Little episode

He twisted the knob to the spigot. Nothing. Not a drop. Clouds began to form. What would it be? There she stood looking forlorn into the wind, while it shook the eaves of the white farmhouse, and the grey metal panels of the pole barn. In her pretty flower dress, she brightened the dusty landscape. Hair in a bun, partially undone in a mess, strands of brown locks stuck to her reddened cheeks, matted by sweat. After weeks, the tears were long dried up. A storm in its midst, gusts playing hide-and-seek with the blue pickup truck, windows down while he waited her out. Until then, he ate the grit of sandstone from the nearby bluffs, and a wad of “chew,” brown spittle trickling down his chin. Redman, I think. There were a thousand places he wished he could be other than his ransacked mind. Thunderheads blocked his vision. Twisters showed up out of nowhere without a forecast, the sound of alarms, war-like sirens. Her high-pitched yells landed on the empty walls of the canyons, warning them of naught. A pair of peaceful deer stopped on their tracks near the plateau, perhaps hearing her lonely woe. There’d been an ember in his belly seemingly since birth, maybe past lives, that flared up like a wildfire. All it took was the spark from a random lightning bolt. His madness, like the sudden summer storm, caused some collateral damage. Stirred up dormant emotions. Apologies wore thin. It lived a sparing life, this enemy from within, knocking him off a lot of good intentions, all good deeds. There was proof: the frayed Boy Scout patches and the ribbons on his soldier’s uniform (one and the same) laying in a cedar coffin, a price for small glories. The weather settled to a breeze, and sunlight peeked out of the gray. She settled into the passenger seat covered in lambskin, patience still intact. Door clicked shut. A faint smile grew. She observed the weariness on his brow. Burdens of his she could never know. Yet, she could see the glint in his eye, perhaps light reflected from his heart. He wasn’t giving up on himself, somewhere he’d emerge from the dense fog that followed. She decided to take the little episode and, in her mind, wrap it with a bow, around a ball of sour dough, to one day bake and make lunch from a harmless loaf of bread. He tried the spigot again, and this time water flowed. His thirst for peace quenched.

Published by: frankmarquezwritings

I'm a writer, and have been for most of my adult life. Without making this sound like a resume, I wrote creatively in college, dabbling in poetry, short stories and play writing. Later, I became a journalist, public affairs specialist, copy editor and eventually a guy who ran his own newspaper. Now, I'm back to letting my imagination run wild in some new creations including a science-fiction novel. Somehow, I also managed to teach English to high school kids, and roam the battlefields of Afghanistan as a field historian. Field historian may be a misnomer considering all I did was write abstracts summarizing military unit profiles and missions that included hundreds of interviews of troops and contractors in combat. I grew up in a small town called Gering, Nebraska, before escaping to Pomona, California, where I spent my last two years of high school, graduating from Ganesha High School in 1983. I have a Bachelors in English from the University of La Verne (1987), and a Masters in Education from UNLV (2007). In between, I worked for government - the Army and TSA. I served tours in Panama, D.C., and Tokyo, all thanks to a teacher who encouraged me to see the world before I settled down. As hobbies, I run, hike and bicycle long distances. I have also been known to surf and ski. I now live in my hometown after moving back in June 2015. I get to see family on a regular basis, breath fresh air, and not have to ride the D.C. metro or get stuck in traffic. In fact, I ride my bicycle whenever I can. I'm happily married to my wife Lisa, and we watch over a pack of fur babies, our dog Charley, and three cats Spike, Bootsy, and Franky (his shelter name). If you should ever visit me in west Nebraska, be prepared to feast your eyes on paradise.

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