Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Flight

 Part Four

Inasmuch as James’ defiance riled him up because it reminded him of James’ father Paul, Martin couldn’t help but like James. Something inside of him said that James was a man of integrity and good character.
Silence filled the room once again but this time, it was not suffocating.
“So, is it true what happened between you and my mother?” James asked his voice soft and questioning.
Martin only glanced at James before lowering his head. He closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, lifted his head and nodded. “Yes.”
James watched as Martin gently lowered the gun, sat down and stared at the wall above James’ head. A moment later, Martin’s eyes filled with sadness as his shoulders slumped.
To witness this man wilt before him, James was moved. In his heart he now knew that what Martin had told him was the absolute truth.  He gently cleared his throat and said, “Martin, I believe you.”
When Martin lifted his head, James continued, “I’m not here to get you. I am not your enemy. He’s dead.”
Martin swallowed hard and nodded. “I can’t offer you anything to eat. I ran out of money last week and haven’t any groceries.”
Money, that’s what had been quietly nagging James. How had Martin survived?
 James stared at Martin for a long moment. Then it came to him. He remembered his father and mother arguing about money being stolen. James tried hard to recall the amount. He just had to be patient and it would come.
“I have a couple chocolate bars in the plane.”
Martin nodded. “That’s good enough for me.”
James cautiously stood up, nodded and headed for the plane. He retrieved the candy bars and walked slowly back to the house. Halfway there, the amount of twenty five thousand dollars popped into his mind. His mother suffered much because of that and James’ anger welled inside him.
When he entered the house, Martin was at the sink. The rifle was leaning against the table. James snatched it up and pointed it at Martin’s back. “You caused my mother to suffer,” he snarled and moved his finger to the trigger.
Martin glanced over his shoulder and was shocked to see James holding the rifle. He dropped the coffee pot into the sick and spun around.
“What the hell is this?”
“What does it look like?”
Martin shook his head. “So this was all a ruse to get me to let my guard down so you could haul me in to your father.”
“I told you my father’s dead. But not before he put my mother through hell for the twenty five grand you stole.”
Martin put his hands up. “Hold on there. I didn’t steal a damn thing. I don’t know……”
James lifted the gun a little higher. “Shut up. I’m not falling for it. You fooled me once. I’m not buying your bull anymore.”
Martin’s anger filled his eyes. “You snot-nosed kid, you don’t know a damned thing. If I wasn’t telling the truth, why didn’t I shoot you? Why are you the one holding the gun?”
Visions of his mother being beaten by his father flashed through James’ mind. Rage filled him and he felt his finger tighten on the trigger.
  Chelle Munroe©
  October 30, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Flight

Part Three

“You broke into our house, my mother identified you.”
Martin shook his head. “You damn fool kid. What the hell do you know?”
“Then you tell me,” James spat.
“I never broke in that night. I was there because your mother let me in.”
James started to protest, but Martin quieted him with a wave of the gun.
“You wanted to hear my story, well shut up and listen.”
“Your mother and I were sweethearts before your father moved into town. He took a liking to her immediately and with his fancy cars and money he was able to lure her away from me; something she told me she had regretted shortly after.”
“What are you talking about?” James challenged. “If she didn’t love him, why did she stay with him?”
Martin chuckled. “She was afraid of him, that’s why. But we were planning on running away and somehow, your father got wind of it. So the night I was there making arrangements with your mother, your father came home early. We had already concocted a story that if that ever happened she was to tell him I broke in so he wouldn’t hurt her.”
James sat up in the chair. “I don’t believe it.”  As he spoke the words, fragments of memories invaded his thoughts. Memories that seemed to verify what Martin was saying. He leaned forward and rested his arms on the table. “No, no, I ……I don’t believe it. She would never cheat on my father.”
“Don’t you dare sully your mother’s name like that,” Martin snarled. “We weren’t having an affair. Yes, we still loved each other but she wanted to divorce him. But with his powerful friends, we knew the only way she could do it was to get away from him first.”
James sat back in the chair. “I still don’t think she’d do something like that.”
Martin then backed up to the window above the bed where he removed something from the windowsill behind the curtain.  He moved to the table and sat down. Watching James the whole time, he placed a small picture frame face down on the table and slid it over to James.
James leaned forward and flipped the frame over. Looking up at him was a picture of his mother when she was younger and a picture of a man, who could very easily have been a young Martin.
He slid the picture back toward Martin. “This could have been anyone. It doesn’t prove a thing,” James said, knowing his words sounded hollow and weak.
Martin smirked. “No, I suppose to a snot-nosed kid like you it wouldn’t.”
“I’m not a kid, in case you haven’t noticed.”
Martin squinted, letting a few minutes pass before speaking again. “You’re a kid to me. Listening to you I could throw up. You sound just like your father. A know it all. Afraid to face the truth even when it smacks you right in the mouth.”
“I’m not……….”
“Shut up,” Martin snarled. He got up from the chair and backed up to the door and peered out toward the plane, then glanced back at James. “So how did you find me? Did your old man send you out to look for me?”
James cleared his throat. “First of all, I didn’t find you; I crashed landed in your field as you can see. Secondly, my father didn’t send me.”
“And I’m supposed to believe that?”
James stared hard into Martin’s eyes. “My father is dead. Been dead for over three years now, so if you still think he sent me then you’ve got mental problems.”
Something about the conviction in James’ voice told Martin he was telling the truth but he pushed James anyway. “He’s dead?”
James shook his head. “Yeah, he’s dead. If you want proof I’ve got news for you, I don’t carry his death certificate in my pocket.”
Martin chuckled but didn’t say anything. When he did speak, it was much quieter. “So you come looking for me on your own then?”
Again, James shook his head in disbelief. “I didn’t come looking for you. No one is looking for you. I never heard my father say he was looking for you. The only thing I heard him say about you was, ‘good riddance’. That was it. You want to believe me, fine. If you don’t, that’s fine too. Do what you have to do.”
  Chelle Munroe©
  October 30, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Flight

Part Two

He jammed his hand in his pocket and pulled out the phone and turned it on. He clicked to open it up and his e-mail site appeared. Spam filled the screen. He closed it and hit the contact button and the phone went dead.

“Oh you stinkin’……” he started to curse just as it came on again. “Okay,” he muttered and hit the contact icon. A warning flashed that he had no signal and he flared up, angry with himself for having wasted time with the spam until he realized that it was just a leftover feed from when he had had a signal. He stuffed the phone back into his pocket.
Satisfied there was nothing in the cabin to help him out of his situation, he turned to go back to the plane and came face to face with a grizzly old man and was startled. The guy looked like a throwback from the hippie era. His beard was shaggy and his hair was wild and standing out somewhat reminiscent of an afro. James started to grin until he spotted the shotgun in the man’s hands.
“Whoa! Now…now….now hold on there old-timer,” James stammered. “My plane died and I had to land it here and…..and….and I came here and the door was open. I didn’t touch a thing and….and….and....I’m…I’m just trying to find out where I’m at so I can get help and get outta here.”
The man motioned for James to back up and he did. “There’ll be no help,” the man said and motioned for James to sit.
James sat in the furthest chair trying to put some distance between him and the barrel of the gun. “If…if…’s money….” James started to say when the man put his finger to his lips letting James know to shut up.
James swallowed hard. ‘What the hell had he gotten himself into?’ Flashes of “Deliverance” entered his mind and he shuddered.
The old man studied him. “What’s your name?” he finally asked.
James cleared his throat. “It’s James.”
The man toyed with his beard with one hand while balancing the gun in the crook of his arm with the other. “James what?”
James had no idea of the significance of telling this man his last name if the guy was going to kill him anyway, but he was in no position to protest or rebel. “It’s Bell,” was all he offered.
James wasn’t positive but it seemed that the old man had staggered a bit when he’d heard James’ last name. Neither man spoke for at least five minutes. The silence was like a heavy veil cloaking them, making it difficult to breathe easily.
“Where you from?” the old man seemingly choked the words out.
James studied him while debating whether to tell the truth or not. He opted for the truth. “Originally from Rehoboth, Mass, but now I live in Little Compton, R.I.”
If James didn’t know better, he’d have sworn the guy was shot by the way he reeled when he heard the information, and wondered what could possibly cause such a reaction.
The man pulled the other chair from the table and sat down. He glanced up towards the ceiling then back at James. He nodded his head a bit then said, “Your mother’s name, Delia?”
It was James’ turn to look stunned. “Yes, yes it is,” he replied, studying the man even more intently than before. “Who are you?” James asked, hoping not to anger the guy.
“What’s your father’s name?” the old man asked, avoiding James’ question.
Still trying to figure out who the old man was and what was going on, James replied, “It’s Paul. Paul Bell. Now who the hell are you?”
The old man cleared his throat. “The name’s Martin. Martin Macomber.”
Not recognizing the name at first, James dismissed it. But after mulling it over for a few minutes, the name registered in his mind. “Macomber, you’re the guy who broke into our house and tried to hurt my mother.”
The old man’s nostrils flared and he stood up, pointing the barrel of the gun at James. “I did no such damn thing.”
“My father told…….”
“Your father was a no good for nothing hood. He made that story up.”
“He didn’t make it up,” James shot back at him.
“Your father was a liar, a cheat and a two bit hood that used his connections to get me out of the picture.”
“You broke into our house, my mother identified you.”
  Chelle Munroe©
  October 30, 2014