about me,, humm,, old gray haired, half wore out, totally broke, blue jean wearing, bluegrass picking, father of 3 girls, married since I was in Junior High, armchair adventurer, introverted, homesteadin', codger from the soverign nation of Texas. But I do have an open mind..
Hazel in Pool room….(After She gets to Memphis- Several chapters skipped)
The juke box was silent and the only sound in the room was a June bug bouncing off the colored light panels of the juke box.Everyone was looking back and forth at each other.Ramone threw up his arms and let them slap against his blue jeans as he turned and left the bar, shaking his head.Hazel stood with her arms folded across her chest with one hip cocked out and patting her foot.Raoul alternated from staring at the table top and glancing back at Hazel.Words didn’t come as quickly as he had imagined they would.
“I don’t guess I really know what to say.I thought I would have something ‘cute’ or witty but for once I guess I feel lost. How have you been?That’s pretty thin but I really have wondered about it all this time.”
Hazel seemed to care less.Acting without emotion was a screen that she used quite often.“I have been Ok; nice of you to ask.Your concern these past years is real heartwarming.What am I doing here, and where am I going?You think you can send your goon brother and wrap me up like a package anytime you get a whime ?You might over power me but you will never win.As long as I can draw a breath,I will fight you.If you overpower me I will still not give in to you.”
“Causing you any anxiety has never been my intention, Hazel.Ramone promised me he would not harm or hurt you, did he?If he did, even my own brother will have to pay. You’re not here because I am trying to force myself back in you r life.I simply need your help.No one has the strength and determination that you have, someone I can trust.I can’t take any chances.”
“Why in the world do you think you can trust me, even if I agreed to help you in whatever hair brain scheme you might have working.You must think I have lost my mind.You packed up and left with no regard for anyone beside yourself.I don’t see any chains and locks because that is the only way you will keep me here, Raoul.You mean absolutely nothing to me.The Schlitz beer sign was reflecting in the pools building in her eyes.When I turn around a walk out of here, I hope I never hear your name spoken, much less see you again.”Hazel turned and started toward daylight.
Raoul knew Hazel well enough to anticipate her thinking.Before she had reached half way to the door, he put his hand on her shoulder.“WaitHazel.”She turned and stood motionless, not daring to speak for fear of losing all control.“Wait, you can’t leave until you hear what I have to say.”His tone confused Hazel.The combative and condescending tone had left his voice.“I didn’t bring you here for me.You are going to help me and then you can go and do whatever you want too.Everything about me is depending on this operation I am working on, even my life.I have got to have your help and you are going to give it.This may be the most underhanded thing I have done to you yet, Hazel.You can’t win this one, I have Lucy.”
Raoul could easily have lost his left eye.Instantly before anyone looked in their direction, Hazel bolted toward Raoul with the fury of a mountain lion.The frequency of her high pitched scream echoed throughout the room burying her fingers into his eye sockets as he stumbled backwards, falling over a chair.A sickening thud resounded from the floor meeting the back of his skull as the air emptiedfrom his lungs.For the first time he could remember, he thought that he was in trouble.Hazel dug her finger tips further into Raoul’s eye sockets while he made every attempt to loosen her grip on his body. Her legs were locked around his left leg and her teeth were latched firmly onto his left shoulder. Every attempt to roll his body into position to overpower her gripe, was met with an anticipated counter move that gained advantage for his assailant.She loosened her biting grip long enough to hiss a warning, “You son-uv-a-bitch, you have made a serious miscalculation.You will wish you had never ever known me.I have nothing to bet or loose, so I will promise you this on my soul.”Hazel took a deep breath and released her right-hand grip in order that Raoul would be able to look her in the eyes.“If you cause one scratch to come to be put on my baby, you can never imagine the terror you will experience.This I promise you, until I can no longer draw a living breath.”Hazel went limp and rolled onto the hardwood floor, flat of her back.Raoul, already on his back, fought to get his breath and hoped his blurry vision would improve.At this point, he was helpless.
Between spasms of fighting for breath Raoul rolled toward Hazel trying to focus on her image.“Lucy is Ok and is in no kind of harm.I didn’t know what else to do.I knew you would never talk to me but I have gotten into this thing and there is only one way out and you are the key to that.I had to have someone that had the courage and strength to follow through and if this was a test, I guess you passed.Are you ok now?I had no intention of hurting you. My estimation of your reaction may have been a little under-shot.If I don’t accomplish my goal, I will end up in the river so Lucy is my only wild card, so Hazel, you are going to have to listen and play along.
White hot hate radiated toward Raoul from Hazels ice cold stare. ”Let me hear it.”
“What the…Hazel do you have a towel or something?”Hank didn’t wait for a response.He grabbed a dish towel that had been on top of the beer sack.“Hurry, this is not going to help for very long.Damn, Hazel, I need something to stop this bleeding.Hurry.Hazel? Damit it!”The flow of blood had slowed but the compress was becoming saturated.Hank finally looked around the room.Billy Ray was sitting in the floor leaning back on his stiff arms.“Where the hell is Hazel?”
“Gone?Where the hell too?”
“I don know.”
“Did you see her leave?”
“She did’n leave.He snatched her up by the arm and yanked her out the door.”
“Did she say anYthing about who he was or where they were going?”
“Nope, she look like she was dumbstruck.Did’n say nothing, jus gone.”Billy Ray looked like he had a dose of the dumbstuck. Hank was a little bewildered himself. Angelique seemed to be waking up.Hank tightened his hold on her as she started fighting against him.
“Hold still Angelique.You have been injured.We gotta get you to a hospital.Where the hell is a hospital?I better call an ambulance.Ya’ll got a phone.Hell no, I forgot.Billy Ray run downstairs and call the operator.Tell her we need an ambulance.You gonna have to ask the folks in the bar what the address here is.You got any change?”
Billy Ray, still looking like he was in shock, shook his head from side to side.“Nooo, besides, I am not sure I should be the one to go down there.It’s about to get dark and, well I just don’t know.”He gave Hand a look of embarrassing worry.
“Here, hold this in place, don’t let the blood start gushing again.I think I have some coins.”
“Give me a pencil and something to write on.”
Both men jumped from surprise and turned their attention to the girl.Her eyes were still closed but she seemed to be aware of the conversation.
“Don’t call an ambulance.I need my grandmother here.I’m not going to any hospital.I will write her phone number down if you will give me a pencil and paper. When you get her on the phone, you are going to have to talk slow.She speaks English but she understands better if you talk slow and in short sentences.Tell her what happened and she will know what to do.She is a doctor…of sorts. She has the things that I need, but the sooner would be better.You will have to go pick her up, she don’t drive.It’s not very far and easy to get there.”Angelique was becoming more awake but the effects of her injuries were coming to the surface too.
“I’ll be right back. Billy Ray, hold the bandage tight and talk to Angelique and try to keep her awake.Angelique, don’t worry, I will find her and it will only be a little bit before I get back.”
Why I post thisruntogethermuckitymuck and anyone reads it. I ain' got a clue, but here it is. lol
PC&CG Nano chapter one or somewhere in between
The PT boat cut through the waves riding the growing swells. Sea water pushed aside in folding waves like pigeon wings. All hands were outfitted in foul weather gear.
“Wha’s yore name?”
Hank looked up at the black youngster. He seemed to be about the same age as himself.
“Hank, wha’s yore’s?”
“Bielly Raaay”. The young boy kept at a distance but he kept his eye on Hank and what he was doing. “Wha’s that you got there?” He pointed at the object the young boy Hank was holding against the ground as if it might levitate upwards.
“It’s a PT boat. It’s chasing the Japs out of the Philippine Islands. I had an uncle that was over there somewhere, during the war.” Hank made a wide arc pushing his “PT” boat at top speed chasing a Jap battleship or maybe it was a sub. The sand parted as if saltwater and a loud explosion signaled that another Jap tin can was scrap metal headed to meet old man Poseidon.
“Looks like a sardine can to me.” Billy Ray spoke with a degree of authority that he could see it was a sardine can. “My Daddy buys ‘em all the time down at Frank’s. Everbody know whut a can of sardines look like.” “Ain’t you eva ett sardines?” A scowl had worked its way onto Billy Ray’s forehead. Sardines were a staple for pulp wood hauler. He had assumed Hank’s daddy was a pulp wood hauler seeing that Hank had no business being there if he wasn’t. Billy Ray was sure this Hank fellow didn’t get around much.
Hank picked up the sardine can and inspected it closely and put it back onto the roaring sea and made another swift arc.
“Well, it’s my PT boat. There are a bunch of them under that tree over by the check-in shack.” He turned his head and nodded in the direction of the old post office building that had long since been closed for its initial purpose. He never took his eyes of the sleek PT boat, ever in its quest for more Jap raiders. “Go get you one and help me fight off these Japs.”
Billy Ray hesitated for a moment then he spun around and took off toward the old post office. Dirt flew up each time he took a step with the legs of his tattered overall pant legs flapping like a pair of flags. His selection for his warship only took a few seconds and with a twirl he headed back to the battle in a full run.
“I got me one.” Billy Ray was beaming. He had shed a portion of his shyness during his quest for just the right can for his “boat”. He squatted on his knees and his PT boat roared to life. Between the two of them, those Japs didn’t stand a chance. A sudden duo of explosions erupting from each youngster simultaneously confirms this to be a fact.
“Billy Ray, ya ever eat any sardines?” Hank had been thinking about the first time he remembered seeing Billy Ray.
“Why, ya needin’ a new PT boat?” Both let go of a polite chuckle. “How come you think about that? I was thinking about that when we stopped for gas back yonder, aways. I used to kinda like ‘em. They stop a growl but I don’t much care for the smell.”
A quiet pause, then they cut their eyes at each other at the same time and gave each other another polite chuckle. “That was a while back wadn’t it? We might have to stop and get a couple of cans. I’ll stop and run into some roadside store along the way and get us a snack. It’s a long way before we get to NaOwlens.”
Neither spoke of it but both had been wondering how it would be once they got there. Around home everyone knew each other and even though a lot of changes had been taking place, it was still unspoken that there were “places” and each should keep in mind where those places were. Seldom did you hear anyone say specifically, “You better know you place”, it still was pretty much on the forefront of everyone’s mind. A stroke of the pen doesn’t blot out centuries of lifestyles and habits. The civil rights act had changed a lot of signs and removed just as many, but habits die slowly and hatred seems to simmer forever. Hank and Billy Ray had gone to separate schools during the early years but going into high school the school system had integrated all the county schools and the high school in their area was total consolidation instead of using a government quota arrangement. Other areas of the country had not enjoyed the success as they had with their school. There had been no situations of conflict other than what you would expect from a segregated school. To say there was nothing to adjust to would not be honest, but during their three years of high school together, there had been no conflicts between either of them or any of the other students.
“We get those seeds loaded, we’ll get us sumthin’ to eat and we’ll come back and bunk down at the feed house. There ain’t no need in us spending money on a motel tonight. Hell, the rats will probably be bigger than the motel rats but at least they won’t be hungry, being they will be fattened up on the spilt feed.” Billy Ray knew the “rat” part was for comic relief and he anted up with an honest laugh.
“Ye’uh that’l be Ok wit me.” Hank knew Billy Ray knew the real reason for the plan. As long as they had known each other, they both had tried to walk the line of “place” without talking about it. He knew someday it would have to be an issue to settle but today didn’t seem like the time to tackle it. They rode in silence for several miles. Louisiana roads seemed lonelier than the ones back home. The rear mud grip tires sang a dirge as the old pickup kept a steady pace south.
“Well fellers, that’s all he ordered.” The fourth and last hundred pound sack of seed threw up a cloud of dust as it bounced on to the oak boards of the Chevy truck.
“Ya’ll bout messed around rummaging through those old junk shops and got here too late. There ain’t nothin but shit that oughta be thowed away in them places any how. I wouldn’t trade a twenty five pound sack of hen scratch fer all you could tote off in that there pickup of your’n. I ain’t figgered out where they git that shit from, no how. Anyways that room in there where I keep that horse tack can be ye room for tonight if’n ye still wanna stay here. Theres enough saddle blankets in there to make ye a pallet, maybe even for cover. I’m gonna lock up but I’ll hide this key over the third window above the lintel. Anything comes up missing, it’ll be ya’ll’s asses. If ye mess around down in the French Quarter and ye mess with the wrong people and ye don’t get ye ass cut up, then the poo-leece will put ye up fer the night. Either way, it ain’t no skin off my ass, so ya’ll be keerful. They’s plenty to do without actin like some shit-for-brains, doing sumthin stupid. Hit ain’t none of my business but a feller like him can still git in a heap of trouble over pretty much of nuttin.” With a quick nod toward Billy Ray, the message was sent. Wil’Like I said, ain’t none of my bid-ness, I’m just sayin’.” Mr. Mann’s head was nodding in a’yes’ motion while at the same time shaking from side to side in a ‘no’ fashion. Hank and Billy Ray knew that he was being as honest as the day was long but was a little uneasy in saying it.
“I’ll send a bill fer the seed. Now ya’ll git, I gotta git home in time fer Rawhide, plus supper’s a waitin. Git.” A big glob of spit, resembling creosote, hit the ground, it’s splatter barely missing three pairs of scuffed brogans.
“Thanks ye, Mr Mann.” Hank extend his hand and Billy Ray followed up with his hand shake. “It was good a’meetin ye. We’ll be awright. We ain’t much interested in stirring up no trouble. We thought we would go down close to the River and French Quarter and eat supper and get back here early and try to be gone ‘bout time you open up in the morning, b’fore it gets too hot. Thanks again.” A simple nod from each signaled for them to start their hunt for a good place for supper...
Why, what, where, when, how-come and reckon? That definitely is the question. Why do some folks (myself is mainly who I am referencing) put themselves in a situation they know little about?
I seem to be drawn to things that I know little about or don’t understand. I have, as long as I can remember, wanted to know about how things worked; clocks, auto engines, brain surgery and so forth. I figure if something is already broken, then tear into it and see if you can come up with what is causing it to be broke. I look at it as “heck its already broke so chances are I ain’t gonna break” it. That sounds like I am repeating something. Anyhow, last night with just a couple of hours before midnight, I signed up for this year’s Nanowrimo challenge. There, I have announced it. They say that once you announce it, you feel pressure to push forward and complete the task. I won’t go into the details because all ya’ll know what it is about. The truth is I need a little “prodding” with something like this. I don’t view it as something BIG in my life; I am not trying to write the “Great American Novel”, but I do like messin’ with it. I have been a little slack on the blogging end of all this and maybe I will write about that in the future but mainly, it is just like tearing into something that is broken, except nothing has been broken. Now that makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? I guess the fact that I haven’t posted is what I feel is the broken part and jumping off into this quicksand of Nanowrimo may be just the thing to “line me out”.
Well, here is my plan….I ain’t got a plan. Nope, no plot, no outline. I do have my characters; Billy Ray and Hank. Ya’ll all remember them, don’t you? I don’t know how all this works but hopefully it will “ all even out in the end”(that was mentioned in an earlier post).
Ya’ll are welcome to comment any helps, hints, or mints as awaaaayyyy we go.