by Ryder W. Miller
In their new house, not very
far from the coast, they were talking now, waiting for the storm to arrive.
"I think we should leave,"
"Why it is our anniversary.
We should show them that we are not cowards," said Vehicar.
"Anniversary? Yeah that's
right. Why did you have to bring it up?"
"Sometimes people have to
say things more than once."
There were dark clouds on
the horizon and a strong cool breeze that shook the doors and the windows.
"I am going to stay here and
wait the storm out. This way we do not have to worry about looters. We are also less likely to be called a bunch of pussies
by those guys who don't understand," said Vehicar in between the onslaughts of the wind.
"On all days for this to happen."
"We have to go national with
this or nobody will understand. We took risks moving out hear. Some of us even join the military to prove our point."
"Maybe we should not have
"He had it coming."
"Everybody has it coming."
"No. Only some people. He
should not have said those things."
"I guess your right. He even
wrote some of them."
"Well you were willing to
read those things. He was a loud mouth. He did not want to understand that alternative arrangements were fine."
Tony looked at the wedding
band on his finger. Vehicar smiled at him and gave him a hug.
"Regrets?" Vehicar asked.
"This storm and on this day."
"We will just need to wait
out the storm. The evacuation teams are already gone. This property has withstood the storms before. It will be scary. It
will be creepy."
"You know I just can't stop
thinking about him."
"He had it coming. He did
not take a warning."
"It was very fun doing it
"Now who is not being too
"He deserved to die. He was
strait, obnoxious and he would not join the military."
"He had such bad things to
"I didn't like the way he
disapproved of us."
"As if we didn't belong. He
was the one who did not belong."
"What should we have for dinner?"
"I can't cook right now,"
Vehicar walked into the open
kitchen and opened up the refrigerator.
"I'll slice up some cold cuts,
cheese and fruit," he said.
"Thank you," Tony replied.
"Do you remember the look
on his face as his ship began to sink?" asked Vehicar.
"Yes. He looked like we were
not capable of such things. He had this sense of aloofness."
"He was mad that we ruined
it with that girl."
"Well the rules have now changed.
A guy like that no longer gets to have everything he wants."
"What was his name? I don't
"Rallie. His name was Rallie
Thorns. He had it coming. He expected us all to stay on the reservation. But here we are spreading our wings," said Vehicar.
"It sure was nice of your
parents to give you this place."
"I needed it. My life has
been a accumulation of slights, setbacks, and misdirections. I want to guard the house."
"Okay. You win. I will stay
here with you through the storm."
"Do you remember what he said
as his ship sunk in the bay?"
"I did not want to listen
as I usually did not want to listen to Rallie."
The sky had gone darker now
that the sun had set. Tony walked out onto the porch to feel the wind blow. Vehicar joined him a minute later to with a sweater.
Vehicar's house had a porch and a white fence which surrounded an ample lawn and back yard. In the strong wind the building
shuddered. Some of the off white paint was pealing.
"I think I am going to paint
this house again," said Vehicar.
"I like it as it is. It is
kind of American gothic with the white fence at all."
"I bet our neighbors are going
to be pretty gothic when they find out that we are married."
"We did what we wanted to
"They may be looking for us."
"I can't believe you have
"I don't have regrets Vehicar,
we just need to be more low key. We need to hide."
"It was so far away now. Nobody
will be able to find us here."
"You are so sure."
"It has been three or four
"Okay. Let's drop it. I wish
we could see the storm out at the sea."
"Maybe we should drive. It
is only a few minutes away."
"We can take the trip tomorrow
or when the storm lightens up."
Tony walked into the house
to replace the sweater with a light rain jacket. Meanwhile Vehicar stood on the porch and looked into the clouds. The sky
was dark and ominous. It would be a dark and stormy night. Here were the powerful forces of nature without disguise.
Vehicar was sure the house
would hold and if not he would have quite a story to tell. He would also have to see to it that Tony would be alright. They
were trendy, but they were happy. They had paid their debt to society by getting rid of Rallie, but Rallie had haunted them.
Things sure had changed. Usually it was the homosexual that was killed or beaten up. But now gays would also protect themselves.
Most were actually no more scary than anyone else. They just liked making examples of people as well. Vehicar figured it was
a long time ago. It was actually Vehicar who used the gun to sink his boat. Then they moved to the East Coast to be away from
Their new home was beautiful
during some months of the year, adventurous during other months. Part of what made it so great was that they could easily
drive out to the ocean any time they wanted to. The seashore would be wild now with powerful waves, rain and winds. There
would still be some birds that would wait out the storm, but most would have already left. Earlier in the day Tony had seen
them fly by.
Joining him on the porch Vehicar
said, "All sorts of memories with the storm heh."
"It has not started yet."
But there were now high winds
and the dark clouds had almost completely blocked out the stars. Tony could make out the pieces of a few constellations, but
the dark clouds made the night sky ominous.
"Let's listen to the radio."
"It is not working."
"Is there anything we need
to tie down?"
"No. I don't think so."
"What about marauders?"
"I am packing," said Vehicar
as he showed Tony his gun.
It had grown dark quickly.
The night had now fully set in. There was no glimmering lights from the sunset. The cold winds and storm was now upon them.
The building was shaking and there was rain. In the distance there was thunder and lighting.
"Better put your gun in your
jacket or it will get wet."
"Good thinking Tony," Vehicar
said as he gave Tony a one armed hug.
"Look at that storm," said
"Yes look at it," said Vehicar.
The wind was very strong now
and a piece of wood slammed into the porch gate breaking the hinge.
"Maybe we should get in the
house," said Tony.
The wind then ripped one of
the window shudders off the hinged.
"Okay. Lets get into the house,"
The two men walked into the
house as the wind whined. Tony turned on the living room light and Vehicar brought over some cut up food on a platter.
"This is the worse one in
a while," said Tony.
"Let's eat," said Vehicar
not willing to talk.
Tony reached for the roast
beef. Vehicar the cheese, salami and fruit. They sat there for ten minutes eating. Tony got up to turn on the radio and Vehicar
said, "We already tried this earlier."
Then there was a bump on the
door as if someone had knocked on the door.
"What was that?" asked Tony.
"Oh probably just a piece
of flying wood."
"We better be careful that
the windows don't break."
"If they break we will fix
them," said Vehicar.
"Do you think the TV is working?"
Vehicar tried to turn on the
TV but it would not turn on.
"Electric's out," said Vehicar.
Then there was another bump
at the door.
"What's that?" asked Tony.
"Stand away from the door,"
said Vehicar as he took out his gun.
Vehicar walked carefully towards
the door with his gun out. When he reached the door he opened it with effort. Rain and wind rushed into the house as he opened
the door. When he saw nobody was there he put the gun in his jacket pocket and walked out onto the porch.
"Look at this," said Vehicar
trying to get Tony to join him on the wet porch.
Tony walked out onto the porch
"Have you ever seen the sky
look so scary?" asked Vehicar.
"It is down right ominous.
Were crazy to still be here," said Tony.
The moon peaked now through
the clouds and wind seemed to settle down for a few minutes.
"What was that knocking?"
"There is no wood left on
the porch," said Vehicar.
Tony took a seat on the porch
bench and Vehicar stood by the door. The wind picked up again but the wind was not pushing the rain onto the porch. They stood
like stoics, but then something pushed Vehicar against the front door.
"What the hell was that,"
said Vehicar as he quickly regained his footing.
Tony looked on nervously.
Now they were both standing facing the wind and wet again.
"I am back," said a voice.
"What was that?" asked Vehicar.
"I don't know," said Tony.
Tony decided to go back in
the house, but now there was breeze through a broken window and their food had been knocked off the living room coffee table.
The light in the kitchen was still working, but all the other lights in the house would not turn on. Tony decided to take
a seat and feel dejected. They had been through storms before, but this one was worse than others they had seen. It was also
scary because of the anniversary of the date they had with Rallie out on the open sea. Tony could not seem to forget him.
He had taken the second shot, the shot after Vehicar's. Rallie could not believe that he was going to be left to die of hypothermia
on the open ocean because of "these two". Tony thought of Rallie a lot. Actually he was haunted by the thought of Rallie who
looked at them like he would be back to settle a score. But he was already at the bottom of the sea all the way on the other
side of the continent.
"Tony. Come meet me out on
the other side," said a voice that Tony could not identify. Tony figured it was Vehicar on the front porch, the sound of the
voice distorted by the wind.
Tony decided to wait in the
chair and listen to the storm from inside. Then he heard knocking at front door.
"Are you okay Vehicar?" said
Tony as he made his way through the front door.
Vehicar was sitting on the
porch bench holding his nose.
"Are you okay?"
"Something hit me. There is
something out here," said Vehicar without nervousness.
Tony looked out at the storm
with lightning and rain.
"Look there," said Vehicar
Tony looked where Vehicar
"There are figures there.
There are figures in the clouds. We better go inside," said Tony.
"They will be able to get
us in the house as well," said Vehicar who was then hit again.
Staggering Vehicar almost
fell on the porch, but he regained his footing and faced the storm.
"Who is out there?" Vehicar
yelled into the wind.
Tony decided to get off the
bench, but he was knocked back into his chair. Tony touched his nose and found out that he was bleeding from the hit.
"Who is out there?" Vehicar
yelled again, this time with his gun pointed out into the storm.
A strong wind then came and
shook the house. Vehicar and Tony thought they heard some noise in the wind, but they were not sure. They thought they heard
"You know who I am."
Vehicar pointed his gun into
the wind and shot. The shot jolted Tony who got up from his seat wiping his bloody nose.
"Let me see the gun," said
Tony to Vehicar.
"You are not at your best
Tony," said Vehicar.
Reluctantly Vehicar gave Tony
the gun who pointed it into the storm. He shot a bullet as the winds roared.
"I think you know who is here,"
said a voice they could not locate.
"It is Rallie. Rallie is in
the storm," said Tony.
"Oh come on. That is not possible,"
They both stood there facing
the wind until a force quickly came by and knocked Vehicar off his feet. Tony pointed the gun towards the invisible assailant
and shot. The bullet hit Vehicar who jumped back onto his feet. Vehicar reached to feel where the bullet had lodged itself
in his stomach. Tony saw the pain on his face and reached out to Vehicar, but was knocked onto the floor. Vehicar now edged
himself backwards so he was leaning against the wall even though he crumpled up. Tony reached for the gun but thought twice
about getting up.
Vehicar, realizing the seriousness
of his wound said to Tony, "I am going to die."
Tony tried not to cry but
he was hit by a force he could not see. Tony now grew angry and he pointed his gun at the storm. Then he looked at Vehicar
and wondered if he should put him out of his misery. Vehicar was crumpled and in pain.
"Should I put you out of your
Vehicar did not say anything
and after a minute Tony shot, but then soon after he was knocked over again.
He then looked into the clouds
and saw a form in the rain.
"Rallie?" said Tony.
The form was now changing.
First it was a man, then a manbeast with sharp pinchers.
"Thought you were done with
me, eh," it said..
Tony pointed the gun and fired,
but then the form came closer.
"You bastard, I will kill
you again. Don't make me kill you again," said Tony.
But then Tony felt something
grab his hand. He tried to shake it off, but the form was upon him and Tony could not shake his hand free. Tony felt a tight
painful grip on his wrist.
"Leave me alone," yelled Tony,
but his wrist was now turned and the gun was facing his head.
"Thought you could escape
me," it said. Tony was sure it was Rallie somehow.
"God dammit," Tony said he
looked into the clouds again. Now he could see numerous forms in the clouds.
"These are those who also
did not find their dreams on the sea. These are the drowned and deceased," said Rallie.
Tony saw children, sailors,
and wives in the clouds. They were now flying towards him and bumping him. Women slapped him. Children scratched him. Sailors
Rallie was laughing and then
the trigger was pulled.
Tony knew no more.
Sheriff Bufford a week later
was at the property with an assistant.
"Not sure what to make of
these two?" said Bufford.
The house had a broken gate,
broken windows, and the nearby power line was down. But worst of all were the two dead bodies on the porch.
"They had been fighting. Look
at all those bruises. You know they thought it would be different. They thought the grass would be greener if they were both
from the same side," said Bufford.
The assistant nodded.
"Love can be a tough thing.
Ever since my wife got back from the war I have made sure that all the knives in the house are not too sharp."
W. Miller 2008