WHAT IT IS
It was a late August early morning outburst by Jackson that brought Mrs. B to the front door. The sun was hitting the porch door screen in such a way that everything outside appeared pale and washed out. She shielded her eyes for a better look then grabbed the splitting axe from behind the stove and walked out on to the porch for a better look. Jackson was now in the arms of a man Mrs. B had seen before along the road and the little dog seemed more than content with his circumstance.
The man, a somewhat translucent or at least an extremely pale person, explained to Mrs. B that he was a living metaphor to the metaphor that was the doomsday clock and of late was feeling quite unhealthy. It was his hope to travel to a plot of land in Missouri where it was said he would be revitalized to his former self and he could return to his life’s work. His travelling companion and guide was a most cantankerous male mallard that disappeared after being shot at by hunters overanxious for the beginning of hunting season. The duck, spoiling for a fight, took off over five days ago and had not yet returned. The man even sent his beloved horse to retrieve the bird but both were still missing.
Mrs. B served a raisin/cranberry scone, along with an orange pekoe tea on the small table at the far end of the porch, much to the delight of the man. She listened intently to the man’s musings and just as she was about to assure him his friends would return, the mallard’s erratic flight saw him swoop down from the tree tops, then along the road a few feet above the horse galloping along the road towards Mrs. B’s house.
WHAT IT IS NOT
He just cooked the food. Breakfast preparation started at 4:30 AM, the rest of his day was chopped up into long unpaid breaks, more food prep until the day finally ended at 7:30 PM and he headed to his tiny one room cabin to gulp down a half dozen beers. Occasionally, he’d get a ride into Greensburg, and stock up on Budweiser before returning back to Bayfield Camp.
At any given time, the camp housed twenty to thirty juveniles who ran afoul of the law. The camp counselors practised a mixed bag of tough love and religious fanaticism in an attempt to scare the kids straight. The result on the inmates was increased dope smoking, increased sex and increased mayhem to the point that one night all nineteen kids at the camp escaped into the nearby woods after one of them cut through the wire fence that surrounded the camp.
To great protest, Jared was conscripted into searching for the wayward teens and a long night of screaming out names ensued. As morning broke, a weary and puzzled Jared Deakins watched as a pale fellow, his horse and a duck walked past him with not so much as a word.