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Shifting

Shifting

It hit him while they were eating supper. Bill put down his
knife and said,” I am going to the office”. Helen knew that meant it could be
,at worst, forty eight hours before he returned. She knew the drill but still
each time it happened  it hurt her
somehow. Sure they wanted for nothing and Bill’s character was beyond reproach
but she was nearly as jealous of his time at work as she would have been of a
lover.

He had the look about him though so it was no use. Sometimes
she could protest and he would sit and scribble and mutter for an hour or two
and send an email and it was over ,he was back with the living.This was not one
of those days ,he was deep into it. How did he even drive to the office like
that?

Not that Bill was ever “all there” he was always working
through a problem or imagining a new cave or reliving some spelunking adventure
of the past. Helen knew that she was attracted to him partly because of this.
Sure these things were not important to her but, well, she didn’t have to
understand everything about him or her to love him and she loved him now as
much as ever. It had been a bad day for her and in spite of all this she had
some harsh words for him on his way out the door, Bill seemed not to notice as
he turned the key of his old red Pinto.

He locked the door and sat down at his desk. The clients
request was not even considered by the competition but no one knew the
spectroscopy of liquid water jets better than Bill and the problem,was already
solved in his head . For the next thirty hours he worked out the details in a
way Josh called clutterdom reality. There were some problems only Bill could
solve but only Josh could sift through his solution, delegate the details to
the underlings ,get the work and basically make it happen. It was as if Bill
was Moses and Josh was Aaron. So the days and weeks and years passed by with
Bill floating about the country spelunking and dreaming his way through his
life and Josh shucking and jiving a living out of his genius.

Bill finished up at 2am Friday morning. He put a flash drive
and a few rough sketches on Josh’s desk and started out the door. This was one
of those rare times when Bill was not thinking about much of anything ,nearly
normal so to speak. He noticed Toby’s crew cleaning up down the hall and asked
if Toby was around. He found him out in the parking lot smoking in the van. He
climbed in and they talked a while. Toby was stressed because he needed a new
scouring machine and cash was tight because of a new baby and …… .  After a bit of it Bill tuned it out ,all he
needed to know was in the tone of Toby’s voice. He had known Toby since grade
school and somehow they had always been friends. When they got the new building
Bill told Josh to hire Toby and so they had a lot of late night /early morning
talks. Never before had Toby even mentioned money or stress about equipment.
Bill wrote him a check for $1000 and gave him $200 cash then he ran his fingers
across his lips like a zipper. Toby looked like he was going to cry when he
climbed out of the van.

4am hmmmmm Helen would be gone to work by the time he got
home so…………………….a plan was formed. There was just enough time to drive,hike and
crawl to his favorite perch in Sparta cave. After a quick stop at Fred’s Hopalong
for gas and coffee he was on the way. The sun was coming up as he parked the
car and headed down the path. He veered off at the ancient Oak and  made
his way to the entrance. He had never seen anyone down here and hoped the same
for today.

It seemed extra cold inside Sparta today but he decided that
was his lack of sleep. He would sleep in three hours if everything went right.
It was a wonderful journey and sure enough in a three hours and ten minutes he was
laying on a rock a mile into the side of the mountain. This was a special place
because there was an opening in the mountainside 100 feet above and for a few
hours sunlight filtered in through the brush surrounding the hole and landed on
Bill’s sleeping stone. He had logged over 100 hours of sleep on this ancient
rock and hoped to add a few good ones today. Bill wrapped himself up a bit and
was down for the count. He began to dream about something Helen had said on his
way out,”sailfish” something about sailfish and then he was in the ocean with
Helen at his side and they were – sailfish,identical sailfish diving and
surfacing playfully traversing their way across the Atlantic.Suddenly Helen
stopped and turned. She swung around at him and he countered with his sword
which broke off when it contacted Helen’s . He watched in amazement as it spiraled
to the ocean floor. As he watched it he came to himself,still within the dream,
it wasn’t “sailfish”  no not at all it
was selfish selfish selfish …………   He
opened his eyes and saw a large stalactite falling towards his head and turned
just in time to stay alive.

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About wherearetheheros

just someone my mother might know

6 responses »

  1. Oh my goodness. This was good! 🙂 Do you submit your work anywhere? I have to think there are some online journals that would snatch this up! God bless you and your writing!

    Reply
  2. Oh my, what a great ending! You really do know how to make your characters come alive. Don’t ever stop creating them! Thank you so much for sharing. I am honored….

    Reply
  3. Thanks Maron!
    nice for you to come by 🙂

    Reply
  4. whoa! crazy! i totally believe in the power of dreams and that sounds like a pretty powerful one!

    Reply
  5. yes he was a selfish sailfish wasn’t he.

    I like your flying story much better, only I am worried about her nutrition. 🙂

    thanks so much for reading my story

    Reply

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