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Join date : 2009-01-15

THE CREATURE part 1 Empty
PostSubject: THE CREATURE part 1   THE CREATURE part 1 EmptyThu Jun 19, 2014 12:37 pm

I had been home a year. I came to care for my dad, he had cancer and the last months of his life were some of the hardest I’d ever had. My brother was in the military and stationed overseas so he hadn’t been able to come and help. I am a plant pathologist and teach at the university in Mason, the largest city within 200 miles. I was a city girl now according to some locals and they look at me with trepidation. But those who knew me best as a child and school girl know at heart, I am still the small town girl I was when I left. My home isn’t fancy, it’s a large wood two story and near a hundred years old. I had, since coming home, to help me keep my mind busy with other things instead of worrying about Dad, began painting the inside, pulling down old wallpaper and reopening doors that had been sealed many years ago. I liked the open effect. We had a small guest apartment that I had been in the process of cleaning to ready it for renting. It was just a one bedroom apartment with a small kitchen, sitting and sleeping area and bath that Dad had used for his writing. Dad wrote books on camping hunting, and wildlife. Going through all his papers wasn’t easy; I cried more tears than not. The apartment needed a paint job too. It was while I was on a search for paint supplies for that project when I met Derek. He was in town hoping to talk to Dad about the woods we owned behind our house and a legendary creature the older residents of the town still believed was factual. Dad had written an article on the creature and included sketches he made as different residents described the creature to him. Clara Hughes, the owner of a small café had pointed me out to Derek when she noticed my car pull into the parking lot of the hardware store.
“Samantha Perkins?”
I was kneeling to grab some plastic floor covering so paint wouldn’t drip on the stained wood floors in the apartment. I looked up and then rose to a standing position. “Yes.”
“Hi, I’m Derek Greer and I understand you have a small apartment to rent.”
“I do. But it needs a little sprucing up. Hence, the reason I’m here getting supplies. Are you looking for a place to rent?”
“I am. Actually, I came here in hope of meeting your dad but Clare from the café told me he had passed a few months ago. You have my condolences, I admired his knowledge and read every book he wrote.”
“Thank you. Actually the apartment was where he stayed when he wrote. He needed the solitude to focus and didn’t want to keep my mom and us kids awake because he’d be up and down all hours of day and night.”
“So, are you willing to allow me to rent the apartment?”
“Why not follow me to the house and have a look at it. You may change your mind after seeing it. I’ve been clearing it out but it does need some work.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’d pitch a tent if I had too.” I paid for my purchases and Derek followed me to the house. He looked up at the house. “Oh man this is great. I love this old house.”
I smiled over at him. “The apartment is out back. Come on, I’ll show it to you.”
Derek walked through the apartment with a smile on his face. “This will do well. Do the appliances work?”
“Yes they do. They are small but mostly dad just warmed food that mom brought to him. And the coffee pot still works. I used it yesterday. A few dishes are in the upper cabinets, pots and pans in lower cabinets. Silverware is kept in the drawer on your right. Eggs and milk are in the refrigerator and a few canned vegetables and meat products in the pantry.” I showed him the pantry. We agreed on a rent and he handed over a check. “I have a couple nice size steaks in my fridge if you’d like to join me for dinner. I was going to throw them on the grill.”
Derek laughed. “Do you always cook two steaks?”
“Yes. It was something I picked up from my mom. She always cooked more than the family needed for one meal. Enough for guests if someone popped in or lunch the next day. That is unless dad raided the fridge in the middle of night.”
Derek laughed again. I liked the sound of his laughter but I also sensed a tension in him that had not relaxed since we met in town. “So you’ve lost both parents in the last two years? I’m sorry, but it must have been very hard on you.”
“Yes. I came home a year ago and I guess I’m here until I settle everything with the inheritance. My brother and I own it all now.”
“I see,” he said. “Well, I’ll unload my car and get everything inside and join you at the house.”
“Good deal.” In the hour it took Derek to unpack, I had made kabob of onion, carrot, potatoes and bell pepper. The steaks had been slowly marinating all day in the fridge.
“Wow, that smells great,” Derek said when he came into the kitchen. “Is the pit lit or do you want me to do it?”
“I’ll leave that to you. It’s a gas grill. Mom bought it because she tried to make it as easy on Dad as she could after he was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago. He loved grilled meat.”
After we sat down to eat, I questioned Derek on his reasons for wanting to talk to dad.
“Honestly, it is mainly about the creature he wrote about. I wanted to get his input on the reliability of the people he talked with. And I wanted permission to head into the woods, camp and listen for the sounds so many have claimed to have heard. If possible, record the sounds, and hope to catch a site of it.”
“I’m not convinced the creature exists. Most likely it is the result of hundreds of years of tales that have been exaggerated with each generation. I can say when I was a small child I heard something in those woods that I haven’t heard since.”
“How long has it been since you stayed in the woods overnight?”
I was in high school the last time. A few of my friends and I tented overnight. Dad had killed a wild pig and made a huge fire for us to roast the pig. It was a blast. But I was around eight and in the cabin with dad when I heard that loud cry of an animal. Dad heard it too.”
“You have a cabin in the woods?”
“Yes. But I can’t say what condition it’s in now. I haven’t been that far into the woods for many years and dad didn’t go back after he became ill. It’s just a one room cabin. But it has a wood stove and a couple cots. I imagine the path to it is so overgrown now, finding it will be tricky. I’d planned on hiking in after I get more done on the house and apartment.”
As we loaded the dish washer Derek asks, “Would you mind taking me to the cabin and allowing me to stay a few days. If the cabin isn’t livable, I can use the tent. Or we can if you want to stay with me.”
“All of dad’s notes on the creature are packed up and in the attic. You can pull them out tomorrow and study them. I can’t go into the woods before next week. Too many appointments this week with lawyers etc.”
“Next week will be fine, it’ll give me time to talk to locals and research more.”
“It’s late and I’m exhausted so I think I’ll head up to bed. If you need any food or cooking utensils, feel free to help yourself.”
My sleep was broken, and I kept dreaming of mythical creatures screaming at me to get out. At four I gave up and went down to my kitchen. I started the coffee then remembered it was trash day and I hadn’t taken the can to the drive entrance. When I walked outside, I couldn’t help but feel startled seeing a light on in the apartment. An image of Dad passed through my mind but a moment later, I remembered I had rented the apartment to Derek. I grabbed the handle of the trash can and began tugging on it, the can was heavy, laden with all the junk I had discarded this past week.
“Need some help?” Derek’s voice caused me to jump. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I saw you here and walked over to borrow sugar. Here, let me take that.”
“Thank you, it is quite a heavy load this week but the truck runs in an hour or so and I remembered I’d forgotten to take it to the road.”
“I’ll do that for you. I would appreciate some sugar for the effort, seems the apartment has none in the cabinet or refrigerator and I take sugar in my coffee.”
“Sure, no problem, I did say help yourself to what you need.” I went inside and took out a small bag of sugar and set it on the counter. Neither dad nor mom used sugar in coffee so it wasn’t something I stocked in the apartment while I was cleaning. I grabbed two cups and poured coffee into one for myself and waited for Derek. It dawned on me that I knew little to nothing about him so an online search would be a good thing for me to do. I grabbed for my laptop then thought, not now, not when he could walk in any moment. When Derek walked in, I pointed to the cup and told him to help himself. It was at that moment my cell phone rang. I grabbed it before Derek could see the callers name.
“Good morning Sam, tell me, did you rent the apartment to that handsome young man?”
“Yes, I did actually. Look, I have a lot to do before coming into town, can we chat then?”
“You bet we can. I want to know all the juicy stuff.”
I laughed, “of course you do and so do I.” I disconnected the call and looked over at Derek.
He smiled. “Do you always get calls so early in morning, or is that the local gossip line wanting to know all about the rental car in your driveway?
‘This is the country, and we rise early.”
“I see you have a laptop, is the service any good?”
“Fair to middling,” I replied. I have to contact my office and skype has been a blessing since coming home.”
“Oh yes, I forgot someone in the café mentioned you moved back from city to care for your dad. That was after I asked about him and where he lived. So what do you do in the big city?”
“I teach at the college. What about yourself, what do you do for a living?”
“I travel the country to indigenous places and make documentary films.”
“So you are with a particular television company?”
“On and off, sometimes I make a film for myself, my own curiosity. Before you ask, yes this one is more to settle my own curiosity but if it pans out I may make it public.”
No. This land is private and I don’t want people trying to gain access just to get their own thrill. A public documentary would cause that to happen. Besides, our land butts up against protected forestry preserve.”
“How many acres belong to your family?
“ More than 600, it’s been in the family many years and we value it as it is, no logging allowed and no property developers will be building new houses on it. Dad had added to our property by purchasing the neighboring property when he and my mother married. Many have tried to buy it. Since dad died, I’ve had several wanting to talk to me. So if you are here under the guise to get a survey of the land then you can go home.”
“Does your brother feel same way about selling?”
“Even if he didn’t, he couldn’t do so without my agreement and I would never agree. And anyone trying to force him to sell, would get a huge surprise.”
“And what is that?”
I smiled and stayed silent. I didn’t want Derek knowledgeable on all my personal affairs. Three hours later I was sitting in Clare’s café chatting with her and eating a large breakfast omelet. She had told me how Derek had come in and asked about rental apartments outside town. Since she knew about the apartment and I had mentioned I intended to rent it later, she told him about it but not until he’d also mentioned wanting to talk to my father. Apparently this wasn’t his first visit to Preston. He had stayed here as a child with his grandfather. I suspected that was when he first heard about the creature supposedly roaming the woods. He had lied to me about reading of it in my dad’s writings. He led me to believe that was his first time to have heard of it. At that moment I made a firm decision to do as I had intended and run a background check on him.
“Did he happen to mention his grandfather’s name?”
“Yes. Derek Terrence Greer. Don’t you remember him Sam? Terry Greer, the handyman and school janitor.”
“I do remember Mr. Greer, he was a nice man, let kids get away with a lot we should have been reported for.”
“But you were an exemplary student Sam.”
I laughed out loud. “Of course I was! It wasn’t me and Beth who swiped his floor polish and put it on the principal’s windows either.”
At nine I met the lawyer to sign some papers and then headed to the courthouse. I wanted to check on Terry Greer’s family history.

When I made it back to my house later that day, Derek’s car was in the drive. I unloaded my briefcase and grabbed the takeout bag from my back seat. I never locked my door but for some reason this morning I wondered if I should. Perhaps, I thought it is time to start better protecting myself. And with what I’d learned of Derek’s family history today, now was a good time to start.
“Hi, I saw you drive in, glad you made it home.”
“Really, why wouldn’t I make it home?”
“Oh no, maybe I should reword that, it’s just that I was wondering if I could have a look at that box of papers you said were in the attic and I didn’t want to search in your home without your being here.”
“Sure, come on in and I’ll show you the attic; you can retrieve the box and take it back to the apartment.”
“That will be awesome. Look, I have chicken roasting in the oven, why don’t you let me repay your kindness last night by joining me for dinner.”
“No thank you, I brought Chinese home so I could work while I eat.”
Derek stared at me curiously. He knew I was tense but didn’t know the reason. “Some other time then.” I showed him the ladder to the attic and advised where the box was located and that it was labeled. A few minutes later he came down with a box resting on his shoulder. “I appreciate your allowing me to read all your dad’s personal notes. I’ll take this to the apartment and leave you alone.”

I ate as I did my internet search on Derek. The search came empty for any criminal activity or any other illegal activity. He seemed as clean as he presented himself to be. I pulled up dad and mom’s business account and run a check on all the past lists of those who had taken one of dad’s
forest survival courses. Terry was listed as was his grandson Derek. The list showed Derek as age 12. It felt strange digging through their accounts so I signed out and grabbed myself a cup of hot chocolate then went out to my porch. One thing I had decided to keep was mom’s porch swing. As I sit, I looked out at the darkness of the woods surrounding my home. I shivered. The air was cool but not cold, but I’d come out without a sweater and wearing a sleeveless tee. I was about to head inside to get my sweater when I head footsteps and looked up to see Derek coming from the edge of the woods. I watched as he walked toward the house. “I’m sorry, hope I didn’t frighten you.”
“No, you didn’t, I recognized you as you came from the woods. What were you doing out there?”
“I was following a couple deer that came from one side of the woods near the apartment and went into the woods on this side. I hoped to get a picture but they moved quickly. Shows I don’t have as soft a step as I thought,” he said with a laugh.
I shivered and he offered his jacket. “No, I was about to go inside and grab more chocolate. I’ll get my sweater.”
Derek nodded and held the door open for me. When I came back out, he was sitting in one of the chairs. I sat down on the swing. “Did you finish your work,” he asks?
“Yes I did.”
“So is the college allowing you so much time off without complaint?”
“I took a year sabbatical. But I am seriously considering starting a business here and resigning.”
“What kind of business? Surely you aren’t planning taking up your dad’s survival courses.”
“I could actually teach most of those classes and I have agreed to take a few sixth graders into the woods for an overnight trip next month. But I am thinking more along the lines of gardening.”
“You mean go out and mow people’s lawns?”
“No, I mean design and prepare people’s gardens.”
“That’s right, and you are a plant pathologist. But I thought your expertise was academic.”
“It is academic and that gives me a hand up on what I will do. I already have a couple home owners wanting my expertise. And if I enjoy doing those, I am opening my own business. I already have my own prepared for planting just waiting on delivery of the plants.”
“You have designed your own?”
“I have with help from some of mom’s old landscape sketches. She loved flowers of all types. Sadly, she had to sell the local flower shop when she first learned of her heart problems so she never had time to plant what she wanted, how she wanted.”
“Why the sell, why not just allow someone else to handle the business end?”
“Because she felt we needed the extra money the lump sum and extra monthly note brought into the finances. Dad’s illness was expensive and even with insurance both them had high medical bills.”
“I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have to keep saying that. I am not pennyless. Far from being well off enough to splurge or buy what I want but I make it.”
“Oh, of course you do, I didn’t mean to imply anything. I’m also looking forward to going into the woods next week.”
“I can take you in Sunday. It’s best to leave at dawn because the brush will be thick so walking will be slow. Walking in heat of day isn’t easy. There use to be a creek behind the old cabin, although I doubt it has I am hopefully it hasn’t dried up. I know its water flow is from a larger creek and waterfall. Mother nature could have diverted the fall. Actually the waterfall creek is where I am taking the kids. I want to show them how to catch fish with their hands and then allow them to compete to see who catches the most or biggest fish. And show them how to cook fish on open fire. We have a large fire-pit in that area.”
“You aren’t concerned about bear?”
“Not really, no. Not where I’ll have them staying. I have hope they will get to see deer, rabbit and squirrels though.”
“How many adults will be with you?”
“Two chaperones, twelve kids.”
“Twelve 12- year-olds. You’re a brave lady,” he laughed. “What’s the male female ratio?”
“Eight boys and four girls.”
“If I am still here, perhaps you’ll allow me to join you. I could take some nice pictures for their memory album.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
By Sunday I had relaxed my guard of Derek a little but I had yet to confront him about why he had not told me of his time in Preston with his grandfather. My backpack was packed, laden with a change of clothing, a jacket and rain coat plus a couple energy bars and a water bottle. Derek met me on the porch at five. “Make sure you keep your water bottle within easy reach,” I said. The trek will be long and replenishing body fluids is essential.”
“On my belt,” he said twisting and patting it so I could see. I slipped my water bottle into its holder on my belt and grabbed my backpack.
“Did you eat?” I ask.
“I had a full breakfast with juice, and coffee of course. I also have some cream and sugar packets in my backpack. I didn’t think the cabin would have sugar since you said your parents didn’t take it in their coffee.”
“Actually, I grabbed some packets too,” I said and laughed out loud. “Keep an eye out for edibles as we trek.” Three hours later we were sitting on a fallen tree, Derek was snapping pictures and we were snacking on power bars. “You ready to continue?”
“Yes, I am ready. About how long do you think it’ll be before we reach the cabin?”
“A couple hours, the brush is getting thicker. I grabbed my machete, and started to lead.”
“Why don’t you let me do the chopping, you can keep close behind sand keep me from getting off course.”
I handed him the machete. A couple hours later I heard the distinct sound of running water. “We are close,” I said. Do you hear it?”
Derek stopped. “Yes I hear water, and something else.”
I listened carefully. “Wild pigs,” I said. “If you like we can set a trap to try and catch one. But I’d like to reach the cabin first, see if its in condition to stay in.”
“Straight on?” he asks.
I nodded and about 30 minutes later we saw the roof of the cabin. Derek picked up his pace.
“It isn’t locked,” he said.
“No, this is private land and folks around here knows that. We just put the lock in the hook but leave it open.” The cabin smelled stale and dusty. Derek pushed on the window and hooked it open. He walked over to the wood stove. It was set for a fire. After checking the vent he walked outside and checked to make sure it was safe to light. When he came back in, I was unpacking my pack. Derek lit the fire and grabbed the tea kettle. He filled it with water from the well outside then set it on top the stove.
“I think a nice cup of coffee is warranted, don’t you?” He asks.
“I do, I have a couple steaks here we can throw in a pan later or set a fire in the pit outside and cook.”
He laughed. “I brought chops too. Do you think they’ll stay okay until tomorrow?”
Not cold enough and we have no fridge. We’ll throw them on too. I also have a couple cans of veggie.”
“I have potatoes but no vegetable.”
“Let’s have that coffee and then I’ll show you the creek. You should be able to catch fish in it. “Probably even a few edible frogs, salamanders in it too.”
“Next you’ll say I can find grub worms in fallen dead trees.”
I smiled and nodded affirmatively.
“Have you ever eaten them?”
“As a matter of fact, I have eaten cooked ones.”
While Derek made coffee, I took bedding off the cots and took them outside to shake in the attempt to get years of dust off. The dust choked me and I went back inside coughing. Derek laughed again. “I don’t mind a little dust; besides I brought my sleeping bag.”
“I did mine too, but it can get chilly at night in these woods this time of year. The extra will come in handy.”
When we walked down to the creek later, Derek was amazed with how deep and clear the water was. “I think I’ll bring the kettle down and get some of this water to boil. The ground water from the well is rather hard, and this looks fresh.”
“We did the same thing.”
“Why don’t we head back, get those steaks on to cook and have an early night. I am feeling the effects of that long walk.”
I agreed, wanting an early night also. Sleep had been more evasive than happening last night. It was around midnight when the sound jarred me awake. Derek woke also. “My God! What was that? He asks”
“That is the same sound I heard as a child. Much like something in severe pain. Even bears don’t sound like that.”
“I’m going check my camera, it’s set up outside. I pray it caught the sound.” I had coffee dripping when Derek came back inside. My camera is set up for long range viewing, and it’s the best on the market. I saw nothing when I played back the video. But yes, it caught the sound. If you think you can handle it, I’d like to play back the sound toward the woods and see if anything answers.”
I poured coffee, “Isn’t that a little dangerous, we have no idea if this animal is a dangerous predator. If it comes toward the sound, we could be attacked.”
“That’s why I asked if it was okay by you.”
I rubbed my forehead, “Do it, I’ll go out with you, and you can keep my mind off the noise that animal made the rest of the night. Sleep won’t come easy after hearing that sound.”
I cringed when I heard the noise playback. We listened but nothing but silence followed it. “I don’t know whether to feel bad for you with the no sound or glad you didn’t get an answer.”
“Understood but truthfully, I am conflicted with it also. You know, I am hungry again. How about we cook up some eggs.”
“If you’re cooking then go for it; you know, when you’re in a survival situation you should ration food.”
“If I run short, I can fish or set up snares for rabbits or squirrels, I even know how to set up dead-falls. I was honored as a child to be included in one of your father’s survival classes, thanks to my grandfather.”
“Well, you learned from the best.”
“I know I should have told you about staying in Preston as a child but it just seemed to not come up and after our talk about his teachings, I couldn’t find the words that wouldn’t make it sound like I was originally intending to be deceitful.”
“I learned of your grandfather and that you had stayed with him as a child. I was upset at first that you had not mentioned this but its okay. I have to be back home Wednesday so lets agree to be honest from now on and let it lie.”
Derek set a plate of eggs and the rest of my chop from dinner in front of me. “I can do that, but after hearing that sound, I am not comfortable with the idea of you walking through these woods alone. I’ll go back with you and then come back alone.”
“That creature, if it is a dangerous one, has never been heard in daytime. I’ll be safe going home.”
“I would never forgive myself if anything happened to you, so I think I’ll walk back with you. Please don’t argue about that.”
I gave in and agreed he could walk back with me but let him know that I’d walked in the woods alone many times in my life and wasn’t afraid. We tried to rest around four in the morning. I fell into a light sleep and even the wind woke me. At seven, I left the comfort of the cot and put the coffee water on the stove. The whistle of the steaming boil woke Derek. “Good morning,” he said.
I poured water into the drip coffee pot and smiled over at him. “I noticed you tossed, so I’m assuming you slept as little as I did.”
He nodded and sit up. “Excuse me,” he said, “the wash room is calling me.”
We spent most of the day trekking the woods looking for fresh tracks and setting rabbit snares. Neither of us had eaten all day so by night fall and with no rabbit in any of the snares, we were excited to warm up the steaks cooked the night before and devoured the whole steak.. Monday night was quiet with no loud noises to wake us. Tuesday brought rain but Derek left to check his snares; just in case an animal had gotten caught, he didn’t want it to suffer needlessly. “Well, this storm is going to delay me going home. I’m in no mood to walk downhill in blinding rain, it could be tricky and I could be slipping and sliding more than walking.”
Derek agreed with me and we settled in for a day inside the cabin with only a few minutes respite that we used to walk to the creek for fresh water and see if we could catch a couple fish. The snares still had not yielded a rabbit. So we’d have fish for dinner. While we were down at the creek I pulled up a couple cat tails, “these are edible, I told him, let me show you.” I pulled the outside away from the clean part and bit on it and handed him the other one. “Nice and flavorful,” I said. “And the top makes great tender for fire starting, just fluff it up and it takes a spark.” He made mention it reminded him of newly picked cotton.
“Well now ma’am you want fish sushi, boiled or grilled?” He asked when we were comfortable back in the cabin.
“Grilled please, the idea of eating fish soup is gag stuff for me.” I laughed and he laughingly agreed. He grabbed a large pan and sat it on the hot stove and put the fish in it. We could hear them sizzle in the heat, and the aroma filled the small cabin. Derek had popped a couple eggs in water to boil for us to enjoy with a few more cattails while the fish cooked through. As we munched on them, we talked about his plans. “After I go home tomorrow and you come back, what are your plans?”
“I’ll replenish some food supplies in case the snares don’t catch food. And stay outside at night more looking and listening for the creature. I hope he yells again. I’ll play the sound we heard over and over hoping he’ll yell back thinking it’s another creature wanting company. I’ll spend at least a week.”
“If you don’t show up back at the house by next Wednesday evening, I’m coming search for you. I’d worry you could be injured otherwise.”
“Deal,” he said, but travel in light of day not late afternoon or night.”
“I’d travel early Thursday morning as we did and probably bring someone with me, just in case you are injured.”
He laughed again and slid the fish in plates. I decided I liked his laughter, it was cheering. We turned in early again since it was rain had returned in full force. Derek didn’t go check the snares, deciding to wait until morning to do that.
Wednesday morning dawned with heavily overcast skies. It had stopped raining about three in the morning but winds continued to whip. Derek left early to check his snares and came back with one rabbit. He’d cleaned it on the site. “Dinner tonight,” he said, “sure you don’t want to stay and enjoy it with me?”
“Thanks but no, I am expecting the delivery of all my plants today and I have to visit the lawyer again.”
“Boring!” he said, “the lawyer part anyway.”
“Yes, but my future is at stake so it’s a have to.”
“How is it at stake?” he asked as he wrapped the rabbit in foil and put it in a cool spot to help keep it as fresh as possible.
“My parent’s insurance was enough to pay off their medical bills and left enough to help with the repairs on the house and apartment, but I have to live. Fortunately, dad and mom had a retirement plan that included caring for me and Steven in the event of their deaths too. I will get portions every three months. Like a trust fund setup. Until I decide whether or not to start my own business or go back and teach, it will suffice. I get the first installment today.”
“I think you should follow your dreams, and if gardening is that dream then go for it. The teaching career will always be there as a backup if you want to teach too. The local high school will probably hire you or the local community college.”
“I know,” I said, but a business needs personal touch so teaching at this time while trying to get it off the ground will not be an option. I’ll also have to hire a few people to help. So salaries are a consideration, not counting taxes, and that too means a hands on time management need.”
“You have really thought hard about the business, haven’t you?” He grabbed his backpack now empty of supplies and handed it to me. “I’ll take yours since it’s loaded.”
“All that is in it is my toiletry items and dirty clothing. I’m leaving the sleeping bag and left over supplies I brought.”
He smiled. “Great but I’ll still pack it so keep mine.” The trek out took longer than the trek in, although much of the trail had been chopped free of swinging vines that can slap the face across the eyes during our trip in. The hills were slippery and staying upright was hard. Derek caught my fall several times, keeping me from hitting the cold wet ground. He slipped a few times too but was able to stay off the ground. The heavy mist made our view hard. When we came out the woods and made it to the porch at the house we both dropped to the steps in gratefulness. We went inside and made thick sandwiches to devour then drank hot coffee. I tried to get Derek to wait until Thursday to trek back but he insisted on going back immediately. We filled his backpack with supplies and he showered and took off. After he left I showered and headed into town for my appointment with the lawyer. As I was about to leave the delivery man came with my plants. I showed him the small shed so he could unload them in it and I left. I didn’t sleep much Wednesday night, it was mostly spent hoping Derek was safe inside the cabin and not prowling around the dark forest. I was up early Thursday and working in the garden. By midday I had knocked a large dent in it and the lack of proper rest the past few days were effecting my ability to make decisions on what I should do next. I was exhausted and decided to head inside and nap for a few hours. I dropped down on the sofa and turned the television on and closed my eyes. Ironically when I woke, a program was on and it was showing Derek on one of his hunting trips for photographing wild animals. It felt strange seeing the man who had left a couple days ago to trek my woods to do his photography and search for a particular wild creature. I got up and headed into my kitchen, I wasn’t in the mood for cooking for one so I showered, dressed and drove into town. The café closed early on Thursdays so I dropped by the Chinese restaurant and picked up take out. Before I left I dropped by the flower and garden shop and thanked Brenda for sending the plants I had ordered and paid my bill. I told her I’d be back soon to place more orders. I had made my decision, I was going into business for myself so I asked her if she knew anyone who was looking for work that could help me finish my garden. She gave me the names of a couple young graduates who were looking for temporary work. I thanked her and left. An hour later I was again sitting in front of my tv and eating my food. Later I contacted the young men whose name Brenda had given me, both were excited so I told them to be at my home tomorrow morning at nine. I’d rather have told them eight but that could wait, nine was fine for their first day. Both young men were on time and ready to work Friday morning. We made excellent progress, they understood the design I showed them and dug and planted what I told them as I had told them to do. I’d allowed them an hour for lunch and we took a couple breaks during the hottest part of the day. The sun was out in full. By evening they were both ready to end the day. I asked if they wanted to work Saturday or wait until Monday, both were willing to work the weekend. I paid them and advised I’d fix up a salary and work schedule and they’d be paid again next Friday. They had worked a long eight hour day and I paid them the salary equal to those hours and what they’d be paid hourly from now on. After they had left I made myself dinner and pulled up the designs I’d began for the two new homes going up in the more pricey part of town. I worked on them for a couple hours, that work kept my mind busy and off Derek walking around looking for a creature we knew little to nothing about. Saturday morning I set the young men their task and left to visit the two new houses. I had my designs with me and hoped the homeowners were around so I could discuss the design with them. One had wanted a water feature, and that was the main owner I needed to talk with. The small water feature I was including in my garden would be dug out and started on Monday. Tim, the youngest of the two men I had working had advised his dad may dig the pond for me since he had the proper equipment to do so. If he did then maybe I could hire him for this job too. I wanted to visit the bank on Monday and see if I could get backing for the business. I’d need overhead to purchase the equipment I need, hire more employees and set up an office, hopefully in my home office if allowed. I didn’t think zoning was against a business office in the home, or on my property but I needed to check the laws. Dad had run his business from the home. So I didn’t really see any difficulty except maybe the type of business. I’d need an SUV, a small trailer to haul supplies and equipment. I’d have to find a place to store supplies. My shed was small but it’d do to start with. I found myself missing Tim and Joey on Sunday. I had enjoyed their company. Except for the water feature my garden would be completed Monday. I had already fallen in love with the design, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me feel better about my home. I could see if Tim and Joey wanted to help me scrap the outside of the house. It would keep them busy the rest of the week and create a nice paycheck. Tim’s dad gave me an estimate of cost for digging my water feature pond and I agreed to his terms. He looked proud of his son as he looked around the garden. “Dad, we just planted following Miss Perkins design.”
“You do good work Miss,” he said, “this garden is really wonderful, I can just see it in my mind after all these plants and flowers take root and grow. I love how you included wild flowers near the woods edge.”
“Yes they are wild flowers and some seasonal plants I’ll have to replace in a few months.”
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Boli Shagnasty
Boli Shagnasty

Posts : 60
Join date : 2014-02-02
Age : 69

THE CREATURE part 1 Empty
PostSubject: Re: THE CREATURE part 1   THE CREATURE part 1 EmptyTue Jul 15, 2014 11:07 pm

Very intrigued! Looking forward to seeing where this work is headed.
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Posts : 29
Join date : 2014-03-21

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PostSubject: Re: THE CREATURE part 1   THE CREATURE part 1 EmptyWed Jul 16, 2014 3:35 pm

I am so excited about this story! Headed for final part to read. Thrilled you have both parts on already. Just so sorry it has taken so long for me to come and read.
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