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Blood, Guns and Whores -- Chapter 14. To Show You

Blood, Guns and Whores -- Chapter 14. To Show You

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Published by W. Ross Ayers
Chapter 14 --- "Blood, Guns and Whores - An All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog“, is a coffee table novel made of micro chapters and illustrations about a boy growing up in the small farming community of Blissfield, Michigan and on to adulthood in San Francisco. W. Ross Ayers

Goto http://www.BloodGunsAndWhores.com to read all the posted chapters, check out how this is cool and different. Or just buy the book to get the full rich experience of the illustrations, artwork, and story in the way it was meant to be experienced.
Chapter 14 --- "Blood, Guns and Whores - An All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog“, is a coffee table novel made of micro chapters and illustrations about a boy growing up in the small farming community of Blissfield, Michigan and on to adulthood in San Francisco. W. Ross Ayers

Goto http://www.BloodGunsAndWhores.com to read all the posted chapters, check out how this is cool and different. Or just buy the book to get the full rich experience of the illustrations, artwork, and story in the way it was meant to be experienced.

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Published by: W. Ross Ayers on Oct 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/27/2014

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Blood, Guns and Whores

~An
All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog

Written and Illustrated by W.Ross Ayers

An SFWC Co-Publishing Studio Production © 2011 by LND, inc. All rights reserved

“Blood, Guns and Whores – An All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog“, is a coffee table novel made of micro chapters and illustrations about a boy growing up in the small farming community of Blissfield, Michigan and on to adulthood in San Francisco.

W. Ross Ayers

14. To Show You The phone rang. Mom picked up the white plastic handpiece from the rotary, wall-mounted phone in the kitchen. “Hello, Hayes’ residence...Well, hello Mrs. Labordee...oh...yes...I understand. We will be right over.” She slowly hung up the white plastic handpiece onto the chrome receiver, not looking at me. “Walt, they found Boots.” The fresh May air blew through the open window above the kitchen sink. Earlier in my sixth grade year during the weeks before New Year’s Eve, it had been snowing off and on almost every day. It wasn’t quite as bad as the blizzard of ‘77, not as much snow, but it lasted longer. Six weeks in a row we missed at least one day of school because of snow. Most of the weeks we missed two or more days, which I thought was great. Christmas break was day after day of being trapped indoors. Luckily, for Christmas I had gotten the book Juggling for the Complete Klutz. It explained how to juggle, using funny cartoons and simple steps. It came with three red and blue cloth juggling cubes filled with sand...”Perfect for the beginner...they don’t roll across the room when you drop them.”

“Put your elbows against your sides as if they were glued there and with your forearms sticking straight in front of you with your palms up...” When I got tired of picking the cubes up off the floor, I would go outside to explore the white drifts and frozen ditch. New Year’s Eve day the snow was more than two feet deep on the ground outside of our old farmhouse. The snow had stopped falling the day before. The sky was so blue and clear without any sign of a cloud that it hurt my head to look into it for too long. The snow was even more intense to look at. The snow covering the ground was a white table top across the miles of open flat fields. The whiteness was so complete that it was like looking into an endlessly wide, bottomless pit filled with white. For miles it would continue, only broken by a miniature house or a patch of brown leafless trees in the distance. If I stood at the back of our yard long enough looking out over the field I could feel the white emptiness pulling me forward wanting to suck me into the void. It felt good. For the time being the snow had stopped, but the wind blew on and on. That is what really closed school; the wind blowing the snow across the roads dropping waves and waves of white snow, building drifts, piling up and blocking the roads. On school nights, I would go to bed buried under the layers of sheets, blankets, and homemade afghans my mother had knitted. I would rub my legs back and forth trying to warm the freezing sheets. We still didn’t have heat upstairs. The old oil furnace lying on its side in the dirt-floor crawlspace under the house didn’t have the power to get heat to the second floor where Rich and I slept. So my parents bought two long gray metal space heaters for us that plugged into the wall. They glowed red inside and smelled like hot paint. “Don’t put anything close to the heater, it could catch fire.” On those freezing nights, I would listen to the wind rattling the wooden framed windows of my dark bedroom and the clicking of the metal, red glowing heater as it turned on and off, expanding and contracting.

It didn’t matter if it was snowing, as long as the wind blew hard and long enough school might be canceled. The thought of no school kept me warm as I fell asleep. On New Year’s Eve there had been a ‘Winter Advisory Warning’ because of the cold and wind. What they basically said was, “Do not go outside. You will die.” They reported the wind chill factor cutting over the flat farmland was hitting negative 80 degrees. In the Jack London anthology my uncle Doug gave me for Christmas that year, it said at negative 80 it was cold enough that your spit could freeze before hitting the ground. It never worked for me. And I tried a lot. I pursed my lips gathering spit in my mouth building up enough pressure to send it out beyond the snorkel of my fur lined parka wrapped around my face. Usually it just landed on my coat or chin stinging my skin. I wanted to see it freeze in mid air and shatter on the ground. That would be cool. But it just flipped to the ground and if I came back in a few minutes it would only be mostly frozen. That night Mom and Dad had their friends over for a New Years’ Eve party. Kids weren’t allowed. It was Rich’s turn to feed Boots and put him in his pen for the night. “Hey Rich, it’s getting dark. Put Boots in his pen.” “I will.” “Mom, it’s getting dark. Make Rich put Boots in his pen” “Walt, I am sure it will be fine. He said he’ll do it.” The cold empty sky turned black as the sun faded behind the white emptiness of the fields that surrounded our old farmhouse. From the kitchen I watched as Rich walked into the small back room of our house wrapped in his parka. He opened the back door and snow blew around him and onto the floor. I heard a clatter of talking and laughter from the party in the living room. Ten minutes later the door opened again, snow blowing past Rich and onto the floor. “He won’t come. I can’t find him.” “Go find him!”

“I tried. He won’t come!” Rich took his parka and boots off then walked by me expressionless, not saying a word nor looking at me. I walked through the party in the living room and into the wide closet by the front door. I grabbed my parka with the furry fringe, my black snowmobile suit with the yellow stripe down the side, and my snowmobile gloves that zipped up the side and went halfway up my forearm. Then I reached into the cardboard box of hats and scarves sitting on the floor and pulled out my long blue and yellow striped, knitted scarf and my University of Michigan stocking cap. My parents’ friends got quiet and looked at me as I walked back through the living room with everything stuffed in my arms. “Walt, what are you doing?” Dad asked. “Rich can’t find Boots. I am going to get him.” “Walt, it’s after ten and pitch black out and very windy. The wind chill has really dropped since it got dark. You should wait till morning. I am sure he is fine. He’s probably in a barn somewhere nice and warm. “I’m going to find him.” I continued walking across the old green matted carpet of the living room. I could smell the cigarette smoke and the sickly sweet scent of my mom’s ‘famous Swedish meatballs’ that everyone had on their white paper plates. The room was silent. Their heads turned following me as I kept walking on into the dining room towards the kitchen and the back door. Someone said something I couldn’t hear and everyone laughed. The clatter of talking and laughter restarted. I stood outside in the driveway in front of the overgrown flower garden, now four feet below white crusty drifts.

Snow swirled and cut around the tall light on the thirty-foot telephone pole at the end of our driveway. It looked like a giant, buzzing ball of fireflies on the end of a stick stuck into the ground and surrounded by darkness. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” I started walking down the driveway weaving through the cars parked in line. Past the glow of the light, the wide white void was now a black wall. Wind blew down into the snorkeled hood of my parka already chilling my face as I stepped onto the slippery road. The icy snow hitting my clothes sounded like coarse sand being poured on a sheet of plastic. Within minutes I felt the cold creeping into my hands, then into my arms and chest. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” The wind howled around the house and barn as I walked past the edge of our property. Every time I lifted my head to yell snow and wind hit my face. It felt like needles tapping my skin. I walked down the middle of the road away from the protection of the house and barn. Now the wind cut straight across me, pushing me to the left. I walked closer to the ditch. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” Looking back behind me, the light at the end of our driveway was now just a glowing spot in the air. All I could hear was the wind whipping across the snorkeled hood of my parka and the snow tapping into my clothes. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!”

As I breathed in, my nose and throat burned. It smelled like nothing and tasted like cold metallic blood. Where is he? I couldn’t feel him anywhere near. I had seen him last just after lunch, jumping around the yard, chasing and biting at the bright wisps of snow blown by the wind. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” I stopped and stood with my arms hanging at my sides, feeling helpless and powerless. I was almost all the way to Wellsville Highway at the end of our mile-long road. The darkness around me was complete. The light glow of the snow covered road below my feet was all I could see. “BOOTS, WHERE ARE YOU!” My hands and feet now really were hurting from the cold. It felt like hundreds of needles were being pushed into them. Every step sent the needles in waves across and into my feet. I knew I was okay, because they hurt. If they stopped hurting I knew I was in trouble. Maybe I went the wrong way down the road. Maybe he went the other way. The wall of darkness around me felt so close and endless. I turned around, the wind pushing me to the right now and even closer to the ditch. The tiny glow of the light at the end of our driveway grew larger as I walked. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” In front of our house the window to the living room was a bright yellow with shadows moving and crossing inside. The front porch light turned on. “Walt, come in right now. It is almost midnight.”

“I’ll be right in.” I kept walking, the wind pushing me to the right closer to the ditch. My foot sank deep into the snow. I had gotten too close and broke through the deep drift covering the slope of the ditch. I remembered the story my parents had told me about the Fischer’s boy who one winter, years before, had fallen through the ice on the ditch. The next day they found him tangled in the culvert under the driveway of the church at the corner. I never figured out if they were telling me the truth or made it up to keep me out of the ditch. “BOOTS!” “BOOTS!” I no longer felt my hands. My feet hurt less. The wind doubled its effort, pushing the snow horizontal around me over the ditch and fields. “BOOTS, WHERE ARE YOU!” I went a hundred yards further and turned around. As I walked in the back door standing alone, I heard, “FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE. HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Mom and I drove down the dirt road. It was early afternoon. The May spring air still had a touch of cool wetness in it. I rolled my window halfway up. Large red tractors were plowing up the fields turning the gray flat hard crust into rolling, rich, dark brown earth ready to be planted. We pulled into the Labordees’ driveway. Ms. Keel, my bus driver had married Mr. Labordee the year before. I followed Mom up the grayish wood steps and onto the porch that was as wide as the house itself. The front door creaked as it opened. There stood my bus driver and a gray haired large man behind her wearing worn coveralls. They looked at us smiling with their mouths, not their eyes. We walked in.

We stood next to the large rectangle dining room table covered with a thin, worn white cloth. A basket of plastic fruit sat in the middle of it. She handed me a ragged brown, red-speckled leather strip with rusty aluminum studs on it. “My husband found this two days ago in the ditch next to one of our fields.” “Maybe it came off.” “No, Walt.” “How do you know? It might have fallen off. He might ...he might still be okay.” “Walt, it looked like he got in a fight with a wild animal. I brought this back...to show you,” the old farmer in the worn coveralls said.

“Blood, Guns and Whores – An All American Tale of a Boy and His Dog“, is a coffee table novel made of micro chapters and illustrations about a boy growing up in the small farming community of Blissfield, Michigan and on to adulthood in San Francisco.

W. Ross Ayers

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