Monday, July 6, 2015

What Theo Did Next

As Theo rumbled down the country road to catch his cousin Victor at his business,  he prayed incessantly.  OhpleaseOhplease, Dear Lord…

Victor waited, clearly watching for Theo, his spirit battered by now.  Cell phones are marvelous things he thought as Theo braked in front.  There was urgency in Theo’s step, and some in Victor’s stance.

Theo pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out as they shook hands.  “Does this offer still stand?” Theo gulped.  “My barn was blown to pieces, and I need this….”

Victor’s eyes widened, assessing if this was a true offer.  He credited Theo for the strength it took to come there. “You mean this?  Really?  You want to sell?”

Theo nodded with determination.  “I gotta do this.  I ain’t got a choice…Does the original offer still hold?”  Oh, please say it does!

“Here, sit down,” Victor replied, pulling over a leather chair.  “I’ll make the call, ask him if it the offer stands.”  Victor made the call, spoke briefly, and his eyes widened as he made a thumbs-up. 

Theo relaxed for the first time since the windy storm had crossed over his farm.  He released a deep breath.

Victor jumped up, placing his hands of the desk.

“He’ll give you fifty more!  Think what this means!  $160,000!”  

Dropping his head between his knees, spots and stars floated in darkness. 

“He already has a buyer, some fancy dancy designer up in Chicago.  Been waiting for one of those barns in your county to tumble down! He's been putting together a collection of old reclaimed timbers for a year now. *** 

Who knew some rich person wanted the 'country touch' in their mansion. ###  Gol’durn. You’re going to be okay, Theo.  That designer is already putting together a crew and eighteen wheeler to take that wood away in the next day or so."

Victor heard the sobbing and relief in Ellen’s voice when Theo called with the news.

In the sunny week that followed, from the old growth American chestnut, white oak, black walnut, pine timbers, planks and, hand-carved pegs that had held the structure together since 1840... the hand-hewed timbers were chosen.

The collection embraced the history, decades, and lives which the barn had sheltered.
Then the old barn was driven away.

The designer handed Theo a cashier’s check, wished him well, and followed the truck back to Chicago. Victor stood on the concrete porch with Theo and Ellen.  “You’re gonna be okay, Theo. Okay…”

Theo nodded, finally seeing a brighter future. Ellen whispered, “Okay…we’re gonna be okay.” She saw, with a sudden clarity, her husband's courage.

Our old barn was taken down in the 1970s, before the trend to purchase the reclaimed wood began.  At that time, the barn was wafting in the wind.  It was sadly burned to the ground when it lay in pieces.  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wednesday Words: The Storm

The Perfect Storm - Photography Challenge 9/365 - #oldbarn #storm #lightening
The Perfect Storm Source
Last night’s violent thunder and lightning storm more than battered Theo’s barn.  The storm brought it to the ground, leaving broken timbers and shattered planks.

Theo and Ellen were silent, as he assessed all that had been lost.  His eyes widened as he realized the cost to rebuild and to begin again.  Credit?  That was stretched beyond his ability to repay.

“Maybe we could take up a collection from our families?  I know that…” Ellen suggested, hesitantly.

Theo hung his head, “No, no.  I can’t ask them, you know that.”  Then Theo realized with clarity what he could do, what he should do.  “I’ll be back.” He hugged Ellen tightly and then getting into his truck, Theo drove out onto the dirt road in a cloud of dust.

Where did he go?  What will he do? Any ideas? 

This week, River provided 6 or 12 words for bloggers to use as a writing prompt, to stir up the old brain cells.  Take the leap and see what you can create.  You could write it in the comment section of River's site, post it on your own site (with a link back to River).  
I have really enjoyed these prompts.  They give me a chance to cut loose, take the plunge....

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ten More Days

metro transit bus
Take the Bus
Ten more days…only ten more days…Rosalie heard this phrase in her mind with each bus stop, with each passenger trundling off the bus and new passengers pulling themselves aboard. Her smile greeted them with each closing of the door.  Ten more days.

After all these years, Rosalie had come to know their names, their lives with all the good and bad, and how they aged as she followed them wrinkle for wrinkle.  Now, retirement marched closely: Ten more days.

Passengers sit in fixed two-seat units. There are metal poles and bars for standees to hold.

Then a new passenger, pretty young woman clutching her bag and books to her chest, leaped upon the steps.  Looking over her shoulder, pretty woman caught the glare of an angry man racing after the bus.  “You bitch!  Get yourself out here!”  He screamed her name, “Cassie!”

“You okay, baby?” Rosalie closed the door and pulled away from the bus stop, brakes and hydraulics singing. She saw in the mirror other passengers, faces creased and worried.  Young Woman looked up, face bruised and tears creasing.  “Cassie?”

No story needed.

“We all been there, Sweet Child…Bastard needs a good whuppin’…We keep you safe here, Baby…” Slowly a smile crept across Cassie’s face.

Day after day, Cassie raced faster and faster, the Bastard drawing closer and closer.  Day after day, the Bus Family held her, carried her to safety.

Then one day, on Day Ten, Bastard gripped Cassie’s arm, backhanding her soft face. 

The bus door opened, with Rosalie flying out, facing the Bastard nose to nose.  Following close behind, the Bus Family surrounded, encircling him tightly.   Rosalie lightly rested her hands on Cassie’s shoulders, whispering, “You tell him, girl.  You don’t need him anymore.  We’ll take you in.”

Words bottled up burst out and nailed the Bastard for every sin that was his.  The circle tightened when Cassie gave him a right cross.  “You get your crap outta my apartment before I get back…”

The Bus Family climbed back on, each one shoving or kicking him. We take care of our own…

Rosalie smiled inwardly. I’ll tell the company I’ll stay for a few more months….

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