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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Installment- Rowan's Journey

Rowan woke up with a jerk, pain shooting up her neck. She had fallen asleep on the couch staring out the window. She must have twisted wrong when she was startled awake. Glancing over she saw Joshua sound asleep on the other couch. He was curled up with his blanket holding his little airplane. Rowan could never understand how he could snuggle with a cold piece of metal, but for Joshua it was like any soft stuffed toy. Once she looked around the room Rowan began to wonder what the noise was that caused her to jump. There was nothing noticeable at first glance. She stretched and cracked her neck. The pop sounded loud in the quiet house. The room was starting to feel cool again so she threw some more wood on the fire. The noise came again. It was obviously outside, sounded like it was out back in the big garage. Rowan did not have a good view of the outbuilding from where she was at. She grabbed the pistol and walked to the front door. Hesitating she was unsure if she should leave the boy sleeping in the house to investigate. What if something happened and he woke up alone? Rowan quickly grabbed the shotgun instead.

She slowly opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch. Looking into the sky, Rowan tried to gather what time it might be. It had to be at least two O’clock. Joshua usually took a nap at three but this had been an unusually tiring day. Rowan crept cautiously towards the big metal out building. It seemed secure but there was a small opening at the right bottom corner of the huge sliding door. She stopped a few feet from the door and listened. At first all she could hear was the pounding of her own heart. “Get a grip Rowan” she scolded herself, breathing in a deep breath of clean air. The air smelled more normal now. There was no sting in her nostrils from burning jet fuel. Rowan grabbed hold of the door handle and slid it open wide so she could see in. There appeared to be nothing in there. She was happy to see the big red truck though. It was a towering 3 ton Ford 350. It was a diesel. Rowan wondered if it had fuel in it. Then a snap sounded from the back corner of the building. Rowan yelled in a commanding voice, “This is private property. I have a gun and I will shoot. Come out of there.” Nothing moved. “I SAID COME OUT NOW”, still she heard nothing. She glanced towards the house and contemplated high tailing it back to the safety of lockable doors. Then she heard a sound like a scratching. It must be an animal. She felt a little relieved but then wondered what kind of animal it could be. She slid soundlessly closer to the corner and kicked over a stack of empty crates Wade had been saving for some project. At that moment a masked bandit bared its black claws and white teeth, screeching at her. Rowan screamed and put a shot gun blast through the roof. It was that damned raccoon. That creature had gotten great joy out of tormenting Rowan the last few months that she lived there. She thought it had been long gone. Here he was though acting like Rowan was the invader. Rowan pointed the shotgun at the beast and was about to pull the trigger when she heard Joshua screaming for her from the porch. The Raccoon ran past Rowan and out the open door, scampering off into the field. Rowan didn’t dare take a shot in that direction. It was too risky with the house in the background. Rowan yelled to Joshua, “It’s O.K. baby, it was just that awful raccoon.” She temporarily secured the sliding door and went back to the house.

The boy was rubbing his eyes and still looked red faced as they went back into the house. After holding and rocking the boy for awhile, Joshua took it in stride. Again taking up his crusade to save the animal, Joshua started explaining all the reasons why it was a good idea to keep it alive. In Rowan’s mind that menace had been carrying out a well planned attack on her ever since she interrupted him snacking on the apple trees three years ago. Anyone who says a raccoon is a stupid animal has never met a raccoon. This bandit has been stealing things, leaving land minds around the property, and specifically messing with Rowan’s things. It would poop on her car but never on Wade’s. One time Rowan had left a book sitting in a lawn chair when she went inside to get a drink. When she came back the terrorist had urinated on the book and chair. For a moment this made Rowan laugh as she recalled the huge argument her and Wade had because he had said she couldn’t prove the Raccoon had done it. It would get into the garbage, mess up the lawn furniture, and eat the vegetables out of the garden. Rowan had been out voted two to one last year to stop trying to kill it. Rowan once again conceded and promised Joshua she would not shoot the offender. Rowan opened the door and shouted, “O.K. I am sorry. I call a truce. I won’t try and hurt you anymore. Now if you would please not pick on me anymore that would be great. We need to work together if we are gonna get through this.” She closed the door to see Joshua as pleased as punch that he had negotiated an end to the war. It was good to see him smile. Rowan felt silly for the display but in her heart she knew the words were more for God than for the raccoon. She was feeling scared and alone in protecting her son and she couldn’t waste energy on some grudge against a furry foe.

Rowan felt hunger pains. All of the excitement had left her feeling drained and in need of food. She cooked up some hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. The meal tasted surprisingly good. It is amazing how good boring food can taste when you are super hungry. Rowan let out a big sigh and filled a plate up for Rascal (as the masked opponent had come to be called by Joshua). Rowan quickly put it out on the picnic table, “There a peace offering. Friends O.K.?” She grabbed some more wood, went inside, and locked up the house tighter than a vice. Of all the things she hated because of the break up, Rowan now felt a weird sense of comfort and support by having her nemesis still around. It gave life a sense of normalcy for the time being.

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sel said...

Where can I read the beginning of this novel?

Tabatha said...

You should be able to scroll down...I believe...I will check into that. Thank you. I hope you are enjoying it so far...

Tabatha said...

O.K. if you scroll to the bottom, click on older posts, then keep scrolling down. I will maybe post the entire story so far from 1- 5 again to help. Thanks

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