“I Died Once” – Chapter 3, 4 & 5
Novella One “I Died Once” Continues… Novella Two “Mady’s Storm” Kickstarter Project
And Then He Came
And then he came…
On the eleventh day after my mother’s death an old pickup truck arrived in the driveway of my mother’s estate. An old man drove it, and in the passenger seat was a man in an old brown leather jacket wearing a hat pulled down over his face. When they got out of the truck, I noticed the passenger’s pants and boots were also very beaten and worn down.
Fred ran out to the driveway, arms flailing,
assuming they had taken a wrong turn, or
something. I took a bite out of my apple. This was getting good.
The man in the hat pointed at the back of the pickup truck, and the old man responded by taking out what appeared to be a wrapped rug, threw it over his shoulder, and headed towards the house.
At first, Fred tried to stop him, but then followed him in. This is when the man in the hat looked over my way and motioned for me to come quickly. Somehow, he knew I was behind the bush. What should I do? What could I do? Before I knew it, I was sprinting towards him. He quickly opened the passenger door, shuffled me to the passenger side floor, and shut the door.
Suddenly, I heard Fred’s voice as he and the driver returned to the truck, “Well, I certainly do
appreciate you delivering the rug.” It was the first time I had heard it since the night he killed my mother. Terror filled me, my heart started to beat
rapidly, and I began to sweat.
“Who did you say sent it?” Fred asked the driver of the truck.
“A man called Sam Monroe from Africa,” the old driver replied.
“Oh, okay, well thank you. Can I get you two gentlemen a drink?” Please say no, I thought to myself.
“Nope, we’ll be on our way,” said the man in the hat. He had a notably soothing voice, which seemed to calm me a bit. The huge knife on his belt didn’t hurt either.
“Very well, thanks again,” I heard Fred say, and we left.
The old man never looked down at me curled on the floor, as if the man in the hat had told him to expect a visitor. After a while, the man in the hat looked down at me. “You can come up now,” and so I hesitantly moved onto the seat between the two men.
“How did you know I was in the bushes?” I managed.
“In Africa you must always be watchful of things in the brush.”
“Yup, and that’s where we’re headed.” He then did the oddest thing. He stuck his hand out, “My names Sam, by the way. Sam Monroe.”
My Father From Africa?
That ride was very odd indeed. The rest of the way I didn’t say a word. When I sent that note to my father’s supposed address in Africa, I never for the life of me expected a reply, and certainly not like this.
Perhaps showing you the note I sent him might illuminate a few things.
Fred has killed mother and wrapped her in your living room rug.
Best fetch me at once, for he just took three close range shots at my bed with his revolver.
Fortunately, I was out in the pool, breathing my last breath.
No indeed, a response of any type was not what I expected. Yet, here he was sitting next to me, almost on top of me, really, as I was squished between him and the old man.
Finally, he spoke as he rolled a cigarette. “So what’s this you say about ‘breathing your last breath’?”
“Huh? Oh, the note. It’s nothing.”
He looked at me. “Nothing, huh? Doesn’t sound like nothing.” I didn’t reply, and instead went on looking straight ahead. “Oh well, maybe later then.”
“So you brought Fred a rug?” I’m not exactly sure why I asked that. Perhaps some part of me wanted to talk to him on a more intimate level, but instead said something trivial.
“Oh, yeah, you said he wrapped yer mum up in that African rug I had in the living room, so I thought I’d give him a new one.” With this he looked at me. “You know, as kind of a ‘I know what you did’ message to his subconscious.”
This surprised me. “Uh, isn’t that kind of dangerous? I mean, he’s a killer.”
With this he smiled. “Oh no, I’m the killer. You should see my library wall at home. Every hunt-worthy beast in Africa has found their head mounted there. No, old Fred I suspect, as I’ve always suspected, is just a money-hungry, greedy bastard, heh, and a sloppy murderer at that.”
Well, with this I had to agree with dad. Dad? Eww, don’t think I like that. I’ll just call him Sam.
A Diamond Mine
The next hand full of days, I couldn’t say how many, were full of trains, planes, boats, and automobiles, and at last, dirt. Oh, and sky, oceans, and animals. Yes, lots of animals. I had arrived in Africa. South Africa, to be specific. I dare not be more specific than that, or I might offend a local.
As Sam, my father as it were, handed a dark skinned man money, our very minimal bags were placed into a vehicle, and the two of us were off.
Apparently, Sam owned a small diamond mine with some other men; however, he spent no time there, and instead hunted and traveled the surrounding lands. I suppose his life was an adventure, I dare say. Nothing like my own had been. This was a sort of second life for me. Strange to think, if my mother hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be alive. But I dare not ponder too much on that.
Sam seemed a fairly simple man. One that, in his rustic way, soaked in everything around him. Perhaps that’s why on occasion he’d ask me personal questions. He probably figured he should know a bit about me if I, too, was to be sucked in.
“Tell me about your life, Mady. Did you have any hobbies, or pets, or…” with this he looked over at me “…girl things that you liked to do?”
Yikes, girl things. How appalling, and yet, I tried my best to be polite. “Not so much. Mother took away my paints, as she felt it distracted me from more sensible things like clothing, makeup, and schoolwork.”
“I see,” he replied.
“As far as pets, I wasn’t allowed any. As she put it, ‘What would be the point?”
“Aye, she wasn’t the most cozy of women, I’ll give you that,” he said, which kind of surprised me. Him discussing anything to do with her and him, that is.
With this, I mustered up some courage. “Did you ever love her?”
He didn’t reply, nor look my way for quite some time, until, “LOOK OUT!!” Suddenly, he hit the brakes and all seemed to slow down as he threw his great musket across the front of me and placed my hand on the wheel. I tucked my head towards him, and he took a shot. BLAM!! In one shot he took down what he called a white rhino. It fell to the ground with a THUMP! “That thing would have knocked this vehicle over!” he gasped, then looked at me. “Yes, I loved her.”