Come on an adventure and follow along with Jack as he writes his new book in real time! Here is chapter 6.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
It took several minutes for normalcy to find its voice in the aftermath of Goliath’s unprecedented storm, and for the mop-up operation to begin in earnest. Once the table had been righted and pieces of broken crockery, food and utensils collected, the vacuum cleaner arrived, followed by the carpet sponges in the hands of numb and overworked kitchen staff. Goliath was a well known protagonist in the hotel environment and when he was at the helm of the good ship ‘bar-room’, everyone was on high alert and ready for the turbulent seas associated with his captaincy. Today, however, things got way out of hand, and this was the closest he’d ever come to committing a serious felony. Even though Goliath’s behaviour was questionable, at best, he was still a venerated son of Kirby and no town patron would want to wear the accusation of being the lowlife responsible for putting away one of their own. Police presence in the town was as rare as government sense, but nobody wanted the criminals – who were dressed in law enforcement uniforms – interfering in the town’s usually ordered and predictable heartbeat, anyway. Thankfully in the latest furore, a worthy opponent was at the ready to deal with Goliath’s bad behaviour and diffuse the extreme situation, showing great courage and nous to stand up against his furious rage.
As the patrons settled into a kind of murmuring and wary peace, the discussion began to find its way back around to the loony woman who’d started the whole debacle in the first place. And who was this twig of a stranger and an equally loony man who’d come to her defence? She was a looker, no one could disagree, but as unpredictable and as crazy as a drunken rodent on speed. The burly redhead was a stranger in the town also, but he was being treated like a local hero. As he bent down to attend to the slightly built man whose aching frame had crumpled and found a path onto the hotel carpet, people began to discuss the bruises of Goliath’s huge handprint girding the little man’s throat, and what the eventual outcome for Goliath’s future in the locale of his birth should be. Calling to the bartender for ice and guiding Caylin to a chair, the redhead seemed to understand something of the processes of first aid, and after a gentle head twisting examination, gave Caylin a clean but bruised bill of health. Struggling with the gravel of a husky voice, Caylin tried to offer his weary thanks, but the redhead responded with a question of his own.
“I’m assuming the little dark haired lady belongs to you?”
Caylin’s reply clouded as he dropped his head in shame and nodded. “Yes. She’s my wife.”
The depth of frustration in that one statement told the big redhead all he needed to know. “And what does your wife call you?!”
“A lot of things, but most aren’t repeatable in mixed company,” Caylin smirked sarcastically, and when the redhead began to belly laugh, he felt at peace and like he’d found camaraderie in the bigger man.
As the laughing rumble wound down to a good natured smile, the redhead tried again, “Okay. What should I call you, then?”
“Caylin’s my name… and you are?”
“Gabe. But most people who like me call me Ish.”
“Ish?! What does that mean?!”
“Depends on the situation. If I’m in trouble with my lady… it might be child-Ish, or rogue-Ish. Peck-Ish if I’m hungry. Put ‘Ish’ on any word you want and I’ve probably been rightfully accused of it,” the infectious smile broadened across the big man’s face and eased Caylin’s anxious mood. Feeling comfortable immediately around the towering Ish, Caylin’s smile and sense of rusty lightness slowly faded when his gaze settled on the bar room door. A long, disturbing gawk followed, and the defeated look almost broke the redhead’s heart.
“Don’t worry, Caylin. She’s with my wife and in very good hands. Dani saw her leave, figuring what was happening and went after her before all this went bad. What’s her name?”
After turning his attention from the door, Caylin procrastinated, taking a long, silent glance and searching the inquisitive expression of the bulky redhead, almost ashamed to offer it. Eventually, he forced himself to oblige, but stuttered badly with embarrassment. “U..uh, Li.. Lisa. B..but you can’t blame her for this. It’s all my fault, not hers!” Caylin blurted out, but then couldn’t believe he’d just taken the culpability for Lisa’s fiery temper and spoilt bad behaviour. Once again, someone else was picking up the pieces after a wild tantrum, and enabling the dark-haired brat to escape retribution. Even the unsuspecting Goliath had become an experiment and a near casualty to Lisa’s fallacious attractiveness. But she’d bitten off more than she could manipulate in the forcefully strong personality of the overarching wild man, and he’d shocked her into submission, almost fatally.
A wilful child and schooled in the lineage of weak men, Lisa had learnt the craft of manipulation and practised on her spineless father, offering and withdrawing her conditional childish affection at her whim, as each new toy was demanded. Fearing Lisa would no longer like him or consider him as her ‘favourite’, he flatly refused to discipline her, and spoilt her excessively, but in the process had created a monster and lit the fuse of her adult hostility. Although she loathed them, Lisa was attracted to weak men because they were easy to control and they would do whatever she desired, but the loathing increased and bordered on outright repulsion as she continued to exist in their feeble presence.
“Lisa, hey?” Ish responded to the name with a sense of pondering. “So what brings you to the bustling hub of Kirby, and why was Lisa so upset that she tried to take on Goliath?”
The bar room went quiet, with many patrons choosing to leave after the weird happenings. As Caylin considered the stranger’s probe, the words tangled inside his head, but his urgent concerns were somewhere else. Studying the carpet for many moments and then after another stolen glance at the door, Caylin was obviously anxious about Lisa’s well being. As the pause extended far beyond a reasonable time for a response, Ish began to feel the need to withdraw and leave the little man to his private wounds. However, cautious at first, Caylin relaxed into Ish’s casual listening demeanour, and once the floodgates of discontent had cracked open, there was no way to close them again.
Looking for an opportunity and noticing the intense conversation between the redheaded hero and Goliath’s much smaller victim, a very grateful hotelier delivered two complimentary meals to the table. Thankful that someone had intervened and averted an almost certain and expensive repair bill, the hotelier offered a meal anytime Ish was in town, and assistance with anything he had the ability to provide.
In just a few short days, Kirby had become a crazy adventure for the travelling Ish and his petite little bride, but now it was time to move on. Sitting inside the bar room, Dani and Ish compared notes, both taking a turn in explaining what they’d gleaned from the opposing sides of a very disturbing story. Ish explained Caylin’s obvious love and concern for the tiny, dark-haired brat and then gave a insightful summation of what he suspected were the pitfalls that faced the struggling couple and the way ahead. Dani, however, had had a difficult time with the stubborn Lisa and nothing she said had made it past Lisa’s wilful gate. It was only the determined hatred and vitriol for the massive Goliath and his act of aggression that finally convinced Lisa to offer Dani her name.
“At least I was able to stop her from driving off and leaving her husband abandoned in the town,” Dani sighed with all seriousness.
“Really! She was gonna leave him here?!”
“Sure was! The engine was already running and the reverse lights were on when I knocked on her window. If I hadn’t hurried around the back of the car, I’m sure she would’ve run me over. I think it was some kind of positive end that they left together, though. I did notice that she was driving – and I agree with you, honey, they’ve got a rocky road ahead of them.”
Leaving the hotel foyer and silently pondering as they walked together, Dani and Ish strolled past the general store on their way back to their home on wheels. Glancing up, Ish noticed a small piece of paper taped to the window advertising for motivated workers and giving an address, but no phone number. Walking on further, Ish suddenly stopped and abruptly spun around, striding back to the glass shopfront of the town’s general store. Removing the note and studying the words with a careful air, Ish began to display an expression that only a devoted wife could interpret. Figuring a new adventure was about to begin, she wandered back to her distracted beau and tucked her delicate hand under his arm.
“What’s Papa God saying, honey?”
“Hmm! Don’t know yet, Dani. But I think He’s expecting us to stick around for a bit. Perhaps He wants me to tidy up the situation with Goliath – or whatever his name was. I think we should apply for this job. What do you think?”
Dani’s long pause and eventual sigh relayed her reluctance to get involved, but as she lingered, a still, small voice began to stir and convinced her Ish’s thoughts were not his own. “Hoo, boy! This one’s gonna be a beauty! I can feel it,” Dani retorted, taking Ish’s arm affectionately. “But still, I’ve got the most handsome man to share it with. Lead on, dear sir.”