The Last People on Earth V – Healing

Oceans 959

Maybe he was right. It wasn’t easy being a woman, and 6’ 5” tall. As she sat up, she knew that her height was intimidating to men. Most of them never asked her for a date. Even though she was only 27 years old, she had worried about finding someone, in time. She had always wanted a family, and then the series of biological weapons were released on the world. She had lost all hope – that is until Jeremiah. And she loved that name.

Noticing her arm bleeding, she knew she needed help. She managed to get to her hands and knees, and then to her feet. Her right leg was a mess too. She panicked, she was injured, and she wondered if he would leave her. Taking a deep breath she calmed down, realizing that no, he would not do that. Maybe he was waiting for her.

As she made her way, limping to the door, she thought they both overreacted. It was his fault of course, but she knew she was sensitive to prejudice. Would the ghosts of East Africa, never leave her alone? “I’m still forgiving people.” She mumbled out loud.

Inside the dining room Jerry was ticked off, but not at Miriam. In fact, he was hoping and praying, she wouldn’t drive off. Maybe they could be friends. But he did look at the ceiling in disgust, and said, “What are you doing to me — to us!” “She hates me!” For some reason he started making a pot of coffee, where the employees normally would. Maybe he needed the warmth.

He heard the automatic doors open up, and he rushed to a nearby table, to play it cool. What should he say? She hobbled into the lobby, and for the first time he noticed how beautiful her clothing was, or had been. She was dressed in a beautiful, long, African dress, which was red, gold, and brown. The gold shimmered in the light. Her headdress was disheveled, but she was a beautiful woman, and she carried herself like a queen. Was she royalty?

She saw him looking at her, from the dining room, and said with her French-African accent, “Jeremiah I need some help”.  Five minutes later they opened the door to room 132. She noticed right away a bouquet of wildflowers, as they walked in. He had picked them from the front of the hotel. She turned to him, and he just smiled.

He began washing her arm, first in water, and then with hydrogen peroxide. Jeremiah seemed to really know what he was doing, and she noticed too, how gentle he was putting in a few stitches (with a sterilized needle). He then carefully wrapped her arm in a bandage. He said, “You know, I’m very sorry about what happened outside”. He wasn’t looking in her eyes, but at least he was talking. For some reason she felt she should be soft in her tone, so she gently said, “I know, I am too”. She meant it and he could tell. “Were you abused by white people?”, he asked, this time looking at her.

How did he know? How could he possibly have known? Tears began filling her eyes, and she said in a whisper, “Yes”.

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Last Man on Planet Earth

Mountains and Rivers 016

He hid in a cave for three weeks. Fortunately, with this last biological plague, there was no more screaming coming from the valley below. Besides the water he had stockpiled, his most valued possession was his wind up radio, which didn’t need any batteries. The news had all stopped now, and he wasn’t sure how many people had died. But before the broadcasts had ended, he heard that there were a few people, known to have an immunity to the virus. Was he one of them? He wasn’t sure.

Should he go down to look around? The closest buildings were some houses, and further down the mountain, a small shopping center. After waiting two more days, he decided to give it a try, and spend no more than thirty minutes in the area, after which he would quickly retreat back to the cave. He was terrified he would catch whatever it was that had swept through the area so quickly, but his food had run out days ago. He started down the mountain, on foot.

As he walked past the houses that dotted the mountain, there was no one around. Were they all gone now? He stuck to the road as he walked, believing that if he went too close, or knocked on their doors, he would get a pistol or shotgun in his face. Nothing moved. There was only the wind, rustling through the trees.

Several miles later he made his way to the shopping center. He knew there was a 7-11, and a few small stores. Maybe he could get a sandwich at the deli. As he got closer, he could see something wasn’t right. There were clumps of something laying on the ground, he could make out a purse, next to a car with an open door. They were dead bodies!! His mind started racing, he wanted to run. But wait – there was no smell, and they weren’t quite dead bodies. What was going on here?

He noticed there was no sound here either, and the silence was heavy. He managed to calm himself down, as he carefully walked closer. His heart started pounding.

They were clothes, different piles of clothes, without anyone in them! People had fallen right where they were, shoes, belts, hats, all in a mostly neat row, making the outline of a person, but there was no body. Chill bumps ran up and down his spine.

It was very clear that whatever killed these people, dried them up so badly, that it turned their remains into dust, which then blew away in the wind. Would he catch the infection? He didn’t care anymore, he needed food, so he rummaged through the 7-11, and then the deli, loading up his backpack with as much as he could. He took off again, running up the mountain.

He felt horrible taking things that he hadn’t paid for, but he had no choice…….

 

To be continued.

 

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape XI – Recovery

Ships 152

“Robert…… you need to let go of the wheel”. It was Belinda checking on him again. “Who’s in charge of this crew anyway?”, she asked. It had been three hours since the attack, and he was still standing there. He turned to look at her, getting her loose strands of hair in his face again. They both smiled, and he realized he was trying too hard to be a hero. He shook his head yes, and let her have what was left of the helm. He liked it when they were close together.

In fact, it seemed right, it seemed natural, for the two of them to be on deck, especially at the helm. He asked her again, “Any leaks?” She said no with a sigh. “I’ve checked three times, there are no holes below the waterline”. “Relax Robert”. She was right, so he went below deck, to see how Jonathan and Elaine were doing.

He found Jonathan in the chart room, pouring over maps and charts, with Elaine sitting nearby, drinking a cup of tea. It smelled like chamomile. They both said “Robert!” at the same time. Jonathan said, “Thank you Robert for saving our lives!” Robert cut him short though, not wanting the praise. He responded with, “Just doing my job….”

“How did you know they were baiting us?”, Jonathan wondered out loud. Robert explained that the fire on the pirate boat was not spreading. “The smoke stayed in one spot, like a barbeque.” “In fact that’s probably what they used”. “There’s only one reason, you would do that, and then call for help.” Jonathan and Elaine both shook their heads yes, understanding completely. Elaine asked if he was sure the pirates couldn’t catch the Escape. “Not a chance”, he said. “They have an ancient, wooden boat, that is too heavy”. He added that there was nothing on the radar, except some rain that would be here soon.

Later, Robert went on deck, and sat next to Belinda. He told her about the coming rain, and they both watched the clouds building. “No thunderstorms though……just beautiful rain” he added. He knew he was going to do it, but he was working up the courage. It was the right thing to do, as they watched the setting sun bounce off the rain clouds, in a million wonderful directions. They felt a few drops and he got their rain gear out.

“We’ve been through a lot today….” she said, seemingly almost asleep, or maybe in a dream. Now, he thought. He leaned over and kissed her cheek, her hair was being tossed in the wind. She wasn’t surprised, she had been wondering when, and why he was taking so long to make a move. He went for her lips, but gently. It was a kiss that said, “Yes we’ve been through a lot, but I think I’m falling in love with you”.

 

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape X – Gunfire

Ships 145

“Pirates??” Jonathan’s face was covered with disbelief. “Yes, they…..” Robert was about to explain when gunfire from the other vessel erupted. “Get down!!” “Get down everyone, get down!!” He heard himself yelling. Belinda cursed below deck, while Jonathan threw Elaine down gently, and covered her with his own body. A firestorm of bullets pounded the Escape. Robert had just time enough to switch on the diesel, as he fell to take cover at the helm.

He had no choice but to take evasive action, and as he reached for the wheel, pieces of it were broken off by the impact of the 50 caliber shells. “M2 Browning”, he thought to himself, probably twin barrel. He turned what was left of the helm, to the left and then the right, and back to the left, alternating, throwing everything on board the Escape, from one side to the other.

He looked at the back of the yacht and noticed everything was shredded, including the canopy, deck furniture, and pieces of cushions were floating in the water. He continued the back and forth with the helm which caused the sails to swing wildly. It worked. As more blasts from the M2 Browning went off they mostly missed, sometimes just nicking the back of the Escape.

He heard Elaine praying over the horrible sound of the machine gun, “Please God…….I’ve come too far…..please help us!.” Was that Jonathan crying, scared of losing his wife? Belinda cursed again as he turned the piece of helm hard to the port side. He took the diesel up to ½ power, causing the Escape to lean to the right. “Hold on Jonathan!”, he yelled. The danger now was capsizing from being under full sail, and using the diesel, which was normally used only during times of no wind.

Belinda stumbled up the steps and yelled, “Here!”, throwing him a 9mm pistol. He made sure the safety was on and tucked it in his belt. Belinda went down on one knee, leaned on a railing, took aim and fired at the enemy boat. Robert yelled, “What are you doing??” “You know you’re out of range!” Belinda kept firing, emptied the clip, and reloaded quickly. “I want them to know we have firepower!” Her face was red hot with anger. Secretly she was hoping that some of the 9mm shells would fall on the pirates, if she aimed high enough.

Robert could barely control the helm, and cut back the diesel to ¼ power. The Escape pulled away, and the gunfire lessoned, falling short of the yacht. Belinda was calming down, and asked Robert, “Was that a 50 caliber?” “Yes, check on Jonathan and Elaine…….” was all he could say. They both knew that with another mile, they would be clear from the pirates.

A few minutes later, Robert was relieved to see Belinda helping Jonathan and Elaine below deck. They were emotional wrecks, but they were alive. He knew it was going to take some incredible healing to overcome this. He deeply admired this couple that had been through so much. He looked up at the sky, disgusted. He was about to launch into, “How could You let this happen……”, when he realized they were all alive, and the rigging was still in place.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings and peace to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

The Escape IV – The Cove

Maine and More 248

Contemporary Microfiction

It was the sheer beauty of the place. Everywhere he looked he thought of Rachel, wishing she could see, what he was seeing. He loved the Caribbean, and the Bahamas were no exception. She would have loved it here.

For Jonathan and Elaine, this was a retreat. They didn’t come to the Bahamas for the casinos and nightclubs, they wanted peace and quiet. Yet, if any of them wanted the nightlife, there was plenty of it not far away. Belinda let down the anchor once the Escape had reached a quiet cove. They hopped in the inflatable and went onshore.

After going through customs, they rented some scooters. Chuck and Robert headed one way and Jonathan, Elaine, and Belinda went another. As they road through the town, Chuck was having a great time, laughing and smiling, talking about the women they passed, “She’s gorgeous! Did you see her?” Robert only managed an occasional smile.

He also imagined Rachel on the back of his scooter, seeing it all with him. But the grief was starting again, even if he did love the place. He almost wrecked the scooter once, going straight where there was no road, instead of leaning into the curve. “Dude, what is wrong with you?” Chuck began chiding him, but once he looked at Robert’s face he knew what the deal was. “Man, I’m sorry, but you’ve got to go on living”, was all he could say.

That night it was only Chuck and Robert on board the Escape sleeping. Jonathan and Elaine had gone to a resort for some “privacy”, and Belinda decided to check out the nightclubs. Chuck was worried sick about her, but they both knew she was old enough to take care of herself. Did Chuck like her? He wasn’t sure.

It was 5:30 am when Belinda came back on board, stumbling, making a lot of noise. She had taken a water taxi. Chuck was enraged at being woken up. By 6:00, Robert was up for good, and decided he needed the solitude of a beach. He left a note for Belinda and Chuck, and took the inflatable.

As he steered towards the beach, he thought of Jonathan and Elaine, and the pain and suffering they had been through. Occasionally he thought he saw something like grief in their eyes. How do you make love to a woman with no chest? Did they cry, trying to make love? It was too much to think about.

Tears. He was tired of tears. Once he was on the beach, he pulled the boat on shore, and looked at his watch. “Oh God!”, he said out loud, as he sank to his knees. Tomorrow, was his 6th wedding anniversary…….he was determined though, to stop the pain…….and the grieving. He needed to live again.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone, and peace!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Dreamwalker VIII – Linda’s Mom

  starbucks

Contemporary Microfiction

He picked up Linda a block from her parent’s house, to avoid another confrontation. Linda opened the car door, and before she got in said, “Mama wants to talk to you….”. He said, “No way!” She hesitated but got in. “She only wants to apologize”, Linda tried to explain, but he was too hurt to even think about it, so she dropped the subject. They drove off, towards the highway. Gloria and Juan Sanchez looked at each other, as they watched the Mustang drive away, and then make a right. Juan put his arm around his wife, as tears streamed down her face. “I just wanted to apologize….” was all she could say before breaking down into sobs.

It wasn’t long until Linda’s phone rang. “Hello?” “Si, I’ll tell him…James it’s my father”. “He wants to talk to you”. He pulled over. There was something in Linda’s voice, something in the expression on her face, that told him he needed to take this call. “This is James…” “Diego…” Her father always called him Diego, “I wonder if you would give us another chance…..Gloria would like to meet with you at Starbucks.” “She wants to apologize but she also wants to explain….” “Would you give her that chance?”

What could he say? Thirty minutes later he was sitting down in Starbucks with Linda’s Mom, while Linda waited outside. It looked like Linda was praying. Gloria started the conversation with, “I’m sorry James, I have this terrible habit of being too harsh, of being critical of other people” “I know it, and I’m trying to change that…..again I’m sorry….” This took him off guard and already he was glad he had decided to turn the car around.

“As you know I am Navaho, but I didn’t have any parents growing up….they were killed in a car accident” “They were killed by a white man….drunk…” Her voice trailed off. She told James how she began to believe in God before she ever went to a church, because there was too much pain, to deal with by herself. It was the Church that reached out to her, taught her about forgiveness and compassion. “I love my people, but the Church won my heart when I was very young” “I was 8 years old..…”

A light was coming on for James now. The more Gloria opened up, the more he understood. It took courage for her to talk like this. He might not agree with everything she believed, but this woman was a fighter. He admired her, and he knew for sure that Linda had some of this fight within her. He looked out the window, and saw Linda pacing back and forth, on the driver’s side of the Mustang. Yep, he knew without a shadow of a doubt…… Linda was the right woman for him…..

mustang

 

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

The Cellist – The Conclusion

flying with a cello

Contemporary Fiction

As the musicians filed into the empty concert hall, very few said anything. Most could not believe they were here doing this, and they wondered where they would get the strength from. It was their first rehearsal since the explosion, and they were all still grieving.

The first hour did not go well. Some were weeping as they played and they all had difficulty concentrating. More than one person excused themselves for a few minutes, to gather themselves, and then they came back, in the middle of the piece. Violinist Harriet Clarke walked off, in the middle of the 9th Symphony. Everyone heard her, off stage, sobbing huge sobs. The conductor stopped the orchestra and waited. When Harriet returned, they began again, from the beginning.

Something unusual took place though, after that first hour. It was not simply the music soothing their souls (although that was happening), the orchestra became…..well…..determined. A sense of resolve began to develop. Each person started believing that they could do this. And more – each person began believing they needed to do this. The music began to flow, a bit choppy at times, but it flowed. After several days of rehearsals, including on the afternoon of the concert, they all knew they were ready.

The orchestra would start with a modern piece, entitled, “Healing”, chosen specifically for this concert. Debbie would have a brief solo in this, and then they would launch into Vivaldi’s “Spring”, and then “Summer”, and most of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The pieces were chosen specifically for this concert. orchestra

That night the concert hall began to fill quickly. There was a tension in the air, and excitement too. There was tension from being only one block from where the explosion occurred, and an excitement because they all knew this concert would be special. It was the beginning of a process, for healing.

Then it was time for the musicians to take the stage. They began warming up, and making final adjustments. The conductor walked out, to the podium where he had his back to the audience. He made sure he had what he needed, including several batons. As he looked over the orchestra, he had a tremendous sense of pride in each one of them. As far as he was concerned, they were all courageous warriors, fighting despair and fear, refusing to give up. Several of them had been injured in the explosion, including Debbie. He saw her watching, and they both smiled at each other, confident they would win this battle.

A reverent hush fell over the audience as the lights went down. Each musician poised themselves in the ready position. Energy, and that newly found determination, filled each one of them. And then – they were launched by the conductor. The nervousness of the orchestra vanished as soon as they began playing. The first piece, “Healing”, had a burst in the beginning, and loud percussions. Then the strings slowed the piece down, with sorrowful, weeping type of notes, and a slow tempo. At was at this point that Debbie’s solo came in, and she was ready for it.

First there was the slow, weeping sound that only a cello could make. Everyone was feeling the emotion, of the music and the playing of it. Debbie was lost in it and began weeping, but she played it flawlessly. Then the pace began to quicken and there short bursts from her instrument, symbolizing anger. All of the anguish she had been feeling came through her playing. It was tangible. The orchestra felt it, and the audience felt it. The audience experienced the emotion through Debbie’s cello. Tears began to flow.

hand and celloGradually the pace slowed again, and the rest of the orchestra joined in for the transition of life returning. The orchestra was energized as a result of this piece. They seemed to be on fire the rest of the night. It was without question their greatest performance. They were doing battle, and victory was theirs! The audience experienced victory as well, as they lived the music, and let it heal them.

After the performance, the audience erupted. They cheered, and yelled, and clapped, all at the same time. Yes, they would survive! They would all keep fighting, and never give up. Never! Many came onto the stage and gave hugs to the orchestra. There was back slapping and hand shaking. It was indeed a celebration of life.

Two weeks after the concert, a memorial service was held for the victims, and their families, in the city’s largest cathedral. There were a lot of good things said. Candles were lit, prayers were said, and it was good because the people received comfort. There was a sense of community, and togetherness.

The most memorable part came at the end, when a one armed woman by the name of Katherine Harrison came to the podium. She mentioned she not only lost her arm, but her seven year old son, in the explosion. She spoke briefly about the incredible anguish, and her grief. There was not a dry eye in the place. But then strangely she switched her speech to the topic of……forgiveness. She spoke about what forgiveness was and what it was not. “I’m not there yet…” “…but I’m working on it”. She thought forgiveness was refusing to hate, and continuing to love no matter what. She then read a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which said, “An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind”. It was true and everybody knew it.

 rose from google

 PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google