03 August 2008

Sunday Fiction - Part IX

It had been a very quiet week in the city in the mountains. I was still recovering from my abortive attempt at camping, and the head wound that resulted. The antibiotics were doing their job, but I had been experiencing a headache and so had unplugged my phone.

Which wasn't doing my bank account any good. Of course, clients had been few and far between for some time, so maybe I wasn't missing anything. No way to know.

Another aftereffect of my wound - or at least I thought it was an aftereffect - was that I was cold a lot of the time, so I began to think that a warmer, more arid climate was becoming vastly appealing.

I spent several days holed up in my office with the lights low and the curtains drawn, and then, as I began to feel a bit better, I ventured online to check my email and such. Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw that I had a message from Arianne!

I clicked on it and read eagerly. She had received the package, and decided that it was time to be back in touch with me, and, according to her message, talk about us getting back together. And there at the very end was her Skype name and "call me!"

After my eagerness to be in touch with her, I was somewhat surprised by my hesitancy to do so now that she had requested it, and so I dithered for a day or so, then logged into Skype and entered her name. Almost immediately, I received confirmation that she had added me as a contact.

I clicked on her name, and the computer dialed.

"Hi, Guy."

"Hi, Arianne."

After a brief silence, we continued for a while with some small talk... "Yeah it's been awhile... Not much, how 'bout you...I'm not sure why I called... I guess I really just wanted to talk to you... And I was thinking maybe later on... We could get together for awhile... It's been such a long time... And I really do miss your smile"

I paused for a moment, then said "Well, either you need to tell me where you are or you can come here."

Arianne replied, "I'm over in Dandridge. Living on Rossi Street, down near the --" and the call dropped. Then my computer went crazy....

The virus had appeared out of nowhere, and so they found themselves cut off. I looked around the office, but there was no one else - I had no idea where the voice came from.

Arianne looked at her computer in a daze as window after window opened. She couldn't get it to stop, so she shut the computer off, laid down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. It was nice to hear Guy's voice again, but she wasn't sure what to do next. She continued thinking as she drifted off to sleep....

The howling of the coyotes woke her up. They seemed to be just outside her bedroom window, they were that loud. And it was very odd, because she had, up to now, had no inkling that there were coyotes in the area. She got up and looked out the window and saw Geneva in the yard, struggling against a strong wind, picking up fallen branches. There had apparently been a storm come through while Arianne slept. Arianne pulled on a jacket and went outside to help, as it was obvious that Geneva was having a hard time of it.

The two women worked silently for a few minutes, cleaning up the storm damage, and, just as they collected all the debris, a powerful gust of wind came along and scattered the pile. Arianne looked around disgustedly, and she sighed and began rearranging the tree branches. Again.

When they had regathered all the mess, they went back into the house and discovered that mayhem had taken place in the kitchen. Geneva had baked a pie before the storm came through, and had forgotten that it was sitting on the window sill. Feathers were everywhere, and apple pie was out of the question. Geneva had a crazed look in her eyes as she said, "I can't seem to rid my house of these dots." Arianne stared at her landlady, not knowing what to say - or do.

It took me a couple of days, and a visit from Jimmy the Bartender - who was a bit of a computer whiz - to get the virus out of my computer, and when I tried to get in touch with Arianne, I had no luck. So, I decided to go "old school" and send her a letter. I spent some time carefully composing a letter that I hoped would be well received and addressed the envelope as best I could. It was impossible to know if her letter was going to get to its destination, so vague was the address she provided.

By now my head wound was pretty much healed, and the headaches were gone, so I decided to venture out. I waited until evening, and walked down the street toward the Five Spot. The sun was bright and the size of a quarter, yet the moon appeared as a silvery dollar. The street was more crowded than usual, and I had to push my way through folks and to the door of the pub.

I entered and found myself looking at a standoff. The regular patrons were all crowded into one corner of the room, and Dirk Easley was standing in front of the bar, his hands held out from his sides. A large man was standing a few feet away, a gun in his hands, his eyes darting back and forth from Dirk to the folk in the corner. He saw me and spun around to point the gun at me and said, "Where would the plane land now? Can you tell me that?!?"

Dirk took advantage of my entry and lunged at the man, who reacted fast and fired the gun at Dirk. Jimmy and I moved at the same time and wrestled the man to the floor and disarmed him. Jimmy held the man down as I went to check on Dirk.

"Damn slugs," Dirk said, clutching at the wound in his gut. He looked up at me as his eyes began to glaze over and quietly said, "But how did my pants get wet?"

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