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Authors: J. Richardson

It Was 2052, High Haven

BOOK: It Was 2052, High Haven
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It Was 2052

HIGH
HAVEN

J.
Richardson

COPYWRIGHT

All Rights
Reserved

Copyright
© 2015 by J. Richardson

The
author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication
is prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of
characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

CHAPTER ONE
A Stranger

The
thick brown
and black
patterned
snake
sli
d
through the grass
like
tubular lava
, undulated over
the tip of her booted foot. Cissy watched it, interested but not
worried. No vicious
wide
flat head, no alarming rattles at the end of it's long
form,
just an old Bull Snake. Like her, it sought the warmth of the early
Spring sun. She had no inclination to take the pistol from her waist
and blow the reptile apart.

Last
Spring
was
a different story.
O
ne
of the sneaky creatures twisted up the pole
that
lifted
the
Blue Bird house her
father made
to it's
preferabl
e
height. The picky torquoise tinted birds choose a nest location that
is out in the open and four to five feet off the ground to protect
their family from predators. Snakes have their own methods.
The slimy predator
was after the tender fledglings and the
babes
were raising all hell with their high pitched chirps. The parent
birds swooped and pecked at the snake as it's head
pushed
into the opening, with little affect.
That
snake definitely had to die.
She whacked and beat at the
snake with an iron fire poker to no avail. Finally, the attacker
seemed to be weary of being hacked at and dropped from the opening.

She
laughed at the memory
that
replayed
,
th
e
snake dropped, made
her
do a little dance.
T
wo
shots from her
gun
turned
the snake into triplets.
Surprise,
t
he
panicked babes, not near ready to fly yet, started bailing out of the
nest. All squatted down, butt low, she pursued the hopping little
fluffs of feathers through the grass.
A
s
soon as she
capture
d
one
and poke
d
it
in the opening, it pop
ped
back out. It took her father's help to get the birds back in the nest
and calmed.

His
amusement
had
echoed across the meadow, “Girl...what're you up to...baby bird
stew for supper?” She shot him a frustrated look.
S
uitably
stifled, he
joined the rescue. As each fledgling was returned to safety she held
her hand over the hole.
In
the darkness and company of siblings the
birds quieted.
L
ater
in the day, the parents returned, bugs in mouth and resumed the
care
and feeding of their offspring.
The
pole now had a high necklace of barb wire to discourage such
stealthy
intruders.

Cissy shifted around a
bit on the hard flat rock, she pulled up one leg and hugged it to
her. It was first Spring and even though some sprigs of green dotted
the waves of wild grasses and the sun hung in the clear sky, a couple
of layers of shirts and her jeans were a comfortable necessity. Boots
were the everyday footwear all year long. All kinds of things;
stingers or pricklers or biters, both plant and animal inhabited the
thick grass and rocky ground.

With the usual muffled
groan the back door of the faded brown house announced it's opening.
Their hands clasped, as was often the case, her mother and father
covered the few steps to where she sat. “Going up the hill to
Cody's. You coming?” Odd, she hadn't noticed before that her
dad's hair was more gray than the sun bleached brown she was so
familiar with. She never remembered him letting it grow long, at
least not if he could help it and he never favored a beard. Her
mother's hair was still dark brown and curly with a very few stray
pale strands, nearly always tamed with a wide band. Some memories,
no pleasant ones, of before they were her parents, still lived in her
head. She didn't allow her thoughts to go there often, her real and
happy life began with Jeff and Emily and her brother Kevin, the blood
son of Jeff.

Her adoptive father was
her hero. The job of rescue seemed to be his natural occupation. Not
just baby birds—he had rescued Emily from a bad situation and
eventually made her his wife. Cissy was about twelve when he saved
her from the government camp down in Texas. Orphaned and weak, her
death in that diseased and dangerous place was a certainty, until
Jeff, Emily and Kevin came along.


Think I'll sit
here a while longer. Be up a little later,” she smiled at them.
“What about Kev, is he already up there?”

Her parents exchanged a
look and her mother said, “I don't think he came home last
night. He seems to be spending a lot of time over at the Bailey's.”


Well, he's been
helping them with the repairs on that old barn,” said her
father.

This
time, she and her mother exchanged a
n
eyebrows raised
look.
“Right, I'm sure it's the work, doubt it has anything to do
with Suzanne Bailey,” she said.

The Magpies in the cedars
nearby took to the air and added their shrill
caw-caws
to the
laughter. Her father gave her shoulder a pat, “See you later,
Girl.”

Cissy
watched them walk away up the hill to another faded house,
it's
dark green
paint
long melted to milky
teal.
Just like the house across the dirt road from it and her own home,
all neat and kept up and surrounded with the tools and necessities of
survival. Since her family had arrived here, about twenty years ago,
the inhabitants of these three houses were as family. Separated by
only hundreds of feet, to this day they prepared and shared at least
one of the daily meals together.

She
turned and
scanned
the distant mountain range,
the
peaks still wore
the heavy
white cloak of winter snows. It would be at least a couple of months
ahead
before the
y
shed their
frosty
blanket.
Of course, she
wasn't a girl at all, turned 33 two months ago.
H
er
father
still
called her “his girl”
and
that affectionate name
continued to give
her great comfort.
She was
single, l
ike her brother
Kevin, who was about her same age.
In
another time, in another world, that might've been unusual.
“I
wonder...” she said to the air,
will
Suzanne Bailey soon change that
for
Kev.

Large
dark blue eyes followed the meadows that
rolled
right up to the mountain's
roughshod
feet and
surrounded
her small area of the world.
H
orses
grazed
in the field,
her
extended family shared and cared for the dozen or so paints and
chestnuts and bays. Always
close
and
integrated
with
the horses, the
squatty
donkeys
acted as
guards.
T
he
y
would
stand their ground
against
hungry
coyotes,
t
heir
loud braying and kicking would send the horses running in panic.
Once, she watched the
distant
drama play out as one of the slower running donkeys
was
taken down. The laws of nature were
n'
t
always pretty.

She
squint
ed
against the arching sun,
the
old dirt road
twisted and curved nearby.
It
had been
relegated to just a trail by horses and wagons, occasional tractors
or old trucks, kept alive by those
who
retained the knowledge of such things.
The
natural ground cover crowded
in, narrowed it's once double
width
,
poked up through the central high ground. The
road
twisted and dipped all the
many miles around
several
hundred
acre
s
of foothills and meadows.
Historically not heavily
populated, now a
pproximately
for
ty
residents
remained
scattered across
the old community, not counting the
fourteen
living on her “family” hill.

H
er
blonde hair
was kept
just long enough to pull up in a ponytail.
It
was close to the color of the golden winter grasses and
rarely
was down and loose.
One
swirled
strand crept out of
the
confining
band and tickled her neck, she tucked it back up
and
slid to the ground.
A
life of work at surviv
al
,
at self sufficiency
kept her
body strong and lean.
F
airly
tall for a woman,
she
stretched an inch or so
above
her
brother.
Kev
in
was more of a sturdy, stocky build.

A
glimpse of
movement
caught her eye and she curved her hand across her brow to make a
shade. The figure,
if it
was one,
disappeared
into the low road valley.
Probably
Kev

about
time he dragged his old
ass
home.
Her brother was
close to her best friend,
they
had a comfortable bond of trust. The pair also had a typical
brother-sister adversarial relationship.
Thoughts
raced through her mind about how she could give him a
difficult
time concerning the
charming
Suzanne. She moved forward a
few
steps
, anxious to see him.

BOOK: It Was 2052, High Haven
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