Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time! Comment if you feel that way inclined. Here is chapter 7.
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
The eighty-minute journey from Kirby back to the farmhouse ruins took less than fifty minutes, and not a word was spoken throughout the whole white-knuckled ride. At some stages, Lisa’s face contorted with a kind of silent mind gymnastics, and her foot reacted to the unseen battle by shoving the accelerator pedal flat to the carpet. As the performance engine roared, the German-built, luxury muscle car wound up to its viable limits, but Lisa would’ve pushed it even harder if she could. Displaying little regard for the narrow strip of unpredictable blacktop, the twisting, uneven roads or either of their safeties, her bottom lip quivered while her demons painted in a hypocritical picture of self-pity.
As the pain-ridden war raged inside her head, the worrying view outside the vehicle windows became little more than a blur. At this speed, one miscalculation could end both of their lives in an horrific maelstrom, prompting the slender lawyer to search out a neglected and seldom visited, panicked form of prayer. Caylin had seen and experienced this deep emotion many times and he knew she was furious and unreachable, but it took little imagination to guess the cause and that he himself was a big part of the poisonous cocktail provoking the little woman into hysterics. He’d learnt to recognise the imminent signs of emotional venting and to leave the indignant little pressure-cooker alone until she’d sulked away the bitterness, even though it had taken weeks in the past for a sense of equilibrium and calm to return.
Lamenting and almost verging on bitterness himself, Caylin revisited the life he once knew and the fact he could’ve escaped into his work until she eventually came around… but then he would inadvertently stumble onto some other perceived offence and the wearisome cycle would begin again. Now, however, there were no such escapes for Caylin, trapped in the same horror movie she was and trying to keep clear of the devils that kept her running. Silently begging the tiny powder keg to slow down, Caylin watched her fuse shorten and the looming detonation grow closer. When she took a hand from the steering wheel and wiped the angry tears from her face, Caylin saw his life flash before his eyes. Smearing her makeup with streams of resentful emotion, it almost seemed she was trying to punish the super car and force Caylin’s presence out of her life, but she just couldn’t accelerate fast enough.
As the GPS counted down the miles and guided the vehicle’s driver with an alarming narration, the manic ride finally began to slow as Lisa contemplated the looming track where the ancient driveway lane used to be. Stabbing the brakes and rocketing both occupants against the seatbelt limits, the BMW tyres responded with a deeply offended roar. Lining up the long, potholed lane with a crazy spin of the steering wheel, Lisa buried her foot, fishtailing the responsive limousine onto the crumbling farm road. Mentally choosing a place to land, jamming the transmission into park and finally anchoring the vehicle into a stop, Lisa prepared to escape as the skidding wheels almost tore the vehicle apart. Kicking the door wide open with her foot, Lisa bailed, leaving the BMW to catch its exhausted breath, and for a timid little dust cloud stirred up by the furore to welcome them home. Without a single word being uttered, Lisa sprinted for the cottage, and as Caylin watched in disbelief, he saw her burst through the entry and quickly disappear inside. Even from this far away and over the sound of the idling engine, Caylin heard the cottage’s dragging door slamming forcefully against its stops.
Steadying his nerves and running a shaking hand through his mousey locks, Caylin slowly began to take stock of the fact that he was still alive. Unbuckling his seatbelt and reaching over to shut down the engine, it was nearly a full thirty minutes before he could assemble the slightest coherent thought. Finally convinced he’d survived, Caylin’s jittery attention focused on the windscreen then to the ruins behind, and even they seemed strangely benign. Feeling the bleak claws of depression tearing at his heart, Caylin feared an unwanted courtroom battle where he would be summoned to the witness stand in a second ugly divorce, something that skewed his stomach into a terrifying knot.
When the brazen images of Kelly tried to invade, Caylin closed the door to his memory and deliberately shut out the spiral that could only lead to utter despair. Pushing away the passenger belt, wriggling unsteadily from the seat then locking the car, Caylin tested the strength in his legs before he began to wander the short distance into the farmhouse wreckage. Feeling weak in the knees and needing a listening ear, the ruins appeared to understand and acquiesce with the unintended mess he’d made of his life – and the second relationship that just wasn’t working as it should. Looking to the sky, it seemed at peace after the previous night’s war as the battlefield’s weeds rippled with an indescribably gentle breeze, and the long, timid grass swirled like innocent children playing. Walking among the debris and the twisted remains of the building’s frame, Caylin fell to his knees under the weight of a desperately troubled heart and began to sob, begging a greater power for understanding and a way to avoid another painful split.
“Why?! Why, god?! Wasn’t the first time enough?! Haven’t I paid adequate penance for my sin?! I learnt from Kelly’s complaints and did everything the apostolic elders counselled. I even fell backwards – as their skit required – when they laid their ‘anointed’ hands on me and sanctioned their classes for divorce recovery. Graduating as their top student, I was promised I would work in the area of supernatural power, but if I’m honest, I haven’t seen a single miracle done at my hand – or anyone else’s, for that matter.”
With his face buried in the grass and becoming more intense, Caylin felt a burning sense of betrayal and levelled his next complaint directly at the churches’ feet and its purported celestial leader. “I followed the seven pillars to the letter, as the elders taught, and did my damnedest to corner the business market of law for you… and I was doing a great job. I could’ve handed over a major portion of the judiciary share straight into the churches’ hand and made you a fortune. My corner of the market was increasing rapidly and I had a guaranteed seat on the bench… until Lisa did… this!”
The depth of Caylin’s bitterness shocked even him, and the resentment began to bubble over. Afraid of the consequences of unleashing retribution on Lisa, Caylin shook his umbrage at the sky instead. Balling his slender hands into angry fists, the tears began to flow and he wept bitterly. Coaxed by the warm, early afternoon sun and emotionally spent, Caylin finally dropped to the ground and curled up in the sward, eventually falling deep into an exhausted sleep.
“What are you doing?!” an intruding utterance crushed his dreams and tore open his slumber with dizzying shock. Raising his head from the weedy grass, it took Caylin many seconds to recognise the voice and decipher the message, but before he could respond, it attacked again.
“Did you get any supplies, Caylin?! No, of course not! Everything is always left to me, and now I’ll have to starve because I trusted you with a simple errand! I don’t suppose you gave that any thought when you were hiding somewhere while I was being molested by that filthy man in the hotel. Do you even know he assaulted me… your own wife?! Yeah! Little do you care! And then that crazy woman who attacked me at the car. It was only my fast thinking and actions that got us out of that hick town alive… no thanks to you! I’m hungry and I will be thirsty soon when my little water bottle is empty! Don’t bother coming anywhere near the cottage – or me – Caylin, until you’ve worked out how to fix your incompetence and bring me the supplies I want!”
Too stunned to respond and traumatised by Lisa’s accusing brown eyes, Caylin watched the slight figure flounce away, picking a deliberate track through the rubble until she disappeared once again inside the cottage. Where on earth was he going to find supplies… out here?! Feeling the makings of a migraine, Caylin stood to his feet and peered around at the rubble and then at a distant dam, but he already knew that source of water was as dry as Lisa’s compassion toward him. Wandering aimlessly, Caylin stumbled further into the farmhouse remains and carefully trudged a path from room to room as if somehow, the wreckage could offer a solution to Lisa’s demands, but as he stepped out through a broken wall and picked his way around shattered bricks, all he could see was acres of emptiness.
A few hundred metres away and perched on the slightest rise, a big, rusty shed stood in defiance to time with its sheets of corrugated iron peeling off its frame. As he approached, a screech lifted its voice, perfectly choreographed with the wafted breeze as if the structure was recognising Caylin after a very long absence. Standing at a gaping hole and peering inside through a tangle of cobwebs, all kinds of ancient, dilapidated machinery met the slender explorer with eons of dust, grease and oil all mixed together to make a pungent aroma. All around, the worn-out farm seemed to reflect the desperation in his heart, and perfectly mimicked the trouble in his soul. He was trapped in a graveyard with a woman who loathed him, and very little chance of finding his life again. Turning on his heels and desperately depressed, Caylin once again began to complain in his heart, calling into account the silent god who had deliberately left him behind and allowed not only one marriage to fail, but the second, as well. The stinging irony left him struggling to breathe as Caylin’s grievance lifted to a shout and echoed over the property.
“I was only doing what you told me to do. I bowed down to your apostolic leaders and I tried to follow – to the letter – their seven-mountain mandate. I built up a practice and showered you with money, and my influence would’ve given you all the glory you need! But now I’m ruined – and useless!”
An acrid breeze wafted down from the hill and as it passed by, the sheets of rusty tin scraped the face of the shed and gave the impression of a wounded brother-in-arms. Before Caylin could open his mouth and let the next spit of bitterness escape, a slow vibration began to increase in intensity.
I’m back Jack !! My iPad delivered me a near fatal blow with destruction. BUT…Thank YOU PAPA…I’m back ! Poor Caylin was once a Christian….but now is tangled up with Lisa and lots of mysteries that intrigue me , Jack .Old machinery in the shed….I wonder…gold mining ???? Opal mining….???? Me thinks Caylin is gonna find something in the old shed that could alter his rotten life BUT he will keep it to himself…not tell Lisa. ….YES !! NO ????
Could be, Gwennie. Keep going. You’re giving me lots of ideas.