Part one of a short story.
April 25, 1995: In the peach orchardThe raindrops were soothing as they lightly touched Delyn’s skin. The night was warm and humid, making the peach essence linger on the dense, warm air. It was quiet among the trees, with only the whisper of the rain against the leaves. Delyn leaned against a big tree and closed her eyes. It was a peaceful night. But peace would evade her once she tried to sleep. The events of the last 2 months would appear, vividly, and raw pain would seep into her soul. Delyn walked for an hour in the rain, before she headed back to the house. 5 days later, she decided to cut her trip short. It wasn’t necessary to take 15 days to decide what was the obvious. Delyn called her spiritual sisters and told them. She called then first because they were more understand and excepting of her decision. After all, they said it was really the only one. Her mind made up, Delyn stayed for 3 more days enjoying the spring beauty and the old historical house, before she headed home. But before she went home, she wanted to drive up south a little further to the Prairie Dog ranch, to see the two-headed rabbit of fame. Delyn grinned, she didn’t believe it was true but she wanted to take a picture of whatever it was that drew so many tourists to this small, quiet town each spring. Delyn packed the next morning and then did some writing There wasn’t much shoulder here, but a deep raven that dropped down about 12 feet into a valley littered with trees and high grass. Delyn could contend with the pouring rain, what worried her now, was the wind. A high wind had picked up, shaking her car with such force that Delyn gripped the steering wheel tight. She remembered what Mrs. Wyler had said about the Tornado warnings. Delyn swallowed. She realized she was stupid to leave bed &breakfast so soon. She was in a bad situation out here. The rain came down so hard, Delyn thought for a moment that it was hailing. The force from the wind was incredible! Delyn picked up her cell phone and dialed the B&B. she told mrs Wyler where she was, then she tried to call home but all she got was static. She turned on the car radio for a weather update. Static almost drowned out the forecaster’s voice, but Delyn was able to make out enough to determine she was in the wake of a Tornado! Trying not to panic, Delyn turned the ignition key, but the car only whined. “oh no. not now, ole girl!” She whispered to the car. Delyn tried again and again, but the car would not start. Panic set in, so she grabbed her backpack and got out of the car to see if she could flag down a motorist for help. But no one could possibly see her in this downpour. As Delyn waved at the passing cars, there was a loud boom that made her jump and cry out. At first Delyn thought it was a rap of thunder, until she turned around and saw her car sliding down the embankment! “Oh no no, please!” she shouted. She could hardly see through the sheeting rain. She tried her cell again, but it was dead. The battery was wet. Damned! I’m damned and doomed! She thought. Her skin soaked, clothes hanging heavily, shoes squishing with water, Delyn stood in the rain trying to figure out what next to do, when a gust of wind blasted her. Delyn screamed and fell backwards from the force. She reached out and grabbed for a tree trunk for support, but her wet fingers couldn’t hold on, and she slipped backwards down the embankment. Delyn screamed as she rolled and rolled. Her skirt caught on something and ripped. Once she hit the bottom, she lay there and watched the trees at the top of the ditch lean and twist, like people waving. The Tornado must be right on top of her! Delyn screamed and scrambled to her feet. She ran deep into the trees and braced herself, hugging a large oak around the middle, like a frightened child clinging to its mother’s skirt. The rain whipped her face, stinging like small pebbles thrown with much force. She couldn’t see and the rain was nearly drowning her as she gasped and held on to the tree for dear life! She could hear monster winds howl and groan over head. Delyn’s salty tears mixed with the pouring rain. She swallowed the knot of fear that was rising, and began to pray. As she prayed, Delyn felt a calm, peaceful feeling come over her. She would be alright. She may get hurt, might lose a limb, but she would be alright. She felt it, deep in her bones; she was going to live, because she had even more reason to fight to live! Sighing heavily, she clung to the tree and rode out the storm. About an hour later, feeling around in the darkness, Delyn rose to her feet and tried to crawl out of the ditch. But the rain sodden ground was too slippery, and every time she tried to go up, she slid back down. Shouting in frustration, she yelled for help. Traffic eased by above her, but no one would be able to hear her from down here. Despondent, Delyn looked around at where she was. She started walking away from the road, deeper into the woods. About 30 feet to her left, she saw her car. It was nose down, wedged between two big trees and deep in tall grass. Delyn yelped with relief. At least she could get out of the rain until someone could find her. But how would they? And how long would she have to sit down here and wait? No one knew she was down here, but Mrs Wyler would surely send a rescue party to look for her. The car was embe dded between two massive trees, with the hood facedown in the deep grass. Delyn tried the driver side door, but it was jammed tightly between the trees. She walked around to the passenger side, but the door would not open. Delyn yanked and yanked, but it wouldn’t give enough to get even her hand inside. Delyn threw up her hands in defeat as hot tears ran down her cheeks. She trembled, from the cold dampness and from sheer frustration. She started walking opposite of the road, across an open valley. If there was a clearing there was possibly barn or shed down here. Someone had taken the time to keep this section of forest mowed and cleared for a reason. As she wiped away tears, she looked to her right and her heart leaped. Squinted to see better, Delyn thought she could see a house! A small cabin or shed? It didn’t matter, Delyn thought as she ran in the direction of the place. It was shelter! That’s all Delyn cared about, shelter from this mad storm, a place where she could get dry and feel safe again, maybe her phone could dry and she could call for help! Delyn was so excited and weary; she hardly noticed she had lost one shoe on the wet, muddy ditch. Wet, disheveled and exhausted, the young woman ran through the rain to the house, up a rock walkway. Thru an iron gate, she ran upon the porch and knocked. No answer. Delyn tried again, panicking as the rain and wind picked up again. Still no answer. She tried the doorknob, but it was locked. Delyn leaned against the door and banged as hard as she could, and yelled. “For the love of God, let me in, please!” She yelled, but nothing happened. Praying once again, Delyn stood leaning against the door, panting with her eyes closed. Ten minutes passed, then suddenly the door was gone and she found herself falling into the archway. Delyn screamed and struggled for footing but only managed to roll over. She looked up and there stood a man looking down at her with a frown on his dark face. He was tall and slim, wearing a dark robe over a pair of dark pajama bottoms, but no shirt. “What the hell do you want?” the stranger asked. He didn’t yell, but whispered this demand. Delyn just lay there looking up at him, and then she scrambled to her feet. The wind was whipping her hair across her face and the rain ran into her eyes, but she managed to speak rather calmly. “My car stalled on the road, my phone is dead, I slid down the hill and couldn’t climb back up, and the tornado was close and I, I”----she trailed off. The man just glared at her as she stood there trembling and wide eyed. His eyes, which Delyn noticed, were bloodshot, skimmed her from head to toe, very slowly so that Delyn shuddered from his close perusal. “Go away” he whispered in that deep, satiny voice of his. “What?” Delyn asked, thinking she heard him wrong. “I said go away” and he slammed the door shut!.
in her new book of poetry. She’d become so engrossed in writing that she forgot the time. By the time she was finished, it was well after noon. She would be getting a late start getting home, which wasn’t a good idea in this weather. The rains had increased and the skies would be gray and overcast all day. On her way to the Prairie Dog ranch, her hostess Mrs. Wyler, warned Delyn of the expected bad weather later that evening. “Tornado warnings for all South Texas counties for the next 3 days, honey. You may want to stay put until after Saturday, just to be safe, this old house is in a low-lying field. Safest place for the next hundred miles”, Mrs. Wyler squeezed her hand as Delyn promised she would be careful. By the time Delyn got to the ranch, the skies had cleared and the rain had stopped. Delyn wondered if Mrs. Wyler’s forecast was right. The two-headed rabbit turned out to be a big brown jackrabbit with a tumorous growth about the size of its head, on the left side of the rabbit’s neck. Delyn shook her head. “This is sad! I drove all the way out her in Tornado weather to see this? What a waste!” she mumbled. The drive to the ranch had taken her about 80 miles in the opposite direction for home, and now Delyn worried as a loud clap of thunder rolled and the floodgates seem to have opened! Rain fell in sheets, blinding Delyn. She grumbled as the windshield wipers did little to increase visibility. She was still about 45 miles from the bed &breakfast and visibility was completely gone, so she pulled off the main road to wait it out. Hopefully the rain would let up enough in the next few minutes to allow her to get back to the house. If she had to stay there a couple more days, it wouldn’t matter. She had paid for 2 weeks anyway. Delyn pulled the truck off the road onto the shoulder.
April 20th, 1995: caught in the storm
Spring in Texas is a beautiful thing to behold. It’s the beginning of life’s renewal, and you can see it in the bursts of plant growth. A multitude of lust greenery, shooting all around the once dry Plaines, melting lakes and ponds now fill with lively little animals, flowers of such an array of colors dotting the highways and byways. Ravens, blue jays, and wrens could be heard singing to bring forth the warm, sweetly scented days. On the other hand, spring was also Texas Tornado season! The spring storms in Texas could be calm and relaxing one minute, then turn deadly the next. Texas is known for its unpredictable weather. One never knew how to dress for Texas weather: Either you over dressed or under dressed. Being one of the largest states in America, Texas was know to have towns yet discovered by those who did not know her well. Towns with names like: Frampton, Paris, Missouri, Mission Hill, College Mound, Crags Point, and Wills Point. Delyn James sat on the sofa at a friend’s home in Dallas, sipping a glass of champagne and thinking how she’d rather be someplace else. She didn’t like large gatherings. Even if the people here were her spiritual sisters and brothers. Delyn James wanted to get on with her vacation. Or better yet, her “escape”. She had been working very hard all year. This party was a celebration for friends with bible students who had just been baptized. It was the beginning of a new life for the bible students. Delyn herself had two students that were baptized this year. It was an exciting time. She’d learned many new things, met lots of new people and made lots of new friends, but she was feeling somewhat irritable lately. She sighed and put down her glass. It was more than jitters. She was depressed to the verge of suicide! She was, indeed, happy for her students, but there was her own situation that was tearing her apart. If only she could turn back time, if only she could change the way she handled the last 6 weeks! Tears threatened to spill from her large brown eyes. As hard as she tried, Delyn could not contain herself.
A riotous scream shot through her head, sliding down to her heart and shaking her very foundation! “No, no, no!” her inward voice screamed. Delyn swallowed hard, pushing it deep inside, where the rest of the pain was. She would not cry, but she had to get out of here! Before she knew it, she was on her feet and rushing for the door. She got in her car and headed toward the Interstate. Not until she was halfway to Cromwell, Texas, did she stop. It was still early, not yet 8: pm. At the gas station, Delyn filled her tank, bought some junk food, batteries and a small am/fm radio. Rain had started when she stepped outside; the big grey clouds loomed and spread out to cover the whole sky. Well, there would be no stargazing tonight! She had once spent the weekend in Cromwell, on a fishing trip. What she remembered most about Cromwell was the nights: At night there were no street lights, so you could look up into the sky at the deep blue sky and see a billion stars dotting the nightline. It was majestically breathtaking and awe inspiring! As she got in the car she frowned. Looking at the radio and batteries, because she had no idea why she had bought them. Shrugging, she set out once again for Cromwell and the small private Bed &Breakfast she had rented for the next 15 days. 15 days was all the time she had. It was all the time she would ALLOW, to make one of the most important decisions of her life!
April 25, 1995: A life destroyed
The monitor screen went black, and the timer began to beep constantly. Lost in thought and anxious to get home, Damien shook his head and began typing again. His long fingers flew over the computer keys in rapid concession. Angela had called to tell him she was taking him out to dinner tonight. His wife of 18 months was very secretive. Damien grinned. He hoped it was what he had been wishing for, that she was pregnant! Wow! That would be so great! He looked forward to being a father, a daddy. Damien’s thoughts went back 6 years, to the day he learned his father was dying. The unreality of those words, “son, I may have a year left, at the most”. Damien had not believed that his dad, his best friend, was dying. Less than a year later, he stood over a whole in the ground that contained all that was left of his dear dad. He had been devastated. But Damien’s mom had held him up and kept him strong throughout those pain filled years. Then 4 years after her husband died, Damien’s mom passed away quietly from what the doctors say was a broken heart. So much stress and pain she had lived with, silently suffering, never letting on that she hurt so badly! She had given up. Damien snapped back to the present, shaking his head. He had married Angela 6 months after his mom’s funeral. Damien loved Angela, though he didn’t feel he was in love with her. She was intelligent, funny, very attractive. But she drank too much, and she was sometimes very selfish, which was a few of the things Damien didn’t like, but was willing to put up with. Plus, she had a body to die for and she was a tiger in bed! His grin broaden, revealing gleaming white teeth. Maybe it wasn’t love: maybe she was his Addiction!*********
April 25, 1995: On the road to healing
Exhausted, Delyn pulled up into the curved driveway of The Quiet Storm Bed & Breakfast of Cromwell, TX. It was a basically a big old southern plantation house set back into a cluster of giant Oak and Pecan trees, with a large duck pond that ran down one side, and a beautiful peach orchard on the other side. The trees were scattered throughout with honeysuckle. The old house had 10 bedrooms, 10 baths, 2 Jacuzzis, a jogging/walking trail and fishing “tank”, a pond that was a runoff from the main lake. Delyn inhaled deeply. At last, I’m home, she thought. She had lived in the city most of her life but never felt at home, at peace, until she was in the great wide open, where she could feel the grass under her feet, smell the roses, taste fresh fruit growing on vines, and finally, see the stars dotting the inky black night sky. As soon as she made it to her room, Delyn heard a loud clap of thunder and the room darkened. The spring rains had begun. No bother, she would go out later, after a nap, and walk among the peaches in the rain. Delynn felt so inspired that she got out her laptop and began writing a poem about the rain, the peaches and honeysuckle……and about her new life. As she typed in the last verses regard the changes in her life, the tears began to flow. Her whole body shook from pure agony. But Delyn did not cry out loud. She never did. No matter how bad it was, no matter how much it hurt. No matter the amount of loss. She whimpered, she moaned, she sniffed. And then she vowed to never cry over this again. What was done was done. Nothing could change it. She could remove it from her physical life, but it would always be a part of her, always there to remind her of how monsters can appear as men. How Satan can attack you even while you’re alert and watching. After her nap, Delyn decided to call some her friends and family. She had to apologize for leaving so abruptly. Her sister, Cara told Delyn to be careful. “You know this is Texas Tornado season, and you’re out there alone”, Cara reminded her. Delyn smiled warmly, “don’t worry so much. You know I’ll be careful, I’m the timid one, remember, I don’t take chances!” Delyn teased, but Cara would not be appeased. “Dee, I just worry, that’s all, after everything you’ve been through these last 2 months, I just want you to promise me you’ll be even more cautious”. Delyn sat in silence for awhile. They both knew what Cara was referring to. “I will, Cara. Don’t worry so. I won’t be so trusting from now on”. Cara paused, “Dee, that’s not exactly what I meant, but anyway, you haven’t told me yet what you’ve decided to do about your “situation”. Delyn felt the urge to scream at her sister to mind her own business, but instead she said, “I haven’t decided yet, but by the time I get home, I’ll have an answer for you, and everyone else”. They said goodbye and hung up. Cara sat staring at the phone receiver. The dead silence on the other end was ominous. She knew very well what Delyn was going to do. Cara knew that Delyn’s new religious beliefs were so profoundly deep that her sister would do what was right, according to God’s law. Once she had began her studies, she became a whole new person, no more partying, no more drinking, she became serious about her education. The differences were so profound, but all good, and Cara was very proud of her sister for the new direction her life was taking. It was so encouraging that Cara had agreed to a weekly study herself! Maybe with my new understanding of God’s laws, I’ll be able to understand how Delyn could possibly do what she was about to do. How can a woman live with such a terrible secret that would affect her for the rest of her life! You have to have deep, deep love and trust for your God and savior, to do that!