Saturday, May 8, 2010

American Apocalypse IV - Heartland Chapter 4

Everyone but me held their breath. I just looked at her. She whispered "Please..."

I didn't think it through. I didn't worry about the ramifications. I just said "Sure." Her grin and the hug that followed were nice. Almost nice enough to silence the voice in my head that told me I was an idiot. She pulled back, looked at me, and said "I wasn't sure if you would." I shrugged, and said "Hell Carol. It's what I do." The chorus was making a big deal of it and they were all grinning from ear to ear. I thought about how badly dental hygiene had slipped since PowerDown. I was glad when they turned it down a notch or two.

"So Carol. Where is he?" I asked. I don't know why but I figured he was in the next town over.

"I don't know."

"Oh. Okay. You have a rough idea?"

"Sort of. I think he is east of here." She waited a beat. "About a hundred miles." She was starting to look a little anxious.

"Okay. You got a picture?" I asked her. She looked down, her hair fell forward, I wanted to brush it back, she said "No. I lost all my pictures."

I thought "Well, this is going to be a little more difficult than I thought. I was also getting a little bit irritated. I fought to keep it out of my voice and said calmly "Can you describe him? Does he have any distinguishing marks? Scars?" She must have heard the irritation in my voice because she said defensively "I will recognize him!" I thought about that for a couple of beats, then I said quietly "You're not going. If I do this. I do it alone. Think about it. He has to have a scar or something. Do you have anything of his he would recognize?"

She stared at me. Her eyes welling up. I thought "Jeebus" That was followed by a sick feeling and the thought that maybe she was right. Maybe she had lost it. I stood up and said "I have to relieve Loco. Think about it. Give me something to work with." Then I turned away and went to find Loco.


  1. Howdy Nova,
    Now that is tricky! East is the wrong way- are you sure he's East?
    Unidentified- maybe not so complicated. Wondering what kinda neat lil "insights" Freya has been earning through her increased attention from the growing crowd. Should be helpful here-at least be able to pull an image from one follower and transfer to another. If that is where this is going.... You have thrown some crazy feints in before, lol!
    More cliffhangers to follow-you are doing great, Rock on!

  2. nova, this is really compelling reading. I don't think there is anything to compare with the anguish of losing your child. It would certainly be enough to make me crazy. But boy! What a plot line you have set up!

    Ya know, this is the way life will be after the collapse. We will be like ping pong balls, at the mercy of events. What a difference from my pared down and blessedly predictable life. More to think about.

  3. Hi all,

    Yeah, I got about 4 sentences in my head for the next few chapters. This is getting to be fun to write again. The endless road trip was not where I wanted to go. Must have side trips!

    Ping pong? Probably things will happen that have no rational beginning or clear cut ending. It will just happen. A beginning, middle and nicely tied up ending don't usually happen in worlds like this.

  4. Carol's plea will sound familiar to any adult has few rational beginnings or clear cut endings.I have occasionally thought I saw one and have usually been wrong.A good Story Nova!

  5. N- It always amazes me that you write from such freeform. It definetly works for you.

    As many said: y'all pointed out something I had to agree with... Life is so rarely a completed project- just not enough time to concisely finish stuff before something else prioritizes and gets in the way. The older I get the more I find that the norm. I guess that is why I am not big on set schedules! And "Tidy endings", lol, they are a fairytale created in Hollywierd! Oh well, such is life! That's why I grin a lot and I hang a smile off my second initial...

  6. Thanks Tom.

    Yeah. JO, so very true.