Ronnie Ray Jenkins surprises us again with this gently told story. His description of the garden made me want to take a long walk in it - and I would love to check out the bench! I wonder of the Bleeding Heart is still there!
Beautifully done short love story. Very poignant. Kept me riveted until the ending. I enjoyed it very, very much. A good story.
So, to my fans enjoy this free read, and to those who haven't discovered my work in this great hay mound of life, you never know, it just might be the needle you're looking for when it comes to homespun reading.
Fracking... we've all heard the term, and many of us have seen the results of it. When Farmer Wilmer cashes his check from Unified Gas Holdings, "UGH," old Wilmer is soon to find out that all that glitters isn't gold. When a professor happens into town, and tries to educate Wilmer and his fellow farmers they don't want to listen. Even Lard, the local tavern owner doesn't care, he's making a mint as Wilmer spreads his newly found wealth. Will it all be worth it though? See what could happen with fracking, as you read this humorous work that will leave you spellbound and surely in awe at the very surprising ending. Here's an excerpt from, "Fracking!"
Wilmer never saw so much money in his
life until he cashed the one-time check issued for the sale of his gas rights
to the Unified Gas Holdings. The company purchased the rights to all seventy
acres on Wilmer’s small farm that had been in the family for years. Wilmer
walked out of the bank ecstatic. The first stop he made was at Clyde
Pemberton’s Dodge City Auto. It was there, where wealthy Wilmer bought himself
a brand new, Wild Buffalo Four. The Buffalo was the top of the line, four-wheel
drive, and full-size pickup truck every man hoped to own. Wilmer paid cash for
it, and drove back to his farm in the blazing red truck. Life was great for the
five-foot, two-inch tall, thin bachelor at sixty-years of age. Hell, I might
even get myself a woman, he thought as he fiddled with the new-fangled radio.
When he turned up the lane to his old
farmhouse, the gas company was already starting to frack the land his family
lived on since the days of Sacajawea. Now there were derricks popping up all
over the place, it seemed to Wilmer that the structures were numbering nearly
three of them to an acre of his land. A big truck hauling a flatbed cut through
a road that once was a cornfield. Wilmer didn’t mind, he made more money with
the sale of the rights then his corn crops ever made him. He parked in front of
the big white farmhouse and went inside to pour himself a stiff drink of
bourbon he kept under the kitchen sink. The short man walked to the living
room, and turned on his old television set, and waited for it to warm up. He
made a mental note to get him one of them flat screened jobs that he seen in
the window of Clark’s Furniture Emporium in town. The old television was set to
the news station, and Wilmer slumped back in his overstuffed recliner with the
broken footrest screeching when he pulled the handle to raise it. He’d buy new
furniture, by gum, he thought. He took a sip of the bourbon and watched as the
news anchor conducted an interview with Generalissimo Francisco Compote, who
sat in a chair across from the anchor’s desk.
“So Generalissimo, tell us a little
about the new bomb.”
The officer’s crisp, blue uniform
showed off razor sharp creases, and the television cameras caught the
glittering medals bedecking his chest. His golden epaulets hung off his broad
shoulders and fluttered slightly.
“It is a great weapon that is sure
to bring peace around the world,” The man said, his golden front tooth glittering.
The news anchor raised his eyebrows
and leaned his face closer toward Generalissimo Compote. His face showing a mask that told the viewers
he was wondering how a new bomb could bring peace.
Compote ignored the look and
continued on with his explanation, “The new bomb is called the, “DOAB.”
“DOAB?” the anchor’s forehead
“The daddy of all bombs,” replied
Compote reaching up to swipe a speck of something from his uniform’s shoulder.
Last night I had a staring contest with a snipe fly. I won, but before he left, I got his picture. You might wonder why I would do such a thing. Two words, Granny Spinetta. The only spider in the world who's web is heart-shaped and magical in my soon to be released novel, Wedding Dolls. In the meantime, visit Kindle Unlimited, and see how many books of mine you can read for free with the subscription. How I roll.
He was eight-years-old when the knock came to the door in the big house out in the country. It was a knock that would change the lives of a family forever. It is fitting on this Fourth of July to remember. So, I chose to remember by doing this audio version of my short story titled, Bringing Brother Home. For when we forget, we become very wrong.
Just below the old house was a long and worn
footpath winding past huckleberries growing on green bushes. Just off the path,
stands of aspen trees with shining silver bark waved under a bright sun. Their
quivering leaves casting shadows down from above to pockmark me with dappled
black shapes. It was a circuitous path, endless, and it looped around to lead
one eventually back to the path’s beginning and home again.
Through the woods it led to small body of water held
back by an earthen breastwork broken in the middle, for long ago someone once
drowned in it. The never-ending path allowed one to walk across the breastwork of
the dam. Halfway across it, golden wild grasses ended where the yellow clay and
rocks were removed to drain the dam to recover the body, as I was told. It was
a beautiful place to die-- if one must die.
I traveled the path from the age of five-years-old,
and many times, I traveled it alone. There was something about solitude even
then for me. Although, we only lived there until I was eight, my footprints
played as much of a role to keep the path smooth as the deer who walked upon it
did. There wasn’t a single time though that my
thoughts didn't somehow return to the drowning. Was it the morbid
curiosity of death? Was it a young boy’s fear of ghosts, and that maybe
the dead boy’s spirit floated with the early morning fog above the water? I’d
heard the victim was only twelve or thirteen. I wondered back then, if I would
still be alive at that age. After all, death took him early, so what would make
me so special? Why would I be granted a longer sentence on the planet then this
kid? I had a million questions, but I had no answers.
I recall walking the path, and wondering if his feet
touched the very soil I walked upon. I wondered if at some point, was there any
inkling to him that the clock was ticking as he left the path and neared the
water as if it was some sort of countdown to eternity? Worse yet, or better
yet, is this where he stayed now for infinity? Could this be his personal
heaven? After all, it was a beautiful place.
There were bullfrogs, and sometimes a heron would
land upon the water. There were raccoon along the banks seeking out crayfish,
and sunfish glittering when the light caught their scales. There were green
lily pads floating on silent water, and tall spruce and pines on the far side
mirrored upon the smooth surface on those days when the weather was agreeable.
It was a beautiful place to die-- if one must die.
Years later, I returned to the old dam. The aspen
trees showed their age with broken branches and some that toppled over now
leaned against those trees still standing as if their destiny was to become
support like a cane for an old man. The huckleberry bushes seemed much sparser
to me. The path required me to pause to make sure I still stood upon it as it
no longer carried the signs of usage. When I reached the shores, the water
seemed lower, browner than before and not nearly as wide as I remembered in
youth. Still and seemingly unchanged, the stumps of trees poked up from the
water like ancient statues carved not by man but, by time. I stood on the bank,
and on a large stump near the middle, my eyes caught a glint of something. It
was an old fishing plug impaling the wood, held tight by a rusted and bent
hook. Then, the drowning came back to me.
Could the old, “Jitterbug,” fishing plug snagged on
the decaying log been the reason? Life snatched by the jaws of death all
because of what was tied to the end of a light blue, six-pound-test, spider web
thin, piece of fishing line floating now in the air as a breeze moved across
the water. Maybe the plug was borrowed from his father’s old tackle box, and he
didn’t want to return home without it for fear of Appalachian justice. All of
these years, and it still haunted me. I probably would never know what
happened, no one would know. Maybe it was meant to be that way.