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He Found A Way In
Author's note: I had never really thought about writing an action/adventure fantasy, but when thus idea came to me, I found myself wanting to find out more and more about the characters, and what would happen to them along the way...that was when I sat down and wrote this novel!
Brody King walked across the University of Maine’s campus after finishing his lunch one afternoon in early December. The sun was hiding behind the heavy clouds that hung that day. It had just snowed the night before, so he could feel the stacked snow flakes crunch as he walked on top of them.
Brody was a tall man, thin, with glasses. He’s one of those with the curious look in his eyes, the look that intelligent people have, the look that said that he was curious about the world, and wanted to know so much.
He began thinking about the university he worked for and admired its beauty as he walked. The city of Orono was also a nice town, the town in which the university is located. He also liked the town of Bangor, which wasn’t too far from the campus.
Snow covered all the building’s roof tops. It was peaceful and a thing of beauty. Brody has always loved the snow, and wasn’t going to stop that day or any other day for that matter.
Soon, small white snowflakes began falling from the heavy clouds above once more. Brody never picked up his pace; he liked getting caught in a snowing episode.
He was almost to the science laboratory where he taught-you guessed it-science. He liked his job a great deal, and it showed since that was what he had been doing for the past twenty years or so, ever since he and his wife had their child, Max.
A wind began blowing, that was when he began running for the door that led him to the warm inside of the building.
Students walked about with books in their hands talking to friends about subjects Brody supposed was on his list when he was in college.
He walked down the hall, be careful not to slip while doing so, since the snow had turned to water on the bottom side of his boots.
He reached his classroom moments later, where his students were waiting, ready and eager to begin learning. Brody was lucky this year and knew it, since he had no trouble makers in his class. Trouble makers got him all stressed-out, but you can surely tell when he gets made at you for not behaving in his class because he asks you to leave and tells you to never come back.
“I have arrived my children,” he began and they began clapping. He knew that they all liked him, he was nice, but didn’t tolerate any nonsense from any student and they liked that about him. He was also very understanding, when a student had a problem about something, they went to him.
“Now, today class, we’ll be talking about, Einstein’s theory of other dimensions,” Brody began setting his black leather briefcase down on his chair in the front of the room.
“Who is familiar with this theory?” Brody asked, and many kids, almost all of them raised there hands.
“Good, I’m very impressed. But before we get started and jump into the factual part of it all, I want to know all of your opinions,” Brody said as he began passing around pieces of blank white paper. “I know that you all have had a nice break because of all the ice and snow lately, right?” Many people nodded and replied “yes.” “So, now I want you all to gear up and on this piece of paper, tell me what you think-could there be other dimensions out there? And if so-what do those dimensions hold? Are there people like us? Tell me your thoughts and I want them to contain at least a thousand words, and they are all due at the end of this class. Go!”
The students began getting to work, their pencils and pens flying across the page, but some others had to think for a second and decide what they thought.
“It’s okay if it takes you some to time to gather your thoughts, everyone, take your time I want this to be well thought-out!” Brody said as he watched some people look into space, but with questioning glances on their faces.
Brody sat at his desk in the front of the class for forty-five minutes, waiting for the bell rang, he read a novel while he was waiting, and every so often looking out at the many young adults working on their papers.
He looked up at the clock every so many minutes, almost every time being disappointed that class wasn’t over yet, but before long, it was.
The bell rang at forty-five past two, and everyone jumped up to leave, but Brody jumped up even faster.
“Hey guys put your papers on my desk as you leave, and I’ll grade them over the weekend for you,” he said as they all left.
After the class, he glanced at the stack of papers that were on his desk. He let out a sigh, put them in his briefcase quickly, and ran out his door and locked it before walking back out into the snowy outside world and getting into his car to drive home for the day, ready to kick his feet up after a long day of working with college kids. Whew!
He got into his car, sliding the key into the ignition, and turning it right. The engine roared to life, reminding him of all of the lion’s roars he heard while in Africa on a safari trip across the outback.
He turned on the radio, and pulled out of the parking lot, and onto the main road which would take him home, but while thinking about all the nice things he was going to do tonight, (some included watching the Dallas football game, reading some of the new novel he just got, and others) he realized that the excavating men from the company down in Bangor were coming to begin digging for the new addition they were putting onto their house.
“Damn!” he said with a large sigh that followed it, knowing all his glorious plans would have to wait until at least nine o’clock that night, when all the workers would go home.
Brody arrived home just shortly after two thirty, he knew that the excavators would be there soon, so he went inside and began tiding up the house so his wife was happy when she got home.
He watched the clock, knowing that the movers would be coming around three thirty. So he got the vacuum cleaner out and vacuumed the first floor, and the bathroom, just off the kitchen.
When had finished, he put the vacuum cleaner away and sat down in front of his television in his family room with the remote on his chest. He propped up his feet in his big recliner and turned on the television to channel 5, where the Dallas game was already in the second quarter.
Every ten minutes or so he checked the clock, and when it was about time for the workers to come, he got up and paced around the kitchen. He always got nervous when strange people came into his home, for what reason he didn’t know.
There was a knock on the door, it was the workers. Would he make them a sandwich? Iced tea? No, probably something more like hot chocolate since it was about thirty two degrees outside.
He walked briskly to the door, unlocking it, and then opening it, greeting the two men that stood there in hard hats, and tough, dirty jackets.
“We’re with the excavating company, Mr. King,” the man with many cynic acne scars said as he turned and pointed to the large bulldozers out waiting on a trailer on Brody’s driveway.
“Yes, please come in,” Brody said and showed them into the kitchen after shutting the door behind them. “My wife and I have been very anxious to start on the project. But sadly, my wife isn’t here yet she should be home shortly.”
“It’s all good, Mr. King,” one the workers said as he looked around the house, Brody didn’t know whether or not he was admiring the house or envying it.
“Yes, well, the spot that we’re digging out is marked out on the side of the house. It right out here,” Brody said as he led the men to a door right in the kitchen, he opened it and it led to nowhere, just the cold and chilly backyard that was waiting to be dug up.
The men observed it for awhile, taking mental notes and mapping out how they were going to do things.
“Can I get you anything to eat or drink?” Brody asked with nerves showing in his voice.
“That’s okay, Mr. King, we’re good, thanks,” one of the construction workers said. “We’ll just begin on our work,” he said and then came out that side door, and disappeared as he walked back out onto the driveway.
Brody shut the door and walked back into his family room. He sat in his recliner and resumed watching the Dallas game that he was so anxious about observing.
He sat there, shutting his eyes, to him for only a moment, but it ended up being three hours.
He dreamt of a pretty woman looking up at him, with eyes that showed fear and discomfort, and telling him, “Watch your step.”
He awoke; trying to catch his breath, there was something unsettling about the woman in the dream.
Brody looked around the room, the Dallas game was over, the highlights just beginning to come on.
Brody squinted to see the time that was on his clock in the kitchen, he squinted harder and was able to make out that it was seven o’clock, and the sun had gone to the other side of the earth, leaving Brody’s side dark. But he could see that there were many lights outside, what the hell what out there? Oh God, it was some damn UFO isn’t it? You remembered the one that went into the waters of Bar Harbor in the 80s now they were here, at his door. No, what the hell was he thinking?
Brody walked over to the kitchen door that led to the outside world. He opened it and saw that the excavators had set up many lights so they could see what they were digging up, a smart move on their part.
One of the workers driving one of the bulldozers looked up at Brody and gave him thumbs up. Brody gave him a warm smile back and looked at the deep square they were digging in the earth. The bulldozer went and dug another two feet into the earth, when the ground grew a large crack in it.
Brody looked at it.
What in the hell? He thought. It was a large crack, and it looked deep. Then when the bulldozer struck again, it got bigger, and bigger, and suddenly went around the perimeter of the dug-out section. When the crack met again as it went around, the ground gave way, and fell down into a large and immensely deep square-shaped hole in the ground.
Good God! Brody thought. The hole swallowed up a few tools that the workers were using. The hole was so deep that the large lights that surrounded everyone and the site wouldn’t reach the bottom.
The bulldozer was shut off, and the worker running it stepped down, and gaped into the large hole that stood there.
The scary part was the fact that Brody’s house stood not even a foot away from the hole, making it possible for some of the house to he consumed by the enormous hole as well.
“Go home!” Brody called out to the workers, he tried to have a voice but instead in squeaked as he called out. No one laughed though; frightened about what had just happened because those things just don’t happen for any reason.
Without putting the bulldozer back onto the trailer, the workers that were still there ran to their trucks and sped away, eager to tell their boss what the hell happened, if they even could tell their boss, because they had no idea why this had happened, neither did Brody.
CHAPTER THREE Brody sat at the kitchen table with plate of spaghetti in front of him. He had fixed it for himself and his wife, thinking that she would be home by then, but she wasn’t. She’s probably just running late he thought looking at the clock and letting out a sigh. He took his half-finished plate over to the sink and poured the last of his meal down the drain, leaving whatever was left in the pot for his wife. He put the rest of what was in the pot on a plate, and put it in the microwave so it would be warm when she got home. He walked back over to the kitchen table where his briefcase sat waiting. He sat down and took out all the papers his students had written that day. He also took out a red felt-tip pen to grade with. He took out the first paper that sat on the top of the stack. He read: Einstein was a really smart man, his theories about the universe and the world we live in are still being questioned and understood today. So when he suggested that there are other dimensions out there just waiting to be uncovered, I think he’s right. It’s just only a matter of time before we find one, I think. Especially, if our technology keeps up at the rate it’s going now, getting more and more advanced, we will definitely find anew dimension. That’s my take. Brody put his red pen onto the paper and wrote in big letters: Nice job, Alex. “A” Brody sat there for an hour grading papers and finally came to the last one with great relief. He took it out and read it quickly; it was a few pages long. But it lacked a good opinion; the writer didn’t stand behind his opinion. Brody gave that person a “D.” He looked up at the clock and rubbed his eyes, a sign he had a long day and needed some rest. But why wasn’t his wife home yet? It was almost nine o’clock! His answer came a few minutes later right before he was about to walk up the steps and go to bed. He stopped, walked toward the front door as he unloosened his tie. He was eager to see his wife and her beautiful face. Not to mention her long brown hair that flowed to his shoulders. She ran toward the house, wanting safety from the wet mixture of rain and sleet. She covered her head with a newspaper she always kept out in the car for such situations. She walked in the house, greeting her husband with a kiss. “Where have you been, Kathy?” Brody asked with smirk on his face. He couldn’t help but smiling at his wife, who he loved more than air. “I had book club, remember? Not to mention the slow driving by everyone because of all the snow and sleet that came down today,” she said as she walked into the kitchen, setting her things down on the kitchen table. She also took off her high heels and through them into the family room. “I take it you’ve had a bad day?” Brody said still smiling at her irritability. Brody always thought she was so cute when she got upset and stressed out. “Where do I begin?” “Oh no.” “My boss gave up the story that I was supposed to work on to some other b***h from one of the lower offices. Then, I was half-way through following up on another story when someone called saying that I didn’t need to do that one since it was supposedly old news. Then my boss fired my assistant so now I’m going to have to write, follow up on all the new stories, and do all the stupid s**t that my assistant is supposed to do! How was your day?” Kathy shook her head as she tried to de-stress. “Interesting, not as stressful as that but pretty interesting, let me show you why.” Brody showed Kathy to the side door and opened it carefully, not knowing how his wife was going to react. She saw the huge hole and gasped. She put her hands over her mouth. “What the hell? This thing is huge? How deep does it go?” she asked with great surprise and shock in her usual fragile and gentle voice. “We don’t know, even some of the lights that the workers put out didn’t reach the bottom, so it’s pretty damn deep.” “Well, it’s going to have to be filled up since-“ “There’s no dirt to fill it up with!” “What do you mean, Brody?” “That hole formed on its own, the ground just gave way and it all fell down into the hole, do you see what I’m saying?” Brody asked. He was just as shocked as his wife was. How could this have happened? His wife nodded and stepped back, she went into the house, letting Brody close the door behind her. He walked over to Kathy his arms around her. “Kathy, it’s nothing, we’ll figure it out. It’s got to be something logical, it just has to be,” Brody said trying to comfort his fearful wife. But he really was lying, he had no idea what that thing was and why it opened up. Maybe while Kathy’s sleeping I’ll check out the situation Brody thought.
Brody sat up in bed, listening to the sound of Kathy snore. He knew she was asleep now, this was his chance.
He looked over at the clock, it read: 12:57 a.m. and he thought-Damn! It took her long enough to fall asleep!
Brody rushed down into the kitchen with his blue jeans and a nice soft t-shirt he liked more than any of his other t-shirts he had. He felt how smooth it was and admired it, but thought more about what was waiting for him outside, if there was anything at all. But there was…a little something called fate.
Brody went out the front door and walked around the house carefully, being cautious of ice.
It was spitting heavy snow flakes and they piled up on the ground, an inch or so now.
He finally got to where the excavators began digging and gaped into the hole just like the way the workers had done. Brody was in awe, a bit of wonder in his eyes.
Brody took a stone that he found a few feet from his and threw it into the hole, trying to listening for when it hit the bottom, hut he heard nothing. Not a sound. Nothing that would suggest there was something metal or rubber, or even maybe plastic for that matter, nothing.
He carefully got closer to the edge, trying to peer into it. What the hell is this thing? He asked himself, and why was it in his backyard?
The snow suddenly stopped, Brody feeling a little disappointed. He suddenly began thinking about Christmas and how fast it had gone by. It was already the New Year, and thirteen days into to.
Oh no, the thirteenth day of the new year maybe Brody began pondering this, and stepped a few feet back from the ledge, but it was too late to reverse his fate. Brody stumbled on a shovel left behind by the workers.
He twisted and squirmed, trying to get some balance but he couldn’t, and he fell as his feet twisted around each other in an attempt to catch his balance, an attempt that didn’t turn out to be successful.
As soon as his feet twisted, he fell, and that was it. He tumbled into the hole and free-fell a few hundred feet before disappearing in mid-air.
His screams were not heard by anyone, not even his wife who was sleeping not a hundred feet from the incident, no, she was in too much of a deep, dreaming, and relaxing sleep.
CHAPTER FIVE Sea water coming from the crashing waves came up and drenched Brody one more time, this time it was enough for him to wake up. He opened one eye but couldn’t really see out of it so opened them both. Brody held up his head and looked around, water crashing on top of him once more. He began to get up but then fell back down. He knew he was at the beach somewhere but in which state? Which country for that matter? Brody tried getting up again, this time he was able to take a step and then took his arm and wiped the sand around his eye brows off his face. He was covered in sand and salt water, his eyes burning and blood-shot. He began blinking his eyes quickly trying to get the sand and salt water out of them. He looked around, and saw nothing but fog a few yards away, but he heard noise, noise of a city. He looked ahead of him, smelling gasoline, trash and food; he must be close to a city. What else would explain all of this? Brody continued walking until he spotted something below him, something, wood. It was a step leading to God only knows where-but he took it and continued walking up wooden stairs until the fog cleared and he could see that he was on some type of boardwalk. There came a strong wind that hit his face, along with buckets of sand that got caught in his hair, eyes, and mouth. He covered his face until the wind stopped, when it did, he opened his eyes wider and looked around. He saw men sitting on the boardwalk, some sleeping, some just looking up and staring at him. They were all dirty and had bags of clothing cans of food, and soda cans all around them. He kept walking toward the scent of food, and wondered maybe if the first thing he would do would be to get something to eat, but he still wanted to figure out where he was. He walked for a few more seconds; afterward he came to what looked like a train station. But Brody saw odd-looking taxis painted bright yellow with a black racing stripe going down the entire length of them. He walked closer with much curiosity. He got to a fence that shut off the boardwalk, a man stood there and looked at him. The man wore a black suite and a nice top-hat. Brody looked at the man, the man looked at him. “These are…taxis, right?” Brody asked. He was afraid that the man would think he was utterly crazy, but Brody truly didn’t know, heck-Brody didn’t even know where he was. “Yes, sir,” the man said giving him a one-thousand-yard-stare. “I would like a ride,” said Brody giving a glance that said: Buddy, I’m at a taxi station-what else would I want to do jump and destroy the damn things? “Oh, of course, come in,” said the man in the suite as he opened the small white gate. Brody walked through the gate and looked around once more, taking in everything trying to figure out where he was. Could he be in Paris? London? San Francisco? New York? He walked onto a small plate form. Many taxi cabs waiting for them in an area in front of him where a train would wait for its passengers. But strange thing that struck Brody first was the fact that the taxis where floating. Flying taxis? This had to be a dream, but indeed it wasn’t. Brody shook his head, but he was still amazed and scared at the same time, he was in a strange world, but it was about to get even more wild. He threw his left hand in the air waving it to one of the taxis. The back seat door to the taxi directly in front of him opened and he got in quickly, and anxiously. When he got inside, he looked around, nothing different from the taxi cabs he was used to, other than the part where they float in mid-air. “Where to Buddy?” the driver asked. He looked into the mirror sitting high above the dash board looking at Brody. Brody could see that the driver was looking at him oddly for some reason. Brody saw this and he looked at himself, what had he cut himself shaving or something? Why the hell was this guy looking at me funny? “Yo, Buddy, come on, I got places to be,” the driver said once again. “Is there a good place around here to eat?” asked Brody, he didn’t know anywhere else to say. “Oh yeah, there certainly is,” the driver said and sped off into the air, something that Brody was frightened by, he held onto his seat tightly, the blood rushing from his knuckles. The driver looks back at Brody every now and then and Brody begins to feel self-conscious about him. But Brody forgets when he looks out his passenger window; he almost faints at what he sees… Buildings actually reached into the clouds, sidewalks were attached to the buildings, people walked around on these sidewalks, some holding onto a large railing that is on the edge. Hundreds of cars are flying around next to the sidewalks, dropping people off and flying away back into the sky. Brody was amazed, excited, and frightened all at the same time. These feelings were over-whelming, so Brody felt as if he was going to faint. Instead he took deep breaths and closed his eyes for a second or two, where was his family? But he had put those questions to the side for now, so he didn’t faint. “Hey, Buddy, you alright back there?” the driver asked as he took out a cigarette. Brody didn’t answer right away; he was caught-up in his thoughts. What the hell was going on? Where was he? He registered the driver’s question ten seconds after he asked it. “Uh, hey, diver? What city are we in?” Brody asked hoping that the driver wouldn’t think he was a freak but it was too late for that. “Come on Buddy, where else would you see a city like this? You’re in Los Angeles!” he said with great enthusiasm, but Brody wasn’t done asking questions. “Well, uh, what year is it?” “S**t man, you crazy or something?” “No, no, just funny I suppose,” Brody said with a fake chuckle. But there was a hint of seriousness in the chuckle. “2134.” Sweat formed on Brody’s head and fell onto his brow. He wiped it off and took even deeper breaths. He had forgotten how this had happened but when he thought about for a minute or two, you realized how it had happened-he fell down the hole in his backyard.
The taxi dropped Brody off in front of the Palm Beach, a restaurant that looked classy but not too classy, the kind of place where you could wear cargo shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and they wouldn’t care.
Brody slipped the taxi driver a fifty dollar bill, but it was a little wet, of course since he was on the beach for awhile earlier that day. The driver took it without complain and gave a “goodbye” as he drove off.
Brody walked into the restaurant and looked around. People sat talking and didn’t even notice him come in. Brody was expecting people to stare after what had happened to him in the taxi cab, the driver gawking at him and all.
A woman in a nice green jacket and brown pants walked up to him with a menu in her tightly folded arms.
“Just one?” the woman asked looking at Brody with a smile. She was a pretty gal, but Brody wasn’t thinking about her looks or the way she had a perfect hour-glass figure, he had had a lot of practice of not checking other women out as soon as he got married, because if Kathy ever caught him, she embarrassed him in front of everyone no matter where they were with a smack across the face and a lecture later on that night about how utterly rude it was, and it was, Brody agreed, but he couldn’t help it, it was just the way he was, and all the rest of the men in world out there he was sure, but Brody learned quickly after a few slaps across the face.
“Yes, ma’am, just one,” he answered with a smile back.
“This way,” she said and turned around walking toward the back of the restaurant.
What the hell? Brody thought. My wife isn’t here, and boy does she have a nice figure. He gave her a short glance, since that’s all he had time for; they had arrived at a small table in the back of the restaurant.
“Your waiter will be with you shortly,” the woman said and took off, back to the front of the restaurant.
Brody looked at the menu in front of him, wondering how what kind of good food they had here, so he opened the menu to find many wondrous appetizers, main courses, and desserts. But when he looked at the prices, he wasn’t so impressed.
“Good Lord!” Brody said under his breath. “A large bean soup costs twenty dollars?” He was in awe at the prices there, but he was in the future, so things might be different. “Inflation must be really bad,” he said to himself.
A waiter approached him a few moments later carrying a pad of paper in one hand, and a white cloth in the other. He gave Brody a warm smile.
“Good afternoon, sir, my name is Jack and I’ll be your server today,” he said. Jackson was a thin boy and very tall. He had a few pimples on his face but his hair was tightly prepped and clean.
“Can I start you off with something to drink?”
Brody quickly looked to the back of the menu where the drinks were usually listed. He found a very wide variety of drinks that included:
A Brandy Alexander
These where just a few.
Thank God they still have the good stuff, Brody thought to himself.
He knew he needed to chose quickly, the waiter standing there getting frustrated he could tell. He chose one of the many things on the list.
“I’ll have a Grasshopper,” he said as the waiter write in his small notebook. He rubbed his eyes and quickly tried to hand the waiter the menu. Brody watched the young waiter, the kid write very fast and was done writing in only a second, Brody wondered how in the hell anyone would be able to read something that was written that fast. Maybe the kid had good handwriting or something.
“Okay, do you know what you would like to eat, or do you need a few minutes?” the waiter asked with one another fake smile that Brody knew he would lose the second he turned his back.
“I think I know,” Brody began. “I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger, and fries, please,” Brody said. He knew that he would have terrible heart-burn afterward, but knew he needed something good after what had just happened to him.
“Very good, sir,” the waiter said after scribbling the words into his small hand-held notebook. Afterward he left, and as soon as he turned his back on Brody, he lost that fake smile Brody had noticed early on.
Brody put the napkin sitting on the table in his lap and looked around, and at his watch that didn’t even work. He watched the people around him talking, talking about God knows what, about their typical everyday lives and how he or she dated him or her and how he was about to lose his job or about how she needed to baby-sit her neighbor’s kids. It almost made Brody laugh.
Brody dug into his pocket searching for anything that would by-pass his time, but he couldn’t find anything, even after taking a few moments to look into every single pocket he had on him.
He was surprised when he saw a young girl coming his way. He had noticed earlier that she was sitting all alone as well. He thought she would pass by him paying him no attention but was surprised when he stood in front of his table looking down at him.
“I noticed we were both sitting by ourselves, and you seem like an interesting person, may I sit down?”
Brody looked up at her with a smile. She was maybe twenty and has long dark hair with a plump face and rosy cheeks.
“Be my guest,” Brody said putting a hand out to the seat in front of him at his table. She sat down as soon as he did so, and she stuck out her hand.
“Mary Overton,” she said as she waited for a response. Brody’s hand met hers and they both shook.
“Brody King,” he said back. He leaned back in his chair pondering why she thought he would an interesting person, after pondering for a few seconds, he just decided to ask. “Why do you think I would be an interesting person?”
Her eyes trailed off into the distance searching for her answer.
“I don’t know, I just have a sense about people. Are you a business man?” she asked him with real curiosity.
“No, I’m a college professor.”
“Are you? See, I knew you would be interesting to talk to, I had a feeling, you just have that intelligent glow around you,” she said.
“Well, I do appreciate that,” he said tapping his figures on the table. Where was that damn drink?
She sat there in her chair looking down at the floor, but then back up at him, almost as if she was about to say something. He had no idea what, but she finally came out with it.
“Where do you teach?” she asked as she folded her arms. Did she think he was lying?
“University of Maine in Bangor,” he said.
“Oh, that’s cool, I was interested in going there but then got a scholarship to UCLA here in Los Angeles, so here I am!” she said throwing her arms in the air.
What’s up with this girl? Did someone slip something in her cereal this morning? Wow she’s strange. Brody thought.
The waiter walked back to his table with Brody’s drink. He sat it down in front of him with a little straw coming out from the top.
“Thanks, man,” Brody said. “I need this!” Brody began sipping it slowly and squinted as he drank it.
“Well, Miss Overton, I’ll make a note that you’re here now,” the waiter said and looked at Brody with a glance saying: Good luck, she’s a nut!
The waiter walked away and disappeared as he went around a corner and into the restaurant’s large kitchen.
“Hey, what if I showed you around town?” Mary asked, anxious for a yes.
Brody pondered for a second taking another sip of his drink, he thought about all the things she could tell him about the future or wherever the hell he was, but he quickly dismissed the idea. He wanted to say no, but how would she take it?
“Mary, I’m okay, I know my way around,” he lied, but she must have sensed this because she gave him a dark look, it seemed almost threatening to Brody.
“Come on, please? I’ll even show you where they film all the movies downtown in the Universal back lot,” she said pleading with him.
“No, I want to get going, I know my way fine,” he said once more hoping to seal the deal.
Mary sat there with her arms folded looking like a five year old that didn’t get to go into the candy shop in mall. She looked down onto the floor, and pondered why he didn’t like her. She could sense it, and she didn’t like it. She wondered if anyone else hadn’t liked her before.
Mary stood, her smile had faded and she looked at Brody.
“Good day, Brody King,” she said as she was about to turn.
“Bye, Mary,” Brody said drinking the last of what was left in this glass.
Mary turned her back on Body quickly, and walked away, out into the front of the restaurant, and out the door, disappearing outside.
Brody felt bad for her, but thought he did the right thing, he didn’t want to be seen with a crazy woman like she was, and she could have been a mass murderer. Well, now Brody was going too far, but she did seem a little off her rocker.
Brody stood up, and put another fifty dollar bill he had stuffed inside his pocket on the table, and walked away, hoping that the fifty would cover everything. It did, luckily because if it hadn’t he would have been hunted down by the ruler of Los Angeles, with some help from the mob, he would have been hunted down, and killed.
Brody walked outside onto the sidewalk, he looked out near the edge walking closer to it. Many people stopped and stared at him with an odd glance on their face. He had no idea what they were staring at.
He got to the edge where the railing was, a rot-iron railing, and looked over the edge, the ground seemed to be miles below him, but there was no way of telling since about ten yards below him, heavy fog began covering up the view of below like a blanket.
Hundreds of cars passed him, he looked around at the city and its people, all so much different from what he was used to.
I gotta get a hotel room. I have to figure out what has just happened to me. Brody thought. He wanted to know more than anything why he had ended up here in a futuristic Los Angeles.
The Carmen Hotel was nicer than Brody had expected. It was almost too fancy for him; he had no idea how he was going to afford such a place. He thought if this was his right move?
He was about to approach the front desk of the massive and grand hotel when he had a change of heart. He thought about getting on a plane to Bangor, Maine and seeing if his family was there.
Okay, just ask directions to the airport, got it? Just ask directions to the airport. He thought as he stood only three feet away, closing in fast.
A woman stood at the front desk in a nice black dress, her long blonde hair was in a bun, and she had diamond earrings hanging from her ears.
Yeah, like she could afford diamond earrings, give me a break, they’re probably fake. Brody thought. But they do look nice on her.
Brody folded his hands on the desk’s top.
“I need some help, ma’am,” he began.
He could hear the woman whispering something under her breath, was it something rude? Indeed it was, she really did whisper:
“Yes you do.”
Brody forgot about it, and went on.
“Where are the directions to the nearest airport?” he asked anxiously. He suddenly wanted to get on a plane as fast as he could to try and find his family.
“Um, just get in a cab and they’ll drop you off, it’s much too far to walk it’s just beyond the city’s limits,” she said.
“This is LAX we’re talking about, right?” Brody asked.
“LAX?” asked the woman. “No, the only airport here in Los Angeles is the FAS Airport, sir.”
Brody tapped his fingers on the desk with great surprise. LAX had been gotten rid of? Who knew?
“Thank you, ma’am,” he finished up and turned around, walking toward the exit.
When Brody got outside, he heard a very loud bell ringing. The sound spread everywhere. It was so loud that he had to cover his ears. What the hell was it?
Everyone suddenly began running, chaos and pandemonium flooded the streets. People ran into whatever building they were in front of, not matter which one it was. Cars flying around suddenly pulled over onto the sidewalks, and the drivers got out, running into buildings and getting off the streets. What was going on?
Brody ran into the hotel, just trying to blend in and do what everyone else was doing. It must be a serious thing, if everyone was doing and doing it in such a way that everyone looked like they feared.
Brody sat in the large grand lobby with about a hundred other people. They all tried to sit in the very corner of the room. Brody sat in the front, where he could find room on the floor like everyone else.
There was a louder noise coming from outside, it sounded like a French horn playing a deep note on the scale very loudly.
Brody heard babies crying, and people sobbing, people were covering their ears and comforting their families.
What is happening? Brody thought. What is the big deal?
He thought about asking someone, but then considered the consequences. Before Brody could stop himself he asked. By the way- have you ever heard the saying-curiosity killed the cat?
“Hey, what’s going on?” Brody whispered to anyone who was listening. He was so scared he didn’t know what else to do but ask.
A man sitting behind Brody spoke up with fear and hesitation in his voice and expression.
“The ruler of Los Angeles feels there’s something wrong, so he has rung the bell, now we must all wait until the problem is solved,” the man said with sweat seeping off his head and from under his arm pits.
“The ruler?” Brody asked.
“Yes, he has spotted a problem among the people,” the man continued.
Brody sat there confused.
I guess it’s not a damn Democracy anymore. Good Lord they must live like animals! I hope the leader is a good one, he must be, and I mean they look like they’re all doing okay.
Brody thought this and in a way he was right, the people were living okay, but there was just one little detail, they were all living in fear.
A few more minutes passed, Brody’s back began to cramp up, and he wanted to stand but didn’t dare, he knew hardly anything about the rules here and didn’t want to risk getting in trouble since most of the time with a dictator, a mistake could mean death.
Another moment passed and right before Brody was about to stand up and stretch from the pain, a man in a heavy, thick, black wolf’s fur coat walked in. He was a huge man, fat and short. Underneath his coat was a plain white button-up collared shirt with what looked to be smoking tobacco in his breast pocket. He had a cane and limped a little, he also smoked from a long, green tobacco pipe.
The man had a few others behind him with black suites on who never stopped looking into the distance, even when they opened the door for the man. The men were carrying guns on their belts, Brody could clearly see that.
The man put tobacco in his pipe and had one of the men in black light in for him; he took long, deep puffs and polluted the smoggy air even worse.
“Who here is Brody King? I know he’s here,” said the man with the pipe in a low groggily voice that made everyone’s skin crawl and their heart beat a little faster.
Brody’s eyes widened, his heart raced, goose bumps appeared on his skin as he got a cold chill, and the man wanted him.
CHAPTER EIGHT Brody stood up in the crowd, he didn’t know what else to do, he couldn’t lie and say he wasn’t him, that might have equaled death and Brody knew it. So Brody stood up quietly looking around, hearing people whispering all around. He was afraid, his knees were shaking uncontrollably, he wanted to bend down and hold them and make them stop, but knew he shouldn’t, he knew you should never show the enemy your fear. But the truth was, Brody didn’t even know the man or whoever he was (he was very much the ruler of Los Angeles) was the enemy, but Brody just assumed so since everyone was so scared of him, and anybody who walked and talked like that should be the enemy, because he sure in hell wasn’t the tooth fairy for God’s sake! “Yes, sir?” Brody said almost losing his voice half-way through the sentence. “Oh, there you are, boy you sure are handsome,” he said sarcastically. He took another puff from his pipe and blew the smoke coming from his lungs toward Brody. “Sir?” Brody asked. “Oh, I’m sorry, how rude of me…Brody, my name is Fang Overton,” he said between puffs. Overton?! Good Lord he’s related to that girl um…um…what’s her name? Mary! He’s related to Mary! It can’t be a coincidence! He must be related to her. Good thing I didn’t go with her so she could show me around town. Yeah-and I bet YOU WERE GOING TO CHOP ME UP INTO LITTLE PIECES TO! Weren’t you? “Why were you looking for me, sir?” Brody asked in a calm voice, trying not to upset Fang. “I ask the damn questions around her, boy!” he said. “I’m the ruler of the land not you, pal!” Fang said with a snarl and a puff of smoke afterward. I bet you are, buddy! “I was looking for you because I have come to understand you came through a….,” Fang continued but stopped when one of the men in black next to him whispered in his ear. When the man was finished, Fang continued: “Right, well let’s talk somewhere a little more…private.” Brody looked around, fear and confusion flooded him, and what did the ruler want from him? Money? Protection? No not protection, most likely money or something. “Guards,” said Fang and pointed to Brody. The guards got out their handcuffs putting one around Brody’s writs, and another around Brody’s ankles. “Walk, pal,” began Fang. “Walk while you can, because your s**t is real weak!” Brody was directed toward the door by the men in the black suites. His heart beat faster and faster until it was in his throat, he could remember the last time it was like this, when Kathy first told him that she was pregnant with Max. He was happy, but scared at the same time, I mean he was going into uncharted territory! Brody was directed out the door, Fang following them close behind. Fang took out keys to what looked to be for a car, it must have been the shiny, small black car in the middle of the…um…what do they call it? Road? A long plate form came out from the side of the car and the door to the back seat opened. The plate form met the sidewalk, waiting for someone to step on it, knowing that whatever stranger was with them was doomed.
“Well? Get in the back,” Fang said and pointed the way. Brody took the first step, trying desperately not to fall over the edge, since the plate form was only about three feet wide.
Brody got into the back seat with the men in black suites. They continued staring into the distance, even though there was absolutely nothing to stare at.
Fang sat in the front next to the driver, who was also wearing a black suite. Brody noticed from Fang’s mug shot that he had a long scar running down the left side of his face, stopping just above the left side of his upper lip. It made Brody weak just looking at it.
“Onward,” Fang said to driver. The driver followed the orders, and they were off in a flash.
Brody could hear the ringing of the bell once more, when he looked out his window he saw everyone resume what they were doing, just like that.
Brody also noticed just then how bushy Fang’s eyebrows were I mean those things were huge!
“You might wonder why I brought you here,” Fang said in his skin-crawling voice. “I know what you’ve done, and it has threatened my land and the people here. You’re lucky I don’t have you killed right here right now by one of my boys.”
Brody looked down at the gun holster on one of the men in black’s belt.
“Sir I don’t understand,” Brody said.
Fang showed his teeth, Brody could see this from the side very well. He was definitely angry. But why? Brody couldn’t think of anything he had done to threaten the people there.
“You know what you are, Brody King?” Fang said in a calm voice, which only lasted seconds. “YOU’RE A DAMN LIAR!” He finished strongly.
Brody even got tears in his eyes when Fang yelled like that, but the other men in the car didn’t twitch, not even the slightest.
“I’ve come across many liars in my day, and I’ve killed every one of them,” Fang said tightened the purple leather gloves he had one his hands.
Suddenly the car came to a sudden halt, before which the doors opened, letting the men in black and Fang out first, and then Brody followed.
They all stepped out onto the plate form which came from the under belly of the sleek, black car. The plate form came out onto a large sidewalk that sat just in front of an enormous building.
The building was made of concrete and had large glass windows on every side, it almost reminded Brody of a large church, but without the steeple, the cross, and the warm feeling you get when you enter.
“After you,” Fang said as he pointed to the large double doors that towered over them. The doors had wrought-iron padlocks with faces of lions torched inside.
The doors opened without hesitation, but only opened just enough to allow Fang, his men in black, and Brody inside. The opening was only about one one-hundredth of what it could really open up to be.
Brody walked inside first looking around at the walls that towered what seemed to be up into an infinite sky. The walls were filled with large paintings of dictators such as Hitler, Mussolini, Fidel Castro, Robert Mugabe, Honsi Mubarak, and Muamar Quadaffi to name just a few.
“This is a little place I like to call home,” Fang said spreading his arms out above his head.
Fang made a small gesture with his hand and the two men in black suites came next to Brody and unlocked the handcuffs around his wrists and ankles.
Fang soon got in front of Brody, and looked him in the eyes.
“You know why I brought you here,” he said.
“No, sir I don’t,” Brody replied back.
Fang’s face became blood red; his heart began pumping the blood in his body faster and faster. Anger rose inside him, anger that he might not be able to control.
“Please, sit down,” Fang said trying to be calm.
There were two brown leather chairs sitting in the middle of the large foyer, Brody hadn’t remembered them there before, had they just appeared?
Brody and Fang sat down easily in the warm chairs, Brody relieved he finally got to take a load-off, but he was still burning and suffering inside.
“Guards, beat it,” Fang said with a puff of his pipe.
The men in black walked elsewhere, perhaps listening to their conversation in secrecy.
“Sir, could you please tell me what I have done,” Brody said holding his hands out. He was desperate.
“Haven’t I told you that you don’t speak unless I ask you to,” Fang said his pulse rising again.
“Now, let’s start off with a few simple questions. Where do you come from?” Fang asked.
Brody didn’t know whether or not he should tell Fang where he came from, what if he told him and he didn’t want to hear that, that he didn’t like that. What should he do?
“I come from the present,” Brody said with an awkward glance.
“Well that is not questionable since we found a portal to another dimension out on the beach,” Fang began. “We also found pieces of your hair in the sand.”
“You found that?”
“Quite. Now, why the hell would you threaten my people, this is also a threat to yours!”
Brody thought, a threat? How could a portal be a threat to anyone?
“That portal is a threat?” Brody asked.
“Sir, I didn’t know, hell, I-“
“Don’t you ever curse in my home, do you understand?!” Fang said, his head throbbing.
“Yes sir. But, I opened that portal by mistake; I had no intentions of threatening anyone.”
“Well too late, partner. Do you know that there are things out there that specifically look for portals to other dimensions? Things that are horrible, they feed on human flesh and you just created something to attract them to my city!” Fang said as he got up out of his chair walked over to a grand fireplace sitting just across the room on the wall.
Brody sat there feeling ashamed of himself. But it wasn’t his fault. He had no idea that there was something buried in his backyard that made people go through other dimensions.
“Well, what do we do now?” Brody asked with his hands on his temples. Brody suddenly felt a very bad headache coming on. He felt it in the back of his skull working its way up to his forehead.
Fang put his index finger on his chin rubbing it, this made him think clearly. He had developed the habit long ago in his elementary school years.
“I must check with my assistant to see how much longer until the creatures get here,” Fang said.
“They already know about the portal?”
“Of course, they always know about a portal when it’s opened, whether it’s here in L.A. or in Moscow, Russia,” Fang said putting his finger back on his chin. He had long since gotten rid of his pipe, the tobacco all burnt up.
Brody thought about these things, wondered about them. Who the hell would create flesh eating creatures that were looking for portals into other dimensions, so before Brody could stop himself, he asked Fang that exact came question.
“Scientists from northern Oregon, they were searching for new portals into other dimensions after other scientists had figured out there were such things. All they wanted to do was find one so they could alter the past or something, making them millionaires in this dimension, the future,” he finished.
Brody wondered how in the world people could actually create things…
“So they considered their options, and began working on animals, almost like wolves, they feed on human flesh only though, and they track down portals to other dimensions.”
Brody pondered and took in all the new information. How selfish those people must have been!
“Have they ever found other portals?” Brody asked.
“Only to the very past, you see, there are many portals, thousands actually. Some go toward the future, the past, the present and so on. Most of them though, just take you to other places here on Earth at the speed of light instead of getting in a car or boat or plane,” Fang said biting his upper lip.
“Have they ever found a portal that took them to a specific time in the universe such as the past?” Brody asked.
A dark expression fell upon Fang’s face as he turned and looked at Brody.
“No, you’re the first one.”
“So when they find the portal they’re going to use it to alter time and space?” Brody asked with utter surprise on his face.
“Yes, they’ll do two things, one you already know of but two you don’t yet. The first one is alter time and space so when they get back to this dimension they’ll be millionaires. The second thing they’ll do is…”
Fang licked his lips, his heart speeding up and his face becoming red. Sweat ran down his face and neck to create stains on the shirt underneath his clean suite.
He took his cane and tapped the floor with it. The cane made a hard sound like the whole floor would cave in.
Oh God, this doesn’t look good, not at all, damn it! God please make sure-
“Brody the creatures…”
-it’s going to be…
“Brody, the creatures are going to murder your wife.”
Brody was trying to catch his breath when he woke up, he couldn’t remember where he was at first but that he was in a large building, and then remembered everything. He had passed out.
Brody looked around the room; Fang was standing next to him looking down upon him with his small, dark, and beady eyes. His cane was just inches from Brody’s face.
“Feeling better, boy?’ asked Fang with a fake smile.
Brody got up and sat back in his chair, the one in which he fell out of when he fainted.
Fang walked back over to the fireplace, it was still housing large flames that gave off a tremendous amount of warmth.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you like that but here in this dimension, your wife is dead. She was mauled to death by the hungry beasts,” Fang said looking into the hot flames.
Brody took deep breaths, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and it was his entire fault. He was the one who suggested putting on an addition to the house, he always wanted more didn’t he? Stupid.
“Brody, this is only happening since the portal was opened on your property, when the beasts get out they’ll see your house, and explore it. Trust me, they will find a way in,” said Fang. “They’re excellent problem solvers.”
Brody took another deep breath before speaking once more.
“So, can I change all that? I mean, could all that be avoided?” Brody asked. “I don’t want my wife to die, please, I’m begging you. I’ll give you all my money and everything I just need you to save my wife,” Brody pleaded. Tears were in his eyes and pain was in his heart and mind.
“Well, we do have ten hours before the beasts get here. We need to figure out a way to close the portal before they get here so they don’t go through it,” Fang said his brain working a mile a minute.
“Well,” began Brody, still with tears and numbness in his voice. “Let’s get to it!”
Fang held up his right hand stopping Brody from saying anymore. He knew he would have to break some more bad news. He kind of liked it to.
“But there is one important catch,” said Fang.
“And what is that?” asked Brody with a worried expression forming on his face.
“If we close the portal, there’s no going back through it. You’ll be stuck here, forever without your wife.”
Brody sat looking at Fang. Could this really be happening to him? What had he done? What?
“Brody, we don’t have long to decide, you need to decide very quickly, it takes a few hours to close the portal, and we don’t have very many.” Fang said with a hidden smirk on his face.
Brody sat with his head down. Thoughts raced through his head creating tears in his eyes. He couldn’t handle not seeing his wife everyday for the rest of his life. No more admiring her gorgeous hair or her beautiful lips or rosy cheeks.
“I know what I want to do, I just can’t force myself to do it,” Brody said a tear rolling down his cheek. He wanted to make his voice sound string but couldn’t.
“What would that be?”
“Fang, sir, I want to close the portal for good, I don’t want anything killing my wife,” Brody said standing up certain about his decision. “But I ask of you one more thing, is there anyway I can see her before we close it?”
Fang pondered for a moment, would the have time for such things? Wait a minute, they would but there were reasons why Fang suddenly didn’t want Brody to go through the portal again.
“Brody if we begin right away I must tell you that you can, but every minute here in this world equals a year in the other,” Fang began. “I’m afraid by the time we get down there, your wife will have already moved on and might have even filled up the hole that was dug up in the ground,” Fang said with fake sorrow in his eyes. He didn’t really care he just acted like he did to mock Brody.
“Can I please just try?” Brody asked desperately.
Fang’s slick, black car arrived at the beach a few minutes later. He was dressed in the same clothes as he was minutes ago, but had just lit some more tobacco in his pipe.
Brody walked out onto the sand where the portal was, he saw it. It was oval-shaped and had a pulsing purple light inside it; he couldn’t see anything inside it, just the pulsing purple light.
Brody wiped the sweat from his sweaty hands on his now dry pants. He could feel pain in his legs from where the sand inside had chaffed him between his legs.
He stepped closer to the portal, he looked back at Fang who stood there, not even looking at him, but looking out into space taking puffs of his pipe.
“Good luck,” Fang said with a forced smirk.
Brody said nothing, he just turned to face the portal, walked closer until he stared it right in the face as close as he could get without walking in yet, and jumped inside, disappearing.
Brody found his eyes closed, when he opened them he saw his house towering over him. He was obviously in his backyard.
The house’s off-white paint on the siding was chipped in many spots, some of the siding was even coming off in places. Brody found it sad and puzzling. How long had he been gone, by Earth’s time?
He looked around; there were all of his old neighbor’s houses in their exact same spots they were in when he left.
It was cold, a few inches of snow covered the ground and it was still coming down quickly. Wind blew and tickled his nose. He looked to try and find the hole and there it was, it was still there, Kathy had never filled it up. But why?
Wind chilled his nose and ears, tears filled his eyes from the cold and snot came from his nose.
The wind picked up even more, a piece of paper flying toward him with the wind. It hit him on the face; he took it off quickly and stood up, trying to read it.
Name: Brody King
Last Seen on January 6, 2010.
If you have any information on this missing person please contact your local sheriff’s dept.
He threw it on the ground and looked up at his house once more, the chipped paint and the missing siding. He watched to see if any movement came from inside.
A light came on in the upstairs bedroom, his old bedroom.
Brody got a flash of excitement and nerves all at the same time; he wanted to see his wife but knew he couldn’t let her see him. But he didn’t care, he just wanted to see her face, her rosy cheeks, he rose red lips.
He ran to the side door, hoping that it would be unlocked, when he went to turn the doorknob, it turned with him and the door opened. It was unlocked.
He looked inside at the old family room, the kitchen. The kitchen had been painted a deep red and the family room floor had been replaced with hard wood, the television had been moved into a different spot, his chair he used to sit in to watch football and movies they rented from Netflix was gone.
He walked inside slowly and as quietly as he could, he stomped his shoes on the mat that was sitting there right as you walked inside. The kitchen counter tops had also been replaced with granite.
Brody walked further into the house, closing the door behind him, the air smelled different than before, he could remember the smell of Febreez, Kathy would spray all the time but there was no smell like that, only the smell of a chicken, something must be cooking in the oven.
He walked over to the foyer and looked up the stairs that stood right there; he looked up into the second floor and began taking one step and a time, until he began to hear footsteps.
They got closer and closer to the stairs, so he ran back down them and ran into kitchen again; ready to walk back outside if he needed to.
Someone was walking down the stairs; they were light footsteps, just like Kathy’s were. He waited and hid behind the one side of the island in the middle of the kitchen waiting for hopefully Kathy to walk out into the middle of the room.
The person’s feet had reached the first floor and began walking quickly toward the kitchen, it almost sounded like the person was wearing heels. It was a woman; it had to be if they were wearing heels.
Brody’s heart raced, sweat began dripping down his face and onto his cheeks. He wiped his sweaty and nervous palms on his pants, waiting anxiously.
The person rounded the corner, Brody having a good view, it was a woman, and Brody could only see her back since she was walking into the family room.
Brody peeked from behind the counter, and watched her waiting for her to turn around and face him. But she was relatively short, unlike Kathy was.
She was wearing a tight red dress and some kind of necklace, Kathy did love wearing fancy necklaces.
The woman turned, looking right into Brody’s eyes. Brody’s heart thudded faster than it had ever before, but that was just because he was scared what the lady would do since it wasn’t Kathy King.
It was a young woman with a similar figure but not the same face, eyes, or nose. It definitely wasn’t Kathy.
The woman let out a wicked scream, and ran to the phone, Brody shot up, and put his arms out, signaling he wasn’t going to hurt her. But she kept screaming in great fear, she didn’t know who it was not one clue.
“Ma’am, stop! I’m not here to take anything or hurt you!” he said loudly and walked toward the side door. “I thought my wife still lived her!” he said and turned the door knob to walk out.
The woman put down the phone. She stopped screaming and looked at him, her heart still pounding. She starred at him real hard with her big blue eyes.
“Who are you?” she asked.
Brody wanted to ask her the same thing, but thought it would be best for her sake, if he answered her questions first.
“My name Is Brody King, my wife and I used to live here, I thought she still did I’m sorry,” he said.
“How did you get in?” she said still keeping her distance.
“The side door was open.”
“Oh, well who’s your wife, maybe I could tell you something about her,” the woman said with a cute smile.
Brody thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea, so he began asking before he could stop himself and think it over a little more.
“My wife’s name is Katharine King; did you buy this house from her?”
The woman squinted, trying to think back.
“Yes, I did, she was a nice lady, I liked her a lot but she was going through a tough time since her husband had disappeared,” she said with a frown.
“Where is she now?”
“She’s out in California doing something, somewhere in Los Angeles,” she said trying to make sure that was right.
Wow, Brody thought. Los Angeles. Good for her, she did always want to be an actress, maybe she made it happen for herself.
“Do you know if she’s still alive?”
“Oh yeah, I see her doing stuff all the time on TV, she’s getting old though, she’s almost eighty.”
Good Lord! Brody thought. Eighty!
“She’s an actress she’s on some TV show I forget what it’s called.”
Wow, good for her! Lord I just want to see her even more now, even though she’s eighty, I would just like to at least talk with her.
“Did she, ever, re-marry?”
“No, never did.”
“Thanks for your time and sorry I scared the living hell outta you,” Brody said with a frown, disappointment in every wrinkle.
“Its fine, glad I could help,” the woman said with a small grin on her face, her heart just beginning to calm down.
Brody opened the door the backyard and walked outside, closing it behind him. He was filled with sadness.
Tears began filling his eyes, and before he knew it, he wailed out loud.
“Why in the hell would you do this to me?!” he yelled full of anger and sorrow. He threw his hands in the air, walking closer and closer to the hole that was never filled.
He walked close enough that he could jump in, he stared into the hole. Most of the outside was covered in white, cold snow.
He wanted to jump in so bad, but knew he couldn’t, or could he? Would he jump in? But he wanted to see his wife, even though she was eighty, he wanted to see her one last time.
Brody slowly walked away from the hole, and ran out onto the street in which so many times before he had used to drive and go to work, that was the time when he was happy. But this time he was upset, and looking for a taxi that would drive him to the airport.
Brody arrived at the airport a few minutes after seven o’clock, he saw the time from his watch which had been working again ever since he got back to the present.
There were people everywhere, the airport was more crowded than a hot pig roast on a hot day in July and in the middle of Texas, this was something that Brody had experience a few years ago at a friend’s house who lived just outside of Austin, Texas.
He tried to think back to all the time he had spent on his laptop between grading papers, all the time he had spent looking up flights to Hawaii so he could get out of the cold weather that seemed to live inside Maine, and begin to come out around early October, late September.
He remembered Delta being one of the cheapest, Delta and American Airlines; he had flown with American Airlines a few times before, when he went to visit the in-laws down in Sarasota, Florida.
He got in line with many other folks who were waiting to confirm their seats on their flights in the line that had a large sign above it reading: American Airlines.
Brody rummaged through his pockets and found nothing interesting that he could fiddle with, nothing that could occupy his time with, other than his wallet which never had anything interesting inside it.
The line moved a tad, and Brody followed all the rest of the people in front of him.
He saw a man in a black suite in front of him holding his ticket, the way a boy would hold up his test in a classroom so the person behind him could cheat. Brody saw that he was headed to Chicago and also saw the ticket price as well: $467.27! That was a lot of damn money! Brody hoped that it was for a first class ticket.
Brody’s hands got sweaty again, he was nervous, could he just afford to jump on a plane and blow all that money? Either way, he was going back to future anyways so who cared? He surely didn’t, he wanted to see his greatly missed wife, his one and only Kathy.
Brody though about her rosy cheeks and deep red lips, he had been thinking about them a lot since arriving back in the present. He was more than ready to see Kathy.
The line had moved up so much that Brody thought he would only have to wait a few minutes longer to get his ticket, and then he would be on his way.
Another person left, and he was the next in line. He walked quickly up to the counter, giving the cute, young lady a smile she gave one back.
“How may I help you, sir?” she asked with a high flinty voice.
Brody thought for a moment, the lady’s beauty threw him off his game for a moment or two.
“Yes, sorry, got a little off track there didn’t I? Good golley,” he said with a smile.
The lady at the counter rolled her eyes, but of course made sure he wasn’t looking first.
“I would like a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles, please, ma’am,” he said beginning to get out his wallet; he thought how funny it was that that’s where he had just come from.
He got out his wallet from his breast pocket and slammed it on the counter and began searching for his Visa.
“Sir, please, stop, you know, well, everyone knows you can’t buy a plane ticket just like that, you have to make a reservation,” the woman at the counter said.
What? That had to been a new thing they had established, because I’ve never heard of that? Brody thought to himself. Why would they even make a rule like that?
“Is that new, I’ve never heard of it,” Brody asked before he could refrain himself from asking.
The woman bit her lip and did something with her computer.
“Sir, you and I both know,” she began getting sassy, “that we cannot do that, no airline in the world does that anymore, you have to make a reservation because we need to have time to look up your information to see if you have a record or not, so please, sir, step out of the line,” she finished up with a forced smile that she lost very quickly when Brody didn’t move.
“Are you kidding me?” Brody asked with utter shock and disgust in his face. “You can’t do anything in this damn world anymore can you? Now damn it, woman, put me on a plane to L.A. this is very important to me!” Brody shouted out to the lady. He heard gasps coming from behind him.
The woman picked up a phone that sat next to her computer monitor; she picked it up and yelled one word into it, that’s all it took to get Brody in deep trouble.
“Security!” she shouted.
Brody made a bee-line for the door that led outside, where he would desperately try to catch a cab home, well, the place he used to call home.
When he got outside, the crisp air surprised him and gave him a cold chill, the chill reminded him of the pain he was going through, the things he wanted to accomplish but couldn’t.
He waved his arms in the air, watching for any taxis that might show up; he saw many of them coming closer after dropping many people off at the terminal.
When Brody looked back, he saw the TSA running after him; he realized he only had seconds.
When the first taxi that began speeding toward him pulled up, Brody didn’t think, he just got in, shut and shut the door. The TSA men had then arrived at the car door, wanting to break him out, but Brody desperately held onto the car door’s handle, trying to stop them from opening it.
Brody’s muscles twitched, he knew this wouldn’t last much longer.
“Drive!” Brody ordered, and the cab took off, leaving the TSA men stranded at the terminal.
Brody relaxed in his seat, trying to catch his breath, his muscles hurt and twitched as he tried to relax.
“Hey, hot shot, where the hell we driving to eh?” the taxi driver asked as he looked at Brody through the mirror that hung above the dash.
Brody arrived back at his old house a few minutes later; he had a mixture of emotions running through him. He felt tired and distraught.
He sat there for a few minutes deciding his next move, there really wasn’t one, just the past where he went back through the portal and into the future again only to meet Fang once more.
“Hey, buddy, that’s fifteen dollars.”
Brody dug out his wallet after a few seconds and looked into the pocket where his money was supposed to be. There was nothing, just a black space filled with nothingness.
“Do you take a Visa?”
Brody stood on the edge of the hole, he had noticed that there were no lights on in his old house, the woman must have left for a party or something, and she did appear to be dressed up for something when Brody last saw her.
He ran through the plan that would unfold when he got back to the future. But would it work? Would their plan stop the creatures from getting out into this world and create hell? He would have to take a leap of faith. Literally.
Without another thought about anything, Brody leaped into the hole, fell a few hundred feet, went through the portal, and returned to the faithful beach where he had first begun his journey.
Water splashed on top of Brody’s face, sand got into his eyes, and the salt burned.
Brody heard the voice of Fang calling out to him from what could be a few feet away, but didn’t lift up his head.
“Brody? What the hell went on? Talk to me.”
Brody slowly lifted his head and got up off the sandy ground. He was soaked once more from head to toe.
“I didn’t get to see her,” Brody said flat-out.
Fang showed no sympathy. He just stood there, looking into the portal’s pulsing lights.
“Well, fate is sometimes disappointing, believe me, my friend,” Fang said with a flick of his wrist. He twirled his finger around his mustache.
“How long was I gone?”
“One sixteenth of a second,” Fang said looking at his expensive Rolex on his wrist.
“Sorry I kept you waiting.”
“Yes, well we better try and close this damn thing, we only have a few hours before the wolves show up.”
“How do we close it?” Brody asked with high suspicions that they would run out of time since there weren’t knowledgeable on how to do what they needed to do. Brody hoped with all that he had in him that it wouldn’t come to that.
“There is a man in town, he is the only one in all of California that knows how to open and close portals to other dimensions,” Fang began with a puff of his pipe. “We need to confront him.”
Brody thought that Fang was joking; he thought that Fang had known all along how to close the portal.
“How long do we have?”
Fang looked at his watch and then scrimmaged through his breast pocket. He pulled out a large cell phone that had touch screen capability.
“I had warned my secretaries before we left my home, they’re working on it,” he said as he punched in number and held the phone to his ear, Brody could hear it ring.
“Annie how much longer…okay…you’re right….do what you can and be on your way….I don’t give a rat’s ass I just don’t want you in my house!”
Fang ended the call and threw the phone back into his breast pocket. He looked into Brody’s eyes as he put the pipe back in his suite.
“Six hours?!” Brody said alarmed.
“This is the only way it can be down, we need to hurry, and don’t he ever raise your voice at me again do you understand?”
Brody didn’t shake his head he just looked coldly into Fang’s dark eyes.
“IS THAT CLEAR?!!?” Fang screamed aloud, Brody took a step back; he wanted to stand his ground but how could he? There was an insane man in front of him screaming at the top of his lungs.
Brody slowly shook his head, but never lost the cold glance.
Brody tried to find his voice, it seemed to be rammed down so far down his throat from the fear of Fang that he couldn’t find it, that it must have fell into his stomach, but after he cleared his throat, he found it.
“How…how…long do we have?” Brody asked with his throat double-clutching on him for a second.
“I just told you fool!” Fang shouted.
Brody forgot what Fang had said just ten seconds ago, he was still trying to collect himself because boy did Fang have a set of lungs on him!
Fang turned so he was facing the smog that surrounded the city behind them. He heard something very faint, it almost sounded like footsteps.
The pulsing light of the portal’s opening reflected on Fang’s face, Brody saw this, trying not to chuckle.
“What the hell is that noise?” Fang asked while he stared into the dark and heavy polluted distance.
Before long, a man came walking from out of the smog, he was tall, and wore nothing but sandals and a swimming suit with bright colors printed into flowers on it.
“Hello?” the man shouted out toward Brody and Fang, they were about ten yards away from the strange man.
The thing that stood out very clear in Brody’s mind was the fact that the man had bright red hair, it almost looked like the man took spray paint and painted his hair bright red, but of course, that wasn’t the case.
You fellas okay? You fightin’?” the man in the distance called out.
Fang was flabbergasted by the man, he didn’t want to be bothered then, he wanted to focus on the problem at hand.
Brody looked at Fang; Fang never looked at Brody for the longest time, just stood there and watched the man.
“Don’t you dare say a word,” Fang said to Brody from out of the corner of his mouth.
“What was that, fellas?” the man asked squinting to try and get a good look at the men.
Fang slowly slid his hand into a gun holster hanging on the side of his right hip. He slowly took out a brand new, polished, silver Colt .45 pistol. Fang pointed the gun at the red haired man.
“What’s that, ya’all?” the red haired man asked, squinting harder than anyone ever had before to try and see what Fang was holding up toward him.
Fang slowly cocked the pistol back trying to aim and got ready to fire. He got his target in sight at the perfect spot and pulled the trigger back slowly until the gun fired, and before Brody and Fang knew it, the man was laying on the sandy beach with blood spewing from his back onto the sand.
Fang blew all the rest of the air that was in his lungs into the pistol, like all the men did in those old western movies after shooting their target.
Fang certainly got his target without any trouble.
Brody and Fang found themselves in Fang’s slick black car in a matter of seconds. Brody had stopped to help Fang drag the poor red hair man’s body into the ocean, so if it washed up onshore, no one would know it was from them.
Brody remembered the blood that surrounded the man, and it’s ghastly, over powering copper smell. Brody remembered that he had to turn away from the body at times; the smell was just too much for him.
Fang had carried the body to the water without complaint, or without making faces trying to take away the smell. He never turned away from the body once.
Brody then thought Fang must have dealt with more than one bloody dead body in his days.
Brody sat in the back seat of the car with Fang. Brody could not speak to him or look at him for that matter; he just knew that he had to keep from scolding Fang for killing the man.
Fang had taken out more tobacco and was now puffing away at a new pipe.
Brody wanted to put down the window, but thought it would be an insult and would start a whole thing with Fang that certainly wasn’t needed, or wanted for that matter.
Brody the world passed by him, the hustle and bustle of city life. He had always hated it, which was most of the reason why he had lived in Maine for most of his life.
Brody put his middle finger in his mouth and began biting his nail, a habit he hadn’t done since he was thirteen years old, it must have come back. It must have come back because of all the stress, all the hard choices, all the close calls.
Moments later, Fang’s small black car arrived in front of the building they were in search of. They arrived at exactly the right floor level to-289.
There was a small glass door that let you in just off the dirty sidewalks of Los Angeles. Brody followed Fang from his car and into the building.
The door swung open, Fang gave it no thought to try and hold it for Brody, he only opened the door for himself and left Brody to grab it before it swung back and hit him, but Brody didn’t dare speak of the rude action.
There was a small room there, that was all, a room that had a small table with four chairs sitting quietly around it, it had a red bar table with many stools in front of it, and behind that was a small doorway which was covered by a long, thick red curtain.
On the shelves sitting behind the bar were laboratory test tubes, not alcohol, surprisingly.
Brody pondered where in the hell Fang had taken him.
Fang cleared his throat loudly, in the hopes that someone would rush out from behind the red curtain and help him with what needed to be done as quickly as possible.
There was no one. No sounds. The red curtain only swayed from the cool air hitting it as it blew out from the air conditioner.
“Excuse me!” Fang finally called out, they soon heard a crash coming from the back room, and a moan from what had to have been a man.
“Coming! One second!” the person behind the curtain in the back room said.
After waiting at least another ten seconds, a man in a white lab coat came from behind the curtain. He straightened the large thick black framed glasses he had on his face. He looked up and saw Brody and Fang standing there; as soon as he saw them (Fang in perticuliar) he bowed and held out his hand.
“Sir, welcome to my shop,” he said after bowing. He stood up and ran his left hand through his long dark hair.
“What’s your name, son?” Fang asked.
“Jack, sir. Jack Collins.”
Jack straightened his tie that was showing from underneath his white lab coat.
“Jack, we need your help with something.”
“Sure, sir, anything you need I’ll do!”
“I know,” Fang said rolling his eyes and scratching the top of his head.
Brody looked at Jack and saw that he was in no way offended or showed any signs of being disgusted with Fang.
“I, well actually, we need your help closing a portal to another dimension, I have come to understand that you are good at that sort of thing. Am I right?”
Jack pondered for a second or two, but when he noticed he was thinking and not answering Fang’s question right away he snapped out of it quickly.
“Sorry sir, just thinking, I’ve had a lot of my mind lately you see.” He said running his hand through his hair once more.
“Tales of your poor life story do not interest me,” Fang said. “Can you help us or not?”
“Yes sir, I indeed can, I studied these things in high school and college!”
“I’m sure you got a lot of damn wedgies for that eh?” Fang said with a laugh, Brody did not join in, but knew that Fang would have liked if he did join in.
“Yes, yes, go on! We don’t have all the time in the damn world on our hands!”
“Yes sir,” Jack began nervously. “Well I have read about closing portals and am surely capable of doing it after I read and study up about it, you see.”
Fang’s gaze switched and was suddenly outraged, steam seemed to suddenly come out of his ears, and Jack clearly saw this. Brody on the other hand, just stood there next to Fang, not wanting to be in Jack’s position right then.
Sweat began racing down the side of Jack’s face and formed on his palms, he wiped them on his cargo pant legs.
“But sir, I can most certainly do it! But I need at least an hour or so to study up on all of it so I can do it swiftly and knowledgably.”
Fang cooled his jets for a moment. He wish he had his pipe, he wished he hadn’t left it in the car. He searched his pocket with something he could fiddle with, something that would hopefully get Jack even more nervous, but if you had asked Jack, he would have said there was no way he could get any more nervous.
“Please, sir, just give me an hour, that’s all I need so I can read up and get the job done for you, sir.”
Fang was disgusted and very disappointed almost to the point where he could not breathe.
“I suppose I could deal with that, but let me inform you…”
Jack swallowed hard as Fang leaned in to get closer to his face, just to make sure that Jack was getting the picture.
“…the creatures that hunt for portals, the ones that only feed on human flesh, they on their way, I was just informed they’ll be here in two and a half hours now, so whatever you need to do, you better do it damn fast!”
Fang stepped back and turned to walk out the door, but just upon leaving he turned and looked into Jack’s fearful eyes.
“Meet us down on the beach, a few yards from the taxi station in an hour, and if you don’t come…”
Fang leaned in once more, close to Jack’s face and met his gaze.
“…you’ll be the creature’s dinner; I’ll make sure of that.”
Fang and Brody turned toward the door and walked out of the room where Jack swallowed hard once more, he had been victim to the greatest amount of fear that had ever come upon him in his entire 26 years of living.
Another bullet of sweat formed and came down Jack’s cheek, and landed like a bomb on his white coat, leaving a very small stain.
While back in Fang’s car, many questions found their way into Brody’s mind. The only way he could know the answers would be to ask Fang, and Brody was very leery about doing such a thing. How would Fang react? Brody hadn’t the foggiest, but had to take a chance. The questions were eating away at him and he couldn’t take it for a second longer.
“Fang, sir, are you going to warn the people? I mean the creatures-they would hurt them, wouldn’t they?”
Sweat formed on Brody’s palms and he had to continuously wipe them on his pant leg.
“They most certainly can and will hurt the people of Los Angeles.”
“So are you going to warn them, you know, tell them to hide in their homes?” Brody asked once more, becoming even more nervous.
“I like to think of an old saying that is backwards in this situation, but what the hell? What the people don’t know won’t hurt ‘em.”
Brody relaxed in his seat, knowing there was nothing more he could do or say for that matter, the idea was finished.
“So what are we going to do while we’re waiting?” Brody asked hesitantly.
Fang did not turn to Brody, he only took out his pipe and began puffing away, he finally answered…
“Whatever you want to do, but Brody, you meet me back on that exact spot on the beach in an hour, your wife and many other lives from the past are at stake here. If those creatures, and their leaders get in, not only will they kill thousands, their rulers will kill and seize power of your stupid and unsophisticated government. They will certainly alter the future.”
The car suddenly came to a stop, and Brody’s side door opened, he looked out and saw a stranded sidewalk, no one lurked about. He slowly stepped out, and shut the door. Seconds later, Fang’s car was flying away, off into the distance. What else was there to do now?
Brody looked both ways, there was no one around, and the sidewalks were strangely deserted.
He took hold of the railing that started just a few feet away from where he got out of Fang’s car and stepped onto the sidewalk.
Brody folded his hands as he looked over the railing and down at the countless cars flying all around below and above him.
He took in a deep breath, but then coughed when he realized how badly it smelled there. The city smelled horrible. He coughed and finally it eased.
Brody looked around with tear filled eyes; he couldn’t believe his wife’s life was at stake here. Would everything pull through? To have a loved one’s life on the line, was surely something that Brody never wanted anyone to go through.
He suddenly felt sick from all the worry and shock. He coughed, then hurled over the railing, watching his vomit fall hundreds of feet until it fell out of sight from all the smog that lurked below.
Brody coughed and spit trying to get all of the horrible tastes out of his mouth.
When he stopped coughing, and when he stopped spitting, when he wiped the small amount of vomit from his lips, he whispered four words that meant everything to him…
“I love you Kathy.”
Brody reached into his back pocket and took out his black leather wallet that Kathy had given him for his birthday one year, it was very expensive, but at least ten years old. It was now full of sand and wet. He opened it slowly and took out a small picture he had of Kathy and his son Max.
They were nestled on the grass in front of a beautiful river that cut through the Appalachian Mountains; it had been taken when they were all on a family trip to many historical places such as Gettysburg, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and so on. Brody could remember that the picture was taken at Jefferson Rock, a place on top of a mountain in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. It looks down on Harpers Ferry, a small historical town, and the Potomac River, a beautiful sight.
He studied it for the longest time, re-discovering and getting lost in his wife’s long locks of beautiful hair, he had never taken her or his son for granted, something that he was glade and proud of.
He looked at Max and his curly blonde hair; he had gotten that from his grandfather, Brody’s dad, a good man with Max’s exact hair. He looked into Max’s blue eyes and found a river of wonders that he had always seen when he looked at him. He could remember when he won the regional social studies fair back in the seventh grade. Brody can remember the honor and respect he had felt for Max, how proud he was when his name was announced for first place.
That was all water under that bridge now.
Or was it?
Brody went to open his wallet back up, he carefully placed the picture back inside and put the wallet in his back pocket.
He rubbed his face and thought about how much he needed to shave. He couldn’t remember the last time he had and it was showing to. Half inch length stubble was all over his face and chin.
Brody held his arms up high, and waved his arms to a taxi driver, the taxi driver saw him, and quickly flew toward Brody, stopping just in front of him next to the sidewalk.
Brody opened the door, the man greeted him politely.
“Hey man, where you headed?”
“The beach, please,” Brody said with a faint smile arising on his face. “The beach.”
“You got it.”
Brody was thankfully down on the beach in the matter of a few minutes. When he opened the door after paying the driver, and smelled the fresh air that was the beach. The salt air was the first thing he smelled, bringing him back to when he was a child, growing up going to the beach every year in Massachusetts with his family.
Brody spotted the portal, it sat there still pulsing with light, the taxi driver had asked what it was and Brody answered by simply saying: “I don’t know.”
Brody took off his shirt and exposed his chest to the warm sun, leaving the odd smells and the gross smog of the city life behind.
He took off his pants, and with only his underwear on, he quickly exposed himself to the cool water that belonged to the Pacific Ocean. He swam out a few meters away from the shore and took in nature. The wonderful nature that God and his wisdom had put upon the earth.
Waves crashed on top of Brody, when a large one came he remembered to swim through them, and remembered from his childhood to never turn his back to the waves, knowing that the harsh and unforgiving sea would creep up on him when he would least expect it, and expose him to a great surprise that was a wave crashing down upon him and leaving him in shock underneath the surf.
He swam out further, looking up at the pale blue sky that belonged to the late afternoon.
The sun was soon going to set, and the land would be exposed to the harsh night that might take many lives, including his wife’s.
For an hour Brody swam, freeing himself from his worries and great fears, for those sixty minutes of fun, Brody was free and had to think of nothing else but happiness and joy.
He had gotten out of the water just four minutes before he was expected to meet Fang and Jack Collins, the man who said he could close the portal. But Brody had an odd suspicion that they would run out of time and his worse nightmare would come true. His beloved killed.
But how would the wolves even find, Kathy? I guess they would eventually get her, run into her by accident when they populated the past and stumbled onto her in Los Angeles. Brody thought with wide eyes.
But Kathy. She didn’t deserve any of it.
Brody picked up his t-shirt from out of the sand and shook it off. It was still covered in sand completely, so he walked down quickly to the water and rinsed it off. It came out soaked and smelled of everything you could think of. Everything that lived, breathed, and died in the sea.
Brody put his shirt on and slid his pants on easily even though sand covered most of them. He didn’t mind much; as long as they didn’t rub him raw in the areas that were most vulnerable, he was okay.
He had remembered his watch was water proof; he had left it in the sand, when he went to go rinse that off, that’s when he heard the bell. The ringing which meant all hell had broken loose in the city.
The bell brought him back when he first met Fang, all of what a few hours ago? Three? Four? Five? Six was probably the best bet. Yes, six hours was right. Or was it?
Brody began to panic, his heart was suddenly pounding in his throat, and he could hear the chaos and pandemonium in the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
There was a large helicopter that came over, well it was like a helicopter, it flew and had the same shape, but instead of having propellers at the top that spun at wonderful speeds, there was nothing. It seemed to hover.
Brody could make out that there was a man at the side of the helicopter looking out, one of the two side doors was open and…and…Fang was sticking out the side of it with a large megaphone!
Brody shook off most of the sand as he waved his arms and screamed to try and get Fang’s attention, but he was too high up. He was a few hundred feet. Way to high up for anyone to hear him, and considering the fact that the bell that spread all across the city as still chiming, piercing everyone’s ears.
“Get inside! The wolves are here! Get inside! Lock your doors! The wolves are here!” Fang shouted at the top of his lungs through the megaphone.
The sound went all throughout the city; it had perhaps one hundred times the power of a megaphone Brody was used to seeing and hearing.
The wind picked up, and all seemed to happen in slow motion. It was too late. Wasn’t it? The salty air filled Brody’s lungs and he took deep breaths, the salt air cleared his sinuses. But now no amount of salt air would help him, between the smog and the headache that had quickly arose on the left side of his head.
Brody looked up and followed the helicopter as it disappeared behind the smog and the seemingly never ending sky scrapers that surrounded all city life. It was that the towers were so tall the birds could hardly reach the top.
How did people breathe?
It’s not that far up, Brody. He thought.
Brody thought quickly, looking in all directions. Where should he go? What should he do?
Brody could still hear the sound of the megaphone, and Fang’s voice as he spoke into it. He could hear the breaths that Fang put into them and the words that came out that alarmed the people of Los Angeles. And Brody.
Brody knew it wouldn’t be a good thing, but it was the only way he knew he could live with himself. He knew he couldn’t just abandon the open portal and let the hungry wolves take over from there-no-he had to protect his wife if they couldn’t close the portal in time.
Think. Think. Think. What the hell am I supposed to do? How should I approach this in manner that would be a win-win situation for me and my wife, Kathy? Brody asked himself.
Brody made his hands into fists, knowing what he was going to do, he made them so that his finger nails dug into his palms, leaving small cuts that he would look and care for later when all was over and done with. If this would be over and done with at all.
He breathed deeply and held his breath as he began running. His heart was beating more quickly than it had done ever before. His heart was beating faster than when he first saw his wife walk down the aisle with her father of her arm. That’s all he could think about now. That’s all that he could hope for, was to see her as happy and as cheerful as she was when he looked at her for the first time on their wedding day. He hoped she was as happy and as cheerful as she was when he first looked back and watched her walk down the aisle in that beautiful white dress. He hoped.
With his wife’s smile and their wedding in his mind, Brody squeezed his eyes shut tightly, and leaped back into the portal.
Snow fell upon him. He opened his eyes and saw nothing but the white flakes falling all around him, they consumed him in a way that he had never realized before. He felt the bitter cold of the winter and saw the no sky, just heavy cloud cover. Clouds that let snow flakes fall to the ground all around the people of Orono, Maine. And Brody.
He looked up and gaped at his house. It was even more run down than he had seen it the last time, when he met the woman. He was in utter disappointment for the house, remembering how beautiful it used to be and how great it used to shine out all the rest of the homes on that street. But now it just blended in with the rest of them. It blended in with the old and worn out homes around him and his old house. That was all there was. Snow and old worn down homes. He could see not a speck of the ground, only the whiteness.
There was a forceful wind that took the snow in big piles and threw it around the area creating drifts that towered over where Brody’s fence in his backyard once stood. Or did it still stand? He hadn’t the slightest clue.
The large hole was still there, no one had ever filled it back up, and it didn’t even look like anyone had even tried to.
Brody stood up and faced the wind, his flimsy coat and jeans did not hold up very well against anything. Not the wind, nor the cold snow that continued to fall heavily.
Brody could not see anything but the snow that fell around him. He could see the outline of his house and his neighbor’s but not a lamppost, or a fence. He couldn’t see a car passing by on the street just a few yards in front of him. The snow came down too hard and the wind blew the snow making it impossible to see ten feet in front of you.
Brody tried to run up to his old house where there was the side door. He couldn’t run, though. The snow drifts were too deep.
His pants were getting very wet, so were his legs and arms underneath his jeans and flimsy jacket.
He finally got to the side door and found it after about thirty seconds of searching. I tried to wiggle the knob to try and get inside but it wouldn’t wiggle or turn at all. It was locked.
Brody screamed and looked up into the sky, trying to see the clouds. He threw his arms up in the air and got good balance on his left foot. He took his right leg held it up a little ways from the door, and kicked the door with all his might, with all the strength he could muster in his body.
He kicked again, the small window that was set higher up in the door shattered and the glass went partially on Brody’s leg, which slid off when he put it down, and it slightly got inside the house.
He kicked again, making even more glass in the window shatter, then more, then more.
Brody didn’t know if he was getting anywhere with it, but he sure was trying hard enough, at least that’s what he thought. The burning in his thighs told him that painfully.
He kicked one more time, the wind starting to affect him, and the door flew open. The snow that was layering up against the door fell onto the kitchen’s hardwood floors.
Brody quickly got inside and shut the door behind him, the wind and snow still coming through from the broken window.
There was nothing there. No couches. No chairs. There was no television or coffee table, there was absolutely nothing in the entire downstairs, but that didn’t mean the upstairs would be different.
Brody quickly ran upstairs, in high hopes that the upstairs would be furnished with something warm. He saw wet footprints beginning down in the foyer, and he followed them all the way up the steps and into the master bedroom. He was cautious and stern. He held his chin up high in confidence, perhaps trying to scare off a couple of teenage boys that might have broken in.
But what he found was quite different.
He found a middle-aged woman sitting bundled up in the far corner of the room. He could see just fine since there were no furnishings in the bedroom, or anywhere else he could see for that matter. With the woman were two children a young boy with dirty, long dark hair and brown eyes, he was maybe five or six. There was also a little girl about the same age that looked very much like the other child. She had long dirty hair and mud was plastered and dried to her face. The woman’s hair and face was in a much worse condition. She had a large cut that ran down the one side of her face. Her hair was just as dirty as the children’s’ hair. Blood seeped from the wound and had dripped on her torn and worn out blue vest that were at least three sizes to big for her.
“Hello.” Brody said. He could barely muster a word. That was all he could manage to croak out.
The woman just kept her children close to her; they both had tears in their eyes. The woman seemed just as scared but also showed a strong side, like she was a strong and sturdy person.
“It’s alright, I’m not going to hurt you,” Brody continued. “I used to live here many years ago.”
The woman still kept her children close but her grip seemed to ease.
“Hi,” she said, her voiced cracked. She needed to clear her throat but it was as if she was afraid to.
Brody held out his hands, showing that he wasn’t going to hurt them. He took three small steps back. “It’s okay,” he said.
“Do you have any weapons?” she asked.
“Why are you here?”
Brody cleared his throat and the woman’s grip tightened around her children.
“I was just paying an old friend a visit,” he said patting the dry wood on the wall and smiling.
“What’s your name?”
“Brody. Brody King.”
“Who do you work for?”
“No one anymore. I used to be a teacher.”
The woman loosened her grip on the children huddled against her.
“Are you going to hurt my children?”
“You promise? They’re all I’ve got,” she said her voice breaking and tears in her eyes.
“Cross my heart.”
The woman finally got up and walked closer to Brody but never got to close. Brody stepped closer and met her half way.
“What’s your name?” Brody asked with a smile.
“That’s a nice name, I like that.”
“And who are these little rascals, huh?”
“These are my two children, Alex and Rebecca. Say hello, children.”
Alex and Rebecca both said hello in a cute high-pitched voice that only young children have.
“Are you expecting?” Brody asked pointing to Adel’s large belly that bulged way out, this was very surprisingly the first time Brody noticed.
“Oh, yes.” Adel answered laughing and putting a great smile on her face, Brody noticed that her teeth looked almost rotten and even green.
“How much longer?”
“I don’t know. It can’t be much longer now.”
“Right. Looks like it.”
“Do you have children?”
“I should have children, I don’t know yet.”
Adel gave Brody a quick glance, she noted that he wouldn’t be a threat, shouldn’t be anyway.
Brody stood there chilled to the bone, his legs felt the worst, but his arms were pretty cold as well. The snow had melted on his skin leaving them wet, irritated, and cold, well freezing.
“I’m sorry, would you like a towel, or some dry clothes, you look a mess! You’ve got to be cold with all those wet clothes on!”
“Yes, please, do you have any dry clothes? Or warm?”
“Well, I only have a night gown and some blankets, but I think the previous owner left some clothes in the bedroom just next to us.”
Brody licked his lips and turned toward the door next door. He saw that there was a dresser and an old bed sitting there waiting for him.
“I’ll be back,” he said and disappeared into the other room. He shut the door and looked around. He saw that the bed had been unmade; it must have been where the children had been sleeping. He saw a large dresser that seemed to carry clothes.
He walked over to the dresser and opened up one of the drawers, he found a few pairs of underwear, and socks. He also found a sweatshirt and about six different t-shirts. He thought to himself why people would leave all this here. They took everything else!
He slowly undressed and dried himself with clean socks he found in the drawer and put on fresh, clean clothes. He found jeans in the closet that was in the bedroom, he managed to squeeze into them since they were very small for his waist, but did okay.
He put his dirty clothes in the closet and closed the door. He opened the door to the hallway and walked back into the master bedroom.
Adel was sitting in the middle of the floor with the children in an old sleeping bag of theirs reading them a children’s book. They listened closely and Brody watched for a moment, trying not to disturb their peace. It brought him back when his child, Max was that small, and when he would read him bedtime stories of aliens and monsters every night before bed. Brody had remembered how that was all Max liked stories of monsters and aliens. He still did Brody supposed. Last time he had checked when he opened one of the books his son had written.
He cleared his throat and the three of them looked up, Adel smiled.
“Is there running water?” Brody asked.
“No,” Adel said looking up at him with sad eyes. She must have not liked it when she found out to.
“Damn. What about food or supplies?”
Brody let out a sigh and turned toward the other bedroom he had come from.
“Is that where the children sleep?”
“I have blankets here if you want to share them with us, you could listen in on the story too if you’d like.”
“Sure. I’d like that,” Brody said with a smile on his face.
“Then come sit down after you grab a blanket.”
Brody walked over to the far corner and grabbed a thick brown blanket made of fleece. He was a little apprehensive about using it since he knew they had used it and knew how dirty they were.
He sat down and put the blanket around him tight, holding it up with his hands and squeezing it, trying to keep out the cold and keep the heat in. He listened to Adel and the story she was reading from a picture book, the children sure did seem to like it; their eyes were just completely lit up the entire time she was reading.
There was only the sound of Adel’s words as they came out of her mouth, creating a story in Brody and the children’s imaginations. But then they heard something outside. They heard something that made them jump, especially Brody.
Brody’s heart suddenly began thumping in his throat when he heard the noise. He didn’t know what to do. Hide? Stay where they were? He hadn’t been told to do any different but to hide when he heard the sound.
Lord why did it have to be like this? Why did it have to start now?
The sound was heard again, it made Brody even more nervous, no one noticed Brody’s fear but him. The others were still listening to Adel reading the story in her hands out loud.
Adel suddenly noticed Brody’s alarm and sudden fear. She stopped reading but Brody wasn’t paying attention anymore.
“Brody? Brody what is it?” she asked with fear in her voice, she definitely sensed there was something wrong…and there was.
“Brody answer me!” she said and threw the book away and clutched her children close to her.
Brody said nothing for the longest time, just looked out the window in the master bedroom, the bedroom they were in. He didn’t move. He breathed slowly.
When Brody finally said something, it frightened Adel and her children and more.
“Father your things, Adel. Hold your children. Don’t let them cry.”
“Brody, you’re scaring me, what’s wrong?
“You hear that?”
“Yes, but what’s the big deal?”
“Doesn’t matter to you, all you need to know is that that noise means something horrible is happening. Gather your children and your things. Don’t let the kids cry.”
“Please, do as I say, this is life or death.”
There was another loud howling noise from outside the house. The sound came from the backyard.
“Adel, the wolves are here.”
“Mommy, what’s going on?” Rebecca asked pulling on Adel’s shirt.
“Nothing, sweat heart, just stay with mommy, you to, Alex, okay?”
They both nodded but still were not satisfied. They still had looks of puzzlement and fear on their young faces.
Brody was looking around, trying to find a place for everyone to hide. He searched as fast as he could, but came up with nothing.
The barking was getting louder; they were getting closer to the house.
Suddenly, Brody heard that the howling and barking ceased when there was a whistle by a human. It sounded like it came from one of the plastic whistles sports coaches carried around, but it could have been from a person’s mouth.
“Be quiet,” Brody said holding his hand up toward Adel, trying to tell her to keep quiet.
“Just shut up!” he barked and waited for a sound from anything.
Adel held her head up a little higher, offended and surprised that Brody would bark at her and her children in such of a rude manner. Who did he think he was?
There was a sound. Someone was speaking outside; it sounded more like a man than it did a woman. Brody listened, and got as close to the window that gazed upon the backyard as he could, trying to hear what the man was saying but knew he needed to stay back so that no one saw him.
“What I need…to do…kill him…..you know…..inside…..hungry aren’t you?.....what we’ve been wanting...many years………..go!”
That was all Brody could manage to hear.
Seconds later he heard pounding, on the door downstairs, the front door. He had about ten seconds.
“Brody what’s going on?”
“I need to think, give me a second.”
“Why? What do we need to do?”
“We gotta hide!” Brody said throwing his arms in the air.
Rebecca and Alex’s faces lit up with excitement, they must have heard this word before and remember for some reason it had something to do with excitement.
“Mommy?” Alex asked pulling on Adel’s shirt. Adel bent down and looked Alex straight in the eye, savoring this moment knowing it could be the last.
“Yes, baby?” she asked with tears in her eyes as she looked over her beautiful children and realized they could very well die in the next minute or so. She tried to hold it in but found that there was a huge boulder in her throat, she tried to keep it down and somewhere found the strength to show no fear or sorrow when she spoke again.
“Can we play hide and seek?”
Adel didn’t want them split up.
“That’s a great idea,” Brody said. “They can hide in spots and the wolves would never detect them!”
“Are you sure?”
Alex slipped from his mother’s grip and began running. He ran out into the hallway, hearing the banging at the door.
“Mommy!” he screamed pointing to the door just down the stairs, a great smile arouse on his beautiful young face.
“No! You get back here!” Brody yelled at him pointing to his mother’s side.
“I wanna answer the door like at home!” he said and took off down the stairs.
“No, Alex!” Adel said and sprang up to her feet and was no longer bending down, she ran toward Alex who was already halfway down the stairs and on his way to the door. He was scooting down the stairs on his bottom one by one, still to little to master the stairs.
He was going quickly, and almost to the door when Adel tripped going down the stairs, she twisted her ankle and fell flat on her back, trying not to hurt the baby by landing on her stomach.
She got to the bottom the same time as Alex, the door still trying to be pounded in.
Alex reached for the door knob, at this point Brody was already trying to race down the stairs but he was six steps away from the ground level when a gun shot rang out. Many small bullet holes came through the doorknob and the space around it. Alex was right in the middle of their path.
The bullets didn’t stop after they went through the door, they continued on until they hit Alex in the head, after all he was eye-level with the door knob. He had just reached up to turn the knob and open the door when he was hit. Blood sprayed everywhere, covering Adel and the hardwood floors, along with some of the carpet that led everyone upstairs.
Alex’s body fell on top of Adel’s who was right there. She tried to reach her son and get him away from the door. She tried to stop him from opening the door so he wouldn’t be exposed to the wolves and wouldn’t let the dangerous outsiders in, but no one expected the gun shot. Now Alex was on the floor in a pool of his own blood. Dead.
The door slowly opened and about ten wolves with white fur from the snow stood there on the front porch, along with their leader, who had a menacing looking grin on his face.
The wolves went to devour everyone they saw, but their leader who was wearing a cloak and a white suite underneath whistled so kindly, stopping them. He held up his right hand as he did this. The wolves did nothing more but await another call by their master.
“Oh, look here, I’m sorry I just wanted to open the door. I had no idea a little one was here. I guess it was the mother’s fault for not watching over him better,” he said in a sarcastic voice. He still had the evil grin on his face. It was wide like the Chester Cat’s grin from Alice in Wonderland. “The poor dear,” he finished sarcastically and took a single step inside the house.
“Come!” the wolves’ leader said and motioned his fingers toward everyone sitting in the foyer.
The wolves suddenly walked inside the home, they looked around waiting to bare their teeth and prance upon their first victim.
“You know it was like a miracle that you found the portal and opened it up, Brody King.”
“What do you know about miracles? They’re only supposed to happen to good people, not scum like you!” Brody said with confidence, it was a little cliché, and Brody realized that as soon as he said it, then he wished he had never.
“Oh Brody, do you really want to try and seem like my superior?” the leader asked with his hands held high like he was talking to his empire and its people below.
“If it will make a difference here, than by all means!”
The leader chuckled and rolled his eyes with his right hand resting on his left arm which was perched across his lower chest.
The leader looked down at Adel who was holding her dead child in her arms as she sat on the cold wood floor in the foyer. The wolves were licking the blood that surrounded Alex’s body. The bleeding had finally stopped spewing from the many bullet wounds in his head.
Adel’s tears fell and mixed in with the blood, she watched as her child’s face grew paler and paler from the blood loss.
Adel let out a scream, which did it for Rebecca standing at the top of the steps, she hadn’t moved an inch sine her brother was shot, but now she took a step down the stairs and screamed bloody-murder, tears streaming down her face.
“Someone shut that brat up! I should have shot her instead of him here,” the leader said spitting on Alex’s corpse.
“You’re a monster!” Adel screamed trying to see the leader’s face, the tears in her eyes made it hard to see anything.
“No, sweetheart,” he began rudely, “I’m Mason Turner.”
Mason took in a deep breath while he bent down to get closer to Adel’s face; he took in the smell of death and blood.
“I love that smell, that copper smell that the blood gives off when it is first released,” he said as he stood up straight again.
Adel stands up, carefully putting her son’s body down on the floor and slaps Mason harder than she thought she ever could, right across his face.
He closed his eyes and slowly opened them after the pain subsided. He held up his index finger and pointed it at Adel.
“I think you’re just too naughty to live,” he said. He took out the shotgun he had used to break the door down, the one that had so tragically shot Alex. He pressed it against Adel’s stomach. Even though she was wearing a heavy shirt, Adel could feel the cold metal on her stomach.
“Pregnant? Yes, I know. Oh, yes, and I can very much so kill you…and your baby.”
Another tear rolled down Adel’s cheek and fell onto her shirt.
Mason cocked the gun.
“Let me start counting back from ten…”
Brody stood a few feet away appalled and utterly shocked, he still could barely move his legs at what he was staring at… the blood on the floor, Alex’s dead body, and the bullet wounds. He then glanced upon Adel who was awaiting her death. Maybe she wanted to die, who knew? But Brody knew he had to do something.
Brody wanted to stop Mason Turner, the bad man who had brought the wolves. He wanted to take the gun from his grasp and shoot him, but his legs were stuck. He couldn’t move.
He could not move, he tried, boy did he try, and he knew that not only would he lose one person but yet another that was on the way.
Brody found it in him, maybe it was God that moved him he didn’t know, but he somehow found the strength to move and run toward Mason as fast as he could.
Mason knew what was in store for him, Brody undoing his plan and making him look like a fool. So Mason acted fast, after all he was the man with the gun.
Mason turned toward Brody and pulled the trigger. The sound of the shotgun reached Brody’s ears at the same time the bullets reached his upper thigh.
Brody’s eyes widened and he fell, his entire leg, and his pants completely soaked in his blood.
“One,” Mason said with a smile.
Adel got to her knees, crawling over to Brody with everything she had left in her.
Brody was holding his leg, blood spewed down his pant leg and out onto the hardwood floors. He screamed in agonizing pain.
Rebecca at the top of the stairs was still crying her eyes out, waiting for the panic and horrifying scenes of anger and utter rage to come to a sudden halt. She had her arms down by her sides, she wanted to sit down but couldn’t. She felt too scared to even move. So she cried, wanting her mother, Adel.
“Mommy!” she screamed while another tear fell upon her poor old and dirty sweatshirt that was way too big for her. The sleeves fell six inches longer at least from where they should.
“I’m coming honey,” Adel cried trying to stop Brody’s bleeding by pushing on the wound as hard as she could.
The blood was everywhere.
“I’m right here baby, what’s wrong?” Adel screamed. Adel felt like a fool asking this but it was just her instinct. What else should she have said?
Adel turned to where Rebecca should have been standing. She wasn’t. Instead, Mason had her. He was carrying her down the steps of the house and trying to get out onto the front porch. He was trying to take her.
“Brody I’m sorry,” Adel said standing up and running toward Mason and the wolves surrounding him and her little girl.
“You can’t do this!” Adel shouted trying to run toward Mason, who had now stopped and was looking at her, ready to command the wolves to rip her and Brody apart. He held his arm up and the wolves stood at attention.
“Oh but I assure you I can, I didn’t kill you and the brat inside you, so consider this a compromise!” he said turning back where a sled was sitting in the yard. The sled was attached to many ropes that the wolves are to connect to, so they can pull the sled.
Mason whistled out loudly.
“At attention!” he yelled and the wolves got in their places so they could be hooked up to the ropes that would carry the sled away at high speeds.
Mason set Rebecca down in the snow; she was freezing from the cold. She shivered as her body temperature dropped.
“You better stay there or you will end up like your brother!” Mason screamed at Rebecca. He pointed to Alex’s corpse, still lying in a pool of his own blood.
That copper smell!
Rebecca nodded and looked up at Mason with tears coming down her face. Mason turned to Adel, who was a few feet away from grabbing her daughter and pulling her back inside.
“And you!” he said pointing his shotgun at her and cocking it once again quickly. “If you move another step, I will pull this trigger and that will be the end of everything for you and for your daughter!”
Adel stayed where she was crying, Rebecca reached out to her mother. She wanted to run to hr but knew her fate even at five years old. She knew what would happen if she moved an inch.
Mason strapped the wolves into the ropes quickly, and then looked back where Rebecca and Adel should have stood, but they both were gone.
Mason ran toward the house, he saw that the front door was still open. He walked inside, not bothering to stomp his boots once he came in to get the snow off, instead he stepped in blood, tracking it upstairs as he followed a trail of blood to the second floor.
He looked around; he found the trail leading into the master bedroom. The door was shut.
When he went to go open the door, the knob wouldn’t turn, and he found it was locked.
Steam almost came out of his ears, his face getting redder and redder from utter rage and disappointment. He stood back and ran, throwing himself and all his weight onto the door, which didn’t give way.
He got even madder and redder, steam just seconds from coming out of his ears.
He ran back and moved forward at an incredible pace. He leaped onto the door, his weight making it give way. The door fell along with Mason making a loud thump on the carpeted floor.
Mason looked around, he saw no one. But then, he noticed that the trail of blood led to an open window.
Mason ran to the open window and looked out into the snow. He saw Adel dragging Brody toward, Mason’s sled where the dogs were already strapped in ready to take off.
Mason saw that Rebecca was sitting on the large sled part that was connected to the part where the controller stood. She was on top of the few bits and pieces of luggage Mason was carrying with him.
“HEY!” Mason shouted pointing his index finger out of the window toward Adel and Brody. “You don’t even know the word that will make them go!” he began.
“We’ll figure it out!” Adel shouted at Mason trying hard to drag Brody onto the sled to accompany Rebecca.
Mason ten realized he had his shotgun, he held it up, remembering he had already cocked it earlier, and aimed for Adel.
BOOM! It hit the snow and left many small holes in the snow drifts.
BOOM! The shots hit the snow around Adel again.
Adel finally got Brody onto the sled, the wolves howling, signaling that they were ready to go.
Adel thought that the weight would be too much for the wolves. But there are fifteen of them at least! Don’t lose hope! She thought just before she got on herself.
“Don’t rush!” Mason said.
The dogs howled and then took off at top speed, it took them a second or two to gather their strength, but after that they took off into the twilight.
“I thought they wouldn’t do it!” Mason said and slammed his fists up against the wall and watched as the wolves carried the three of them away down the street until they rounded and corner and disappeared.
I guess rush was the word then. Adel thought to herself.
Brody was still bleeding.
Adel held back her tears, her pain that she had storing up more and more inside of her. She had left her boy behind. She had left his corpse unburied.
She wondered what was to come of him. Would he sit there and rot for many years to come? What would come of her baby boy?
He was too young.
Adel let a tear fall from her cheek and onto her sweatshirt. She was in fear that Mason would do something cruel to him even after Alex’s death. Would he disrespect him in some way? What would he do? Hopefully he would just leave him there, because surely he wouldn’t take the time to bury him, like a normal and kind person would and should.
He was too young.
Brody cried out in pain and held his leg as blood continued to spew from is upper thigh. The agony was far greater than anything he had every experienced, even greater when the time he fell into a frozen lake in Wisconsin one year when he went fishing with his father. He fell through some thin ice, and ever since then has never gone fishing or even walked near a lake or any body of water for that matter during the cold and unforgiving winter months.
The snow kept falling, just as hard as it had earlier. It kept piling and piling up, it had to be at least three or four feet now, the snow had made its way half-up the stop sign post, and it was getting even deeper with every falling flake.
“I have to get you to a hospital or you’re going to bleed to…”
“I know,” Brody managed to whisper.
“Rush! Rush!” Adel called out and the team of wolves sped up.
It took another twenty minutes to get to the hospital that as located just down the way from Brody’s old home. It was the largest hospital Brody had ever seen, he hadn’t remembered it that big, they must have added on, and they did.
Adel thought nothing of the size, only focused on getting Brody to the hospital.
“Halt!” Adel yelled as they pulled right up in front of the emergency room entrance.
The wolves came to a sudden halt and howled hungry for meat. Adel of course didn’t know that.
Adel put her arms under Brody’s and pulled him off the sled, as his legs hit the ground, he screamed in utter pain since he couldn’t hold them to make them come down easy.
“Rebecca, go inside and wait for mommy, okay?”
“Yes!” she said with a giant smile on her face completely unaware of anything that was going on, her brother’s death had filtered out of her mind.
Rebecca ran inside, and out of the cold, she was relieved when she got inside that the cold stayed outside and didn’t follow her in.
Adel dragged Brody toward the automated door slowly, his weight too heavy for her to move quickly.
She dragged him inside in a matter of about thirty seconds; a medical team in scrubs met them inside with a gurney.
“What’s the story here?” a man lifting Brody into the gurney asked with high hopes it wasn’t anything too horrible, but had the bad feeling it was since he saw a significant amount of blood gathered up in Brody’s pant leg.
“He was shot in the upper thigh,” Adel answered nodding.
“Okay, we’re taking him in,” he said as he and a few others rolled him through two doors that led to the emergency room.
Adel let out a huge sigh that she had been storing up for months, perhaps years.
Rebecca was sitting in a chair in the waiting room with a small children’s book in her hands she had already found sitting on a table next to her. She was holding it out to Adel, wanting her to read it aloud to her.
“Read mommy, read, please!” she shouted holding out the book.
“Rebecca calm down, I’ll read it to you,” she said and walked over, sitting down in the seat next to Rebecca.
Brody couldn’t feel anything, he couldn’t see anything, and he couldn’t smell anything. He only knew he was in the hospital on a hard table somewhere. He knew his head was being supported by something hard and he wanted to turn over but something constricted him.
He moaned in discomfort.
He heard muffled voices talking about him he assumed; there was panic in their voices. Utter panic and worry, perhaps shame.
What was going on?
The clocked had read three fourteen when Adel’s eyes opened suddenly opened. The room was still lit and the florescent hurt her eyes for a few seconds, then they adjusted.
Rebecca was lying up against her shoulder sound asleep, snoring almost. She laid Rebecca’s head up against the soft arm of the chair and got up.
There were small booths sitting in the next room just beyond a small play area that had a train set for small children. There were large windows in these booths and behind each one were women sitting staring into computer screens.
Adel walked into one of the booths and into the window where there were small holes in the glass so you could talk to the person behind the window.
“Excuse me?” Adel said.
The woman sitting behind the desk was very thin and sat up extremely straight, something that would make your back hurt after a while.
The woman turned to Adel and put a smile on her otherwise sad and expressionless face.
“Yes?” she said in a high pitched voice. The woman was wearing a white collared shirt with all kinds of different pins stuck in it. Adel realized the woman was wearing no make-up and had her long dark hair in a simple ponytail in the back.
“Has there been any information about the man who went in a few hours ago with the gun shot wound?” she asked nervously, not sure she wanted to her what she had to say.
“No ma’am, there were some complications, we should be hearing from them very shortly. Okay?” she said sitting up even straighter when she said this.
“Yes, thank you.”
Adel slowly got out of the booth and walked back over to the waiting room, where Rebecca was still sleeping. Adel sat back down with butterflies flapping all around in her stomach. She leaned her daughter back up on her right shoulder and sat there worrying. She couldn’t sleep now knowing there were complications.
“God help him,” she whispered under her breath and closed her eyes, a tear giving way and rolling down her cheek.
Brody opened his eyes, he saw nothing for a split second, his eyes were playing tricks on him, blurring all of the things he wanted to see around him. He knew exactly where he was, he just wanted to know where Adel and Rebecca were. He wanted to know what day it was and how his surgery went.
He guessed his surgery had gone okay, considering the fact that he was still alive. He still had pain in his upper left thigh, but he felt now more blood running down his leg. He said a prayer.
Adel was filling out papers in the waiting room, she had just been informed that Brody was fine, the surgery had gone well, and that they had got all the bullet fragments out and stitched him up pretty good. She almost cried when she heard the news.
She wrote down names, and dates, along with phone numbers that she guessed were important, (although she really just guest when she wrote down the phone numbers and dates and such, not knowing much about Brody at all).
Brody was lying in his small room still awake, he was all slept out. He tried to rest some more but just found himself re-opening his eyes.
He reached around as much as he could and tried to keep his leg in the same stiff position it was supposed to be in. He reached and pushed a button that was green and had words above it. Words that read: Assistance.
A nurse came scurrying in after a few seconds, she was wearing a white collared shirt and white pants, and she was thin and short.
“Mr. King, you rang in?”
“Yes, yes, I just wanted to know how everything went, I assumed you did an operation?”
“Yes sir, a few hours ago, you came out all fixed. You did a fine job and there weren’t really any complications, other than you woke up once or twice,” she said in a high-pitched voice.
Brody licked his dry cracked lips and asked: “Will I be able to walk?”
“Of course, you didn’t break your leg or anything! We got all the bullet fragments out and stopped the almost uncontrollable bleeding.”
“So, am I okay?”
“Yes, of course you are,” she said smiling brightly.
“Yep, the fragments just missed your artery that runs down the back of your leg, you were extremely lucky, it was almost if someone was watching over you,” she said.
Brody’s stomach grumbled. He hoped the nurse didn’t hear it. Brody thought it was a tad embarrassing.
“Is there any way I could get some food?” he asked licking his lips again. “…and perhaps something to drink?”
“Of course, I’ll be back before you can say lickidy-split!” she said and dashed off out of the small room, disappearing in what seemed to be a crowded hallway.
Lickidy-split! Brody thought to himself.
Brody looked around the room, his stomach continuing to grumbled and roll. He looked out the three small windows that were in the room, he saw that the snow had ceased, and all was peaceful, or so he thought.
The sun had just come up, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The temperature must had risen from the day before, because Brody could see water falling onto his window and running down the side of the building.
The nurse was back after a few more moments of hunger with a large tray with soup, red Jell-O, and a large roll that looked scrumptious.
“Thank you,” he said as the nurse placed it on a TV tray that came over his bed.
“You’re most certainly welcome,” she said. “Is there anything else I can get for you?” she asked.
“No, this is good, thanks.”
The nurse turned her back to leave, but Brody stopped her just as she grabbed the door knob to walk out. She didn’t want to walk out, knowing there was nothing else to do. The hospital wasn’t very busy at all, so she was glad when he stopped her.
“Yes?” she said turning around with her smile across her pretty rosy-colored face.
“One last question-when will I be able to leave?”
“That’s up to the doctor, I can get him if you’d like me to?” she asked hoping he would like her to so she would at least have one other thing to do. She was sick and tired of being stuck behind the desk listening to the old radio station that Kris, another nurse there listened to.
“No. That’s alright. Thanks though.”
She said nothing, just nodded and walked out of the room, now having to sit behind the desk to listen to some other old song that would be played through that damn radio. Who else listened to that stuff?
That night was better than the last, for Brody and for Adel and Rebecca. Mostly because they both knew everything was okay, and he would soon heal up.
Adel was given a cot right outside of Brody’s room that her and Rebecca could use to sleep on at night. It was more comfortable then she thought it would be by a long shot. She thought it would be your typical cheap, cheap cot that would have no lumbar support what so ever, but she was wrong. She liked it and she grew more and more accustomed to it after each night.
Brody woke up at three in the morning on the fifth day of being there in a dreadful sweat. He had remembered the dream that had startled him, a man in a long trench coat reaching out to grab him to hang for whatever reason. It was far beyond horrible, and was one of the most vivid dreams he had ever had before. Must have been the pain medication.
Brody wiped his brow and lay back down, trying desperately to slow and control his breathing. His chest was going up and down so rapidly it almost hurt.
“Calm yourself,” he said. “It’s over. It was just a nightmare. That’s all. No more.”
There was nothing else to complain about the rest of the night. Then he woke up.
The clock struck one in the afternoon when Brody’s eyes finally came open with a sudden jerk. He jumped back into reality quickly and found himself still the room he had been in for almost a week.
There was talking coming from outside the door that led into the hallway, along with a bit of laughter most likely coming from a few of the nurses.
He reached hard, drawing his arm as far back as he could get it to stretch and finally reached the button that called for a nurse.
“Nurse!” he yelled beginning to get angry after a few moments of not being listened to.
His nurse finally came into his room, still dressed in the cheesy and cheap white collared shirt and pants that nurses always wore. She seemed happier than usual and had an enormous smile across her face, mostly because she hadn’t had to sit behind that desk with the horrible music for a great amount of the morning. She was actually busy. Now whether or not you call being pretty busy in a hospital a good or bad thing she didn’t now, but she was happy.
“Mr. King, yes how are you feeling today?” she asked with her smile spreading even farther across her cute young face.
“Nurse, I just wanted to thank you for everything you have been doing for me over the past…” Brody pretending to think for a second, hoping that it would make the nurse feel a little bit sorry for him knowing that he had been in that hospital for so long. “…five days,” he began.
“So, are you feeling any better than yesterday?” the nurse asked, getting out of the hospital that day began to seem promising to Brody.
“Oh, I am feeling so much better,” he said with a smile. “I am so relieved that I’m well again.”
“Well then, I guess I’ll go ahead and get the doctor so he may be able to talk to you about getting out of here,” she said.
“That would be wonderful.”
“Good, I’ll be back with the doctor shortly,” she said before disappearing down the hall.
Brody almost wanted to cry he was so happy. He had the biggest smile across his face, a smile that hadn’t found its’ way onto his cheeks in a very long time.
A few seconds afterward, Adel walked in the room with Rebecca holding her hand. She had a smile like never before on her face, so did Rebecca.
“Hey,” she said coming in slowly making sure Brody wasn’t still asleep.
“So they get you all fixed up?” she asked sitting down in a chair next to Brody’s bed.
“I sure do think so.”
“How do you feel?” she asked her voice getting lower. She looked cleaner than when Brody had last seen her; the hospital must have given her and Rebecca a shower.
“Great, I really think I’m going to be okay,” he said keeping the smile in his face.
“Well they told me the bullets just missed a major artery.”
“Thank God. You wouldn’t be talking to me now if that wasn’t the case.”
“I guess not.”
Rebecca was looking out the window the entire time, it had just begun to spit snow and lay a fresh batch over to the earth.
“I’m just glad you’re all better,” Adel said nodding.
There was a long silence. Brody felt something between him and Adel, a force that seemed to be pulling them together. Could be love.
The doctor came in moments later, a man that Brody must have seen twenty times the last few days, always checking on him, which was a good thing he’d guessed but he could barely get any sleep because of the doctor.
The doctor wore light blue scrubs. He was tall and thin with dark hair and brown eyes, a man that Adel immediately sparked to and was ready to ask on a date, then she saw his wedding ring.
“So,” the doctor said looking at his clipboard he held in his hands. “…you seem alright to go, all of the tests we’ve been doing gave been coming back normal every time so, that’s a good thing,” he said with pure honestly and happiness in his face.
“Do you think I could be out of here by let’s say…today?” Brody asked hoping the answer would be yes with all his heart and soul.
“I think we could work that out just fine. You’ll just have to take it easy in a wheelchair at home for a few weeks,” he said.
What home? Brody thought.
“I think you’re good to go, I’ll need to get you your paperwork,” he said after looking up from his clipboard. He walked out of the room with a big smile across his face, a trait that the doctor and Brody shared at that very second in time.
“Thank God,” Brody said holding up his arms smiling and laughing.
Adel smiled back.
The doctor had signed for Brody to leave the hospital, but he wanted him to rest up good. Brody signed left and right, saying that he swore to do what the doctor told him to do which included bathing regularly to keep the wound clean and dry, and get at least ten hours of sleep every night for the next month. Brody knew he wouldn’t be able to meet these requirements, not with trying to get to his wife Kathy, who was hopefully waiting for him in Los Angeles.
Brody sat in the lobby waiting for a taxi cab to show up outside, the hospital had called one for him, Adel, and Rebecca.
He sat in a wheelchair looking out in the distance, the snow had stopped and had left six feet of snow, the snow plows had done their hardest to try and get all of it out of the way, but there was nowhere to put all the snow.
Brody turned around as hard as he could to try and look into Adel’s eyes.
“Do you think any planes will be flying out today?” he whispered to Adel so no one would hear him.
“Couldn’t tell you,” she said with a shrug of the shoulders.
Rebecca was coloring in the corner with a few canyons and pieces of paper the nurse had given her. She was occupied, trying to color a bird singing on a bench, it didn’t look too good, but you had to give her credit for trying.
The taxi soon pulled up in front of the hospital, the driver just sat there, waiting for passengers.
Adel rolled Brody in his wheelchair out the automated doors. She looked back and called to Rebecca who said thanks to the nurse sitting across from her for the paper and crayons.
“You’re most certainly welcome,” the nurse replied smiling big.
Rebecca followed her mother and Brody out into the taxi.
Adel folded the wheelchair and put in the trunk, it barely fit. She helped Brody slide carefully into the car, and put Rebecca in between Brody and herself.
“All in?” the driver asked in a heavy Italian accent.
“Yeah,” Adel said sarcastically.
“Um, ma’am? What’s your problem?” the driver asked detecting Adel’s rudeness.
“Um, we have a man in a wheelchair and you don’t even get out and help!” she said getting madder, her cheeks and ears getting red.
“Ma’am I’m not a limo-driver, I’m a taxi driver,” he said and hit the gas, speeding off into the distance.
Adel sat with her arms wrapped around Rebecca, who was trying to see past Adel to look out the window. The snow was so beautiful, so graceful.
“So where are you going?” the man asked looking at Adel and Brody through his mirror.
“The airport,” she said trying to sound rude.
“Lord, this one gots a mouth on her a?” he said shaking his head.
Adel put on a frown and looked out the window wanting to get to where she needed to go quickly. But how would she pay for a plane ticket? She had no money! Better yet-how would she pay for two plane tickets?
Brody sat there breathing steadily, he was nervous. He had never liked flying in airplanes, they always made him scared, especially when it was winter and he had to watch as they de-iced the plane.
Brody searched his pockets to make sure he still had his wallet; he did and wondered if his card would still be good, it surely would have expired by then.
He took it out and looked to see how much cash he had. Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty…he counted. Sixty dollars. That was now where near enough for a plane ticket.
I’ll just go to an ATM. I’ll get cash from there. He thought.
Brody gave the taxi driver the last of his cash, and got out with the help of Adel, and surprisingly the driver, who smelled of onion and garlic. Brody thought he wouldn’t eat that stuff for the rest of his life after smelling that.
The cab pulled away with another passenger and they three of them set out into the airport with Adel pushing Brody’s wheelchair, and Rebecca holding onto the wheelchair with one hand as well, (she had orders to follow from Adel).
The airport wasn’t crowded in the least bit, there were only a few travelers here and there going from here to there.
Brody scanned the airport for an ATM machine, and soon found one.
“Please enter your secret code,” the voice on the machine said.
Brody did as he was told and entered his four-digit pen number, then entered the total amount of cash he wanted to take out.
With the money now in his pocket, Brody walked over to the counter where a woman stood with a smile on her face. Above her was a sign reading: Powerful Airlines!
The woman had her hair in a bun and had pencils holding it together. She wore a uniform that was red and blue, bold colors, the airline’s colors. She had a name tag that said: Susan.
“Hi, how may I help you today?” she asked kindly.
“I would like three plane tickets on the next plane out bound for Los Angeles,” he said. “Two adults, one child.”
“Sir, you’ll have to fill out some paperwork,” Susan said getting something together behind the counter that Brody could not see.
“Brody, don’t pay for our plane tickets, we’ll stay behind,” Adel said not wanting Brody to spend so much money on her and her daughter.
“Now Adel,” Brody began not bothering to try and turn around to face her. “…you just lost your son. It was all my fault I should have never brought trouble to you. Please. This is the least I can do,” he said, a large frown had developed on his face.
“Don’t. Please. I will pay for you to go with me,” he said tears finding their way into his eyes. He had realized what he had done just then. He realized it was his entire fault. Or was it? No. It couldn’t have been. He hadn’t pull the trigger.
Adel said nothing. With tears in her eyes she just stood back.
Susan, the woman at the desk was looking at them, her smile had disappeared. She had the papers in her hands, and was waiting for them to wrap up their conversation. They had.
“These are for you,” Susan said trying to stretch to hand the papers to Brody.
“Thank you,” Brody said. “When do I pay?”
“Now,” she said looking into a computer screen that sat at the counter, it had touch screen capability and she was using it to look up flights and their prices for Brody.
“There is one flight about to leave in two hours that is going to Los Angeles, it is a non-stop flight,” she said still working her fingers on the touch screen computer.
“What’s the price of that?”
There was a pause, Susan was working her fingers across the screen and didn’t stop for a few more seconds.
“One thousand,” she said.
Brody almost chocked on his own spit. One thousand dollars for a one way flight to L.A.!
“Well,” Brody said sighing, “give me that flight I guess.”
“Okay I’ll go ahead and book it for you,” she said. “You’re going to need to give me the money now, and go fill out those papers over there,” she said pointing to a few small booths with a seat and table for filling out paperwork. There was no one else filling out anything.
“Okay,” Brody said putting his hand in his pocket to dig out the money.
One thousand dollars!
Brody handed Susan the money and she counted for a few seconds, the she put it in a cash register and gave Brody the three tickets.
“Thanks,” he said.
“You can give the paperwork to me after you fill it out,” Susan said.
“Have a nice flight.”
Well good Lord, for one thousand dollars I better be getting meals, drinks, and a waiter too! Brody thought as Adel pushed him over to the booth so he could fill out the pages and pages of paperwork, all so he could get on a flight.
There was one other fellow whose back and clothes looked familiar, only Brody saw it and let it go, thinking it was just his mind playing games from all the medication.
But how familiar those clothes were!
Brody was unable to see the man’s face only his back side.
That was all.
Brody sat down in his seat next to Adel and her daughter Rebecca on the 747 bound for Los Angeles. It was very cold inside the cabin and when Brody tried to put the heat on that should’ve blasted through a small vent above them, no heat would come out, and so they sat there freezing, huddling close to each other for warmth. Maybe it would be different when the plane started going.
They sat in coach, the only thing Brody could afford. It had a good amount of room, not as much as they would have liked, but he didn’t complain, after all, he was on his way to hopefully meet his wife.
They looked around and saw that after almost a half hour of sitting onboard, people were still boarding the plane, the airport didn’t seem to be crowded but the plane was packed; there wasn’t a seat left for occupation when it was time for the plane to take off.
The workers on the ground de-iced the plane, and Brody sat there, his nerves controlling him, making him want to vomit, he took out a bag that was in the back of the seat in front of him and got ready to puke.
He was ready to run to the bathroom when a light above them came on, a red light and the Fasten Your Seat belt sign began flashing.
“Everybody this is your captain speaking,” the captain began. It was a man’s voice deep and scratchy. “We will be leaving here in a few more moments and would just like to remind you to fasten your seatbelts and to put your tray tables in their upright positions. We will be cruising at about forty thousand feet today, we will be in the air for a non-stop flight to Los Angeles which will take about six and a half hours, so just sit back, relax and enjoy your flight. Thank you for flying Powerful Airlines.”
Brody sat back in his seat and took a deep breath, telling himself it was going to be okay.
The engines started up, and the plane began to shake a little bit, this made Brody even more nervous. He got his bag ready.
Deep breaths. Take deep breaths. Deep breaths.
The plane began to pull back from the terminal, and Brody closed his eyes as a review on safety procedures played on the television that hung over a seat in front of him, he tried to drown out the woman talking on the video with songs that he remembered from is childhood. He tried humming but that was all too weird so he just tried to concentrate on the lyrics.
Wake me up, before you go, go!
Wake me up, before you go, go!
He tried to concentrate harder and harder, since he could feel his stomach continue to roll from nerves.
Adel noticed his sweating and his pale color. She began to become worried for him. Had his stitches opened up? She didn’t know.
“Brody?” she asked. The first time he didn’t answer her.
“Brody?” she asked one more time a little louder, and he heard. Brody opened his eyes and looked at Adel.
“You okay?” she asked as she watched a bead of sweat run down his face.
“Yeah, I just…I just get a little nervous when I’m on planes.”
“Is there something I could get you?”
“No, no, I’m fine, really. I just need to sit back and take deep breathes.”
Wake me up, before you go, go!
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.”
Adel sat back and closed her eyes as well, she was sitting in the middle, and Rebecca was sitting on the outside, nearest the aisle.
Rebecca was counting the number of seats there were, and so far she had only gotten to ten, then she started over again.
“One, two, three, four, five, six…”
Brody opened his eyes, and when he looked out the small window next to him, he saw that they were already racing down the runway. He held his breath for a few seconds, then let out a sigh. He got his bag ready.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
Brody began to calm down, everything was going alright for now. He sat back and closed his eyes yet again. He concentrated on the lyrics by WHAM!
Wake me up, before you go, go!
The video had ended, and Brody knew this, so he stopped concentrating on the song, and thought about the beach.
No! Don’t think about the beach! What are you thinking?!
He realized when he thought about the beach it brought him back to the portal, wondering if it still sat there opened. Then thinking about that brought up an even more interesting point- Where were the wolves and Mason Turner?
“Just shut up,” Body said under his breath trying to stop thinking about all the bad that had happened to him lately.
Brody wanted to see Adel’s face, he had grown a liking for Adel, I mean, he always had liked her, but his liking was growing into something more. Could it be love? Brody didn’t know, all he knew was that he really liked her and wanted to talk to her, he knew that would make calm him for sure.
“Adel?” he asked turning toward her, his leg singing out opera as he moved.
“Yes?” she answered looking into his eyes.
“Do I what?” she asked.
“Do you think that this plane will…crash?”
“No, why would you think that?” she asked calmly.
Brody felt immediately better, hearing it from someone other than himself, especially Adel.
“No reason, I just get so worked up.”
“We’ll be fine,” she said and closed her eyes.
Brody looked out the window; they were running out of runway. They were getting closer and closer to the end. Brody felt calm though.
A few more seconds went by and the plane lifted off the runway into the sky, off west toward Los Angeles, where the movie stars and famous people lived.
Maybe I’ll get to see someone famous. Brody thought. He hoped.
Brody sat there, hurdling into the sky, thinking about his wife and son, Max. How they were, if they were still living. What would they be like if they were still walking the earth?
Please…please be there. Brody thought.
“I love you,” he said under his breath, and continued looking out where the clouds that surrounded them.
Brody’s eyes opened, he had realized he had fallen asleep. There wasn’t a noise circling through the long hallways of the airplane, it was completely silent. There were no babies crying, no music, and no chatter from the other passengers. The passengers were all there, Brody saw each and everyone of them when he did a three-sixty spin all around.
Something was very wrong.
Brody then noticed that Adel and Rebecca were gone. They both had been sitting next to him when he had fallen asleep. Where were they?
Brody walked over to the bar down the hall, the pain in his leg was horrible, so he limped as he walked at his steady pace, the same way he had gotten onto the airplane. He enjoyed the nice calm music the piano man made as his fingers glided across the white and black keys.
Where were they? What was going on…?
He walked passed a woman that was supposed to be bartending, but instead she was sitting in a small seat next to the bar, strapped in. She never took her eyes off Brody as he walked around.
Brody began walking back to his seat in coach. He stopped when he saw a very familiar face sitting where he had been sitting just moments ago. A face that he would never forget.
Brody looked straight into the eyes of the monster who did so many things to him and Adel’s family. So many bad things. He was the reason for all the pain that Brody had in his leg, all the horrible pain that affected every bit of his life, the way he walked…everything.
“Long time, no see, old pal,” Mason said getting up. Brody took a step back, noticing that he had something behind his back that he was trying to keep hidden.
“What’s behind your back?”
“Oh you’ll see,” Mason said, and he pulled a pistol from behind, some of the people around gasped. A baby began crying…he must have sensed the thick tension in the air.
“There’s no need for this,” Brody said putting his hands up. “You don’t need to shoot me.”
“I will if I have to,” Mason said pointing to the hallway that led to the back of the plane. “Walk with me.”
Brody went first; Mason never stopped pointing the gun at Brody’s head. He walked until he reached a small elevator near the bathrooms.
“Get in,” Mason instructed pointing to the elevator, which had just opened its doors to the passengers waiting.
Brody stepped into the elevator, everyone around watching as they held their breath.
Mason stepped in after Brody, letting Brody wait to see what he had in store for him.
Sick thoughts raced through Mason’s mind as they descended to the…
He thought about the death of a civilization, the death of so many people being eaten by the hungry wolves that Mason had brought with him, the wolves of which he lost because of Brody and Adel. He needed revenge. What else did he have other then those wolves? Nothing. So he needed his revenge on Brody and Adel. The little one didn’t deserve it, but it was always fun to torture a little person for no reason.
Thy arrived at the cargo hold. The elevator door opened, and Mason immediately put on an oxygen mask that was hanging on the wall of the elevator, it was attached to a long tube that brought the oxygen to the user.
Brody reached to grab one, but Mason slapped his hand away.
“Not you!” he said hitting Brody with his hard, cold gun. “Walk!”
Brody walked into the cargo hold, the elevator’s doors closing behind them. He walked through many large boxes of cargo, along with many, many suitcases and…a car.
Brody rounded a large box of cargo, and saw Adel and Rebecca, their hands were tired behind their backs, and their eyes were shut.
Were they dead?
“Oh my God!” Brody shouted in fright. “What have you done?”
Mason chuckled and pointed to a rope laying on the floor next to Adel, it was waiting to be tied around someone’s wrists. Brody’s.
“Sit down, and I’ll do the honors of tying you up,” Mason said pointing to the rope.
Brody was utterly appalled, he began coughing and wheezing…what was happening to him. He was having shortness of breath as well. What was going on?
Brody sat down and put his hands behind his back and let Mason tie his wrists with the rope. Mason slowly and cautiously put down his pistol.
“There,” Mason said standing all the way up, forgetting to pick up his gun.
“I swear I…” Brody was interrupted by a coughing fit that didn’t seem to ease for a few moments. He caught his breath and looked up at Mason. He wanted to finish what he was going to say, but Mason butted-in.
“Ah, yes, the oxygen level isn’t what it should be in here, it’s much lower and the atmospheric pressure is different too, you need more oxygen then this place has, so you’re going to slowly suffocate…have fun! And see you in hell!”
Mason winked and walked out of the room, riding the elevator back up with a smile on his face. He sat back in Brody’s seat and closed his eyes, hoping to sleep until the plane landed.
They’re taken care of. He thought to himself. They’re all over. Done for.
It gave him a few more seconds to finally realize that he had forgotten his gun in the cargo hold.
Brody was having a hard time breathing, when he would breath he could hardly gather the amount of air he needed. He felt dizzy and wanted to close his eyes and fall asleep, but he knew very well that doing so would cost him…possibly his life.
His head was hurting worse and worse by the second, and he was feeling queasy. He tried to stand, but fell back down.
Brody’s eyes filled with tears of fear, horror, disgust, and anger. Humanity was supposed to be when we helped each other out; humanity should be when we inspire good unto each other, not madness…not death.
Brody sat down, crossed his legs and closed his eyes, he wanted to finally give up, and finally meet his match in a place where there was no madness or death. But he wasn’t sure if there was such a place.
There has to be, he thought opening his eyes and letting a single tear shed down his cheek and lay onto his chest.
There has to be.
Brody closed his eyes but re-opened them when he heard someone coming down in the elevator.
He got up, using all the strength he had in him, trying to forget about he pain in his leg, the pain that felt like his skin was being ripped apart.
He thought he felt a trickle of blood run down his leg.
Please God, don’t let that be blood.
Don’t let that be blood.
Don’t let it be my blood.
Brody steadied himself and desperately tried to untie himself. He worked it with everything he had in himself. He worked it with the strength inside his hands and fingers, the strength he could find anyway.
He worked it for a few more seconds, and it loosened up, he worked it more until the rope finally fell from his wrists, leaving red marks around his hands and wrists from where Mason had tied them all too tight.
Brody then heard the sound of the elevator stop at the cargo hold. He heard the door opened but didn’t see anyone or anything, since he was hiding behind a large steel box of cargo filled with God-knows-what.
Brody’s dizziness increased but he kept trying to breath, it wasn’t working out. He slipped deeper and deeper into the state of suffocation and then death.
Brody leaned on the large steel box of cargo, hearing footsteps getting closer and closer.
The sounds of the steps and the heavy breathing got closer and closer until Brody finally jumped out from behind the steel box of cargo and attacked whoever was there.
He saw Mason, his gun pointed at Brody. Brody grabbed it and pointed it toward the ceiling, that’s when Mason pulled the trigger and the shots went into the ceiling.
There was a wushing sound coming from above, it sounded like a lot of air was being forced out of a pressurized tube.
Brody planted his elbow into Mason’s rib cage; Mason fell to the ground, and quickly let go of the gun.
The gun raced across the floor after Mason’s arm hit it. It raced towards Brody and it flew into his hands. He grasped it as tight as he could, making sure he wouldn’t let go of it or drop it.
He stood up, looking at poor old Mason who sat there, waiting to meet his maker.
Brody stood up and cocked the gun at Mason, who was still lying on the floor; showing no struggled to get up.
The pain in Brody’s leg was incredible, but he tried to block it out with all his strength.
Brody finally took aim, even though Mason wasn’t that close to him, and put his finger on the trigger of the pistol.
“I hope you’ve made your peace with God. You’re going to need it,” Brody said before pulling the trigger and unloading four shots into Mason Turner’s chest.
Tears ran down Brody’s cheeks. It took everything in him to pull that trigger, but in the end, the madness in him toward Mason Turner took over.
Brody dropped the gun, and stood there, his head and leg were throbbing in pain, but his worry was gone…knowing that the worst of them all, the worst that Brody knew of…was dead.
Brody had dragged Adel and Rebecca out of the cargo hold, and put oxygen masks on the both of them. They had breathed right and were fine after a few minutes of breathing in good air, and enough air to keep them healthy. Brody breathed through an oxygen mask for a few minutes as well, and his headache, along with his dizziness and fatigue went away.
The plane landed in Los Angeles with the L.A.P.D. waiting outside with the fire department as well, they were all just making sure everything was still all together, and it was…other than Mason Turner’s tangled dead body in the cargo hold.
“Want to get something to eat?” he asked Adel and Rebecca as soon as they walked into the terminal.
“Of course, I’m starving, but I have no money,” Adel said looking into Brody’s eyes.
“I’ll take care of it,” he said, and led them to a pizza parlor that was off in the front of the terminal.
They ordered pizza and sat talking about the flight and how it went so wrong. Brody didn’t want to bring up the death of Mason, Adel just assumed that he was dead, but Rebecca said nothing, she as too young.
“I’m thinking as soon as we get outside, we’ll look in the phone books for my wife’s name, she must live around here somewhere. Last I was told, anyway.”
Adel’s expression changed. Suddenly she took on a frown and slouched down in her seat.
“What’s wrong?” Brody asked, his feelings getting hurt that Adel wasn’t excited for him.
Adel lifted her head and look at Brody. There was no easy way to say what she wanted to put out there, she didn’t want to hurt Brody’s feelings. In a way she already had, but didn’t want to completely ruin everything for him.
“Brody,” she began clearing her throat. “What if…”
“What if what, Adel?”
Adel couldn’t bring herself to say it at first, and then finally found the strength.
“What if your wife is dead? Then what? I just…I just don’t want you to get your hopes up and let them be put down.”
Brody couldn’t breath. He was appalled at what Adel had just said. He tried hard not to show it, but some how, his feelings leaked into his expressions.
“Brody, I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to be…unhappy. Or disappointed.”
Adel slouched down in her chair again. She could only imagine what Brody must have thought of her.
Rebecca never stopped eating her pizza. She never looked up, too little to understand the commotion. She was just thankful that she had a hot meal going into her mouth and stomach.
“Adel, I…I don’t know what to say.”
“Please don’t be mad at me.”
Brody said nothing for a moment. He thought long and hard about what Adel had told him. Maybe she was right. Should he just let go of his wife? No. He couldn’t. He at least needed to see how she was doing.
“No, no. I’m not mad. Maybe you’re right. My wife would be over ninety now and…she must just be…”
Brody couldn’t bring himself to say the last word.
There. Brody had said it. It felt awful.
“I’m sorry,” Adel said reaching across the table to touch Brody’s hand. Brody slowly pulled away, and Adel could feel his tension.
“Please, I’m sorry. I realize now I shouldn’t have said that.”
Brody relaxed, and Adel noticed this.
“No, like I said…your right.”
Brody stood up; Rebecca eyed his half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza.
“Are we ready to leave?” he asked battling the intense pain in his leg. He had checked the wound earlier in the bathroom, and everything looked to be okay, there was no bleeding like he thought.
Adel stood up, and helped Rebecca up too, Rebecca was done, even though she wanted the last of Brody’s piece of pizza.
“Yes, we’re ready.”
“Okay then, let’s go find my wife.”
Adel walked with Brody, his wheelchair was set right outside the pizza parlor, and Brody sat in it right when they got to it.
His pain eased as Adel pushed him toward the exit. He thought about what his wife would look like after all their time apart. What she would smell like, even...if she would still have that pretty hair of hers.
They got out of the airport and looked around to try and spot a ride, they saw a taxi just sitting there waiting for anyone to come out and want a cab. This was there lucky break.
Adel approached the window. She was hot in her black sweater. This was Los Angeles; this wasn’t the usual Maine winter weather.
“Excuse me,” she said looking at the man that sat in the front seat, the driver. “...we need a driver can you help us out?”
“Why…sure,” the man said stepping out and assisting Brody into the taxi cab.
“Gosh, there still are good people out there,” Adel said with a smile on her face. The man was older, and had grey hair on the sides, his top completely bald.
The driver wore glasses that were really thick and looked to be very heavy. Sweat poured from his forehead.
“Well I assume there is,” he said closing the door and getting back in the car after everyone was in.
Adel sat in the middle as always, Brody on the left and Rebecca on the right.
“Where you folks headed?” the man asked looking into his rear view mirror.
“You know any nice hotels?” Adel asked.
“Well sure, this city still does offer some nice things,” the man said as he pulled out into traffic.
“How much is this costing me?” Brody asked as he looked around the five-star hotel room with two queen beds and a private balcony. The room had a modern design and was very clean and had a nice fragrance to it.
“Four hundred a night,” Adel said admiring the beauty of the room. She had never stayed in such a nice place before. She had only dreamed of staying in a place such as the Queen Elizabeth Tower Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Rebecca was already lying on her bed and listening to the sounds of the car horns honking away. Typical Los Angeles.
But what a nice hotel! You could practically small the freshness of the room.
Brody wheeled himself over the window and looked out unto Los Angeles. The city of dreams. That was what he called it at least, knowing all the stars came there to have their dreams made a reality.
“I want to see my wife,” Brody said without turning around.
Adel’s expression changed again, a frown forming on her face. She folded her hands together.
“Okay, let’s get a phone book out,” she said before digging into the desk that sat in the far right corner’s drawer. She opened up to the white pages.
“Are you sure she lives in LA?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Brody said. He was after all a little mad at Adel for bringing him down. There was no need for it, not in Brody’s opinion.
Adel flipped through the white pages, but realized she didn’t even know her name.
“What’s her name?”
Adel flipped to the “K” section and began searching as quickly as she could, knowing the information meant everything to Brody.
When Adel came to the name, she began to get very excited for Brody, bit above all…nervous.
“I found it,” she said, you could hear the mixture of nerves and excitement in her voice.
Brody wheeled himself over to where Adel was standing, looking into the book. He had to see it for himself. Had to make sure it wasn’t a joke. Had to make sure she was there. In print. He had to make sure it was true.
This was it; this was the moment he had been waiting for, for much too long.
“Let me see.”
Adel handed him the book and pointed to the name and the address underneath the phone number.
“Should I call it?”
“No, let’s go there first.”
“Okay, okay!” Brody was beyond excited; he was thrilled and utterly ecstatic. The moment had come for him to finally meet his wife again. His heart began beating way up high in his throat.
“Well then, Rebecca come on, we’re leaving to go see Brody’s wife.”
Rebecca got up and got her shoes on, the shoes had been stained and ripped so badly it was a miracle the child wasn’t having problems walking.
“Thank you,” Brody whispered under his breath. But inside him there was still worry.
What if the book was wrong?
Brody, Adel, and Rebecca arrived in front of the address in the phone book just a few minutes later. It was only about three minutes from the hotel. It was right in the heart of LA.
The house was a one level rancher, and was painted green to rest peacefully with the color of the palm trees.
There was a wrought-iron gate that ran the perimeter of the entire property.
Brody’s heart sank when he saw that the gate was open, there was a large moving truck out front, and two movers putting old furniture into the back of it. He wanted to cry because when he looked around, he saw no sign of Kathy.
Brody got out of the taxi and waited for Adel to get his wheelchair out of the trunk. Once she got it, Rebecca got out and Brody sat down, as he was pulled up in front of the house by Adel.
He got closer and closer, watching the movers load up the back of the truck. He kept looking at the door, wanting so badly for Kathy to walk outside and bless the world with her presence. But she didn’t come out.
“Wait there!” Adel called the cab driver, and he nodded, rolling his eyes.
Brody’s heart was being ripped apart as he got closer and closer to finding the truth. Where was Kathy?
Brody was pushed up right next to the back of the moving truck, one of the movers stopped and set a large box down so he could walk over to Brody and shake his hand.
“Hello, I’m Arthur, this here’s my helper, Tom, say hello, Tom,” Arthur said.
“Hello,” Tom said as he walked out of the house with another large box.
Arthur and Tom were two young fellows who looked as healthy and as strong as an ox. Their shoulders were perched high, and their arms proved them to be body builders.
Arthur had a hat on that was black and in blue letters there was: UCLA stitched into the front of it.
“You seem pickled, sir, how may I help you?” Arthur asked in a southern accent Brody never noticed before.
Brody cleared his throat and tried to gather his strength for a moment or two. Hew as very worried about what he might hear. He held his breath as he let out his question he had been storing for what seemed to be centuries.
“Kathy King used to live here, is that right?”
“Where is she now?”
The young man cleared his throat, a sad expression falling over him.
“Well, I’m very sorry to say that she passed away a week ago, she died of natural causes. She was pretty old,” he said looking down. Tom never stopped working the entire time.
Brody, again for about the third time that day couldn’t breathe. His eyes were flooding with tears that he didn’t hold back. When Arthur came to meet his gaze, his expression became even more helpless and mournful.
“I’m sorry,” Arthur began. “…I can tell that you had some attachment to her.”
“Yes,” Brody said, tears letting lose from his eyes and falling onto his cheeks and then onto his sweater. He still had it on from being in Maine and he was confused on why he still had it on when he got to the hotel, but now it didn’t matter.
Adel was filled with sadness as well. She had tears in her eyes too, realizing she shouldn’t have warned Brody of such a tragedy…she should have at least let him have happiness while he could.
It’s too late. Brody thought. It’s too late.
Brody looked up at the sky, he liked to think from then on when he looked up that he saw Kathy, young as he last saw her, and he liked to think that she was looking back down on him now.
Brody sat up in bed, he read the headlines on the newspaper. He never thought it would have come to this, but after two weeks, the wolves had already traveled to northern Wisconsin, where they were establishing themselves in a very harmful way.
Adel had read it in the Los Angeles Times when she went down to the dinning area to eat breakfast. It made the morning papers, front page too!
Brody looked up at Adel and sighed, knowing another challenge had come his way.
“You won’t believe this; I mean…we can never chance a damn break!” Adel said putting her hands on her hips. Brody liked that. He thought that was cute.
Brody had been in a mental funk for a week now, and had been crying when he slept, not eating, and had lost over ten pounds, something that Adel was jealous of.
“Well?” Adel asked standing at Brody’s bedside. She was infuriated. She was ready to settle down, and stop with all the running around. She wanted to establish herself somewhere with that special someone, she didn’t know who yet, but she did know she wanted to take a breather for the rest of her life.
Brody rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and stared at the headline and the article that sat in front of him, he was shocked and found himself not breathing the right way. He also found his heart beating faster than it should have been beating. Was this some sort of nightmare?
Brody looked around the room, at the curtains that were drawn to shield Brody from the baking Los Angeles heat and sun. He also looked up at Adel, who was obviously very angry.
Brody looked at the article on the front page and read…
UNIDENTIFIED SPECIES OF MAD WOLVES RUNNING LOOSE IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN, RESIDENTS IN TERROR!
Millions of residents in northern Wisconsin are in terror after an unidentified species of mad wolves have suddenly appeared in the deep woods and towns of the otherwise quiet state. The wolves have taken the lives of over seventy men and women, along with one child victim of age nine, Martha Tennings. Tennings is a resident of Morse, Wisconsin where she was attacked and mauled by three wolves Friday afternoon while walking home from school.
The local police have recruited many residents of the town and have recruited residents of many other surrounding towns and areas. They have come together to try and kill off the wolves before they reproduce, and begin to cause even more damage then they have already done.
Local officials have stated that they are a new breed of wolves and are not sure where they have come from. They have also said that there aren’t too many of them that they know of, the numbers have been guessed at anywhere to twenty to one hundred wolves.
So far, seven of them have been killed and are being studied as we speak at the University of Wisconsin.
Many things are unknown about the wolves, but there is one that is certain…they are definitely killing machines.
Brody put the paper down. He was utterly appalled at what he had just read. Everything was falling apart, even though he had faced what he thought was his worst and final battle. He then knew he was wrong.
“Did you read it?” Adel asked, still utterly shocked.
“Yes, I did.”
Brody said nothing for the longest time, only thought about what was going on around him, and was trying to construct a plan in his head. He couldn’t think of a solid and wonderful plan at the moment so he just said the very first thing that came to his mind originally…
“Get your things together,” he said frowning.
“Brody, are you sure?”
Brody looked up at Adel who really didn’t want to go to Wisconsin, what if something was to happen to Rebecca?
“Yes. Pack up everything…we’re going to Wisconsin.”
Adel nodded, and turned around, getting her shoes and socks on herself and Rebecca. She then kindly walked to the hotel room door, and began waiting for Brody...who still needed to get dressed.
Adel’s nerves made her breakfast roll around in her stomach.
The airport was just as crowded as it was when they walked through it the week before. There were thousands of travelers walking to and fro waiting to travel about the globe.
Brody had nothing to carry, no suitcases…nothing. Adel didn’t either, and of course Rebecca wouldn’t carry anything anyway because she was just too little.
Their flight would take off in ten minutes so they rushed toward Gate 3A with confidence they would get there in time to hand in their tickets and be on their way.
Brody had extracted more money from his bank account, he extracted just over two thousand dollars, trying to make up for the money they had lost just on their hotel room in Los Angeles, Brody swore to himself that he would never pay for a hotel room like that again. He was running short and none of the cash could be washed.
They were only a few feet away now, and saw that the woman standing there was motioning for them to hurry, the plane about to take-off.
“Here, we have three to Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” Brody said handing the lady the tickets. She looked them over as quickly as she could, and felt sorry for Brody since he was in his wheelchair, it would have made her feel better if they would have said he was just using it temporarily.
“Have a good flight, all of couch is taken, go ahead and take whatever is left in first class,” the woman said smiling.
“Gosh, thanks miss,” Adel said as she pushed Brody down the ramp and onto the plane.
It felt like a long walk, even though the ramp was only a hundred feet long. They were hoping that the plane wouldn’t leave them, and if they were all of a minute later, it would have.
The pilots greeted them as they came on, tipping their hats to Adel and Rebecca. Brody on the other hand just waved, they waved back, and he felt satisfied.
It was difficult steering Brody through the narrow aisles on the plane, the wheel chairs were hard to fit down the passageways but Adel managed, with great frustration, though.
There was a stewardess waiting for them when they got to the back section of first class, she was smiling, something that would be ripped off her face as soon as her back was toward Brody and Adel.
“I’ll go ahead and take that wheelchair for you, can you hobble?” the stewardess said smiling. That fake smile irritated Brody and Adel.
“Sure,” Brody said at a loud and angry tone. The stewardess noticed but said nothing.
Brody got up and hobbled to an open seat by the window while the stewardess took his wheelchair to the back to do God-knows-what with it.
Adel sat next to Brody and they looked at each other, both having fear in their eyes for Rebecca and their own lives.
Adel sat back, and helped Rebecca put on her seat belt, Rebecca sure was a quiet little girl, more than most little ones her age. The thing was-she did everything she was told when she was told; it was a miracle for Adel.
After fastening their seat belts, Adel and Brody looked out the window at the runway ahead of them, and the end of the runway as it got closer and closer. Brody had to turn away a second before take off to regain a piece of his mind. To try and calm himself, so he wouldn’t get that fear of falling out of the sky.
The plane lifted up into the sky, Brody not watching, but it fascinated Adel, the part about how such a large beast could fly up so high in the sky.
When the plane leveled out, Brody pulled the blind down over the window, he couldn’t bare to see out at notice how high they were flying over the world and all the things that inhabited it.
Brody turned and looked into Adel’s eyes.
“Adel, do you want to have a funeral, for Alex, that is. I know it’s been so busy lately, but when we land maybe we can say a few words from the good book, and bury some flowers or something. What do you say?”
Adel was surprised that Brody thought about her like he did, and ran through the possibility in her head. She really did want to honor her only son.
“Yes, I would like that,” she said smiling at Brody.
Nothing was said for a few moments, but Brody finally broke the silence.
“How are you taking it?”
Adel seemed to have a nice expression on her face at first, then she lost it, her smile disappeared and tears developed in her eyes. She sobbed at the lowest volume she could…which wasn’t too loud.
“Brody, I’ve been going crazy, everyday I miss him, there isn’t a moment that goes by even though we’ve been going all the time that I don’t think of him,” she said, her sweater becoming wet from the tears.
Brody put his arm around her and nodding, listening to every word she mustered.
“I don’t think I can live much longer without him!”
“No, don’t say that, Adel.”
“And he went so horribly!”
“I know, I know. But we have to get passed it, and except that he’s in a better place now…hell, maybe he’s even living again, we don’t know!”
“What do you mean?” she asked wiping her tears from her cheeks.
“Do you believe in reincarnation?” he asked looking into her eyes.
“I don’t know. What is it?”
“The Buddhists believe that when people die, their souls go up to heaven, but God makes you come back down to earth, to learn something that your soul needed to learn. So, perhaps he’s still here, living again.” Brody said opening the blind to let the sun in, for Adel.
“You think so?”
“I don’t know he just seemed like he knew everything already, like there was nothing else for him to learn here on earth, that perhaps he just needed to teach me something about love.”
“Why would you need to be taught about love?” Brody asked.
Adel sat up, and looked at Brody, his lips, his eyes.
“A month or so before I had Alex, his father left me, so I was angry. I thought that love couldn’t exist inside a person. I used to believe it before the incident but afterward…no. But when God gave me Alex, the moment he was born…my opinion changed. I then knew that there was something called love, and knew that it could live inside a person. So, perhaps that’s all Alex needed to be here for. To teach me about love and he did. Boy did he teach me, but it’s just so unfair.”
“I know it is.”
“You pray to tell God thank you but instead of leaving us alone he takes him away.”
Brody’s eyes seemed distant, didn’t seem to follow Adel.
Brody snapped out of what must have been deep thought and looked at Adel.
“Do you believe in God?”
“I don’t know.”
“But you just said…”
“I know what I said. I just…”
“You just what?”
“Why would he make me go through all of this if he was a good soul or whatever he might be?”
“I don’t know. You’ll just have to except it.”
“Yeah, right. Except it.”
“Do you believe in God?”
Brody said nothing for the longest time, thought about it; not answering Adel just sat there, his face looking like stone. Thinking.
Brody slipped in and out of the world around him, but he finally gave Adel a sharp look.
The plane jumped, turbulence occurring harshly.
“Do you believe in God?”
“I don’t know.”
This time, Brody, Adel, and Rebecca’s flight went without destruction or madness. The flight went better than the last, much better. The gang was very happy to find that it went so well.
When the plane pulled up to the terminal, Brody had just woken up from the three hour nap he had. He had closed his eyes just after his and Adel’s serious conversation just after take off. They had finished it abruptly, Adel wanted to continue, so she could get all her feelings out on the table, but they didn’t, she was too appalled about what Brody had said about God and his infinite wisdom.
Brody’s wheelchair was returned to him as soon as they pulled up to the gate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had been grateful that he didn’t have to flag someone down to fetch his wheelchair and bring it back to him. No, the airline was better than that.
Adel pushed Brody through the tight rows of crowded seats and crammed people. She wasn’t happy at all, not with Brody or anyone but her daughter.
Rebecca followed behind them, and held onto the wheelchair as they got out of the plane and into the terminal.
The terminal wasn’t crowded, there weren’t as many travelers as there had been in Los Angeles, probably just because LAX was a much busier airport.
No one spoke to one another; they were all confined and comforted inside their own minds. They thought about the plane ride, especially Adel, she was filled with excitement for the funeral and that she would be able to pay her respects to her only son in the best way she could, but was angry at Brody for obvious reasons.
The taxi ride to the nearest hotel was quiet but awkward, in the same why the last three hours of the flight was.
Adel looked out the window at the landscape around them; she looked out and saw a cold world that was running itself into the ground…going to hell in a hand basket.
She saw a railroad line that seemed to no longer be in use run next to the highway they were traveling on. The railroad was over grown with moss and weeds, something that was disappointing and sad to stare at, so Adel turned away. She looked out at the horizon and saw many trees and small buildings where she imagined were small insurance agencies, places of business and what not, nothing she hadn’t seen before. She also saw a small high school football field and the large lights that hung above and looked down upon the field.
They went farther and Adel noticed the bay that sat to her right, and saw old abandoned docks and boats that were coming in, joyful of their return. Milwaukee Bay was a peaceful place, or what she saw of it at least, it was open and seemed a place were your mind was free from everything. The stress of the everyday life, and Adel’s which was packed with twists and turns at every corner she encountered. Small birds flew south; Adel looked up at them and wondered what it would be like to feel free like those birds...to have no worries or fears, just to move and runaway when a wall blocked their path of life.
Adel just wanted to be free like those birds that were flying south.
There was an old mill that she saw on her left, out of Brody’s window, that he was looking out of, plagued by his own thoughts.
They passed several ports that were right on the bay, where ships had just come in from the harsh waves that drove the bay in the winter months.
Eighteen-wheelers waited for the ships to come in, they waited for the goods on the ships to be loaded into their trucks so they could spread the goods all throughout the United States.
Adel just wanted to be free.
There were signs that it had snowed sometime recently, small patches of snow had developed on the side of freeway every mile or so you saw a small patch.
Adel saw that there were parts of the bay, mostly toward the shore, that were frozen solid by a thin sheet of clear ice that looked like perfect, crisp, clean glass.
They glided over a small bridge that ran right over the bay, they were getting closer and closer to what was downtown Milwaukee. The tall buildings ahead destroyed the feelings of beauty that the bay offered to everyone.
Adel frowned as they came into the city.
The city was congested with so many cars and people, along with buildings that towered down upon you. It wasn’t like New York, where there were hundreds of skyscrapers, no, but there were a few very tall buildings, perhaps two or three that really stood out against the dark sky that brought snow.
They passed a large restaurant that was stationed inside a tall brick building; there were signs all over the front saying they served pizza, pasta, chicken, pork chops, salad, and fine steaks.
Adel’s stomach grumbled.
She put her hands over her stomach and moaned, her mouth becoming full of saliva as she thought about the fine meals the restaurant must have had in store.
Her stomach grumbled again.
It must have gotten Brody’s attention, because he sat up a little straighter, and called to the taxi driver, who was a big guy with a white beard, you could easily compare him to Santa Claus, but no one said anything about him looking like jolly old Saint Nick, not even Rebecca, since she didn’t even know who Santa Claus was.
“This will be fine here,” Brody called digging out a one hundred dollar bill out of his pocket. It came out crinkled and with a very small rip at the end of it.
“Thanks, mister,” the man said pulling over at the restaurant’s front door.
“Well, thank you,” Brody said without his normal energy, he was missing his wife even more than he had back in Los Angeles.
Adel got out of the car with Rebecca and got Brody’s wheelchair from the trunk, he slowly got in and she pushed him into the restaurant while cute and kind little Rebecca held the door for them.
The meal had been better than most Brody had eaten in the last few years. He had remembered a place up near Orono, Maine, but this place beat it by a long shot. The food was filled with mouth-watering taste and spices.
Brody had forgotten about the meal, along with others, and was now focusing on the next mountain that needed to be climbed. He needed to help kill the wolves that were terrorizing the small town of Morse, Wisconsin.
They sat in at bus stop, waiting to be picked up so they could begin. Brody paid for three tickets on a bus that was bound for Morse, Wisconsin, since there were no trains or planes that flew into the small town.
The bus came a little after four in the afternoon.
They were loaded onto the bus in a few minutes; it took a while longer since they had to store the wheelchair underneath with all the rest of the luggage.
The bus was silver and sleek, it had a large sting-ray on both sides of it and was almost thirty feet long, not too bad for a bus that could do seventy miles per hour down the highway. Easy.
The seats were even more comfortable then that of the ones on the airplane, they were set low and were covered with sheets that were turned and washed after each trip.
There were three small televisions hanging from the ceiling in front of Brody and the gang. They were sitting near the back, a few seats up from it in fact, and had closed their eyes, planning to take a long nap until they reached their destination.
Rebecca didn’t close her eyes, she intended to watch the movie, and even paid attention to it, even though it was some old movie with Marilyn Monroe as one of the leads.
Brody sat near the window, all the traveling had made him really tired, his eyes always seemed to sag and feel so heavy all the time.
Adel was just always sad, and no one really blamed her, she had lost her son so brutally. Sometimes she even cried when she was alone at the hotel or in the bathroom at the airport.
It had just begun to rain slightly; it hit the bus windows and made it hard to see the landscape around them. They could of course make out the trees that surrounded the small road that winded through lush hills and woods, but everything beyond that was too blurry.
Brody was drifting in and out of sleep, having dreams about the wolves that awaited them, he dreamt of him not being to run from a pack of them who of course didn’t remember him, but they were extremely hungry and wanted him as their next meal.
When his eyes opened, he was covered in sweat, and saw that many people were starring at him with odd expressions across their faces.
Adel just couldn’t sleep, so she watched the movie that she could remember watching in black and white as a thirteen year old girl at her great grandparent’s house in North Carolina. She had remembered the house was right on a small lake that would be full of boats, tubers, and water skiers in summer.
She remembered her great grandparents never had a boat, but she would have liked to have one, to experience the sense of freedom as you glided across the water, the sun hitting and slightly burning your cheeks.
She smiled at her memory and realized the painful truth that it was all water under the bridge.
Adel even began crying over the thought, wishing she could go back and change the fact that she was only a homeless person that no one ever gave any thought about.
Brody does, she thought.
Wishes Come True was a small motel just off Main Street. It was where Brody had checked everyone in to stay for however long it took to hunt down and kill all the wolves that were taking so many lives in Morse, Wisconsin.
They arrived at half past ten; darkness had fallen and admitted everyone but Brody and his gang to bed.
The motel was the typical disgusting rich orange that most old motels were. It was dressed in the out-dated eighties furniture common in most low-income motels.
The night stay was very cheap, and that was one of the two reasons they stayed there, the second was that it was only place to stay in town.
After checking in, they went to their room which was on the third floor, the highest floor in the building which over-looked Main Street and all it had to offer, which wasn’t much.
The snow had begun to pile up, higher than many people thought it would. There was at least six inches on the ground already, and all travel had been suspended. Driving past town had been forbidden by local police, the only way you could even think about getting out by car was if there was some-kind of emergency.
Their room was out-dated, clean, but out-dated, which made it seem dirty even though it definitely wasn’t. The floor was full of small black spots where the ceiling had leaked, or people had been sick and puked. You didn’t know, so they walked around the spots in the carpet.
There were two large windows at the front of the room, just past the two queen-sized beds. The windows looked down on a patio that had a few lawn chairs to sit out and watch the world stroll by, but now most of it was covered it many inches of wet, heavy snow.
Then there was the bathroom, right as you walked in it was to your left, and there was a large walk-in closet to your right, which was equipped with a safe and an ironing board.
As soon as they had gotten inside the room, they had all claimed their beds, pulling them down and getting in them one by one. Adel had gotten a long shower, though first, and was clean to the bone. It felt so good to her; it was after all her first shower in a few days. She always felt so good after a warm shower full of steam that rose into her sinuses and opened her up to happiness. She washed her face, and found razors in the cabinets to shave her legs with.
Brody sat on the edge of the bed flipping through the channels as Rebecca dozed-off into heavenly sleep, dreaming of the day that had gone by all too quickly.
Adel had come out of the shower in a white robe that had been given to her at the front desk, maybe the place wasn’t as bad as they thought it was after-all.
Her hair was frizzy and wet, Brody found it very cute and he blushed when he saw her get out. Steam escaped from the bathroom when the door opened, warming the room a tad bit more, and making it stuffy.
“All done?” Brody asked trying to think of nothing better to say, he found his heart racing and his face getting hotter than the surface of the sun.
Adel noticed his blushing and smiled.
“Yep, all done,” she said walking over to her bed where Rebecca was sleeping. She got in and closed her eyes.
Brody turned off the light in the bathroom, and turned off the television, the only light that was left on was the lamp on a night stand next to the two beds.
Brody took off his shirt and climbed into bed, Adel opening her eyes to catch a glimpse of him.
He shut off the lamp and pulled the covers up around his cold body, which was trembling. He closed his eyes, wanting to fall asleep, but couldn’t stop thinking. He couldn’t stop thinking about….about…..Adel.
Brody turned over to face Adel, who was lying facing Brody, her eyes open. He looked into her eyes, the only reason they could see each other was because Brody had forgotten to shut the blinds, leaving the light from the outside street lamps escape into the room.
“You tired?” she asked licking her lips.
“A little bit,” she said closing her eyes for a second, then re-opening them.
“I’m really sorry.”
“Everything. I really shouldn’t have brought you into this. It was supposed to be my battle…not yours.”
“I forgive you; I know it wasn’t your fault.”
“How did you know that?”
“I just had a feeling; I have a way with that.”
“My wife did.”
“I’m sorry, too.”
“Your wife, I know you must have loved her a great deal, to go through all this just to try and get and reach out to her.”
“She was something, but now that’s all a thing of the past.”
“It’s a thing caught in the wind.”
“It’s okay, thank you.”
Adel nodded and blinked heavily, her eyes getting watery and heavy from her long day.
“So tell me, what started all this?” Adel asked with curiosity spreading through her.
“It’s a long story.”
“I have time. I’m not that tired, remember?”
“Okay, I guess I could spare a few minutes on telling you.”
Brody licked his lips and told Adel everything, skipping some parts of course to try and get to the end, but she told her everything that was important. The disappointments, the fear he had at times. Everything.
Adel listened; she thought she would even cry at times in the story, finally knowing how rough Brody had it now. It wasn’t fair. They both knew it.
“I’m sorry,” Adel finally said after Brody finished.
“I never knew.”
“Now you do.”
Brody went to go lay on his back, Adel never stopped looking at him, wanting to hear no more, since the sadness of this heart-breaking story overwhelmed her.
“I want to know about you,” Brody said.
“No, you don’t.”
“Yes, I do. I want to know about you.”
“Okay. What do you want to hear?”
“Everything that you can tell me, about your life, about your kids.”
“Alright,” she said taking a deep breath.
“I was seventeen when I got pregnant with Alex, it was difficult, but I already had my own place, and a boyfriend. Tyler Dawson was the father, he supported the baby and me at first, but as time went on, I began to hear less and less of him…”
“You mean he left?”
“Yeah, as soon as he found out I was with child.”
“But he came over and saw you from time to time?”
“Yes, every now and again.”
“You really want me to?
“Well, he finally took off to wherever and I heard nothing of him for the longest time. But then, he came back after I had the baby, he felt guilty and we were a family again. But he got into the wrong crowd...he began drinking and partying all the time…he said it was to keep the stress away but you and I both know that having a baby is stress all the time and you just can’t keep it away…”
“I got a job at a local food market, and he was working with a construction company. He began to work really long hours, and come to find out, he was cheating on me…it was Samantha Hutton, she was our neighbor, well…she lived in the apartment below us. I used to hear someone down there from time to time, but I never knew it was my boyfriend….The night he proposed to me, we conceived Rebecca. The next day I found the phone bill, well…the cell phone bill and discovered that he had been making all these calls to this girl. I confronted her about it and she said they were together. They would see each other a few nights a week and go out to dinner, and do all these things that I had wanted to do with him…”
“Oh it gets better.”
“Well, I had always wanted a nice computer, a Toshiba or Apple, and he would never buy me one, he said we didn’t have the money, and we really didn’t but I was looking through the credit card bills and found a six thousand dollar computer on his charge card. I went down to Samantha’s apartment, and there was the computer I always wanted sitting in her office.”
“I took my children as soon as I had Alex and ran. Rebecca was always crying on the road but Alex never cried, never really shed many tears. He was like an angel, they both were. So I went to go live in Maine, had always loved it there since that was where my parents had lived and that’s where I had lived with them for so long. And…that’s when I met you. Brody I…”
“Brody…I love you.”
Brody couldn’t breath, he had been hiding feelings for her too…he didn’t know if it was love until then.
“I love you too.”
“I never really thought as my life story as romantic.”
Brody slowly got up out of bed and turned the lamp on, he was freezing but that didn’t matter now. He turned on the lamp on the nightstand and looked into Adel’s eyes. He put his hand on hers and she trembled.
They looked into each other’s eyes for a long time, thirty seconds at most, and then they both leaned in, to share their first kiss.
Brody woke up late that morning; he had gotten out of bed at nine thirty and made himself a cup of black coffee from the pot that came with their room. He wanted badly to run downstairs to get some hot breakfast, but thought he would wait for Adel and Rebecca to wake up. He was surprised that they were still sleeping.
He looked out the window and saw that it was snowing, he had opened the curtains a little to let in some light.
Brody reviewed in his mind the occurrences of last night; he looked and watched Adel for the longest time, thinking about how their warm lips had met for the first time last night. He thought about how the two of them were madly in love.
He smiled at the sight of her, as her back slowly came up in down, as she breathed.
He wondered if it was wrong to try and replace Kathy, but when he thought about it, he knew that he wasn’t replacing her, he never could…he was indeed just trying to make a better life for himself, a less lonely one. But there was another question that needed to be addressed-would he want to marry her?
He walked over to the window and opened up the curtains even more, the light embracing the entire motel room. He looked down upon the courtyard, and saw paw prints. Large paw prints.
Nerves arose in his stomach.
Brody set down his cup of coffee, he was almost done with it by then, and tried to bend his head in way so he could see around the courtyard in an attempt to see what made those paw prints in the snow.
The snow was still falling. The cold was still daunting on them.
Brody was sick of the cold.
There was plenty of time to settle him down; he wanted to be sure of what he was thinking before he jumped to conclusions.
Could it be?
Could the wolves be here?
Those words ran through his head, but didn’t calm him down.
He looked at Adel, who was still in her bed sleeping with Rebecca, who was also sleeping…next to her mamma. Her small body rose up and down with the same rhythm as Adel’s. They were adorable. Brody thought about their death, and tears came into his eyes.
Then, he heard a sound that scared him, that wrapped fear around his entire body, it blanketed him and began tightening like a boa constrictor in the rain forests of South America, the snake that kills its prey by wrapping around it and tightening and not stopping until it’s dead at all costs.
He heard the sound.
He turned, and the sound engulfed him once again. The sound carried its way into the motel room on the third floor, Brody’s hotel room. It came and woke up Rebecca and Adel.
“What the hell?” Adel asked trying to block out the light from the window. All she saw was bright light, and Brody’s silhouette, standing gazing down upon her. His face was white and engulfed in fear. All because of…
“Hello? Brody what the hell was that?”
Brody tried to draw in a breath, tried to draw in oxygen to fill his lungs, but it wasn’t working. When it finally did he coughed and ran his hands through his hair.
“Adel,” Brody began, coughing. “…get Rebecca in the closet, go in with her…and stay there.”
“Brody, what’s going on?”
“Just do it.”
“Brody I’m your girlfriend, I have the right to know.”
Brody knew she needed to know.
“Adel, do you know what that noise was?”
“All I know is that it woke me up, no, what was it? That’s what I’m trying ask you…Brody!”
“That sound was…”
Brody pointed to the window, where the noise erupted from yet again.
No one needed to say a word, Adel knew what it was now.
Rebecca woke up, and rubbed the sleep out of her small little eyes, she looked at the two of them, pondering what was wrong. She could feel it. That something was very wrong.
The tension made the air in the room thick.
“Mommy? Brody?” Rebecca asked scratching her head as the noise found its way into everyone’s ears once more.
Brody and Adel were frozen, but Rebecca didn’t know what the noise meant for them.
The wolves were there…
…and they were there…
“Get in the closet, now!” Brody barked as the wolves continued to howl away at the sun that wasn’t visible, since the clouds blocked it.
Adel sprung to her feet and put Rebecca in her arms, she carried her off to the front of the hotel room, where the closet sat waiting to hide the three of them.
Brody shut off all the lights, and closed all the blinds in the room. He tried to get rid of their scent by taking an air freshener that was sitting in the bathroom and spraying it all throughout the motel room.
He put it back in the bathroom, and closed the bathroom door, opened the door to the closet and sat down right after shutting the closet door.
There was knocking coming from the level below them, and there was screaming. Screaming from men, women, and children. Young children.
“Just don’t talk, and slow your breathing down,” Brody said trying to be calm.
Rebecca wasn’t feeling well, she wanted to go into the bathroom and vomit but couldn’t, they wouldn’t let her.
“Rebecca if you need to throw up, just go ahead,” Brody said.
Rebecca didn’t puke; she just sat there taking deep breaths, her mother trying to calm her down.
There was a scream that came from the room next to theirs, the room that they had their backs turned against.
Then there was the howling. The howling of the wolves.
They sat there for another minute, and waited for anything, a sound of words from another person’s mouth. But they heard nothing for the longest time.
Then there was a loud bang, right on their motel room door.
Thoughts raced through Brody’s head, he was trying to make sure he did everything he was supposed to. Close the blinds…cover up their scents…lock the door.
Oh my God.
Brody put a hand over his mouth.
His throat closed up, his heart pounding harder than it ever had before.
He forgot to lock the door to the motel room.
Brody didn’t say anything, he couldn’t, and he knew the wolves were right outside the door.
Adel wanted to cry, but didn’t have any more tears left to shed, she was all cried out.
Rebecca just didn’t understand, she sat there, knowing there was something wrong…but she didn’t know her life was in danger.
POUND! POUND! POUND!
Then there was a shuffling sound, like when you kick the leaves that have fallen off the trees in the fall. That’s what it sounded like.
After that, there was a quiet creaking sound, like the sound of a door opening.
Brody held his breath, so did Adel…Rebecca didn’t though, she didn’t know to.
Brody and Adel slowly exhaled, knowing the wolves were on the other side of closet door.
But how had they gotten inside?
They must have turned the knob with their paws. They was no electronic card you had to swipe to get into the room, the motel was just old fashioned that way.
There was heavy breathing coming from the other side of the door, the door into the closet.
There was a stench like no other, a mixture of sweat and rot, there was also the smell of copper, a strong smell of it that must have been the smell of blood.
You would never think that blood smells, but it does, especially in large amounts. It smells like copper.
Adel had her hands over her mouth trying not to cry out.
Rebecca wanted so badly to know why they were all cuddling up in there, she thought it was just a game, and was having fun with it, but why were they playing a game where they were just hiding in a closet? Rebecca had never heard of a game like that before.
Rebecca wanted to giggle, but something told her not to, so she didn’t. For now.
There was a snarl that came from beyond the door, and a growl. The sounds made Brody and Adel even tighter inside.
There was a large tickle in Brody’s throat, he managed to not cough, and their lives depended on it.
It was silent for awhile, and Brody thought the wolves had left the room, but they stayed inside the closet. No one would dare go out and risk it. Risk their lives that is.
Adel was holding onto her knees as she sat, she thought she had a tight grasp on them, but as she relaxed herself and closed her eyes, she let go of her tense legs that were folded up high as she rested her head on them.
Her legs went flying into the door, making a loud thud. She began to breathe heavily, and took hold of her little girl. Rebecca.
There was a howl that came from right outside the closet door. Adel looked at Brody, and Brody looked at her.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
There were loud bangs as the wolves banged into the closet door, there was nowhere for Adel, Brody, or Rebecca to run.
Rebecca held her fear inside her, until a wolf’s snaring head came through the wooden door that is…
Then she screamed.
Brody kicked the head of the beast, as hard and as fast as he could, but that only drew blood from the beast’s mouth and knocked out one of his fangs. It was then he withdrew from the door, only to return with more of his force, which made an even bigger hole in the door.
Rebecca didn’t stop screaming, she seemed to be unheard as Brody and Adel kicked the monster that had come for them. For everyone.
Rebecca backed up from the hole in the wall, trying to get through as best as she could. But there was nowhere else to go. The wall behind them stopped them from going anywhere.
There were now three wolves pounding into the wooden door to try and get to the three of them inside the closet.
It didn’t hurt for Brody to bend his leg, since it had healed up for the must part.
There was only a scar and a place where the skin had grown over the stitches.
He needed to get to a hospital to get them removed.
That didn’t matter then; he just ignored the slight pain and kicked at the creatures with everything he had in him. Kicked and kicked…without stopping.
But then the wolves ripped away more of the door, enough for them to get inside the closet.
Adel and Rebecca continued to scream. There was nothing more they could do.
Just then, right before the first wolf went to take a large hunk out of Brody’s thigh, six gunshots rang out and echoed through the entire motel.
The bullets from the strange and mysterious shooter had hit the wolves, and killed them instantly.
Blood splattered over the three of them, Rebecca didn’t stop crying until she walked out of the closet with Brody and Adel.
Brody and Adel turned toward their motel room door, where the shots had come from, and sat looking at their hero, the person who had saved them all so heroically.
Brody smiled and wiped a tear from his eyes, and kissed Adel on her sweet lips.
“Adel…I want you to meet someone,” Brody said motioning toward their hero. “…I want you to meet, Fang Overton.”
Brody’s heart had stopped racing, and was calm, he was then utterly surprised by who had come his way. But how? Why?
“Pleased to meet you,” Adel said shaking Fang’s hand. They did that for a few seconds. After they stopped shaking, Fang inspected his hand, and took out a tube of anti-bacterial wipes and rubbed them across his hands.
Adel rolled her eyes at this, thinking of how rude this was. Adel was not dirty; she had just bathed the night before.
“Fang, this is my girlfriend,” Brody said putting an arm around Adel, she smiled and her face got bright red.
“Ah, I see,” Fang said stepping inside the motel room.
“Nothing, just…bliss…I see bliss,” he said sarcastically. He threw the anti-bacterial wipe on the floor and put his hands in his pockets.
“Mister…you’re tall,” Rebecca said pointing up at him.
“And you’re very short,” he replied back, sounding witty.
Rebecca frowned and hugged Adel’s upper thigh.
Brody’s smiled had faded from Fang’s use of words and just starred at him. Fang noticed and his dark side came out, his face and expression becoming firm and angry.
“You’re not going to thank me?”
“Of course we are,” Brody said, still having his arm wrapped around Adel’s shoulder.
“In what way?”
“We would like to at least take you out to dinner, so we could maybe talk about…things that need to be…addressed.”
“Would that be...okay?”
“Of course. What time?”
“Let’s just say five, and meet us downstairs in the lobby. We’ll take it from there,” Brody said trying to smile at Fang his hardest, I mean, he did save their lives but he just came off in such a rude manner.
Fang walked out of the room, and into the hall, where blood was being absorbed into the carpet at many places, the victims of the wolves on the floor.
Some of the corpses were missing a leg or an arm, but most just had large meaty chunks taking out of their face or neck, which was still spewing blood at an alarming rate.
They watched as Fang rounded the corner toward the elevators, the gun in his right hand. Had he really just done what he did? Saved them from the man-eating wolves? Yes, he did.
The clock struck the hour of five as Fang made his way up the stairs of the motel’s porch and into the lobby, where he saw Brody and his gang standing there waiting for him. Brody knew he would be right on time; Fang was neither a minute early nor a minute late.
Brody reached out to hug Fang, but he shook his head with a disgusted look on his face.
“Where are we going to eat?” Fang asked with a frown engulfing his plump face. He was still wearing his typical attire.
“Certainly not here, they said the motel will be closing at sunset, we’ve already checked out.”
“So, I have no idea what’s around this town, but…I’m sure we’ll find something,” Brody said clapping his hands together and smiling.
“Yes, indeed,” Fang said putting on a forced smile…it disappeared instantly when he turned his back on Brody.
Adel frowned, she wanted to know why Fang was being the way he was. She would soon find out from Brody because she had to ask, she just couldn’t stand people that thought they were above everyone the way he did.
“Uh, Fang,” Brody said. Fang turned around, he didn’t look into Brody’s eyes, but he looked into the distance instead.
“Why did you do it?”
“Brody…I won’t discuss it here, but it will be only discussed at dinner. That is when we find a place to dine.”
“Of course, let’s go.”
Brody, Adel, and Rebecca followed Fang outside where he had a taxi cab waiting for them.
“Fang, how did you get here?” Brody asked, sitting at a large table in a local restaurant sipping soup from his spoon.
Fang looked up from his bowl of soup and gazed upon Brody. He watched as Brody waited for a reply.
“I was following you; I knew what was to come of you if you were on your own. I walked through the portal into your world…it was something that was dangerous and shouldn’t have been attempted, but, it was for your own good,” he said shoving another spoon-full of his soup into his mouth.
“So, you saw everything?”
“Even us being attacked by Mason Turner when I first got there?”
“So why in the hell didn’t you come help us? Damn it, we could’ve died…well…some of us did!” he yelled pointing at Adel.
Fang said nothing, he only continued to sip his soup, he hardly even looked up, and that very much offended Brody and made him even angrier.
Fang then lifted his head; Brody had gotten all the customers in the restaurant’s attention.
“I’m not to interfere, but what’s done is done.”
“Say that to her, because it’s her son that was killed,” Brody said pointing at Adel. His face was red with pure fury.
Fang then stood. His face was as pale as stone, and he didn’t at all want to anger them anymore. He didn’t feel sorry for any of them, not even Adel who had lost her son so tragically.
“Brody, the portal is closed. So don’t try to come back through it. It can’t be re-opened,” he said…he then turned and began walking away.
Brody wanted to ask one more thing before Fang disappeared.
Fang turned…his eyes as black as coal.
“What?” he said sternly.
“Where are you going to go?”
“Don’t you worry about me, I’m a big boy…I’ll do fine in the real world, just as fine as I did in the future.”
Everyone continued to look at Fang and Brody, who was still standing…but had just stopped pointing at Adel sitting next to him. Rebecca was almost in tears from all the yelling.
“No but…where? Please tell me.”
“In a few days…check in the back of the paper.”
“You heard me.”
Fang turned once more and disappeared around the corner. He never looked into Brody’s eyes again.
Brody sat down, and everyone around him began eating again…acting as if nothing ever happened, but Brody heard them talking about Fang and him.
Brody ate the rest of his soup…thinking about what Fang had said about looking in the back of the paper. He then realized, when it was too late, that Fang wanted him to look at the Obituaries.
He frowned. Luckily, like he hoped no one would, no one noticed the sadness that had come over him.
He looked at Adel, who was starring into the distance, something was on her mind. It was eating away at her, and Brody could see it…but he didn’t know what it was.
There was a slight pause as Adel slipped back into reality, she turned and looked at Brody…looked at his lips…wanting to kiss them. Tears welded up in her eyes, she couldn’t hold them anymore so they fell down her cheeks and onto her sweater.
Adel put her head on Brody’s should. Brody put his arm around her.
“What is it?”
“I just miss him.”
Adel lifted her head, she knew it was wrong that she wasn’t including her daughter in the conversation, but she didn’t like Rebecca to see her break down. Break apart.
“I want to have his funeral. He needs to be given the damn respect he deserves. He sure doesn’t deserve to rot in a foyer of a house.”
“So…when can we have his funeral?”
Rebecca was trying to listen, but the words that came out of her mother’s mouth drifted in and out of her ears. Some words she caught… others she didn’t.
“Tomorrow,” Brody said. “We’ll have it tomorrow.”
“We’ll bury a picture of his in the ground.”
“The picture needs to be covered by something.”
“I can’t afford a casket, there just really expensive. Right I can’t afford…”
“Thank you.” Brody said, he was thankful of her understanding. They needed the slight bit of money he had left in his bank account to pay for a place to live.
Brody patted her shoulder and kissed her forehead. Adel wiped the tears from her eyes and sat up.
“Check please,” Brody said raising his hand.
The next light of day seemed to come sooner rather than later. It was cold and wet from the sleet that fell on the earth that day. It made the roads slick and unsafe. It was a typical winter up north.
Brody and Adel had walked on a small path that the locals had told them to walk on, it winded through the hills that sat on the far north side of the town.
The tall evergreens and trees of all sorts made a canopy for them over top, they didn’t get as wet and messy as they thought they would.
Adel had shed tears the entire walk, they were looking for a beautiful spot, a spot that would be perfect for her boy to be remembered.
They trekked up a steep hill; the top of it seemed like a promising spot.
The hill was taller than they had expected it to be, and when they got to the top…they knew they had found the spot that Alex deserved.
There was even a small clearing at the top, where the sleet pounded softly onto the hats they were wearing. They wore black hats they had bought at a local drug store.
At the top of the hill, they looked out upon the entire small town that was woven in between beautiful lush forests. It was the view and spot they had been looking for.
“Is this spot good?” Brody asked in the softest voice he could muster. His legs were aching from all the walking they were doing, so did Rebecca and Adel’s but no one complained. Not even once.
“Yes,” Adel said in between sobs.
Rebecca felt strange watching her mother sob in front of her, an act she had only witnesses three times in her life…since Adel was a very strong person.
Rebecca grabbed her mother’s hand and hugged her tightly. Adel hugged her back as Brody bent down and began digging a small hole where Alex’s picture would lay for the rest of eternity.
Brody was handed the picture, Adel having trouble letting go of it. But she kissed it just before it was laid in the dirt with a cloth that went around it.
Adel rummaged through her purse, a novelty item she had gotten in the local drug store as well.
She took out the Holy Bible…and read aloud the Lord’s Prayer…
“Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…. glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.”
“Amen,” said Brody.
“Amen,” said Rebecca.
Adel then closed the Bible carefully, and Brody bent down…over Alex’s grave and covered his picture wrapped in the cloth…with dirt.
Adel grabbed a branch that had fallen from a tree, and stuck it in its place, which was right above the small patch of dirt where Alex’s picture rested.
A tear fell from Adel’s cheek onto the grave.
She then stood, and led the two of them down the hill…back toward the town of Morse.
It was then, while they were walking down the hill, that it began snowing gently, and a wind blew right through them, and out into the distance…
Weeks went by; peace had found the three of them. They had found a small apartment complex on the edge of town where they had been staying for three and a half weeks…
Adel and Brody were so happy together, Brody loved the way she laughed and smiled, and licked her lips before she talked.
Adel loved Brody’s knowledge…and his kindness that went with him everywhere. She loved his kind hair and his cute dimples that formed on his cheeks when he smiled.
They were in love.
Adel had moved on from her son’s death…and found a new life with someone who was more than special…Brody King.
They never fought…never raised their voice at anyone.
Brody not only loved Adel deeply, but loved her little girl more than air, and treated them like they were gold…he treated them as if they both were queens in early England.
May rolled around the corner faster than it ever had before. The sun had come out from behind the dark grey winter clouds.
The flowers bloomed and brought beauty across Morse, Wisconsin. The snow had melted and the animals came out…
Brody took Adel and Rebecca to another quiet, peaceful, beautiful spot they found on the eastern edge of town. In the hills and forest that surrounded Morse. He took them there with very high expectations…
The walking had made them tired…benches were out along the small trail, where there was a natural canopy created by the evergreens and trees of the lush, and now green forest.
They stopped at a bench that overlooked the small town of Morse to rest. Their legs aching from the walking and treks thay were making up and down long…steep hills.
Brody kissed Adel slightly.
Rebecca had more energy than a lion in its natural jungle. She ran in the forest and made mud pies on the ground.
Brody reached into his pocket, Adel was watching her little girl and not Brody so he had to tap her shoulder in order to get her attention.
He opened the small black box he held in his hands. There was a small diamond ring that sat in the middle of the box; it looked out upon the world and upon Adel, who had just turned.
She cried. Sobbed with everything she had in her. But it was happiness.
Adel put her hands around her mouth and let her tears run down her face.
Brody bent down on one knee, the pain from the long walk vanishing and being replaced with pure happiness.
“Adel?” Brody began tears in his eyes as well.
“Yes, Brody?” she said…she could barely speak.
Rebecca never stopped making mud pies, and never looked up, until the very end.
“Will you marry me?”
That was when Rebecca looked up and knew something magical was happening. She could feel it.
The nerves that had suddenly hit Brody a few second before were gone.
“Yes,” Adel said embracing Brody in her arms.
“Really?” Brody asked…he was so happy he couldn’t believe it. How lucky he was.
Rebecca ran to them, and hugged them also, they didn’t care one bit that her hands were covered in mud. The three of them just continued to embrace one another. For minutes and minutes…
Adel’s past reflected in her. She had come from nothing; she had been living on the streets trying to feed only her daughter, since that was all she could afford for weeks at a time. Where she was now might not just have been from luck but from something else…perhaps something else.
Tears fell onto the three of them. Happiness along with love embraced them…