I’ve done a little editing to chapter 2 still going through it to make other needed changes. For today I am posting only a portion of chapter 2 and the rest will be posted Monday. Well the rest of chapter 2 will be posted Monday. I’m writing chapter 3. originally I had only planned on this being a short short story about a near death experience for Jack but it (the story) seems to be taking on a life of its own and wants to continue. So I’ll write it until it wants to be left alone. Enjoy. Comments are always welcome.
It’s been a year since Jack was pulled from Blackridge River. His body has recovered from the wounds inflicted upon him by that river’s shadow. The lacerations on his back, neck and legs are just scars and memories. The scars will fade in time or at least the doctors at Mercy Medicenter said as much. Jack’s mind however is altogether something different. Physically his brain has been changed from his time being held in the death cradle of the river. The doctors have no reasons or explanations for that little oddity. Jack wants to know why even if the therapists said just forget about it and move on. Chalk it all up to a near death experience and get on with living.
But Jack cannot forget his time with the water. He still remembers the feel of it on his skin, in his lungs and in his mind. He can’t figure that one out, how water can get into your mind. He feels its presence in him; the water is not gone completely no matter what any medically trained person tells him.
Now that the wheel of the year has turned to summer Jack has decided to come back to Blackridge and the river. He seeks the shadow and to ask it why he was allowed to live. So many others had lost their lives to the river but Jack survived. Now he has returned to find out why.
“You’re the one aren’t you?” A woman behind the counter of Raymond’s Grill asks Jack as he stands in line for his take out order. “Excuse me? The one..?” the question pulls Jack from his reverie of the river event back to the present.
“The one who survived the river. I remember you from newspaper photos.” Smiling politely she looks at Jack expecting an answer. “Yeah I’m the one as you put it. My name is Jack Collier the river survivor.” Smiling back at the waitress he notices how she is looking at him. “Not like I’m a celebrity or anything.”
“Well it’s not as if I was going to ask for an autograph or photo. I just remembered you that’s all.” The smile never leaving her lips as she hands Jack his lunch.
“Sorry I just, it was a long ride back here and I’m tired. What’s your name again?” Hoping that his pitiful apology sounded as sincere as he meant it to be, he takes his food.
“I never told you my name. That’ll be six-fifty Mr. River Survivor.” Jack hands her a ten, tells her to keep the change and leaves. Glad to be back outside and away from that awkward exchange he walks to the park in the center of town to sit and eat. It was a longer car ride than he had expected. He had to stop a few times and convince himself that this was the best course of action. He’s starting to question his decision but at least he made a decision about returning.
Feeling the need to check into his hotel room Jack walks to the hotel. Thinking that maybe then he’ll feel more settled about being back here. Tomorrow he’ll go to the town records office and see what he can dig up about that river. See if maybe there are other survivors hiding out somewhere. Jack figures that he can’t be the only one to have made it out alive. That just seems impossible. The River View Hotel looks as good in person as in the photo on their website.
The clerk behind the desk at the hotel looks again at the reservation list, “I’m sorry sir but I can’t find your reservation.”
Shaking his head Jack takes a deep breath calming himself before he rants at the desk clerk. After all it isn’t his fault that the computer system lost his reservation. Nor is it the clerk’s fault that he is exhausted from the trip. “Is my credit card going to be charged for the reservation fee? And just give me whatever room you have on the fourth floor in the back.”
“No sir your card shouldn’t be charged anything and if it is then it’ll be taken care of by the management. Let’s see…here you go room 420 it’s in the back with a view of the river,” Smiling the desk clerk hands Jack the key card and reminds him that there is a free breakfast bar from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.
Jack nods and heads off to the elevators rubbing his forehead and using the deep breathing techniques his therapist taught him. Breathing to control your anger, that is what that damn thing is called. Crap this trip is turning out to be more of a pain in the neck the further I get into it.