Fallen One (10)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

Jared staggered out of Spaulding’s house, his mind spinning and flopping in uncontrollably. The detective stood in the screen door, his head pressing against the mesh, watching as Jared made his way down the steps and to the edge of the street where his motorcycle waited for him.

Spaulding felt his fears renewed and stronger than they had been in years. But now, those fears were going to be shared by someone else. Someone other than that boy’s grandma and him. He watched as Jared picked up his helmet and slipped it over his head, turning back to the house as he did.

They stared at each other, lingering in silent understanding, trapped together in a common horror, neither knowing what to say or do.

Jared sat on the motorcycle as the door closed, Spaulding’s face moving to the adjacent window, the curtains pulled away for him to watch. Jared sat on the bike, his boots on the ground, the kickstand free. He raised it with his heel, his confused, agitated mind trying to figure out how everything had suddenly turned upside down. What began as an escape from his humdrum going-nowhere-life had morphed into an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Putting the bike in gear, he was soon out of sight of Spaulding’s house and its aging neighborhood and sat at the intersection with the highway. The stop sign was slightly bent, its paint faded, and two small bullet holes punctured the right edge.

He looked to the west, with all of its promises of things new and exciting. It was most appealing. The road was empty, wide open, and beckoning him to put his life behind him, including his latest revelations. He gave the bike a little gas, its body lunging against the resistance of his brakes. He looked west again, knowing there was nothing standing in his way, nothing tangible, that is.

The fight between engine and brakes was not the only struggle; his mind, helplessly caught in a replay loop of horror, tried to break free. An open road, fresh air, and Pacific beaches would only give momentary distractions, but in the meantime, his thoughts were bloody and frightening and impossible. A demon. He took a long breath and made up his mind. He would go back and hopefully find Landel. As he pulled out on the highway, he hoped Landel was still there and could help him figure out his next course of action.

When he arrived, Jared climbed off his bike, placed his helmet on the seat, and began a thorough search of the barn and surrounding area. Finding nothing, his search took him beyond the open field and barn into the surrounding woods as he traipsed through the tangled branches and low lying brush, calling out Landel’s name. But after twenty minutes, he returned, scratched up to his bike without having found any sign of him. “Great,” Jared muttered as he got back on the Triumph and started the engine. One last look behind him yielded him nothing but the sight of the barn door slowly swaying in the breeze. Easing up to the pavement, a sense of déjà vu overtook him, his eyes shooting to the right and the west as it did. Squeezing his eyes shut, he shook his head and pulled out, heading east, back to his hometown, to his past, his grandmother, and the truth.

Farms and pastures and the smell of cows blew past him in a flurry, largely unnoticed. His mind blotted out most distractions, thinking instead about Spaulding and his grandmother’s wild assertions of demons, his focus on the road waning. It was as if he were riding on autopilot, the vibration from the road and the whistling of air in his ears all that was keeping him tethered to the present. Not the safest way to ride a motorcycle.

Within the hour, Jared found himself back on little Pacific Avenue, the Rambler wagon still shaded by the old Chestnut tree, a gray squirrel clinging to the side of one of the oaks. There was no seeing inside this time. The drawn curtains prevented that. Venturing into the yard, the squirrel scampered away as he took refuge from the sun under the oak. His heart was pounding, anxiety building a barrier to the front door. The porch was only a few feet away, but it might as well have been a few miles the way he was feeling.

The neighborhood was quiet, closer to death if you were to ask Jared. In the time since his arrival back at his grandmother’s, not a car had driven by, not a soul had been seen. In fact, the only life he had seen was the now-vanished squirrel hiding somewhere high up under cover of oak leaves. Glancing around, Jared noted that nearly all the front yards were fenced and gated. From the sound of things, several of the fences kept back an assault by whiny miniature whelps, yapping and barking at each other. Jared imagined that they all had their noses pressed against the fencing, watching with great interest his reluctance to walk up to the front door.

Pushing himself away from the tree, Jared started toward the porch and the woman whom he had ignored for several years when a dark, horrific sound somewhere around the side of the house stopped him. Turning toward it, he stepped quietly on the grass, careful to avoid fallen branches and leaves. A hedge of Holly rounded the corner of the house to his left. It grew largely unchecked, bushy in its appearance and blocking his view. The frightening sound happened again, and the Holly shook, sending Jared back for cover behind the oak. He watched timidly as the hedge continued to shake, ducking as a frightening screeching noise began. It sounded as if giant fingernails dragged their way across a chalkboard, the neighborhood dogs joining in with their howls.

A crashing sound interrupted it all, and the sound of screaming inside the house sent Jared running toward the house, across the lawn, and up onto the porch. He grabbed the doorknob and tried to turn it, but it was locked. He called out to his grandmother as the screaming continued, smashing his shoulder against the door several times before finally busting the jam and falling into the foyer. Clamoring to his feet, Jared spun around, running to the kitchen and then to the back bedroom, before thumping sounds and more screaming pointed him to the upstairs.

Running to the stairs, he gripped the newel post and vaulted himself upward, his grandmother’s screaming and crying getting louder with every frantic step. When he got to the landing, he found three doors, two on the left and one on the right. He tried the right one first, opening into a bathroom. He was sweating profusely, his hands shaking. Her screaming had stopped, replaced by whimpering and crying. The second door opened into a spare bedroom. “I’m coming!” Jared screamed as he stepped back into the hallway and ran toward the last door.

The door was locked, and he frantically started throwing his shoulder into the door as a great roar caused him to step back, his whole body shaking. “Oh, my God,” he said, launching himself to the door, smashing through it. He struggled to keep his balance while something huge flashed to his left, jumping through the panes of glass out of the window. He ran to the window, only to see the unbelievable as some kind of animal, monstrous in size, ran off and out of sight. Anxiously, he turned around, following the whimpering and finding his grandmother on the other side of the bed, curled up in the corner of the room. Her dress was shredded, blood covering it, her face, and her hands. Her blood.

He pulled a sheet from a freshly dumped pile of clean laundry and wrapped it around her ravaged arm, fumbling with his fun as he called for help.

This story of Fallen One is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

What Spaulding shared with Jared was unimaginable. He wanted to flee but found that he was unable to. The more that he learned, the more he had to know it all. And with that, he decides to go and talk with his grandmother whom he hadn’t seen in years.

Comments welcome.

Have a great day.

Rollin

Fallen One (09)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

Detective Spaulding pushed back in his chair, his hands raised to his face, covering his eyes. He remained like that for several moments, pushing against the floor with his feet, rocking. “I knew this was coming,” he said, weeping in his voice. “It all had to come back one of these days.” He pressed against his eyes, wiping them as he did. When he dropped his hands, a different face emerged, one filled with anguish and fear.

“Tell me about my grandmother, Detective Spaulding.”

His head began to wobble, fresh tears appearing. “Detective Spaulding,” he spat, the dribble cascading down his chin. “Not anymore,” he languished. “Not after that case.” He pushed himself up, leaning forward on his knees. “Oh God, I need a drink. Where did my glass go?”

Jared sat back, a wisp of disgust on his face as he watched Spaulding search for and finally find his glass and fill it. The first swallow came hard and heavy. The others followed in hand clutching sips as Spaulding leaned back again, the rocking resumed. His face changed yet again, eyes blinking, as he recalled the memory that was never far away.

“It was on a Saturday,” he began, eyes now wide. “Saturday afternoon when I pulled up at your grandmother’s. The call came from one of the neighbors reporting they heard a terrible ruckus.” He chuckled, the liquor sloshing as he did. “That’s the exact word they said.” He began to fade.

“Go on.”

“I climbed the steps to the porch, looking around as I did. The curtains were closed, and I couldn’t tell if any lights were on. There was only one car in the driveway, which turned out to be hers. I put my ear to the door for a second, listening. Hearing nothing, I knocked and announced myself.” He inched his glass higher and kept it in a holding pattern as fear shoved the edges of his eyes wider apart.

“Then I heard something, barely above a whisper, at least from where I was standing outside. I wasn’t certain what was being said, but it was a woman; that much was certain. And I did hear one word. Help.” The glass broke its holding pattern and rose steadily to his lips, tilting, the golden liquid entering his thin, pale lips.

“I called out and tried the doorknob. It was unlocked, and so I slipped inside, my gun in hand. Once inside, her whimpering could be easily heard. I swept through the house, ending up in her bedroom in the back corner.” He pressed the glass to his cheek. “The door was partly open when I got there. I could see her plain as day in the far corner, sitting on the floor. She was covered in blood and crying.”

Now it was Jared who leaned forward, his mouth open. The exchange of air in his lungs was laborious and loud, at least as breathing could be. He sounded like an overheated dog panting.

“Kicking the door in, I was stunned by what I found,” Spaulding said, pointing in the air, “I saw your mother, her body in a crumpled and bloody heap.” The tears flowed freely now, his voice interrupted by nearly continuous sniffling and occasional throat clearing. He didn’t look at Jared, who by now had turned to stone and yet tremored where he sat, tears trickling down his rocky cheeks.

“As the door swung open, it stopped abruptly. I rounded the edge, clearing the room of threats with my gun leveled, and found what had blocked the door.” He sipped again, a glistening drop clinging to his lip as he pulled the glass away. “Your grandfather was laying there, his clothes shredded and bloodied, a pool of blood surrounding him.” Spaulding looked up at the spinning ceiling fan and took a deep breath. “I, uh—I don’t know if I should tell you too many of the details. It’s really—”

“I want to hear it all,” Jared said, the stone breaking away under his swelling emotions.

“You can’t imagine the blood,” he stammered, leaning forward, reaching for the bottle. His fingers shook as they approached, painting the label with his fingertips before taking the final push and grabbing it. The neck of the bottle repeatedly tapped against the edge of the glass, the liquor convulsing its way out. “It was everywhere.” His finger swept the room, and his eyes followed. “Limbs had been separated from bodies, strewn about the floor. One of your mother’s arms rested in your grandmother’s lap, and she held its hand.”

Jared got up and stepped away, turning his back on Spaulding. He was beginning to doubt his resolve to hear the whole truth.

“You want a drink?”

Jared waved his hand while Spaulding put the bottle back on the table. “You’re grandmother was, oh, I don’t know, calm? At least calmer than I would have been if I had seen my husband and daughter slaughtered like that.”

Jared turned his head part way.

“She was covered in both of their blood. She had no injuries. We found no evidence of another person being in that room, and yet—”

Jared turned around and walked back. “And yet what?”

The two men locked eyes. “I never once believed that your grandmother was responsible for the murders.”

“Then why?” Jared was shocked to hear the detective’s confession.

Spaulding’s tone darkened, his words starting to slur. He pointed at Jared, holding the glass in the same hand, the surface of liquor tossing and turning as he moved his hand. “Well, for one, everyone thought she was crazy.” He let loose a mirthless chuckle. “When they took your mother’s arm away, she started throwing a fit. And when they tried to calm her down, she started ranting about some demon killing her daughter and husband. She kept screaming it over and over again. And just when you thought she would never stop, she did. She smiled, her eyes kind of bugged out, and she started laughing. She began to describe this demon in the vaguest of terms—tall—strong—wicked—piercing eyes, that sort of thing.”

A demon. No wonder they thought she was crazy. “But you obviously didn’t think she was crazy.”

“Now, I didn’t exactly say that,” Spaulding said. “I just don’t think she was responsible.” He slammed the glass down the table and jumped to his feet, taking a moment to get his balance. “How anyone could look at the evidence and point the finger at her?” He waved both hands. “She weighs what, 90 pounds at the most? A 90-pound old woman tore off arms and a head, shredding their chests, abdomens, and legs down to the bone?” Now his head started turning. “There was no way in hell.”

“Then, why was she accused?”

The mirthless chuckle returned, with eyes that matched. “The truth was that there was no way of explaining what happened. Your grandmother, already acting crazy, was an easy target. Just lock her up and bury what really happened. It was deemed best for the town.” He fell down in his chair, the frame groaning in response. “But I couldn’t go along with it. So—here I am.” He grinned.

“Early retirement.”

“Kicked out and told to keep my mouth shut.”

Jared shoved his hands deep in his pockets, stretching his back as he did. As the shock began to subside, he began to tumble it all around in his mind. “A demon,” he said, his eyes glimmering in wonder.

“That’s what she said,” Spaulding said. “Say, by the way, what brought you by my place anyhow? It wasn’t Landel by chance, was it?”

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared continued talking with Detective Spaulding, and what he found out about the murders and his grandmother would change everything.

Comments welcome.

Have a great day.

Rollin

Fallen One (08)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

It was late in the afternoon, and the neighborhood was strangely quiet. Jared walked the path from the street where he left his bike parked in haste. He ascended the three wooden steps leading to the porch even faster. He now stood on the edge of the porch, the front door to the house only a few feet in front of him, hidden behind the aged screen door. All the windows and blinds that he could see were closed, and those few feet to the door felt like a mile.

He held the crumpled note in his hand. Nothing had changed. He had read it several times now, but he felt compelled to look at it again. A name and an address were all that were there. It held the same address as the faded numbers on the house. The name he presumed was inside, hiding behind closed windows and doors or not hiding at all. Maybe the name was oblivious to his presence on the porch.

Maybe the name wasn’t even living there any longer. Maybe the name was dead.

Why was he so nervous? He had already asked himself that question a hundred times since he left the barn, and still, he hadn’t come up with a good reason. Standing in the presence of Landel, he was more than ready to face his past. And now?

Jared shoved the note in his pocket, his hands falling to his side. His fingers were quite animated as he stared at the screen door. It hung loosely, a little out of square. In its present condition, the screen door wouldn’t do much good. It was kind of the way he felt at the moment.

His vapid finger movements fell limp, giving way to the buildup of courage that had already started at a snail’s pace. A deep breath followed as he lifted his foot and stepped forward, a gust of wind blowing as he did. Now it was only half a mile to go.

With his other foot bringing up the rear, he took another look at the windows, his head jerking sideways, his progress abandoned as he stumbled back to the top step. The curtain was open for only a moment, and only by a few inches, but in that time and in those inches, he saw an eye. It must belong to the name. His fingers started dancing again until he heard the click of the lock and the squeak of the door. He backstepped to the middle tread, the wood groaning under his weight.

The eye reappeared through the screen door along with the rest of his face.

“You are on my porch, so I assume you want something.”

Jared looked down at his feet, off the porch, and on the step. It was an irritatingly small point. He let it go.

“Well?”

“I am looking for Detective Spaulding.”

Both eyes squinted, and a hand appeared, wiping his mouth. “Who the hell are you?”

Dancing fingers curled inward, gently at first. “Jared Cooper,” he said, his mouth suddenly dry. “My grandmother—”

“I know who she is.” The eyes looked this way and that. The door squeaked some more, and the screen door wobbled open. The flesh of Detective Spaulding’s face thrust forward. “Come inside.”

“Jared hesitated.”

“Now!” he barked before letting go of the screen.

Inside, Jared tread lightly, easing the door closed as he looked around the room. It had a certain lived-in look, that is, if you’re a former cop struggling with your past. He saw at least three ashtrays, placed in strategic locations, each of them at the heaping stage. The small table next to the recliner was home to ring stains and a heavy-bottomed glass tumbler holding an inch of amber liquid. The drink’s identity was a mystery to Jared as he looked at several open bottles of liquor on the coffee table and the one nearby on the floor.

His television was on but muted, an old game show in progress. A floor lamp was nearby, its shade removed, the exposed bulb nicotine stained. Clutters of newpapers, magazines, and dog hair filled in the rest of the scene.

He heard a noise in the kitchen. “Grab a seat,” Spaulding said, the sound of running water following.

Moving to the far end of the sofa, Jared chose the dog hair and sat down.

Former Detective Mike Spaulding walked around the corner, his face glistening from the encounter with water, his air slicked back. He almost looked like a new man. He walked into the living room, apologizing for nothing, and fell into his recliner. It received him with a leathery groan.

“You seem—nervous,” he said, offering nothing else. He crossed his fingers and raised his hands, hiding the lower part of his face behind them.

“You—you were the lead investigator in my mother’s murder?”

Spaulding’s eyes didn’t flinch. “And your grandfather’s as well,” he said, making a note of the young man’s omission.

“Uh, yeah,” Jared said, his eyes falling. “I didn’t know him that well.”

“Five years old,” the detective said, “or were you six?”

“It happened a week before my sixth birthday,” Jared said, the tension mounting. He gripped his knees. It didn’t help.

Spaulding dropped his hands and reached for his drink. “Yeah, well, I’m sorry for your losses.” He took a sip and set the glass down, carefully eying Jared as he did. “So, Mr. Cooper, what is it that you want from me?”

Jared’s fingers dug deep into his knees as he willed himself to look up and look Spaulding in the eyes. “I want to know what really happened.”

And with that response, it was Spaulding who now looked away and reached again for his glass. There was a pronounced tremor in his hand as he did. “What really happened,” he repeated, followed by a nervous chuckle. He lifted the glass off the table, where it hovered. He stared into the amber prism of the glass and held his gaze for some time before, in a moment of weakness, his fingers let slip the glass. It bounced on the table, the spray of liquor landing on his arm, leg, the table, and floor. But despite the calamity, he didn’t move. His empty hand was now holding nothing but air.

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared’s first meeting with Detective Spaulding is gripped in tension.

Comments welcome.

Have a great day.

Rollin

Fallen One (07)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

“It was a young world, the number of the sun rising and falling still a manageable figure for anyone who cared about such things. Threads of its birth still lingered, branching out in any number of ways to remind those who paid attention to what once was and how quickly things had gone awry. It should also be a foreshadowing for those who are looking. But is it ever possible to learn from our past in order to avoid a similar future?

“The chapters have been written and are there for our perusal. But there is little interest anymore as to the past, and there is little interest in reading and certainly not in study. Not flashy enough, I suppose. Not relative enough is another possible argument. But whatever the reason, the failure to do so will be their undoing—your undoing. The world today is not so much different from the world back then. The same bright spots glisten in both eras. The same darkness hovers as well. Success and failures mirror from one age to the next. But there are some things dark and hidden, pushed away into recesses of dusty pages of our past, that have yet to reappear and make their mark on the day in which we live. These are sinister revelations that are fearfully difficult for the mind to comprehend. The horror of it pushes our thoughts away, saying stay away, stay away, and save yourself from knowing of the inevitable. But to do so prevents us from the opportunity to prepare for what is sure to come.

“Are you counted among those who would turn your back on the past, and in doing so ignore the future that runs toward you with gaping jaws of savage teeth? Do you count yourselves as one of the educated and the enlightened who are so blinded to the truth by the deception of your own upbringing and education? You, knowing the failings, the fallacies, and the folly of man, how can you then place your destiny in their hands? Society is broken. Politics is broken. Every system that a human being has ever put into place has finally reached that point on entropy’s curve—that critical stage where every future movement is one of decay and decline.

“That is where you stand now.”

That was where Jared stood as he listened.

It was, as Landel said, difficult to hear. A few times, he walked over to his motorcycle, his hands taking hold of the grips. The thought of escape dared him to get on, start the engine and take off for the horizon. Yet something held him back as he released the grips and stood back.

There was a ring of truth in what he was saying. He didn’t know how his family’s troubles fit into what he was saying, and he wasn’t certain he wanted to know. Exposure to the truth, if what Landel was saying was true, would change everything. He knew that even now, questioning his resolve, trembling where he stood.

He had, for some time, lived happily in the lie that revolved around his family. The lie that was placed at his grandmother’s feet, accepted by law enforcement, county, and state officials, had by now become second-hand knowledge. There had been no questioning of his grandmother’s guilt. She was crazy, after all.

Now—he didn’t know. And even that tiny bit of knowledge, that of his ignorance, frightened him more than he would have imagined. He looked over at Landel, standing on the far side of the barn, stripes of sunshine on his face and chest. He hadn’t moved. Jared wasn’t even sure if he blinked, unnerving in and of itself.

Leaving the motorcycle behind, Jared walked warily toward the stranger, his eyes on the dirt floor. With every step, he felt the urge to run, but curiosity had the better of him and pulled him onward. Soon he stood in front of the stranger. Jared tilted his head up and looked into Landel’s eyes. Jared’s eyes met no twinkle or wink; they did not see a glimmer or a twitch. But what Jared did see was deep and rich, filled with wonder. It was a moment in their relationship where a special bond was made, not one born from love or friendship but brought to life by fearful awe.

“Are you ready?” Landel asked.

Jared’s answer began with a nervous nod. It finished with his words. “I want to know everything.”

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

The need to hear the truth has started to outweigh the fear of hearing it for Jared.

I hope you are enjoying the story.

Have a wonderful day.

Rollin

Fallen One (06)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

The large oak, its low-hanging branches, and broad leaves was chosen as the place to sit. The ground was supple and cool to the touch, and the roots were deep, not on the surface and boney, making for a comfortable place to sit.

Jared stared off into the neglected field as Landel waited patiently, his manner of stoicism perfectly suited to the circumstance. Despite Jared’s knowledge of his Grandmother, nearly all of it coming second hand from family friends, the police, and the courts, it had over time become an unstitched patchwork of memories that needed time and careful handling to be put back together. They were memories much like the field and the barn beside where they were sitting, abandoned and gone to seed. So it was to be expected that when Jared began, the horses would be meandering out of the gate.

“I can’t remember when I last spoke to her,” Jared began, focusing on the cluster of dandelions between his legs. He brushed one of the hearty little flowers with his finger, its yellow petals bending to his will, before plucking the stem. He held it close, gently twisting the stem between his fingers, the flower spinning as he did. “She was locked up in the Osawatomie State Hospital for several years.” The flower spun faster. “They let her out a couple of years back, but I—” He shook his head as if trying to force the words out. “I never went to visit her.”

“And yet, after all that time, you stopped in the front of her house and watched her before leaving town,” Landel said evenly pitched and calm. 

Jared looked up at him. “How did you know about that?” It was an obvious question, or it should have been for most people. But Landel, in their short time together, had already proven himself to be anything but most people. Jared looked back down at the flower, saying nothing about his brief visit.

“I was five years old when my mother died.” His voice held a slight tremor, and the spinning continued. An insect swooped in, circling his head with a buzzing sound. He ducked his head, shooting his hand in the air as he did to swat it away. When the assault was over, his voice recovered angrily. “She was murdered! My grandfather too.”

He threw the carcass of the flower to the ground, lifted his head, and took a deep breath. “I was told that it was a particularly gruesome scene at the house.” Jared looked up, the effect of his remembering telling in his eyes which had reddened and become laden with tears. “When the police arrived on the scene, they found my grandmother covered in blood.” The first tear fell, and he absently wiped it with the back of his hand. “There was blood on the floor, on the furniture, on the walls—” His voice crescendoed, shaking badly before catching in his throat. His tears now ran freely as he ignored the dandelions and clawed into the dirt and rock with his fingers. “On the ceiling!” 

Finding a good one, Jared flung the rock as hard as he could, falling well short of the barn. He watched as the rock crash-landed, kicking up some dust and vanishing in the weeds. He wiped the remaining tears from his eyes using both hands as his face changed with the anger that arose. “Their limbs were separated, torn from their sockets, and their flesh was clawed and shredded as if by a wild beast.”

Jared shifted position and leaned back against the trunk of the oak. He let out a gasp as if a great burden had been thrown down off his back. He began to laugh. “And my grandmother?” He turned to Landel, who watched impassively and patted his arm. “Oh yes, she was covered in blood—their blood, crouched in the corner of the room without a single injury.” His laughter grew louder.

“And you want to hear the best part, hmm?” His eyes, now dry from the tears, had a wild look to them. “She claimed that it was a demon that killed my mother and her husband.” He shook his head violently. “Can you believe it? Wicked, big, and powerful—much more powerful than any normal man or woman.” 

Without a word, Landel stood up and began to walk into the field.

“Where are you going?” Jared asked, pushing himself to his feet. 

Landel walked steadily, with purpose, until he found himself in the middle or close proximity. He lifted his face to the sky as Jared ran to catch up, which he soon did, staring at this strange man whom he had only recently met.

“What’s going on, Landel? What aren’t you telling me?”

Jared was answered with a silence that had gone on long enough as far as he was concerned. Angrily, he grabbed Landel’s arm and attempted to turn the man toward him, but it was like trying to move a great rock. So Jared stepped around in front of him. “I know you know something, so tell me, please?”

Finally, Landel relented, lowering his gaze to the young man. The two just looked at each other for a few moments. “I believe I have the answer to what really happened to your mother and your grandfather.”

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

The return to old memories has been difficult for Jared. But in the process, Jared may have discovered some new information from the strange man, Landel.

I hope you are enjoying the story.

Have a wonderful day.

Rollin

Fallen One (05)

Once Landel started to speak, there was no stopping him. The chapters of time turned backward at an astonishing rate as he unfolded the story of the earth’s earliest days. Each word seemed to strike Jared in an unsuspecting way, evoking an emotional symphony playing the entire range from the twinkle of the piccolo to the thunder of the kettle drums. Jared was drawn into it, his mindset free, open to the fears and the wonders, barraging him side by side.

So drawn was Jared to the world that Landel described that any sense of where he was, whether in a barn or even in Kansas, was gone. He was lost in Oz, so much so that the storm had passed, and the night had dissolved into daybreak. All without him noticing.

And then, just like that, Landel stopped.

And when he did, it was shockingly abrupt, like stomping on the brakes to avoid a collision. Jared, roused from the new world, looked around, got his bearings, and felt the pain in his bum. He pushed himself to his feet, no small task after all that time, and hobbled to the barn doors. Pushing them wide, the smell of a new day, fresh on the heels of a cleansing rain, filled his nostrils as he breathed deeply.

The trees glistened in the morning light, their leaves burdened with the coating of rainwater. Branches swayed in gentle harmony with the welcomed breeze as Jared closed his eyes. Behind him, Jared heard footsteps crunching on dried leaves and fallen young branches. “Why have you come?” The steps ended close behind him.

When no answer came, Jared turned and stared in the face of Landel. Never had he seen a more perfect and beautiful man before, elegant and powerful, judging by his build. It was a face too perfect for this world, and after all that he had heard, Jared began to formulate some ideasideas that were almost too far out there for him to believe, and yet, how else could it be explained?

Jared stepped closer. “Please tell me, why are you here? What is it that you want with me?”

The beautiful face seemed cast in a stoic pose, like a bust of an ancient emperor, frustrating Jared, who clinched his fists and spun around, walking toward the road. The departure of the storm and new daylight brought a bevy of cars and farm trucks, zipping up and down the highway, but Jared gave them little notice. He was still tethered to Oz, the claws in his mind holding fast.

Jared took no notice in the old pickup truck, traveling from the east, its load of hay bales well beyond the safe limits, stacked high and wide, strapped down by rope and bungee cords. His eyes swept up and down the road, but his mind remained trapped in the days before judgment reigned upon the earth. He may have seen the truck, its top-heavy load, and its balding front tires, the one on the left nearly flat, but if he did, none of it registered.

He thought of the man who was his namesake, Jared, the father of Enoch. The man who in his days, by the account bearing his son’s name, lived to see the sinful encroachment of certain angels on the human race. He rubbed his eyes, stepping ever closer to the road, his hair tossed in the gale produced by a car full of screaming kids on their way to a party in the next town.

Jared didn’t know that the truck driver, a lifelong smoker, dropped the tip of his smoldering cigarette onto his lap, a mishap that began with dry sticky lips adhering to the filter. The little ball of ashened fire didn’t remain on his lap too long but rolled of his leg and down into the deep recesses of his crotch.

And no one saw the calamity of events that were lined up in perfect cadence, running toward disaster, including the death of a young man stuck in Oz. No one saw, and neither were they prepared for what was about to happen. None that is except for Landel.

The frantic truck driver pressed his feet against the floorboard, lifting him off the seat, his eyes off the road, his hand inadvertently turning the wheel in a dangerous direction. When the car filled with the kids blared its horn, the truck having crossed into its lane, the truck driver fearfully reacted, overcompensating with the wheel of the truck. Slinging the wheel in the other direction, the truck began to lose control, its balding tires offering little in the way of road-gripping resistance, the top-heavy load taking its toll.

As the kids and the smoker sideswiped each other, the kids went off into a ditch, with bumps, bruises, and scratches to go around, as well as a substantial amount of damage to their car. The truck, wobbling badly, the driver now spinning the wheel right and left, lost its bald footing, sliding sideways along the asphalt, leaving behind a trail of hay and truck parts.

It was the crash of the two vehicles that finally jolted Jared’s consciousness to the present, just in time for him to see the rapidly growing grill of the truck heading directly for him. In the second or two it took for him to process his situation, the truck was nearly on top of him, and it was quickly becoming doubtful that he would escape without injury or even worse.

But then, something amazing, something unimaginable and unexplainable, occurred. Jared was not conscious of it until it was over when he found himself standing near the barn with Landel at his side. The truck came to a halt directly in front of the road access to the barn, the driver shaken but alive as he stood upright through the passenger side window. Down the road, the kids tumbled out, frightened, angry, but okay. Unable to put it all together, Jared turned to Lamdel, his mouth gaping as he shrugged.

It was then that the stoicism broke, and Lamdel turned and looked at him.

“Tell me about your grandmother.”

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared spent the night listening to Landel giving him an ancient history lesson. But Jared grows frustrated, struggling with what he is hearing and wanting to know why Landel came to see him. In the midst of it all, he nearly loses his life but is delivered from the clutches of the encroaching danger. His deliverance only adds to the mystery.

I just returned from holiday in Oregon, traveling without my laptop, so I am a little behind in all my writing.

I hope you enjoy.

Rollin

Fallen One (04)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

The lamp still burned, the barn glowing in medium light. The shadows in the corners remained, but they were smaller now, having lost ground to the lamp. Jared searched for the source of the sound, his nose just behind the cocked hammer of the Colt. But there was nothing he could see as he circled behind the motorcycle to get a better view. With his back pressed against the front wall, he inched his way closer to the barn’s doors. With his free hand, he reached upward, crawling along the dry wood slats, feeling for the lantern now above his head. He stopped when his fingertips made contact, the lantern just out of reach. Willing himself to stand up, he grasped the lantern and was about to pull it off the nail when the sound of a chilling voice invaded the space.

“I hope you do not mind.”

Releasing the lantern, Jared grabbed his gun with both hands, the barrel swinging left and right as he moved back behind the Triumph. “Who said that?” His finger pressed against the trigger, testing the resistance when he heard the soft crunch of a step. And then another.

“It is just that it is so wet outside,” the strange voice said, “and cold. I was seeking shelter.”

“I’m asking you again,” Jared said, shaking, resisting the urge to run. “Who are you?”

Another step was heard, and Jared started to pull on the trigger. “An answer, perhaps.”

“An answer?” he muttered to himself. “What are you talking about?”

“I promise I will not be a bother,” the voice said, taking another step, shifting Jared’s eyes to the right. But still, there was nothing he could see. “I will be gone first light, rain or shine.” Jared pulled the trigger a little more.

Hearing another step, Jared moved back into the corner, bumping into the shovel. “Don’t come any closer. I am pointing my gun at you, and this Colt will blow a mean-sized hole in you. So tell me, who are you?”

Another lantern hanging on a far support post lit up as if on cue, illuminating the area in front of him. There in the light stood a man, his wide-brimmed hat pulled down, shadowing his eyes and obscuring most of the features on his face. Rainwater that had collected on the brim rolled forward and dripped to the floor.

He was clothed in black, his long coat squared at the shoulders, reaching to his boots. He stood motionless, at least 8 feet from the lantern, well out of reach of his being able to light it. “How did you…” Jared started to ask, interrupted as the stranger took another.

“Please,” he cried, filled with terror, “I don’t want to have to shoot you, but I will.” The stranger took another step, and Jared, not believing this guy, pulled a little harder on the trigger. It was bound to go off anytime.

“There’s no need for that,” the stranger said. And when he did, Jared’s hands were empty. The Colt was gone. He looked down at the ground, but it wasn’t there. His gun had vanished.

“Behind you.”

“What?” Jared said, confused. But he turned around his eyes all over the walls and the floor. When they got to the sleeping bag, it was there, the hammer forward.

Fear was now fully in control of his mind and body as Jared turned back and looked at the stranger. The hat and coat were gone, not on the ground, just gone. “This doesn’t make any sense,” Jared whispered. The stranger’s face was now clearly visible. His face was striking, with deep-set eyes, sharp cheekbones, and a strong chin, slightly pointed. His blond hair shimmered in the lantern’s light, and for a moment, Jared imagined that it was the stranger who was giving off the light. But it couldn’t be, could it?

The stranger’s eyes met Jared’s, and he smiled. It was unnaturally comforting, somehow whisking away the fear and tension in Jared’s body. He suddenly felt at ease.

“My name is Landel.” He held out his hand and waited.

Jared glanced back at his gun, then turned back to the stranger and eased around the motorcycle. Jared took each step carefully and calculated, looking toward the barn doors as a way of escape if needed. The eyes remained fixed, the hand unwavering, and the more that Jared gazed upon him, the more confident he became.

The remaining distance between them closed quickly as Jared hurried over and took Landel’s hand. “Jared,” he said as they shook.

“Jared,” Landel repeated. “A strong name. An old name, reaching back to the beginning.”

“Excuse me?” Jared was confused. “What do you mean by back to the beginning?”

“I mean what I say,” Landel said.

“The beginning of what?” Jared asked.

Landel lifted his head and held it there for several moments before lowering his gaze. “The beginning of the world.”

Jared stood at the open door, the wall of rain falling at his feet. Visibility was low. The beams of a passing car failed to cut more than a few feet through the barrage. Sticking his head outside, he ran his fingers through his hair, pulling the mop back on his head, and squeegeeing out the excess with both hands as he stepped back inside.

“Better?” Landel asked.

“Yes,” Jared said, shaking his hands to dry them. “I needed that.” He walked over to his cot and pulled a clean teeshirt from the bag. Throwing it over his head, he dried his hair and wiped his face, his eyes returning to the stranger who had not moved. Draping the wet shirt over the motorcycle seat, he approached Landel.

“You’re serious?” He asked. But it was an unnecessary question. He already knew the answer.

“Always,” Landel said.

“The beginning…beginning?” He made looping circles with his hand as he spoke.

“Of course,” he said flatly.

Jared looked at him, exasperated with what he was hearing. “Okay then. Tell me how my name reaches back to the beginning.”

Landel nodded. “In the days before the flood, your name—”

“Woe,” Jared said, stepping closer with both hands in the air. “The flood?” He whipped around, hands on his hip, clearly frustrated. “What flood are you talking about? There hasn’t been a flood in this part of Kansas in several years.”

“What I speak of has nothing to do with Kansas,” Landel said, “other than that is where we are now standing. No, I am speaking of the great flood that God sent to judge the world. And I speak of Jared, the son of Mahalalel and the father of Enoch.”

“This isn’t making any sense.” Jared looked at the open door, his motorcycle, and back again at Landel. His mind was spinning; his head was spinning. He had to sit down. He flopped abruptly onto the barn floor and buried his head with his hands. He raised his hand; his finger pointed as if he were going to make a point. Instead, his hand fell back to his lap.

“So, you are unaware of Jared and those before the flood.”

Jared only nodded.

“And what do you know of Noah?”

Jared’s body stiffened. Suddenly this whole strange afternoon was turning a lot stranger. “Noah? As in Noah and the ark?” The silence returned at that moment, and it was only then that Jared realized that the rain had stopped.

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared encounters a stranger. His name is Landel. Strange things are starting to happen, and stranger still is the direction the conversation is going.

I hope you enjoy.

Rollin

Fallen One (03)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

He awoke, startled to a sound that he may or may not have heard. Jared wasn’t sure as he sat there, in the dark, his chest heaving profusely, his body sweating despite the cold.

The old barn seemed to have a life of its own as it groaned under the force of the wind that rattled the doors. The smell of rain dominated the air, and Jared could still hear it falling though it did so in a more gentle manner.

Whatever it was that sent his mind into a panic, he couldn’t hear it now, and he thought it might have been part of a dream. He started to pick up his phone to check the time but thought better of it. There was only so much battery life, and it wasn’t like there were many options for plugging in.

Whether there was anything to the noise or not, Jared knew that he wouldn’t be able to go right back to sleep, so he got up and slipped on his boots. The breeze whistled through the slats as he worked his way around his motorcycle in the dark. A hue of moonlight painted the night, the rays of which joined the breeze through the slats. It striped the barn floor with faint prison bars, enough to avoid any tripping hazards, as he unlatched the doors and pushed against the wind.

Slipping through, he stepped away from the barn a few feet, his arms outstretched and his eyes closed, the breeze having the desired effect. Soon, his mind fell at ease, and he felt a sudden chill. His eyes popped open when he heard it again. He spun around, crouching, hands raised, his head rotating like a turret. The grass fields surrounding the barn were empty, but he wasn’t surprised. He was pretty sure that whatever it was, it came from inside of the barn.

He found an old shovel leaning against the side of the barn. Its handle was ashen with age and the extremes of weather, its blade brown with rust. Jared picked it up, gripping it tightly, and started to swing it. It was cumbersome but doable, and it gave him enough of a boost in courage to go back inside.

Pulling open the door, he peered inside, the wind catching the door and slamming it against the barn. Startled, he stepped up the plate, wielding the shovel like a baseball bat, ready to send one to left field. Claps of thunder caused him to shudder as he adjusted the grip of his hands on the handle. Leaning in, he looked around, carefully stepping as he did. Much of the barn was cloaked in shadow, and it was there that he focused his attention.

A sudden flash of lightning thrust him inside, and he made a mighty swing, one that would have made the mighty Casey proud. With the shovel at the ready, Jared crept forward, moving to the left, a large pocket of shadow ahead. As he took another step, a metal clang stopped him. He turned to see that the blade had struck a lantern hanging by a nail on one of the support poles. His eye caught it as it settled from his wild swinging.

He reached up; his eyes split between the lamp and the shadow until he had it in hand. He backed up quickly, his back to the falling rain, and held the lamp to his ear and shook it. He smiled when he heard the swoosh and dropped his Casey stance, and patted his pockets.

Finding what he was looking for, he dug deep and pulled out the lighter. It was the only other thing he had from his father besides the Triumph. Flipping the top open, he spun the flint wheel three times, sparks flying. The fourth time, the spark led to a flame. The rain was cold in his back, and he had to cup the lighter with his hand because the wind was so strong. It was all becoming an unwieldy mess, so foregoing the shadows for the moment, he dragged the shovel, its handle pinched under his upper arm, held the lamp in one hand and the lighter in the other, and sidled his way back to his corner.

Leaning the shovel against his bike, Jared lifted the lantern’s globe and lit the wick. Then he heard it again. He crouched low behind the Triumph, shoving the lighter back in his pocket. With an outstretched arm, Jared held the lantern as high as he could from his crouched stance, his eyes looking just over the leather seat of the motorcycle.

With the only sound being the effect of the wind on the old barn, Jared took a breath, reached for the shovel, and slowly stood up. With the lantern, he couldn’t play the role of Casey at bat, but he figured that he could do some damage swinging the shovel with one hand.

His sweep of the barn was slow but methodical, and after a few minutes, he stood in the middle wearing his mud-caked boots and holding a shovel like a farmer waiting to be painted. All that was missing was someone standing by his side, and there wasn’t anyone in the barn. He was certain of that.

He trundled back to the corner, his senses remaining on high alert despite the sweep of the barn. He found a nail in the wall close by where he hung the lantern, its warm flame glowing. He then propped the shovel in the corner, leaning so as not to fall over, and sat down. His eyes looked past the Triumph, watching and listening when he remembered that he left the barn door open. As he started to get up, he looked over to the door and, to his fearful surprise, saw that it was shut.

“What the?” was all he managed, as he pulled the saddlebags close and started looking for his Colt. When he again heard the noise, he ducked his head below the level of the bike, the cold steel of his gun in hand. Pulling back on the hammer, he opened the loading gate and spun the chamber. It was fully loaded. His hand had started to tremble as he closed the gate and lifted the gun.

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared Cooper, forced to find shelter in an old barn awakens in the middle of the night to strange sounds.

Have a great day.

Rollin

Fallen One (02)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

The air washed over his face as if he dove into an assault of waves on the beach. The rejuvenating experience kindled something long forgotten. It was the beginning of something new, a budding sprout of life breaking through cracked and arid soil.

Clusters of woods, populating ravines, gullies, streams, and river banks interrupted the flow from one farm to another and one pasture to the next. Sheep and cattle were grazing everywhere, but not in large numbers. Nearly all the farms were quite small. And many of them appeared abandoned, or at least in great disrepair.

As Jared road past a patch of woods, another farm appeared on his right, this one appearing active and well taken care of. The roadside fencing was painted white, and all of it looked in good shape. The main barn and other outbuildings were also in good condition, standing tall and upright, at least as far as he could see from the road. Most of the house was hidden behind an assorted umbrella of trees, providing good shade in the summer for yard activities and sitting on the porch.

Jared got a good shot of the porch, peeking through the branches, and there sat a woman, a fan in one hand that was busy at work and a glass in the other. Sweet tea, he suspected as he slowed to a stop, careful not to put the nose of the bike in the irrigation ditch. 

He could see that she had a thick book on her lap, and though she wasn’t wearing any glasses and her hair was long, draping over her shoulders, she reminded him of his grandma. And with that reminder came the tension, creeping slowly into his head. It remained with him as he pulled back out on the road, an unwanted travel companion for several miles before fading away.

It seemed, however, that he couldn’t be left alone. As soon as one unwanted companion left, another appeared as if out of nowhere. The hand of darkness crawled toward him; the vivid day swallowed up in a mass of clouds. 

A couple of cars rolled over a small hill, headed my way. Their headlights burned yellow, and their wipers beat in overdrive. It wasn’t looking good for Jared, and he started thinking about his options. The cars flew past, buffeting him with a soggy wind that coated the screen on his helmet, which he smeared away with his hand.

Jared slowed down, knowing how treacherous a slick road could be, and spotted a sign pointing to the next town. The first wave of rain hit him as the sign came into focus. “Twenty miles,” he said, shaking his head, his thighs and knees soaked in a matter of seconds. While he knew that he could make it, drenched as he would be, he kept his eyes out for some immediate shelter.

A flash of lightning chased away the gloom long enough for Jared to see something that gave him hope. A barn stood alone just off the highway, surrounded by a grassy field. The flashing light shined between the slats of the walls, and its weathered wooden structure was the color of ash. But at least it was standing and had some semblance of a roof on it.

A small bridge crossed the irrigation ditch, providing access to the clearing. As Jared pulled off and made his way across, he looked down. A warning sign, weathered, rusted, and covered in dirt, bearing the words No Trespassing, was pelted with raindrops. It gave him pause as he looked around, not eager to find himself at the wrong end of a shotgun.

He rode right up to the doors, bumping it with his front tire and shoving it with his outstretched hand. They both gave, wobbling open with the least amount of hesitation, when a quick roll of thunder broke loose into thunderous applause. With a short spurt of gas, he rolled inside and shut off the engine.

The dirt floor was covered in spotty layers of hay, manure, and more ash-colored planks. Climbing off the Triumph, Jared balanced the bike and reached for one of the shorter planks, using it as a bed for his kickstand. A drop fell on his cheek, and he looked up, the roof of the barn looking like a star-filled night. Each hole gave way to the occasional drop of rain. It could have been much worse, Jared thought as he looked around, his hands already untying his sleeping bag.

The space between his bike and the closest wall looked to be the most waterproof. Jared looked up. At least the area had the fewest holes in the roof. Leaving the sleeping bag resting on the leather seat, he began gathering the dryest hay from around the barn. As he did, he took inventory of everything he could find, which beyond a couple of hanging lanterns and old rope, didn’t amount to much.

The lightning ravaged the black sky, and the booming voice from heaven seemed to shake the ground. Dropping the hay in place, Jared walked over to the barn doors, now flapping in the rising wind, banging against the walls. One moment he was dry. A second later, the wind’s course changed direction, giving him a hard shove toward the barn’s interior and layering him with a new coat of rainwater.

“This is going to be a bad one,” he muttered, stepping out into the storm, grabbing the doors, and pulling them closed. He stood there, momentarily blinded by the deluge of rain, securing the doors with the wooden latch. Leaning over, he shook his arms, wiped his eyes, and ruffled his hair. Unbuttoning his shirt, he took it off, wrung it out, and hung it on a nail before turning to his saddlebags for a teeshirt.

As the storm raged on, Jared collapsed onto the sleeping bag, the small Bible in his hands. What remained of the light of the day was nearly gone, blanketed by the deluge of rain. It was too dim to read it, and he was too tired to get up and do anything about it. The last thing he saw before falling asleep was a falling drop, landing inches from his face.

This story of Fallen One, is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

Jared Cooper in riding west, through a long stretch of farm land. Running into a storm, he is forced to find shelter, which he does in an old, abandoned barn.

Have a great day.

Rollin

Fallen One (01)

Stefan Keller – Pixabay

Jared Cooper sat on the edge of his bed and didn’t move. His body was in a slump; his head held up by his hands pressed against his temples. His mind was in a dive.

The phone rang, but he made no move to pick it up. The most he was willing to do was look over at the nightstand and look at the clock. Based on the time, Jared had a good idea who was calling and left it to his answering machine. A spark of life appeared in his fingers, applying a little soothing massage therapy to his head.

“Hello, this is Jared. Please leave a message after the beep,” the machine played as Jared, the massaging not helping as much as he hoped, pushed himself up to his feet and shuffled into the kitchen. “Jared, man, this is Hank, wondering where you are.” Jared turned on the hot water and grabbed a clean towel from the cabinet. “Look, I know things have been rough, but” 

Jared took the towel and held it under the faucet. “Just come into work. We’ll figure things out. Okay? Bye.” Hank hung up; the answering machine finished recording the message and reset itself while Jared wrung out what he could from the towel. 

He flopped in his living room chair, put his head back, and draped the towel over his face. Hot had already faded to warm and would soon be cool, but it felt wonderful. As he laid there, he began a mental inventory of his apartment, and sadly, after a few minutes, Jared realized there was very little that he had any personal attachment with. Not much to show for his life, and he felt a twinge of regret. But it was short-lived, and a smile came over his face.

An hour later, his backpack was jammed full of essentials, including his Colt Cowboy and two boxes of ammunition. Next, the saddlebags on his motorcycle were packed with canned food, water, a few tools, batteries, along with his laptop and accessories for his phone. The last item was his mother’s Bible which took longer than anything else to pack away. He held it close, his fingers lithely traversing the worn leather cover. It was hard for him to let go, but he did so with the utmost care when he did.

The sleeping bag was the last to be secured, tieing it to the back seat bar. Inside the bag, an additional thin wool blanket was rolled. He brought it along because you never know when another blanket might come in handy. Finally, Jared sheathed the sleeping back with his poncho to keep it dry on the road.

Jared sat there, his boots on the asphalt, his hands busy unclipping the strap of his helmet, the ’69 Triumph Bonneville rumbling between his legs, as he stared at the little house on Pacific Ave. Freeing his head, he rested the helmet on the tank, one hand holding it in place while the other was combing through the entanglements of his hair.

Just looking at the place seemed to tug at him, threatening to drag him back into the darkness. His grandma was inside, that much he was certain. The Rambler wagon was parked under the awning of a chestnut tree, dinged and faded, leaning slightly to the right. Grandma never went anywhere without it. 

Movement in the window stole Jared’s attention. It was slow and blurry, obscured by the shadow cast by the chestnut and the oak trees and the window screens, but he knew it was her. He expected that her radio was on and she was about to sit down near the window to read her book. A short while later, he was able to see her much clearer, standing close to the window, a book in her hand. She pulled the curtains wider before sitting down in her chair.

She’s definitely a creature of habit. Jared reached behind him and pulled a bottle of water from the saddlebags. He quickly drank down half of it before screwing the lid back on and tucking it away. The day was hot and humid, the pits of his arms saturated in sweat. He wasn’t going to miss that, and as he took one final look at the house, he wasn’t sure that he would miss her either.

Jared pushed the helmet back on snuggly and buckled the strap. With a final glance at the house and the woman in her chair, he put the bike in gear and sped off. Traffic was typical for a small town, and he was quickly at 12th Street, with no sign of anyone, not even outside in their yards or driveways. He turned to the right, keeping a slow pace through the neighborhood, the road curving to the left and turning into Parker that would take him west and out of town. He gave a casual glance to the high school on his right, the lot empty for the summer, before looking ahead, not clear in his head where he was going.

As we begin the story of Fallen One, remember that what I am posting is a first draft. I encourage anyone to provide comments, make suggestions, and point out problems.

We are introduced to our main character, Jared Cooper. It is obvious from the story so far that he has a broken relationship with his grandmother. As he is about to leave town, he isn’t willing to say goodbye, though, he does stop by her house and sees her in the window.

Have a great day.

Rollin