The Last People on Earth XV – Letting Go

Oceans 1379

He was going to get a gun today, and that was final. He didn’t say anything to Miriam about it, and he would hide it from her if he had to. Maybe he could leave it in the truck. As they sat at the kitchen table that morning, eating cold cereal, he was angry, and she could tell.

He had never served them cold cereal for breakfast before, only as a snack, and he wasn’t talking. He always said how important a good breakfast was. She could see the problem on his face, and she knew what it was. “Jeremiah…….please promise me, you won’t get a gun today……” His eyes grew big. How did she know? “I can’t do that Miriam, I just can’t.” With that he slid back his chair, stood up and headed for the door, grabbing the keys to their mangled truck. With his hand on the door knob he said, “The drones are costing me my sanity, so I can’t make that promise”. Tears welled up in her eyes. He opened the door and said, “I’ll be at the neighbor’s house across the way…..” With that he opened the door, and she cried out, “Jeremiah please….”

He walked out regretting every minute of it, and everything he just said. But as he got into the mangled truck, he convinced himself he was doing the right thing. So he drove, down the lane, and through the two sets of gates, and to the neighbor’s house about a mile away. “I have to protect my family”, he said.

As soon as he walked into the neighbor’s house, he saw what he needed over the stone fireplace. He took down the 12 gauge, pump action, shotgun. He racked the chamber a few times, loving the sound. “No drone can survive this!”, he said out loud. In the den he found a whole glass enclosed, case of shotguns, and two rifles. Most farmers had been hunters, he thought to himself.

When he checked the drawers of the desk, he found the most beautiful gun he had ever seen. Tucked away in a beautifully carved leather case, with “Colt” written on it, was a collector’s edition, Colt .45 caliber revolver. And it had a pearl handle! It was stunning. He found some ammo and loaded it. Spinning the chamber, he then closed it. Next he looked around the house for bottles and cans. He could go target practicing!

It wasn’t until he was outside, ready to shoot, that he remembered Miriam. A stab of pain shot him in the heart, realizing how badly he had sounded earlier. He didn’t realize it but she had been crying the entire time, since he had left. He would never do anything to hurt her, not intentionally, and he knew she would hear the shooting. She would be horrified, and she might even lose the baby!

It was also a Friday, which meant Miriam would be lighting the Sabbath candles in a few hours, and singing the prayers. He certainly didn’t want to mess that up. He loved her singing, and he had no intentions of being a hypocrite by being angry during their beautiful time together. He loved the Amharic and the Hebrew.

He opened the chamber of the revolver, and dumped the ammo into his palm. He looked up at the sky and said, “Ok this one is in Your hands!” “Help me to trust”. As he walked back to the house he said out loud, “Maybe that’s what peace is all about…..….having the power but refusing to use it…..…” It was time to get back home, (without any guns) and apologize to his beautiful wife.

    

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

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

The Last People on Earth VIII – New Light

Oceans 171

As they sat down in the atrium that night, Miriam was amazed at the sight and smell of the fresh pizza Jeremiah had made. He had placed fresh tomatoes, and spinach in with the cheese, and she was starving. Smiling to herself, she knew part of the reason she was so hungry, was that she felt free, and happier than she ever had before. She also loved his cooking.

Jeremiah paused, for a moment. Was he praying? Then he started dishing out the slices, which also had a beautiful, mouthwatering, thick crust. The moonlight was beginning to shine clearly through the atrium, as the sun was going down. For some reason, Jeremiah asked her, “So how many languages do you speak Miriam?” She smiled and said, “Well….it depends on what you mean.” “I know Amharic, Somali, Hebrew, some Arabic,  and of course French, and English”. His jaw dropped. He was continually amazed by this incredible woman. She continued, “Oh, I almost forgot, I was also teaching myself some Italian!” He smiled from ear to ear, when he noticed a black cloth bag on the table, and asked her about it.

“Well, you may have been wondering about my faith”, she said. “Since it is a Friday night, and soon it will be dark, I brought this with me tonight.” Uh-oh he thought, this could be it, the one thing that might tear them apart, “religion”. He tensed, but said nothing. She continued, “I am from a Muslim family, but my parents were very open minded.” She opened the bag, and pulled out two of the most beautifully carved wooden candle holders he had ever seen, and two brand new white candles. “My mother was an Ethiopian Jew, and reverted to Islam before they were married.” He was fascinated, and listened intently. “They made a deal, before the wedding, that my father would allow my mother to light the Sabbath candles each Friday night, and say prayers, at the table”. She was beaming now.

“May I do the same, and say some prayers?” she asked. He was stunned. “Sure”, was all he could say. She said, “I tend to lean towards my mother’s original faith”. She covered her head with a scarf, placed the candles in the holder, and lit them. “I’ll be singing in Amharic, the language of my mother, and then in Hebrew.” She began singing, and chills ran up and down his spine. His spirit began to soar. He had never heard Amharic before, and to hear her sing it, brought tears to his eyes. Then she sang in Hebrew, “Baruch atah Adonai, Eluhenu, Melech ha olam…..…” (Blessed are You Lord, our God, the King of the universe) As she sang she moved her hands in a fanning motion towards her. The tears began streaming down his face.

He knew that he would share sometime his own beliefs, about the Messiah, his thoughts about the need for atonement, but not here, not now. This was a sacred moment. All he could say at the end, through the tears was, “Would you teach me Amharic?”……….Miriam smiled from ear to ear, because she knew for certain, without question, the Creator had placed them together………..

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 XV – Dinner on the Beach

Oceans 795

He wasn’t holding back anymore, and he took her hand. She smiled with a relieved look on her face. They didn’t say anything, there was no need to. They simply stared into each other’s eyes, looked at the candles on the table, and the sun going down on the water.

He was thinking that this was a softer Belinda than he was used to seeing. He was used to seeing the expert sailor, lifting the sails, and handling a 9mm pistol, fighting pirates. She was always beautiful, but this softness, this tenderness, was something wonderfully different. Tonight she was wearing a white dress, which was gorgeous against her tanned skin. He wondered what brought this out of her. Was it intentional? Or was it just the feelings she had for him?

She was thinking that this man was incredibly handsome, and his new confidence made him even more attractive. She loved the light blue shirt he was wearing. Maybe confidence wasn’t the right word, but he was….. letting go. The weight on his shoulders, the ghosts, the anger and grief, were gone. Even his outburst earlier was a type of victory. He said what he felt, and it came from deep down.

He was remembering Belinda’s text earlier in the day. It read, “Robert – I’m sorry – can we have dinner on the beach tonight?” Something told him, he needed to make sure that he responded in a positive way. He texted, “Yes, Sorry about earlier, you were right”. He was hoping she would smile, when she read it.

Belinda had never seen Robert drink any alcohol, due to his wife’s history, but tonight he ordered a small bottle of red wine to go with the steaks they were having. He said normally he didn’t drink but tonight, was a “special occasion”. She noticed later he had only taken a few sips. It was a wonderful meal, and eventually they started talking about the Escape, Jonathan and Elaine, and what might happen in the future. Neither one of them thought the yacht should be repaired, which meant they would both be out of a job.

After dinner they walked down to the marina to look at the Escape. They stood gawking at it, only half believing they had lived on such a mangled vessel. Robert noticed her hair reflecting the lights of the marina.

As they looked at each other, he drew her in close, and kissed her. They kissed each other. This kiss was different than their first. Their first kiss had been tentative, but this kiss was an intentional lighting of a wonderful fire. It was joyful, and rapturous. His lips found their way down to her neck, as their emotions flowed.

What else happened, or didn’t happen, that night is not to be written about here, but they were never the same. Two hearts became one, and they were wonderfully alive. It was Robert that first had the idea………maybe they should get married……

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

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

The Escape XIII – JLo and JJ

Oceans 817

Microfiction

They were both surprised by a surface to air rocket, that went after the back of JJ’s F-18. “Lookout!!” JJ took evasive action, turning his plane upside down, to the left, down and then up again. The rocket barely missed him.

JLo swung around, to the right and away, banking sharply. She came down low in a turn, until the pirate vessel was in her sights. She was barely 50 ft. above the water, with the engines screaming. She yelled, “Locked and loaded, you sons of devils!!” She flipped up the plastic cover over the trigger button. The M2 Browning, from the pirates, started blasting. JLo yelled, “Go back to hell…… now!!!” She pushed the red button, and two rockets launched simultaneously. She pulled up, and banked to the right. Both rockets met their target, resulting in a ball of fire on the ocean. JLo continued with, “…..where you belong….”

The four people on the Escape saw the ball of fire, but it was very brief. After a minute even the smoke and steam were gone. The two F-18’s swung around, and then together came down low, to make sure it wasn’t there. As they flew over, there was nothing left, except a few boards, floating on the water. “And the ancient evil was destroyed”, JJ said in a low tone. “Is that from a poem?”, JLo asked. He responded with, “Yeah, but I can’t remember who said it.” “Was it Tennyson?”

Jonathan asked Belinda to head for the Dominican Republic, and Costa del Sol. “We’re flying back to New Jersey as soon as possible”, he said. They all understood. Elaine wasn’t looking well. In fact, she looked terrified, and said, “I can’t wait to get off this boat”. And she meant it.

A few minutes later the two F-18’s flew over the Escape, waving their wings in victory, and saying goodbye. They pulled up sharply, and very quickly they were in the clouds. They leveled off, and headed home. The sun was fully up now and filled the sky with beautiful colors.

At 5,000 ft, JLo said, “So, you owe me a dinner at La Plata Grande…….”. “Yeah I know….but you’re worth it!” he said. Privately he wished he’d never said anything about a bet.

JJ turned to his partner, and asked, “So are we ever going to get married – or what?” He had asked her before, in a more formal way. She turned to him, looking through their cockpit windows, and said, “JJ, my Mama didn’t raise no fool!” She broke off to the right, laughing to herself.

“Hey wait a minute!” JJ yelled at her, “What the heck does that mean??” He broke off to the right too, and followed her. Privately she was having great fun, but knew she should say something else. “It means JJ, that sooner or later we should get married!” “I would be a fool not to.”

Now that was something, he thought. “Sooner or later” she said. So there was hope after all. JLo slowed her F-18 down, and the two best friends were once again flying…….wing tip….to wing tip.

 

To be continued.

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Blessings to everyone.

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

The Escape XII – Help from Above

Mountains and Rivers 213

Microfiction

They tried reaching the Haitian authorities for most of the night. There was no answer. Was there something wrong with their radio? Were they out of range? They couldn’t tell. Jonathan even tried using the satellite phone. Nothing.

A little after 3:00 am the rain stopped, and so did the wind. Belinda had no choice, but to start up the diesel. She kept it on a low speed, because they were running low on fuel. She and Robert took turns at the helm, or what was left of it. Elaine tried to sleep below deck, but kept waking up with nightmares. They heard her scream in her sleep several times, and Jonathan ran to her side. When he wasn’t next to his wife, Jonathan was working on the communications, or trying to.

At about 4:30 am, they noticed a vessel on the radar, moving quickly, from the exact direction of the attack. Was it the pirates? Usually fishing vessels traveled in groups, and it looked to be about the same size as the pirate vessel. They weren’t sure, but they were all awake now, and they all shared the same worried look on their faces.

At 5:15 am, Jonathan remembered the number to call, to reach a friend in the Dominican Republic. Col. Jorge Rodriguez. The Rodriguez family had been Jonathan’s friends since college, and owned a resort on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, called Costa del Sol. The phone rang repeatedly, and Jonathan was losing patience. “C’mon!” “Pick up the phone.” He said. Then suddenly it was “Jorge!” The two talked in Spanish, while Jonathan explained what had happened. Col. Rodriguez promised he would get them some help. He wasn’t sure what kind of help yet, but promised that it would be quick. Several governments had been looking for the pirates, for months. Their favorite method, was to bait tourists and travelers with a distress call, and then attack.

At 6:05 am, the sun was coming up, and they noticed the vessel was following them. It was less than 25 miles away, and closing in. It was Elaine that first heard the jets. Two F-18 fighters came down out of the sky, with a roar. Would they attack?? No, they flew over, within 500 ft. of the surface, pulling back on their throttles so that everyone on the Escape would know, they were on their side. The jet thunder was deafening, and as they flew over, the four people on the Escape held their ears, then whooped and hollered for joy! “Yes!”, Jonathan yelled – “Go get em’ guys!”

What he did not know was that one of the pilots was Lt. Cmdr. Jacqueline Lopez. Her sidekick, in the other F-18 was Lt. James Jacoby. Their friends called them JLo and JJ. JLo was one of the best fighter pilots in the Atlantic.

When they got close (several miles away) to the pirate vessel, they could plainly see on their infrared camera, a swivel mounted, twin barreled machine gun, mounted in the bow. The plan was to come in low, and hit them with air to surface rockets. At one mile out they heard the enemy machine gun spring into action. “Break off!!”, It was JLo giving the command, and the jets split off to the left and right, pulling upward. “I’m going to enjoy frying these idiots”, JJ announced over the radio. “Not if I get them first!! And remember our bet!!” JLo was serious too. She wanted that expensive dinner out and he was going to be buying!

 

 

To be continued.

 

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

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.”