Yes, believe it or not it is Friday once again. Has your week been busy like mine? I did get some writing done. :) The next Western is written, but not corrected and I have almost half of my next assignment done. The story is quite different than anything yet. (Do I always say that?) I'd someday love to do something with all these short stories I'm writing, but I don't know what. I sent this story to a friend and she asked if I'd consider sending it to a magazine. I said I would if I knew of a magazine.:) That's the problem, I don't know of any place to send my stories. So, if any of you know of a place, let me know.
Next week I'll be in KC and I won't have Sarah's laptop. She and Dad will be doing a conference for Jimmy in Iowa. That will mean I have to use Grandma's computer which is a PC. I am not good at using those so I'll have to get Grandma to help. I just wanted you all to know in case you get on to check this blog around 8:00 in the morning. It might be later when it gets up. And that will be the last of "The Emancipation of Chester Reginald Donavan, Esquire."
But now for Part 3. Hope you enjoy it!
Last week . . .
“Stay calm,” he whispered, but the very fright in his voice only added to his terror and when his foot, which was somewhere down in the tightly tangled, twisted mess, bumped against something hard, Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., the great budding lawyer let out a yell so loud that it awakened echoes up and down the mountain side. “E-bay!”
Chester was trembling in fright. He didn’t dare move, but he felt as though he couldn’t breathe. There was no air! The tent was flat! He was hopelessly trapped! Just when he felt he could stand the strain no longer, a deep but perfectly calm and even slightly amused voice sounded, and a light was played back and forth over where he lay.
“So, you having a little problem? If you are cold, I really wouldn’t recommend knocking down your tent. Do you want a little help?”
“Just get me out!” came Chester’s wavering voice.
“Stay calm and let me have a look at this mess. You sure did manage--” but the little E-bay man left the rest unfinished, and propping up his flashlight where it would do the most good, set about trying to free his captive companion. This was no easy task, for in his twisting and turning search for his flashlight, Chester had unknowingly rolled over the front zipper thus trapping himself inside. It was with great difficulty that he was at last coaxed into rolling back and that only after a fire had been built which gave added light to the rescuer’s efforts. It was a good forty minutes before Chester was at last standing in the open, a shivering and shaking figure.
“Here, take this coat and go sit by the fire while I set this back up.” The little man gave Chester a gentle shove towards the bright blaze and turned back to the tent. “Why, where are all your stakes?” he exclaimed in astonishment.
“I d-didn’t think I’d n-need them all,” admitted Chester, teeth chattering from cold. “And I hit m-my thumb so m-many times, I thought it w-wasn’t w-worth it,” he added to justify his actions or lack of them.
With a shake of his head, the other man went to work and in short order had the tent up and properly staked and had found the missing flashlight. “Now,” he asked coming over to the fire, “do you think you can go to sleep again? The tent is set up and there are still several hours before daylight comes.” He yawned. “And I for one could use some more shut eye.”
“I think I can if you are sure it won’t fall again?”
“I think I’ll take my flashlight into my sleeping bag this time. Just in case.”
For several hours Chester lay rigid and stiff in his sleeping bag inside his tent. He was wide awake. Never in all his thirty-one years of life had he ever slept outside separated from the elements by only a nylon tent. Every sound that came through the thin wall seemed to his ears to be as loud as the train near his house. But this was the wilderness! This was an untamed mountainside miles from anyone except the little E-bay man. He wondered what his friend Michael would say to this story. “He’d probably laugh and think it a good joke,” he thought. “Wish I had my i-phone. I’d text him. Hmm, what would I tell him?” For the next several minutes he composed all sorts of texts that he would enjoy sending if only he could. Finally just before dawn broke, he fell asleep.
“So, E-bay, when do we pack up camp and head out again?” The two men were finishing up their breakfast and enjoying the warm sun as they drank their last cups of coffee.
“Well, I think we’ll just stay here.”
“For one, it’s a good place to camp: water, plenty of wood for the fire, shelter, a nice view. And since we are lost, we should stay in one place so they can find us. It is always harder to find someone if they keep moving. Besides,” the little E-bay man added, “it’s awfully hard hiking with feet covered in blisters.”
Chester looked down at his stocking feet and grimaced. That was true. His feet ached at the very thought of boots.
“You know, you should always try to break in your new hiking boots before you go on a hike. It’s easier on the feet.”
“How long did it take to break yours in?”
The little E-bay man glanced down at his warm, but quite comfortable boots. “Oh I don’t know, they were slightly used when I got them off of E-bay--”
Chester groaned. “Do you get everything off of E-bay?”
“Just about. Like I said, it’s kind of a hobby.”
Chester nodded. Strangest hobby he’d ever heard of.
“So, what do we do all day? Sit here like two old men?” Sarcasm flooded each word that broke the long silence.
The little E-bay man laughed. He did a lot of laughing, Chester noticed. “I suppose we could, but we could at least talk about something. You know, have a discussion. I didn’t say an argument. We might even venture for a short walk if you feel up to it, or if your feet do, I should say.”
“My feet don’t want to move right now.”
“Well then, suppose you pick a topic and we’ll start talking.”
Talk they did, and even though the little E-bay man said they weren’t to argue, they came mighty close to it several times, especially when the little E-bay man made a statement that the world was created by a Creator, and Chester declared it evolved over millions of years. Most of that day they did nothing but talk. And it was nearing the late afternoon hours before a lull came over them.
“When do you think they’ll find us?” Chester questioned somewhat hesitatingly for he wasn’t sure he really wanted to know the answer.
His companion shrugged. “It could be this evening or it might not be for a couple of days.”
“A couple of days?” Chester had never thought of that possibility. “I can’t possibly live without my i-phone for that long!”
The little E-bay man shrugged again. “Then I guess you’ll die if it takes them a while. I think you could at least try to survive so I’m not alone. But seriously, it could take them that long because they first have to figure out we’re gone, and then figure out where we got lost and if we got lost together or separately and then find out which direction we went and then find us. Sound complicated?”
When Chester nodded, he added, “Believe me it is more complicated to find us than it is to find good bargains on E-bay.”
And so the hours passed into evening with Chester grumbling and complaining about his missing i-phone while his companion, the little E-bay man, sought to divert his thoughts and to cheer him up. Lurking in the back of Chester’s mind was worry. Worry that they would never be found, worry that they’d run out of food, worry that he wouldn’t get back home in time for this important case he was working on.
That night Chester didn’t sleep well. He kept waking up. He had been so tired and exhausted the night before that he hadn’t noticed the hard ground nor how cold his nose got. Now it was different. If he had had his i-phone, things would have been better, he assured himself, not once thinking that he might not be able to get reception way out there in the middle of nowhere. If he had his i-phone he could have sent out a message on Facebook or Twitter that he and the little E-bay man were lost and where they were. But just where were they? Chester had no idea and finally fell asleep wondering.
Join me next week for the conclusion of the story!