Sunday, December 4, 2016

Excerpt from "Indelible": Gone in the Night

Excerpt from “Indelible” (memoir in progress):

The silence was overpowering, the room too quiet. I reached out to feel the reassuring lump of my sleeping husband, but his side of the bed was empty. I bounded out of bed, running through the house, flipping on lights, yelling Jim’s name. Fear sliced through my body with a burning wave of fire when I realized he was missing.

Knowing I couldn’t waste any time, I jumped in the car and drove east, the direction he usually traveled, peering at the area penetrated by the high beams of my headlights. Although I had a sense of urgency, I drove cautiously because I didn’t want to hit Jim with the car. I had no idea how long he’d been gone, and the farther I traveled without seeing him, the more I panicked.

I reached the crossroads and without hesitation, turned left, choosing Jim’s normal route. My mouth was getting dry. I pressed onward, fear and worry jockeying for position in my mind. I rounded the next corner, headlights slicing through the darkness. There he was! The tension drained from my body, replaced with elation and relief.

Jim was fully dressed wearing jacket, jeans, and his “Vietnam Veteran and Proud of It” cap. He seemed to be unaware of the car and continued his measured tortoise pace, cane grasped in his left hand. I pulled over and stopped behind him, climbed out of the car, speed walking to catch up with him.

I reached out and wrapped my fingers around his bicep, and he stopped as if he had applied his brakes.

“Honey, you scared me,” I said. “Come on, let’s go home, and have some coffee.” 

He turned his face toward me. His eyes were hidden behind sunglasses, but his mouth and facial features were expressionless giving him a surreal appearance. I hooked my hand at his elbow and guided him toward the car. I opened the passenger door; he climbed in, resting his cane on the floor. He settled into the seat and fastened his seat belt. I drove to the highway, turned around, and took him home.

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher

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