August 13, 2011

Creative Adventures #4

I am participating in Toni's meme....

1. While in a forest, you see a cabin ahead, you : think this could be the place because its a perfect hideout. Off the beaten track, quiet, and seemingly empty,   it could be that no one has lived in it for years.

The place could stand some TLC but you hear old Jimmy's voice saying, "we ain't here to do no real estate appraisal Jack, get on with it for Pete sake". Jimmy was annoying but  he was  usually right about most things, so you get down to business because you know that's how he would have wanted things and who are you to buck the old traditions?

There is no way to appraise this situation unless you get inside and look around, that's for certain, but you also have to be sure no one else is in there, because that would not be healthy and you sort of like the life you live, dangerous as it is. Still, it's a life and it pays the  bills, so, "what the heck", you think .

You've had enough experience with just such situations  to figure out what to do next. And if you can't come up with something on your own you know that Jimmy will pop up somewhere in the back of your head and some cliche or other will spark an idea.    Now that Jimmy is gone you can claim them as your own too. You chuckle to yourself at that thought. Jimmy would have grumbled.

And just  on that thought, there is a spark that flares up into a steady flame behind the shade on the upper window on the cabin's second floor, just to your left.  Someone has struck a match.   No need to wonder if someone is there. Now you're sure.

"Great", you sigh as you hope the front steps don't creak as you take them slowly, quietly,  one at a time to the living room window.

2. In the cabin you find a large chest.

Well see, you couldn't help but "find" it.    You're frozen stiff from the walk up the mountain. So in spite of  coming in the  front porch window as silently  as you could , you were too chilled to be coordinated. You  nearly fell over the huge monstrosity.   Darn thing  had to be five feet long.

"What moron put that there?" you think. But you are glad you didn't fall tail over teakettle onto the floor. It nearly sent you flying.

You can't risk being found there and when the smell of a pipe wafts down the staircase to your right you know you aren't alone. Someone is upstairs and you are down here making a mess in the living room. Not going to be pleasant if you get caught.
You turn and slowly close the front window behind you.

3. Suddenly you hear a noise coming from the outside.

"Oh goody, company," you think to yourself as you hear the crunch of gravel under tires and then a car door thumps shut right outside.

The guy with the pipe has heard it too and now  a thick old door turns with a moan on its hinges and opens upstairs.    The smell of that pipe is a lot stronger now. You are thinking he could have picked a sweeter smelling brand.

There is no time for looking around, you have to get out of there. The kitchen is just ahead of you through the dining room and you have set it as your goal. You try to run quietly through the living room, but it's an obstacle course jammed with all kinds of crap that no vacation cabin would need in a million years. You can't help but take inventory of all the useless junk slowing down your getaway.  But   reach the dining room anyway just as you hear someone begin to come down the stairs.

Only a few more feet and you push through the swinging  door and on into the kitchen where a tea pot rests on the stove almost ready to whistle. You glance quickly around to be sure you are alone and then test the back door .It isn't locked.

The door opens and you are out of there. You jump from the threshold to the dirt, no time for stairs and then behind you in the house,  the front door opens and two men  are exchanging greetings.

As  you jog off into the woods you realize you didn't shut the back door. Will they notice? Sure they will. You mentally shake your head at the stupidity of it all: tripping over the chest, leaving doors open. You left a trail. "Idiot", you say to no one but yourself.

4.The adventure over, you :

circle back down the mountain and on into town knowing you will have to trek back  up again to look over that cabin.  There is no other choice, it has to be done.

As you walk into town your steamy breath  float up and  out over the  ice cold air . You kind of wish  you could have taken that car back at the cabin.No chance of that though and now you were freezing.
Back in the warmth of the cabin  the two men are discussing that open back door you left.

"Someone was here," said the man with the pipe.

"Don't matter," said the visitor. "By the time they come back, nothing will be here anyhow. Now, how about a cup of coffee. I'm chilled to the bone. November and we got snow coming already."

Finley is a small town at the foot of the Kenowah Mountains and if you're driving fast enough you miss it completely. There is a grocer, a clapboard First Methodist Episcopal Church, a post office in the drug store, a doctor and a store front library.    May Young's "Yarns 'n Notions" keeps the local ladies knitting and  Davey Whitefeather's 'Bait and Camp' serves locals and tourists alike with the best worms, camping gear and hand tooled leather belts around.     'Grindrod's Hardware and Feed'  has been around forever and the wash and fold laundromat and  a cafe round  out the town  conveniences.    Everything you need all in one tiny town.

*                              *                              *

The local tourist board, such as it was, labeled Finley "your gateway to vacation paradise" sometime back in the 30's as best as anyone could remember. Corny as it was the name stuck and a sign stating what the mayor said "has to be obvious", got nailed to a tree out at the town limits soon after.   60 years later the same sign was still there, just a little worse for wear. Finley didn't like bucking tradition and a sign put up was there for the duration.

The Oasis Cafe was a hole in the wall. Everybody admitted that but then they also had to admit that they served the best food in the county and the coffee was nothing to sneeze at either. Prices stayed pretty steady and they kept late hours. Altogether it your  kind of eatery and for a batchelor, the perfect place to get a good meal.
With ice cold hands you take hold of the door and pull.  Numb fingers don't make it pleasant but a rush of warm air engulfs you as you enter the cafe. Yup, a regular Oasis.

"Whoa, who's bringing the arctic chill inside" laughed Arlene from behind the
pic by
counter as an icy blast came  in with you. "Take a seat anywhere, Jack" she said watching you hang your knitted cap and jacket on the rack . Sitting at the counter  just seemed more friendly to you and might get you a quicker cup of coffee too.

You order yourself a cup of coffee, light, one sugar, preferably brown if they can manage it and a fried egg sandwich with bacon. "Sure can" says Arlene."You look chilled to the bone, Jack"  and  cupping her chin in her hands and resting  her elbows on the counter , she looks you  level in the eye.
"Your eggs'll be right up Jack". She could be darn sultry at times  you think, admiring how her frame fit the uniform.

The first sip is always the best with a good cuppa and at the Oasis Cafe it was better than most. It made you realize how cold you really were after the 8 mile trek up that mountain and 8 miles back down again. 

Arlene's about 48 or so, tall, great legs. You noticed that right away first time you met her. The fake rose pinned to her lapel had to be something the owner thinks is 'cute'. She looks up at you and smiles. High wattage but maybe she isn't really your type, but then  were any of them, you wonder to yourself as Arlene goes back to working.

She reaches for a bar mop but  isn't finding any under the counter,so she yells to the guy out back. "Andy, I need a couple bar mops up here ,  okay?".

"Yeah, where you keeping 'em now?" he says."They ain't in this box here."

"Oh, for Pete sake , Andy. They're in the chest there by the freezer"Arlene said. Then looking at you  she says, "If he wasn't so blind he'd trip over that doggone chest" 
The words  bang into your ears like a hammer.

Your head spins a bit and you slop coffee into the saucer and down your wrist as your mind goes wheeling back to being sprawled over that chest in the cabin.

"Oh no! The chest!"......



  1. Great stuff! I was riveted. Loved the details you used.

  2. Hi Annie,
    Great creative adventure mine was pretty cut and dry :) Hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs, Dru

  3. Wow Annie!

    I enjoyed your adventure book and couldn't put the book down! Great, just great! You left us with a cliff hanger.. what about the chest?? ;-}

  4. Oh, what a lovely long adventure, beautiful! :)
    Have a lovely Monday!

  5. Annie,
    Thank you Annie. That header you made that is up now just pulls me in. It creates a sanctuary in my mind and I am right there. I work from home and felt my desk shake during the earthquake but that was about it. I am in northern New England. We are bracing here for Irene. Hopefully she will have some mercy on the coast. We are about 45 minutes from the ocean, preparing for water in our basement. Stay safe and "free hugs" Sal From Whistle Down The Wind


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