The Drifter Chronicles - Episode Three

 

The Drifter Chronicles by Michael Traveler- Online Episodic Edition - Episode Two
 


The Drifter Chronicles - Book One - Online Episodic Edition

Episode Three

 

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This book is dedicated
To My Little Boy

 

Daniel

 

Who Inspires Me
to Become a Better Man

 

May God and His Angels
Watch Over, Protect & Guide You

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The House at the End of Miracle Road

 

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g1.jpgo head,” he said. “Open it.”
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Some secrets are locked away for a reason. Buried. Sealed. Sometimes, the cost of releasing them from their tomb is in blood.
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Muzzy stared at the book: ancient, black leather cracked and worn, edges frayed. The cover offering no secret to what was within. There were no words or embroidery, nothing but empty blackness. Muzzy's fingers kept their distance, instead hugged the smooth safe surface of the dinette. He knew that once he opened it, once he went down that path, there was no turning back, no way to undo what was done.
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“Go ahead,” said Pully. “Open it.” The words echoed in his head, in his heart. In his soul. “There's only one way to find out the truth.” He tapped on the book. “Ya know what ya have ta do, boy.”
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Muzzy studied his face. That grin. Those eyes. They seemed as old as time. Perhaps, they were time itself. Who was this crazy old man? “What'cha waitin' fer, boy?” his voice sounded raspy and far away. Muzzy's hand seemed to suddenly take on a life of its own. His fingers followed suit.
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The book opened.

 

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The sea didn't part. A puff of smoke did not burst from the pages. No eerie light rose from within illuminating the boy's face and causing his eyes to glitter and gleam. A cold wind did not suddenly blow through the room. None of that. Miracles more often than not do not announce themselves. They sneak in quietly, posing as everyday events and go entirely unnoticed.
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Instead, Muzzy studied the page in front of him, his eyes gliding over old newspaper clippings, aging photos, scribbled notes, thoughts, doodles and poems. There were things taped to the page. Others paper clipped. There were arrows scrawled beneath photos with comments and smiley faces and exclamation points and underlines scribbled like a zigzag.
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But the thing that stood out most, the one that drew his attention and held it was a faded newspaper clipping taped to the page with a headline that read simply:  WAR!

 
*     *     *

 

m.jpguzzy's eyes slid across the page from the hand-scrawled poem to an old photo taped beside it. The photo was black and white, turning brown with age, of a young woman with long black hair standing next to a shiny car with big round fenders and tail fins, the girl had one hand on the car and the other on her hip.
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“Who's she?” Muzzy asked. “Was she the girl in the poem?”
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Pully's eyes seemed to sparkle, to smile when he looked at the photo, yet hidden behind the smile was a deep longing sorrow.
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“Every story has one great love. My great love was her.”

 

 

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m.jpgully tried to ignore the dead bodies he was hiding under and the enemy troops that were marching over the bodies that he was underneath, the gunfire flying by overhead, the mortar shells exploding nearby instead he focused on the memory of his girl's photo in his helmet. Her smile. Her long black hair. Her dark brown eyes.
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Her smile could light up a room.
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And if that's all you ever got, if nothing else good ever happened in your life but to see her smile - to see a smile like that – well then, pal, count yourself damn lucky. And Pully did. He did count himself lucky.
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He had seen that smile many times.
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The first time was in old man Gunther's Store. Back before the war. Back when life was simple. Back when he was still a kid of fifteen and bombs weren't exploding around him, bullets screaming by overhead and his mind clawing to hang on to its last shred of sanity as his nostrils were filled the stench of dead bodies. Somebody was stepping on the bodies on top of him. He could feel something poking him in the back.  Focus. Focus. He told himself. Gunther's Store. The first time you saw her smile. She was looking at greeting cards. That's right. One arm was holding some library books, the other had a shopping bag looped over it while her hand was picking through cards trying to decide which she should get. Time just sort of stopped at that moment in the store for Pully. Sounds became muffled. And all the light in the room seemed to have gathered behind her and was shimmering off her long black hair that cascaded like a waterfall all the way down to her waist. Pully didn't know how, but it was as if there was a soft glow about her.
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She must've noticed him standing there, mouth open, eyes glassy like a deer in headlights, because she tossed her waist-length hair to one side and smiled at him with those big warm brown eyes. At first, he just stood there with his mouth open staring, then he realized what he was doing and closed his mouth, stopped staring and smiled back.
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“Hey, Pocahontas … ”
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Some boys pushed past Pully and gathered around the girl. One of them knocked the library books out of her hands. “Ooops … “ the boy who knocked the books laughed. The others joined in.
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He picked up one of the library books, a children's book. “Hey, look! Pocahontas is trying to learn how to read gooder.” This seemed to be incredibly funny to the other boys, because they burst into laughter.
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Why were they calling her Pocahontas?
Pully wondered. Then, he looked at her more closely and realized that not only was her hair a deep shiny black and long and her eyes a warm dark brown but her skin was also slightly brown. She must've been from the reservation.
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One of the boys grabbed for her shopping bag and she held on like a lioness guarding her cubs. “Whoah! I think Pocahontas is about to go on the war path.”

 

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Episode Four >>

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