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    Valkyrie
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

2015 Prompt Responses - 16. Prompt 425

First line - "I never thought it could be like this."

“I never thought it could be like this.”  I put my arms around Andy and pulled him backwards against my chest.  I rested my chin on his shoulder and inhaled the scent of his chestnut brown hair.  The smell of his shampoo mixed with the clean, pure country air to create a heady aroma that settled right in my loins.  I turned my head slightly and planted a soft kiss on his smooth jawline. 

He smiled and settled back into my arms.  “Me, either.  Who would’ve thought we’d be able to afford a place like this at our age?”

“I know.  I’m sorry it took your grandma passing, though.”

He exhaled slowly.  “Yeah.  She knew this was my dream, and she always liked you.  I’m sure she’s smiling down on us right now.” 

I tightened my arms around him.  “No doubt.”

We had just closed on a thirty acre piece of land that was a mixture of farmland and forest.  I grew up in the city, but was always drawn to the country.  Andy was raised in the suburbs, but spent summers on his grandparents’ farm.  We met five years ago when we were still in college, and one of the things that drew us together was our mutual love of the outdoors. 

Today was our first day in our new house.  We were standing on the back deck, looking at the clearing that was our backyard.  There was a pond stocked with fish and, I hoped, peepers.  I loved the sound they made at night.  Beyond the pond was acres of forested land containing hiking trails and a winding creek.  The only ambient noise was birds and the wind rustling through the trees.  It was paradise. 

I felt Andy’s ribcage rise and fall with his deep sigh.  “I suppose we ought to go back inside and finish unpacking.”

I nodded.  “Yeah.  Better to get it all done at once, I guess.”  Neither one of us really wanted to leave the idyllic scene, so we stood for a few minutes longer.  We had just separated to head inside when the silence of the countryside was broken by the sound of an ATV as it rounded the house, and its elderly rider stopped beside the deck. 

“Sorry to intrude on you folks, but I noticed the activity around here and figured the new neighbors must have moved in.  Name’s Art.  I live next door.” 

“Hi, Art.  I’m Eddie and this is Andy.” 

“Nice to meet you boys.  Are your parents home?”

I laughed. “No, our parents don’t live here.  I know we’re young, but we bought the place ourselves.”

“Oh! Sorry about that.  Well, I just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood.  It’s nice to see brothers getting along so well.”

“Uh…we’re not brothers.  Eddie is my boyfriend.”

“Oh.  Well…I can’t say I approve of that.”  The elderly man frowned.  “Well, best of luck to you boys.” He restarted his ATV and drove off. 

“Well, so much for impressing the neighbors.” 

“Who cares what that old fart thinks?” Andy turned toward the house.  “Let’s go finish unpacking.”

 

Our first summer at ‘the farm’ was amazing. We planted a large vegetable garden, bought a flock of chickens, and went for daily hikes.  Our neighbors pretty much ignored us.  We offered them our extra vegetables and eggs, but they always politely declined.  They weren’t openly hostile – just quietly disapproving.  We decided that we had extended enough pleasantries and would ignore them as they ignored us. 

One fall evening I went outside to our deck and started the grill.  Andy was inside, seasoning a couple of steaks.  I thought I heard a noise, but dismissed it as the TV when Andy opened the sliding glass doors and stepped outside with a plateful of raw steaks.  He set the plate down on the patio table and put his arms around me.  It was a perfect fall evening.  The leaves were almost at peak, the sun was setting, and the weather was cool, but not yet cold.

“Do you hear that, sweetheart?” I asked. 

He listened for a moment, then shook his head.  “I don’t hear anything.”

“It sounded like someone yelling.” We stood still, listening for any odd noises. 

“I still don’t hear anything.”

“I just heard it again.  I’m going to check it out.” I felt in my pocket for my phone and jogged down the steps. 

“Where are you going?”

“Just down the trail for a little bit.  I want to find out what’s going on.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing…”

“I’ll be quick.”

“Eddie…what if it’s something dangerous?”

“I’ll be ok.  I’ve got my cell phone.  I’ll be right back!”

“Be careful!” Andy yelled after me. 

I jogged down to the pond, and then headed for the hiking trail that ran along the back edge of our property.  I heard the yelling again, a bit louder this time.  I ran toward the sound, then stopped when I reached a fork in the trail.  “Hello!” I yelled. 

“Over here!”  The voice was faint, but enough that I knew to take the east fork.  I jogged down the trail for a couple of minutes before I found the source of the yelling.  Art was pinned underneath his ATV at the bottom of a small ditch.  I immediately ran to him. 

“Oh my God!  What happened?”

“The tie rod broke and I lost control when I went down the hill.”  His voice was hoarse and weak.  He was bloody, bruised, and shivering.  I took off my coat and placed it over him.  I tried pushing the ATV off of him, but it was too heavy for me.  I fished my phone out of my back pocket and called Andy, telling him to call 911.  I sat near Art’s head as we waited for rescue to arrive. 

“Are you in any pain?” I asked. 

“Not really.  I can’t feel my leg.  I’m just cold.”

“How long have you been out here?”

“Since about 1:00.”

“No wonder you’re freezing.  You’ve been out here for over five hours.” 

“I tried fixing it, but couldn’t.”

I could see where the dirt was disturbed all around him.  It was pretty amazing that he wasn’t more seriously hurt.  Of course, he could have internal injuries that we didn’t know about, but the fact that he was still conscious was a good sign. 

“I hope you don’t think this is rude, but how old are you?”

“You’re worried about being rude to me?  I’m 82.  I’ve lived on this land for almost sixty years.”

“Wow.  I would have thought you were in your seventies.”

“Good country livin’ keeps you young.”  He took a breath.  “Why are you helping me?”

“I heard you yelling from my porch.  It’s a good thing Andy wanted steak tonight, or else I never would have heard you.”

“That’s not what I meant.  I made it clear that I don’t approve of your lifestyle.  I haven’t been very neighborly to you.  Why are you going out of your way for me?”

“You really think I could just leave you here like this?  I’m not that kind of person.” 

“I always thought you people were too…delicate for this kind of life.”

“’You people’?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I do.”  I inhaled before replying.  “I think there’s a lot you don’t know about my ‘people’.”

“We seem to have some time.  Maybe you could tell me.”

I told him about Andy and how we met.  I told him about our dream of living in the country and how we were able to make that dream come true at such a young age.  The sun had set while I was talking, and soon I saw flashlights and heard voices coming down the trail.  Andy ran right into my arms.  It didn’t take long for the paramedics and firemen to lift the ATV off of Art and place him on a stretcher.  We followed them back to the ambulance that was waiting near our pond.  Art stopped them before they loaded him into the ambulance.  He motioned me over and held out his hand.  I grasped it. 

“Thank you.”

I nodded as the paramedics lifted the stretcher into the ambulance and drove off. 

 

It was a good thing I found Art when I did.  He had suffered a broken pelvis and internal injuries that required surgery.  Between the internal bleeding and the dropping temperatures, he wouldn’t have survived the night.  Several of his family members paid me a visit to thank me for saving his life.  They called me a hero, even though I didn’t think of myself that way.  I was just doing what any neighbor should. 

It took several months, but Art made a full recovery.  He became like a grandfather to both Andy and me, helping us with the land and inviting us into his family.  He apologized for his initial treatment of us.  He said he was sorry it took almost dying for him to understand that we were just like other people.  We told him that we forgave him for being a stubborn old fart.  He laughed and said we were even, then. 

Thanks for reading!  Please leave a 'like' or review and let me know how you liked the story. 

Copyright © 2015 Valkyrie; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

What a sweet story! But at the same time, it makes me sad to think this is the reality for many people. You shouldn't have to save someone's life for them to realise we are all just people, most of us pretty decent.

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On 06/29/2015 06:49 AM, Puppilull said:

What a sweet story! But at the same time, it makes me sad to think this is the reality for many people. You shouldn't have to save someone's life for them to realise we are all just people, most of us pretty decent.

Thanks, Puppilull. You are right; it shouldn't take almost dying to accept people for who they are, but better late than never, right?

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On 06/29/2015 06:59 AM, Slytherin said:

People act strange sometimes :rolleyes: I'm glad they became friends in the end. Nice prompt, Penguin :P:2thumbs:

Thanks, LBO :hug:

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Another well done tale.
I love that you can weave a story with a moral (this one being akin to never judge a book by its cover) that inspires reflection of the entirety of what is written.
It should be a given that we should be accepting of people and situations not part of our normal everyday world. But, of course, we don't live in a perfect world. I liked that Eddie didn't even blink when it came to helping someone in need even though it turned out to be someone who shunned him for foolish reasons.
Glad to see they became friends in the end.

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On 06/29/2015 07:31 AM, Reader1810 said:

Another well done tale.

I love that you can weave a story with a moral (this one being akin to never judge a book by its cover) that inspires reflection of the entirety of what is written.

It should be a given that we should be accepting of people and situations not part of our normal everyday world. But, of course, we don't live in a perfect world. I liked that Eddie didn't even blink when it came to helping someone in need even though it turned out to be someone who shunned him for foolish reasons.

Glad to see they became friends in the end.

Thanks for the lovely review. :hug:

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As I always say, I never know where another author will take the idea I have in my head. Very well done. I like how we see Art's reaction to the guys and how it is made clear they aren't wanted, not because they have done something wrong, but because of who they are. Sometimes it takes something horrible for people to realize they are wrong, sometimes not even then. Love a story that makes you think. Great tale Val.

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On 07/24/2015 08:54 AM, comicfan said:

As I always say, I never know where another author will take the idea I have in my head. Very well done. I like how we see Art's reaction to the guys and how it is made clear they aren't wanted, not because they have done something wrong, but because of who they are. Sometimes it takes something horrible for people to realize they are wrong, sometimes not even then. Love a story that makes you think. Great tale Val.

Thanks, Wayne. :) I'm glad you liked it. :)

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On 09/28/2015 01:35 AM, Timothy M. said:

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, sometimes. If you're kind and patient enough, lol.

lol yes ;) Thanks for the review.

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