A crime thriller by Stephanie Bri
A man sat on a log on the side of a mountain a late winter day. A gentle breeze touched the back of his neck. A squirrel sat in a tree eating a nut. Aa young bird was singing lullabies to her mate. The sounds of nature filled his ears as the cool winter air touched his lungs. Off in the distance the sun was slowly setting behind a mountain. Time was on vacation now and summer went with it. As he stood there surrounded by nature a single thought crept into his mind, she was gone and there was no turning back.
Elsewhere on that same mountain a goldfish swam nervously in it’s bowl. The clicking that came from the sky had shaken the waters in it’s bowl nine times today. Nine times the waters would shake and then the food was lowered into the bowl and his hunger pains would go away. The clicker in the sky had already clicked nine times and there was no food, where was the food? Where was the hairy beast thing that brought the food?
Outside as the man sat on a fallen tree observing the tranquility of the nature that kept him company he began to ponder. There had been a time when he lived in a crowded city, among other members of his species. He would awaken daily as the drudgery of his monotonous routine would continue to drag him down. He had the so-called normal life. He did what you were supposed to do; went to school, met a girl and found a fulfilling career. And yet here in the emptiness of nature in the cool mountain air he discovered he felt no remorse. He lived alone, yet he was not lonely. It was beginning to get late. He knew he’d have to go in soon. He still had some thinking to do up here on the mountain this late winter day.
Life, so very long ago, had been so complex right from the start for this man. His parents were very active in the community and so their lives were always busy. His mother had been a school teacher. She was chaperone on numerous school outings of which he was to participate. His father was the deputy mayor for the longest time. The both of them sat on the school board, PTA, Chamber of Commerce, and had other little book clubs and bowling leagues, etc., to occupy their time.
The man had two brothers, one on the older side and the other was just on the younger side. The three of them had a single sister. She was the baby of the family who came along much later in life. She required all the attention of everyone around her. His early days were filled with school even outside of school was basically more school; Latin, piano, choir, civic club, FBLA, and student council activities among others were the norm for him.
The ma recalled how his parents wanted to make sure he had as busy a life as they had. It was his destiny to enter the world of economics and politics as his father had done. He was then to start a proper family as it was meant to be. His brothers had it entirely different. The oldest was the jock who played every. He had to devote every waking minute of every day of his life to becoming a world class athlete, it was his destiny supposedly. He brought home the trophies to make dad proud and mom would brag about her sports star.
The man’s younger brother was the dreamer. He was the one who took painting classes, learned cello, and generally preferred to dabble in the arts. He was the one who spent his time pursuing a future in that arena only a select few ever succeed. The man’s Dad cared nothing for his so-called fantasies, calling him nothing more than a lazy bum unwilling to face reality.
As the man sat on the long looking back on his life he pondered how he had gotten to where he was in life. His early days were filled with chaos, confusion, and corruption. He spent his youth doing things he hated; chasing a career he would regret followed by falling in love with the perfect woman despite himself. Life never seemed to make any sense back in those days.
The man grew tired as his life unfolded before his eyes in rusty memories. He sat there on a tree stump overlooking the wildlife that was coming out of hibernation despite the spring weather refusing to come on schedule. Over his should he spotted his trusty dog, Sandy, fishing in the icy cold river. Sandy was filled to the brim with life trying to get one fish in her teethe. He sat there and he looked back at his life wondering why it was never this simple before? He wondered why life was so complicated.
Looking back he realized there was nothing he could have done differently to avoid his destiny. Life chose the path he was to walk even before he was conceived. He missed nothing of his old life; not his parents, his friends, family, or colleagues; none of them meant anything to him now. This was his life here in the mountains cut off from the rest of the world. He looked down at his pocket watch noting he had stayed out longer than usual.
“I bet ‘ol Goldie is getting worried right about now, pacing his bowl back and forth wondering where the food is” he said to Sandy.
The man stood up stretching his legs as he called to his trusty dog Sandy. He gathered his game, then began his trek up the hill towards the cabin he now called home. Life was simple, but it was about to get complicated all over again.
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