Archive for July, 2011

You can’t play boxing

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

He was breathing hard as he returned to his corner. The stool was out, so was Arnold and he didn’t look happy. Arnold took his monthpiece and passed it to Tony. It had blood on it, his blood. He sank to the stool weakened by the ordeal, but the shock of the cold water Arnold was pouring over his head revived him.

Arnold wiped his face with the towel then gave him a drink. He wanted to guzzle, but Arnold pulled it away and told him to spit, he did.

“Look at it” Arnold demanded as Tony applied the enswell against the small mouse beginning to rise in the corner of his eye.

“That’s your blood son, what are you going to do about it?” Leaving no opportunity to reply Arnold continued. “You didn’t look too damn fleet out there. You’re behind on everyone’s card. You got one more round, 3 minutes and unless you get your shit together and take this guy out, the dream dies here.” The 133 amateur fights, the Gold medal at the Olympics, the 19 – 0 pro record, all gone and you’re just another statistic.

You sparred 200 rounds for this fight ran 5 miles a day for 90 days and you’re letting him take it away. Your fight is in the middle of the ring. Stick and move, punch in combination, straight right hands, he’s leaning in, use the upper cut, then hook when his head comes up and you’re the next middle weight champion of the world, don’t and you’re not. So what’s it going to be Billy?

“I can’t get him off me” he complained.

“Of course you can, move your feet, be fleet. Just step off, don’t be in front of him cuz he’s just standing there right in front of you. He’s going to come running across that ring at the sound of the bell, step off and let him run by. He’ll pivot and throw that looping right hand. Get under it, come up with the upper cut and hook back. That’s all there is Billy, but you gotta do it. You got lots of gas left in those legs.” And as if to emphasize his point Arnold slapped him hard on his thigh, it stung. He was awake now.

While Tony finished working on the cut over the other eye, he felt Arnold’s big soft hands wipe the last of the Vaseline across his face. He looked into the eyes of the old man who had coached him his whole life and he saw the faith.

“I’ll do it, Arnold, I’ll do it” he promised.

Arnold smiled as he pushed the mouthpiece back into his mouth “OK Fleet Billy Jones, be fleet, give yourself room to punch, punch in combination, be the bully and don’t back up!”

He stood and began to bounce, Arnold was right, there was lots left in the legs. He saw the swollen face of the Russian across the ring. He put his hand up waving at the Russian to come, for this was his time, the time of a new champion.

The bell sounded and as Arnold predicted, the Russian ran across the ring. He had only taken two steps forward before the Russian was in his face. He stepped off to the right letting the Russian run by. The looping punch was there, Billy was under it, his right landed on the button and he hooked back with the left. The Russian stumbled as Billy felt the knuckle of his left hand break. No time to worry as he threw the right straight down the pipe. The Russian staggered and the swelling over the eye broke open. Billy was on him, slapping with the left, the pain was excruciating, and then the right driving the Russian back against the ropes. Billy moved in for the close. He saw the desperation on the Russians face, but not the wild left that caught him on the top of the head.

He stumbled back from the impact and his legs went dead. He tried to bounce, but nothing happened. He swung back with the broken left hand catching the Russian on the jaw knocking him to the floor. He backed away praying he wouldn’t get up. He watched as the Russian rolled over and reached for the ropes to pull himself up.

“OK, suck it up, don’t wait. No matter what, he can’t come forward, back him up” he told himself.

The referee waved them back in. His legs had recovered and immediately he began his assault. Each jab hurt like hell, and again the Russian swung wildly leaning in to attack. Billy was under it and up came his right. The Russians head popped up, he hooked with the left, stepped back and watched his opponent fall to the floor. Billy knew he wouldn’t be getting up as the referee waved his arms over his fallen opponent.

He ran to the opposite corner jumping to the ropes waving wildly. He was the new middleweight champion of the world. He turned to see Arnold running across the ring. He jumped into his arms.

“You’re the champ Billy” was all Arnold said holding him high in those huge arms.

And for Billy, nothing hurt as the referee raised his arm.

A short story by David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Terror – Part IV

Monday, July 25th, 2011

As he moved around the corner, hope burst forth as the ledge and the decline continued. Inspired, Harry pushed harder and the slope made it a bit easier. He was moving into the trees. He was going in the right direction, he could make it. The duration of the labour exhausted him. He took the bottle from his jacket and drank the remaining water. It wasn’t much, but he felt better.

Finally the ledge ran out and Harry found himself near the bottom. His dangling feet seemed inches away from the soft carpet of the forest floor. Not much further below the lower trail beckoned. The ground sloped away so he would have to be careful not to fall. Fortunately in front of him was a big Douglas fir only an arms length away. With a good drop it would block him from falling down the side of the hill and avoid further injury …he hoped.

Harry knew he couldn’t be impulsive, care was required. Taking several deep breaths he started edging himself forward. The soles of his boots seemed to be almost touching as he dropped. The moment his feet made contact he pitched forward losing his balance and slammed into the giant tree. For all its size it didn’t block his fall, it just bounced him off on to the side of the hill instigating a long tumble before finally coming to an unconscious rest on his back in a shallow pond surrounded by skunk cabbage.HPIM3166 (3)

It was pitch black when Harry regained consciousness. He was wet and cold. It took a bit of time to get some recall. He moved his good arm in an effort to push himself up right. His hand sunk deeper into the mud. He choked on a mouthful of pond water as he sunk. He turned his head. He would have to roll over on the broken shoulder. The pain would be intense, but he had no choice, he was sinking. He rolled and he cried, but he didn’t stop until he had rolled two turns getting the good arm on firm soil and pushed himself upright.

Fear drove him up on to his knees. He looked around, but in the dark he saw nothing, not even his hand in front of his face. Harry felt around until his hand bumped into something. With more feeling and fumbling he realized it was a log. With a herculean effort he got himself seated on the log. His feet were still in the water.

“Am I going to die here” he asked in a tone reflecting his growing desperation.

“Help me” he called out. The level of his call was still just a whisper and it hurt, everything hurt. His breathing was more laboured than ever. “Help me” he called again. There was no response. He called again and still nothing. It was impossible for him to move. The night eliminated any light and without it he wouldn’t find the trail. He bent his head and began to cry. Not because of the pain, but because at that moment, he gave up. He was going to die here. It was hopeless as his strength frittered away.

Then he heard something. It seemed to be rushing towards him. His first thought was a bear. Out of the dark it jumped up on him and began licking his face. It was Sadie, she had found him. He held her with his good arm. He was safe. He looked past her to see lights flickering through the trees. Sadie barked, the lights called to him “Dad, where are you?” It was Carl, his son.

“Over here” he choked in reply. “Go get him Sadie” he told her. She turned and ran a few feet and began barking. She wouldn’t leave him, but she would tell them where he was. In just minutes Carl was there shinning the flashlight on his father “Dad, you’re alive” he said as his tears joined his fathers.

Story by David Hutchison 100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

See you Wednesday with a new story

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Terror, Part III

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

The blood from the cut on the back of his head trickled down his neck soaking his shirt. The pain continued to come in waves, he felt nauseous. No matter what he had to move, he couldn’t stand still. His legs wobbled, time was against him. There had to be a way, there was always a way, he just had to find it. It was getting dark and still no one called for him. 

He thought about turning to the face wall, but it wouldn’t do any good as the injured shoulder had left him unable to climb. Harry moved right to the very edge of the last step and looked down. He saw a narrow ridge a couple of feet below him, but to get there he would have to sit down. Could he do it that was the question?

Harry bent his knees as far as possible. Now he needed to get one foot out at a time and not fall while doing it. He leaned to the left and used his good arm to support him. But still it was not enough, he needed to lay on his side too get his legs out. He whimpered in pain from the effort, but in spite of it he got down. First the bottom leg, then the top and with the help of his good arm, he pushed himself up right.

He needed a drink. He reached for the pack and awkwardly pulled the water from its holder. The pack lifted and fell away before he could grab it. It dropped straight to the ledge, bounced and was gone. Would he do the same? It took a bit of effort to get the bottle open, but when he did, he drank heavily. He left only a mouthful or two. He didn’t care, he was refreshed and had gained some strength. The drop was maybe 3 feet at most, but it would hurt. It was granite. For unlike the previous drop, he didn’t think he could land on his feet, more likely on his ass due to the shape of the wall. Whatever the circumstance he had no choice. There was no way back and no way forward, just down. And he had to get out from under the overhang before someone could see him. Harry inhaled and pushed off. Pain exploded through him on impact and he lost consciousness again.

What had happened or how long he had been out he didn’t know. But there he was sitting on the ledge, feet dangling again. His watch said 5:55 PM; he was already three hours late. Someone had to be looking. Maybe she sent the kids. They knew the trail better than he. If anyone could find him, they could. Harry looked up to see the overhang still hovered above. They wouldn’t see him. He tried to call. Still it was barely above a whisper. He tried again, better, but not enough for anyone to hear.

HPIM3182 (2) To his left the ledge ran two feet no more, to the right it moved back around the corner taking  him further under the overhang. The difference was that the ledge was going down towards the trees and more importantly the slope was down. And if it continued maybe he could get down on to the lower trail. He moved, but it was slow sliding on his ass and pushing with his good arm. The exertion was draining, but he had no choice, move or die.

“Keep going Harry, keep going” he said motivating himself to push on. “Don’t quit, don’t quit” was his plea. The job at hand was to move. Harry had made his fortune motivating others, now the subject of the lesson was Harry Chambers. He was relentless with others, driving them to do their job. Despite the fear and pain, he now applied the same pressure to himself as he blubbered through the tears that ran down his face.

 

Terror Part IV Monday, July 25

By David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Terror – Part II

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

It could be another hour before Suzanne even thought about him. He didn’t know if he could last another hour. No one could see him as the over hang completely blocked any view. It happened so fast. What the fuck was he thinking trying to pull the fencing up? He wasn’t thinking, he was just plain careless. How many times had he told the kids don’t be careless in the mountains, a hundred times or more? And now here he was, screwed.

Again he tried to call, but it was barely a whisper. He had to get himself out of this. Fighting through the pain he lifted a leg at a time. Now he was laying full length on the outcrop. He found a crack in the rock for his heel and pushed himself into the shape of where he lay. In this position the slope propped his head up so he could see. Now he could look straight down. Below and a few feet to his left was a small ledge with a little tree growing up out of it. If he could get into a sitting position and drop straight down the few feet to the ledge, maybe he could get around the corner and work his way back up. If he missed, he would die as there was nothing underneath it, but a straight drop of more than 50 feet on to a small field of boulders. He pushed himself upright.

HPIM3183  His mouth was dry. He tried to spit. He saw his blood land on the ledge. He was scared as tears welled in his eyes. He was frozen with indecision. How long had he sat there? Didn’t know as he had lost track of time, but it was darker in the valley meaning the sun was beginning to set. Again he looked down at ledge. The circumstance was the same, if he missed, he would die. But he was starting to feel faint so he had to go now or wait. He couldn’t wait. And if he fainted he would probably fall anyway. From where he was Harry doubted they could find him. If they did it would be tomorrow at best. Night was closing in and time was running out.  

He shifted closer to the edge. He would have to slide off as his arms couldn’t lift him. He inched closer trying to get as far forward as possible, he dropped. He hit the ledge perfectly, but his weight threw him backwards, smashing his head against the rock wall. For a moment he went blank and wavered, stunned by the impact. Fortune struck and instinct saved him as his arm caught the small tree. He pushed back against the wall to regain his balance.

The size of his backpack forced him to stand straight bringing him precariously close to falling forward to his death. He needed to get the pack off. He popped the clips. He dipped the injured shoulder dropping the strap and then the good shoulder. But to get it out he still needed to stand a tiny bit straighter, just enough for it to fall away and catch it with his good hand. He slipped his hand behind him and carefully pulled it out. He collapsed back against the rock wall. His knees shook as tried not to drop the pack. All the while hoping not to fall or pass out from the effort. He breathed as deeply as possible. His chest ached, but it steadied him.

He fought back resisting his bodies desire to give in. Again, he sucked in ever ounce of air his damaged chest could take. He pushed up on his toes to hold his place. He had to move past the tree and down the ledge. It took time, time he wasn’t sure he had, but he made it past. Each step was agony. Within a few feet the ledge became an incline almost as broken stairs. They demanded he keep his back pressed against the wall. He took the first step, then the second, then the third, Harry rounded the corner, it ended, he was trapped.

Part III Sunday July 24th

David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Terror, Part I

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

“Don’t be long honey, we have a lot of company coming for your party tonight” she said as she heard the screen door slam.

“I won’t, I’ll be back in a couple of hours” he called.

She hurried to the door calling after him “You only have two hours, so don’t be late or I’ll cancel the party.”

“I’m only going up to Baden Powell, I won’t be long” he promised.

What the heck” Harry Chambers told himself as he headed for the trail. “It’s my birthdayand I can do anything I want on my birthday. ”

It sounded a bit petulant to him, but hell, it was fifty, the big one. After all, the North Shore Mountains were right here, right in his backyard. He could walk up the Nelson Creek Trail, catch Baden Powell and be back in two hours. Nice walk for his birthday. About thirty minutes into his hike he reached for his water bottle, opened it and took a swig.

 HPIM2278“Damn, forgot to fill it,” he said. Still it was almost half full. It was enough. The early afternoon sun was gentle, the trail familiar and the view spectacular. “A birthday view” he thought, “I’ll take a minute to stop at Canyon point, have look and see how the water is falling after three days of rain.”

Just a few hundred yards further and there he was. As he approached he could hear its roar. At the crest he noticed the fence was down, but he could still see the top poking up. He bent down and reached out to pull it up, instantly the rock his knee rested on, gave way.  

He fell at least 50 feet before he hit the tree, shoulder first. The impact took his wind and he missed a frantic grab to hold on, and the fall continued. Now he was over the edge and it was a straight drop of another twenty five feet. This time he landed back first on an unseen rocky outcrop. Somehow he stayed, the backpack cushioned much of the collision between him and the outcrop. He was however, unconscious.

Fortunately outcrop sloped back towards the cliff and kept him from falling further. His feetHPIM3184 (4)dangled over the side. Slowly he revived, got his wind back and tried to assess his situation. He wanted to sit up, but couldn’t. Pain was everywhere in him and about him. He forced himself to concentrate. His right arm was pinned under him. Again he tried to move. The pain from the shoulder shot through him as if he had been kicked. He lifted the other arm. It didn’t help much. He couldn’t reach anything as it was nearest the edge and there was nothing to grab on too.

He tried to call out for help, but it hurt. It was his chest. With his free hand he felt around and touched his rib cage, the pain was instantaneous. Had he broken a rib, he didn’t know, but the pain was vicious.

No matter, he had to free the pinned arm. Slowly rolling towards the edge of the outcrop removing his weight from the arm, it came free, but not without a price. The pain was excruciating, but it moved. He heard it pop, felt the pain and screamed. Nothing came out but his pain and only he heard it. It didn’t move much, but enough to roll back and have his arm beside him. Still he couldn’t move it, and each inch it did move was because of his body movement, and caused unbearable pain.

He was inconsolable in his pain. Laying there almost immobile, he had reached a point where the pain was beyond his capacity to endure. “Focus” he told himself. “What am I to do, figure it out Harry” he told himself. 

He was in real trouble and he knew it. If they didn’t find him soon he could die. He always thought terror happened at night, this was broad daylight. Tears ran from the corners of his eyes and he wondered “Where were the people?”

Part II, Saturday July23, 2011

A series by David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

Photography by Francoise Mihatov

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

SunSet

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Photo0039 He walked the promenade pondering the future, his future. Was it as bright as the fireball of the setting sun or black like the following night? Curious thoughts brought on by doubt, his doubt. He had always been hopeful, but now he was unsure.  He had options, lots of options. However, as Neil Young once sang “If you follow all your dreams you just might get lost.”

“Which one” he asked “which one?” It was an intriguing question considering the money involved. Both had risk attached, neither was a guarantee. One was certainly more commercial than the other, but the other was more about him. Family and friends pushed him in so many directions and he did try. But what his heart wanted was what the others didn’t. Then again, he had always done what his heart wanted and while there were regrets, they were too few to mention. And if he hadn’t done them, he might not be here and that would have been a disappointment.

He talked love, he gave love, he lived love so shouldn’t he follow love? And if he had learned one thing in life, if he didn’t love it, he couldn’t do it. One might be fun and far more acceptable to those who doubted his choices, but still a risk. The other was not without risk, but with the other he was building content, his content and long-term that’s the best thing to have. Things have value, ideas not so much, at least not until their things, and besides, he was better at the other. 

Some say “Like the outside ring of the outside, it’s already dark there,” but he sensed the other was right, which brought him back to the future. What was the legacy of who he was? Only he could make it. It was only him, so what was it to be?

And then there was time, he didn’t have much. There were already so many gone. Time is so precious. It’s the only thing of real thing of value we possess, and it was becoming more valuable by the day.

He made the choice, he was a writer!

A short story by David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

Starting Friday a four part seriesTerror

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Someone

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

“People, who need people, are the luckiest people in the world” she sang silently to herself sitting in the cafeteria watching the crowd. It was her first day at university and only her third day in the metropolis known as Vancouver. Home to her was a ranch outside of Dawson Creek, BC. She didn’t know anyone here, a thousand strangers and her.

She watched the other girls, they were cool and she wasn’t. They were confident and she wasn’t. To her, they were almost shameless by their actions. She was Terry Dinsmore an 18 year old cowgirl and as far as she could see, the only cowgirl in the room.

They all seemed older than her and more mature. They were far more traveled as her trips were to Ft. St John and Grand Prairie. She had been to Abbotsford for the rodeo and finished 5th in the barrel race. And now here she was at the University of British Columbia, enrolled in science and beginning the long road to Dr. Dinsmore.

School was easy because she worked hard at it. Outside of that she struggled being the tall, awkward girl trying to find herself. A cowgirl who loved show tunes. All during high school she lived on the social fringe with the exception of Carrie, her one true friend. It started in grade one and worked its way through to graduation. She graduated, Carrie still needed credits. So here she was, alone. She didn’t want to be alone, but like most of her life the initiative was always left to someone else. She surveyed the room, looking and hoping to find that one person who would take the initiative and free her from loneliness, then there he was and he caught her looking. She jerked her head away and just as quickly blush covered her. Head to toe she was neon.

“Oh my god, he saw me” was the only thought that came to mind. What to do? He seemed nice. She lifted her head pretending to look at the ceiling and then let it roll down and back towards him. He was still looking, but this time she didn’t turn away. She couldn’t look away as a smile swept across her face. She felt brazen and for the first time in her life, she felt attractive. It was such an invigorating feeling. She slowly dropped her gaze to the open book lying in front of her. She felt impulsive and equally unsure. She started to look up again, she saw him stand. Her heart sank as her first thought was of his leaving.

“Damn it, do something” she told herself still holding her look. He looked back and turned towards her.

“Oh my god, he’s coming over here.” The thought terrified her. She would have to respond and that was always the hard part, the engaging in conversation. She talked endlessly with Carrie, but this was a boy, a boy she was attracted too. The moment came so quickly, in an instant there he was, standing in front of her. There was that uncomfortable pause. She looked up at him, waiting for him to do something, but nothing happened until she realized he was just as awkward as her.

She stuck out her hand “I’m Terry Dinsmore!”

He reached for her hand “Nice to meet you Terry, I’m Dylan Tyson from Cranbrook. Well, actually a small ranch outside of Cranbrook.”

She could see the beginnings of a blush around his collar “Me too, small ranch just outside of Dawson Creek” she said.

Both were now blushing, and both were undeterred by it.

“Would you like to sit down” she asked gesturing to the chair in front of him.

“Sure” he said pulling the chair back to sit down.

Carrie was right, she did meet someone.

A short story by David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)

davidh@shaw.ca

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

The Trail

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

The Trail

It was a surprise from the very beginning as the drive was longer than expected, but as expected, it was a beautiful drive. Once in the parking lot they had to cross the highway on foot, fortunately it was early, so the traffic was light. The other side still left a 100 meter walk along the highway, which, in itself, was a bit disconcerting, but it only served to increase the anticipation of getting there. And then they were there.

HPIM3157The start of the hike was much more auspicious than the drive as it began with an immediate 75 meter gain up a very narrow grade on the side of a sheer rock face. It was climbing in every sense of the word. As they came to the top they were astonished to find a gilded canopy of branches forming the entrance to the actual trail. As they entered the temperature dropped perceptibly and the air carried a soft scent of calm. They had arrived. 

At first it was just a gentle walk as the trail was wide enough for them to walk side by side. Like all the times before on occasions like this they were overwhelmed by the gossamer beauty and carried away by the fanciful magic of the venue. Then, just as quickly the trail became a challenge beginning with a series of up and down climbs over ridges. Even at that it maintained its beauty as the floor of the trail was a broad carpet of brown with bits of green and gray. The brown was made up by the billions of fallen needles from the Douglas Firs, Cedars and Spruce trees that dominate the forests of the west coast. The colour was supported by the all blow down rotting on the floor of the forest. The green and the gray came by and large from the moss growing on the boulders and rocks that fell from the mountain and cascaded down its slopes. All this combined to form the nutrients that fed the forest.

 The magic of a trail is its continuing change and this was no different as soon it became an old boulder strewn logging road. It was uphill all the way. The road, if one could call it that, was more like a creek bed turning and twisting constantly presenting a wide variety and variation in the size of the rocks and boulders one had to navigate. These persistent changes demanded that they constantly watch their feet causing one to miss much of the surrounding scenery. Still they were here as much for the challenges as they were for the beauty.

It had been an hour and half of none stop exertion, when gratefully they found a tree truck that had fallen across the road. It presented an excellent opportunity to sit and take short break for a snack of hard boiled eggs, fruit and water. It also provided a chance to look back down the road and see where they have been. This review enables the joy of the effort to jump out and fill them with the satisfaction of the experience, and even more joyful over what was to come, like those never before seen places they hoped for.

HPIM3156Now refreshed, they began again. Almost immediately they found themselves in another series of ridges and valleys. On one occasion they walk the narrow crest of a ridge from one end to the other. Along the way they see fallen trees exposing gigantic root systems, one appearing like a clamshell exposing a giant boulder underneath as if it were the pearl. The walls of the ridges appear to have been created by parts of mountain collapsing on to itself over and over again. Each one presenting steep faces of gray granite partially hidden by the forest. The floor in between the ridges allows space for almost florescent green bonsai like trees to grow in these protected environments.      

 If ever there was a demonstration of super natural BC this had be it and for the moment it was all theirs. But time was against them and before they could reach the final destination the responsibility of life forced them to turn and return to real world. Still they had a taste of what was to come and they would be back with more time to complete this wondrous trail.

david@davidsnotebook.com

 

Bitchin’

Monday, July 11th, 2011

It’s Monday and time for a new story as part of a series called David’s Notebook. I know its a bit indulgent, but each Monday morning I will post a short story, no more than 600 words. Just simple and hopefully poignant.

Today we begin in a time of my youth when hot rods were the thing and cruising was part of the culture. Its joy and its pain.

Bitchin’

He swept another squashed burger wrapper into the bag as he patrolled the parking lot of Bobbie’s Burger Shack #3.

Across the way Freddie pulled a pack of Winton’s from beneath the sleeve of his white T-shirt. As he removed the last cigarette from the pack he snapped the Zippo lighter open striking the flint in one practiced move. He held the lighter to the tip of the cigarette and inhaled deeply, all the while crushing the package with the other hand. Carelessly he dropped the crumpled ball.

Sitting a top one of the eating tables scattered outside of the shack she watched his action. “He is so cool” she thought to herself as he passed her the lighted Winston. She took it from his hand. She could taste him on the filtered tip just as much as the smoke she inhaled. He had style, right down to the way his ducktail hair was cut and blocked at the back, completed by the short strand of hair that hung from the wave in front. His eyes, hidden by the aviator sunglasses just added to the mystic.

“Don’t heat it up baby” he said.

“I won’t Freddie” she replied.

She reached out and stroked his arm touching the tattoo with the big red A inside the blue outline of a heart. The “A” was for her, Angela Crofton. They had been dating throughout high school. She loved Freddie and he loved her. They were an item.

He felt her touch. He liked it. He liked his life, but mostly, he liked his car. He was glad he had his glasses on, cause his Crown Vic was shinin’ today. He had spent his entire shop year finishing the car. The new two tone paint job of teal and white was perfect. It was made even more prefect by the wide chrome bar that crowned the roof. The new fender skirts and the dropped back end gave it a muscle look. Of course the new white walls didn’t hurt. He had replaced the original teal and white flat imitation leather interior with a new rolled and pleated teal and white vinyl and covered it in clear plastic.

With the help of his dad, they had rebuilt the engine and installed a 4 on the floor Hurst shifter to go along with the new clutch. It made the 292 cube’s run just that much quicker. And those straight pipes running out the back, just crackled when he and Angi cruised the strip. It was 1956 Crown Victoria and Freddie Hall, had it all. He was in a word, Bitchin’.

“Let’s take a ride Angi” he said.

“OK Freddie” she said grabbing his hand. Her poodle skirt waved goodbye to the shack as they strolled to the car.

The pipes cracked as the engine roared to life and exploded as he accelerated out of the parking lot and on the strip. It was a good day for cruising.

The boy watched them leave. He skin prickled at the sound of the pipes. “Someday I’ll be just like him” he thought as he swept the crumpled Winston package into the bag.

Eighteen month later, just two days before his twentieth birthday, Freddie was slugging his way through the jungles of Vietnam when he stepped on a land mine, he died instantly.  War is indiscriminate, it doesn’t matter how bitchin’ you are, it kills just same.

I hope you enjoyed the walk down memory lane.

David Hutchison

david@transitionsadvertising.com

david@davidsnotebook.com