An aging hippy couple living in their RV and a small town cop with a secret verses the vastness of Homeland Security. There are no winners or losers, just people struggling to find better understanding.
I'll post a page or two each day of this yet to be published 200 page adventure. Not having gone through the rigorous professional edits yet, this story may still be a bit rough. If you spot an error, please drop me a note. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m left struggling with my strap as Myrtle steps into my line of sight. "BillyBob Harding, what the hell were you thinking?"
I look at her as the harness unsnaps. Her hands are on her hips and she has the familiar cock to her head.
"It was great, Myrtle. You should try it next time he goes up."
She points at the lake. "You could have crashed in the water and drowned. Remember, you don’t know how to swim."
I stand and stretch my arms. "We didn’t crash, now did we and I had the time of my life."
She still has an aggravated glare as Frank steps over with three frosty bottle beers oblivious to Myrtle’s mood.
"Hey, It’s way past six and we better get started on happy hour before we miss it altogether. Let’s relax at your table and I’ll tell you about the brief case."
She rotates to him. "You could have killed my husband."
He laughs and points at the plane. "In that? That thing is as safe as riding a bicycle. I’ve had that type of plane for five years and not once have I ever had a problem with it."
"But you. . ."
For the first time in a long time, Myrtle is flummoxed into silence. He grabs her hand, snaps his heals together like some military person, bends and kisses the back of her hand tenderly, like she’s the most important person in the world. When he lifts his head, he looks her squarely in the eye. "Madam, I’m sorry if I caused you even the slightest concern."
He doesn’t release her hand, but simply turns to stand next to her and slide her hand in under his elbow like he’s taking her to a ball in a full tux. "Let’s retire to your picnic table and may I offer a token of my apology." He nods for me to follow.
I swear, for the first time in all of the years I’ve known her, my Myrtle placidly follows, hand clutching his elbow. Did I get a glimpse of her glassy eyes?
The two promenaded to the picnic bench, me in tow with the briefcase and beers and he seats her like they’re sitting at a seven-course meal.
When he bows at the hip, then shows her the bottle of beer across his forearm like it’s a hundred-year-old wine, she smiles for the first time. The spell is broken, but her mood has shifted and she’s back to herself, enjoying the attention of the stranger.
With the same waiter flair, Frank pulls an opener from his back pocket and snaps the cap from the bottle all in one smooth movement.
"Would madam like a chilled glass?"
Her smile turns to a grin as she let out a slight snicker and nods.
As if by magic --because I never saw him carrying a glass-- he pulls a tall tapered beer glass from behind him and expertly pours the amber liquid down the side of the glass ending up with a small head by the time it’s full. He set the glass in front of her and the bottle next to it.
She picks up the glass and looks through it like it’s magic. "Thank you."
Frank and I sit across from her as he flips the caps from the remaining two bottles and hands me one.
He lifts his bottle. "Lets have a toast to another successful broadcast."
Although I have no idea what he’s talking about, we all three click glass, then take a drink of the frosty beer.
When he sets his down, he looks at us and smiles. "Great beer."
"Bet you’re wondering what I’m up to."
I look at Myrtle, then back to Frank. "The thought crossed my mind."
He takes another sip. "About five years ago, I inherited a substantial amount of money from my stock broker father. He worked himself into an early grave and never enjoyed one penny of his fortune.
"Determined not to follow in his footsteps, I cashed in a minuscule portion and bought this bus. I wanted to see what America was all about."
I point at the bus with my thumb. "You’ve been traveling five years?"
"Actually much longer, but the last five in the bus."
Myrtle says, "For the last year we’ve been doing the same. I like it."
"I knew you’d understand."
After a moment of silence, I ask, "So, what have you found in your wanderings?"
He takes another drink of beer, finishing the bottle, then sets it on the table. "Most of America thinks the nightly news is the gospel truth. They think that what is being shown on their television is unbiased and above board as news should be."
I shrug. "I don’t think so. It might have been unbiased in the fifties and sixties, but that was before it got bought up by big business with their agendas. I hate the news."
Myrtle nods in agreement.
Frank smiles. "I hoped you would say that."
I down the last swallow of my beer. "You have more on the subject?"
His smile turns to a sly grin and he winks. "Seeing how I had all of that money and really nothing to spend it on, I decided to give back something to my country that’s been so generous to me." (More tomorrow)
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Copyright June 2011 Nik C. Colyer All rights reserved