For a while, Jerald allowed them to race with him side by side, speeding at nearly eighty on the newly black-topped road towards Crossville through the community of Deer Lodge. When the Honda’s wheels lost traction, it spun the car into the shoulder where it began to fish tale wildly.
Jerald’s heart leaped into his chest.
Just when it seemed the G-forces were going to take the car over into a roll, a stroke of remarkable luck sat the car down hard on all four wheels. It swerved back into traffic, not far behind Jerald.
That was close enough for Jerold. Too close. All he wanted to do was scare them a little. But it couldn’t take him away from getting to see his daughter. He slowed the Porshe to the posted forty MPH and said her name. How had he allowed these kids to get him so out of control? It nearly ended the very important things he had to do.
This visit to his daughter’s new house in Crossville was already going to be a bad situation. One that would require a good helping of courage and decisive action. It was imperative that he remained calm and clear-headed. Not a word of his introduction could be out of place or his daughter would suspect that something was wrong before he got the chance to fix her situation once and for all.
Once and for all, he thought.
It would be just that.
ONCE because it would only take once; and, FOR ALL, because he wasn’t doing it for himself. He was doing it for his daughter, his wife, and everyone who might have to interact with the man. Jerald was doing this FOR the benefit of ALL.
Suddenly his nose began to burn and tears blurred his vision. Just the thought of his daughter being mistreated was more than he wanted to know.Also, the shock of the near accident possibly had something to do with the rush of emotion. He allowed it to wash over him.
It was enough to cement the fact that he couldn’t get sidetracked by distractions. Anything that might cause a show of emotion at his daughter’s house would ruin everything. Hiding the immense and deep anger he had toward his daughter’s boyfriend, would be hard to control on it’s own.
He shook his head, as if scrambling the thoughts that were beginning to stack in his frontal lobe. He saw no need in letting the idea of consequences gather against him. Nor could he allow the idea of his daughter’s freedom psyched him up before he actually had accomplished something.
He knew then that he needed a moment of peace before he went any further. He had to take a breather.
He pulled off the highway onto a familiar dirt road the locals called Rocky Hollow. The road was rough on his Porsche, but he’d been down it many times before and was sure he could get in and out without much trouble.
Jerald enjoyed swerving around big ricks and through the mud puddles. Above him dark clouds began to blow from over the mountains giving the woods a dark, fairy-tale atmosphere. At the end of this road was a deep rock quarry where he and his friends used to swim as teenagers. But he hadn’t been all the way to the ledge in more than twenty years. He’d smoked his first cigarette on the ledge and drank his first swig of whiskey there.
Jeez, that was over forty years ago.
He knew the area well and was looking forward to seeing the water again.He made so many memories in this one place, it seemed wrong that he never brought his wife her and had a picnic. But then, perhaps that wasn’t wrong. He had the right to keep it a secret if he wanted.Maybe something in him didn’t want to tell her about the quarry.
It was his secret place. No one from his adult life knew anything about it or the things that happened there.
Just as he got to where the trees opened up enough to see the ledge, he saw that all the water had been drained.
Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.