoxio
Spanish lyrics of “Y la lluvia entró” (“The rain came in”) © Emmanuel, translation by BMO
80 thoughts on “And the rain came in…”
That was an interesting and enjoyable unfolding!
Merci mon ami. You’re always too positive. This is one of my “old” short stories in Spanish. Which I’m passing to English one by one. Though I do use Word translate, it still takes forever to get the right word, or the right sequence…
Glad you liked it.
You are very welcome! 🙂
Interesting technique – I like it. Very dark and surreal.
I thought I’d replied… Ah! WP!
Thank you. I wanted to write a “mystery” story. The song (in Spanish) was very popular then. It inspired the cabin. Then start the story with Joey talking to an “unknown” who ends up being the Sheriff… (Plus my experience of the South. Though I only set foot once in Te-ne-see… And never in Kentucky. LOL.)
And… In the end we don’t know what really happened, do we?
Goeiedag Brian. A gloomy, dark, hidden, underneath the skin-story. It made me think of Paul Theroux’s travel book ‘Deep south’, forgotten villages, dirt roads, slow talking people, secrets hidden in the chest. I enjoyed it a lot and the unexpected ending left me thinking, Tot ziens.
Dankje wel Peter. Obviously I used my own experience of the South. It was “complicated” but fun to write.
Left you thinking? That’s the idea.
Even I am not sure what really happened.
(Bless mah soul)
The suspense was killing me! And now, are we to take “M” at his word that he cut himself preparing vegetables???
Haha! I changed the ending a bit from my original Spanish version. I also wanted to add on a detail at the beginning when “Michael” moves in the cabin, where he chops vegetables… Lack of time.
There are three possible endings, right?
Which one do you think?
PS, in the original version, the letter is handwritten by “Michael” and he says that Melanie cut herself in the kitchen…
But I thought the “M&M” letter opened up more possibilities…
Thanks for reading. (Those stories are a bit long for a post… but I don’t see how to cut them shorter…
Ye be good naw, Liz, ye hear?
If you want to leave the ending unresolved, I’d say go back to the handwritten version of the letter by “Michael.”
That’s an option. Now the computer version could also have been written by Melanie… 😉
Could have been, yes . . . I would say go with the ending that was satisfy your intended audience.
Re-PS, after Bill, the dog, my favourite character is Joey of course. LOL.
I have to agree!
Glad you do. As I was writing it, I just loved how Joey takes the Sheriff for a ride. And though he (on purpose?) may sound as a redneck, I don’t think he is…
I think Joey is plenty smart–and sly.
Yes, yes, yes! Sly is perfect. Not a word I normally use, but fits Joey to a T. (I will use the word in another instance though… Thank you)
Now, what you just saId got me thinkin’…
Such a character as Joey could find his way in another story… Hmmm. Now what story… 🤔
You’re welcome. I am primed and ready for a new Joey story.
Okay. Don’t know when. I did have a vague idea of doing something about “The great dismal swamp”. Not sure where it is. Or what it is.
When in doubt, do some research…
(Do you remember the filing cabinets with the index cards in the library?) 😉
I think the great dismal swamp is in North Carolina. When my husband was in the Navy, he told me about buddies of his who fished in the great dismal swamp. They had to bring along a shotgun for the poisonous snakes that would drop from the trees.
Of course I remember the card catalog in the library. It was easier to use than EBSCOhost, that’s for sure.
I think you’re right. There was a blogger who came form there. She had a very nice blog. But faded away. It could make for a good story…
I just loved the card catalog. Wooden cabinets. Almost antique. Perfectly up to date thanks to the librarians devotion… I wonder where they put the cabinets? 😉
Good night Liz.
The ones in the Business Library were quite beautiful. I wouldn’t mind having them… (Then do what? LOL)
I’ve thought the same thing about old library card catalogs, but our house is chock-a-block with stuff and large antique furniture.
Chock a block? I can relate to that. (And to antique furniture… it carries so many memories of the people who’ve used it…)
What a intriguing and well written tale!
Thank you Cindy. This is the English version of a short story I wrote in Spanish years ago based on a “local” song. It was fun to “weave” it.
And even more pleasant to have you and other friends “fall” into reading it. I am honoured and grateful. 🙏🏻
Effective narration through several characters. Well done, real escalation of violence;,from almost, to bruise, to sneak out of town with an alibi. One typo: I’m sure “Michael” was looking forward to beans, but he’d drink Jim Beam. 😉
Gracias Rebe… Yes, escalation. Details. I remember a very good friend of mine, ages ago. She and her husband were very good friends. We always partied together, their house was open to all. One day she had a black eye. “What happpened?” “I banged myself in a door”. I was young, believed her. Now I think he hit her… Damn.
And you’re right Jim “Bean” 😉 was probably what “Michael” was looking for…
Yes, details realized in retrospect, and regret. Hope this story prevents that type of progression, as a warning symbol. PS Also, fist “in” the wall, rather than “on”.
Yes! Yes! In and on…
That scene was shot (I mean re-written) several times. First it was a “bofetada”. No. Then a slap. On the wall. No. Not a slap. A punch. A fist. And the on remained… (Now duly edited)
In and on can be tricky in English. I used to tell my executives here when they mixed up to remember “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”:
“Picture yourself in boat on a river, with tangerine skies and marmalade trees”. If you invert in and on, you end up at the bottom. LOL
Thanks for your note…
this was incredible and was such a great read as I wind down from a long day – I liked the transitions and the way it unfolded
Thank you Yvette. Like Ah said in other comments, it was fun to write… perspectives and rhythm. All the way till the end…
Thanks for coming along for the ride…
Hope all is well?
Things are well delightful month actually – I traveled for a funeral that turned out to last 30 minutes (would have been longer if I went to the eating party / but decided not to
Anyhow / I ended up having a nice visit with family and some I had not seen since summer 2020
Very nice ☀️😊
Oh. Sorry for the funeral. The wake is an interesting American custom.
Glad you could see your family. 2020 is a long time ago. We’ve had two black swans already. I wonder what the third will be…
Ye be good naw, ye hear? 😉
And you ? Hope all is well !!
All well. Thank you. (Knocking on wood as we speak…)
The story forced me to read to the end, well,done!
Thank you Sarah. For the visit, comment and reading till the end. I always hesitate to put longer texts. The ideal I feel would be 1,000 words. This one is 4,000+. I hate to “bother” the reader with long texts, but some stories just can’t be shorter.
Again thank you…
Take care now.
This one nicely balanced my urgent curiosity with necessary detail, and 4,000 words of lovely prose.
Thank you Sarah. As usual you’re only too kind. But you’re also right: one has to keep curiosity up, and the details play a part in that…
Wow, this had me gripped, but now, like Joey and the Sherriff, I’ll never know what really happened in the cabin!
Join the club…
Thank you Sarah. It’s always nice when the reader is “gripped”.
(Something in the story must be working…)
I think what made this gripping for me was the way you alternate between the conversation between Joey and the Sherriff and the experiences of Michael in the cabin, so we see events through his eyes and Joey’s
Yes. Several Points of view… Which made it nicer to write. Though I often write in the first person. (Somerset Maugham called it the oldest trick in the world…)
Have a nice week-end Sarah,.
Loved it, another nice twist. and great touch with the Spanish lyric too.
Thank you Paul. The Spanish lyrics triggered the story. You know how inspiration works… A few words, a few verses, a few lyrics… and the story comes as the rain goes in…
Oh! Wonderful Brian. You’re an amazing storyteller. There’s nothing as compelling as an old cabin.
Viel dank, Coeur de Feu. The merit goes to the songwriter, who lyrics inspired the story… (Wrote it in Spanish originally. I’m now putting some of those stories to English. Fun…)
Have a lovely week-end. Will you go to the magic house?
Already there 😍
That must be lovely. even if you don’t go every week-end or at every opportunity, it must be a great feeling of Freedom to know you can.
(Written from the new “house/cabin” in the countryside. On the terrace. by the pool. Just spent a week here. Going back to the city on Tuesday. Batteries charged. Peace inventory filled up.
Yeah, it’s pretty nice to have a get away. Life sounds good for you , enjoy dear friend 🤗💕
Wonderful story, Brieuc. I liked the style of it and it kept me interested all the way through. I love the Joey character and way to leave us hanging!
Merci ma grande. I wanted to write a “mystery story” of sorts. Is it? Not sure… 😉
I also wanted to “pique the reader’s curiosity. By bits and pieces…
And yes. Leave everyone hanging. I suspect Joey didn’t tell us everything… He’s a sly one. (As Liz says)
Mon plaisir, mon ami.
You did well! It’s a sort of mystery, who done it.
You definitely did!
I bet Joey left a lot out 🙂
Absolutely. Joey left a lot out. (Love those characters.)
They were great! I loved it. And I loved the way you wrote it. Fun stuff.
This is a good story, lots of intrigue and tension. Having read your conversation with Liz, I would have signed the letter Melanie. That would have added a nice little twist. Did the small dark haired girl kill Michael in self defense…
Agreed with both of you. There are three possible endings. In the original Spanish version, Michael signed the letter. M&M was a slight change I made this time. But it could well be Melanie who signed the letter. (But then I would have to write some interaction between Melanie and Joey to support that…)
Or, the letter is just what happened… 😉
Maybe Joey will tell us one day… (I’m thinking that he’s a good character. Just need a story to build in the back of my mind…)
Dankie Robbie. Happy week.end.
You too 💕🤗
Had me reading until the end Brian! Another great and intriguing story.
Another chapter perhaps?
Haha! Glad the story caught you.
Not sure about another chapter. But I have been thinking that Joey might inspire another story… We’ll see.
Joey certainly warrants another story and I have no doubt that you can come up with a good one… 😉
I’m trying to piece various things together. Joey. The South. The great dismal swamp, a strange place a blogger was from… Chop up a few ingredients, stir, and see how it tastes… Enjoy your trip… (I am green with envy) 😉
Sounds like another great tale!
Jut arrived in Kyoto so off to explore tomorrow. 😉
Kyoto. Magic name… Make the most of your exploration…
Une nouvelle incroyable qui m’a tenu en haleine jusqu’à la fin… J’ai adoré. 🙂
Merci Mélie… C’est drôle. C’est une nouvelle que j’avais écrit en Espagnol il y alongtemps, inspiré par une chanson en Espagnol.
Et là, à la “traduire”/adapter en Anglais, l’histoire a repris une autre vie… La langue est importante…
Merci à toi pour ce moment de plaisir