(An Ongoing Saga by Steven R. Harrel)
(Taken from concepts found in “This Side of the Whirlwind”)
May 13th, 2020,
Julia was the first to stir, opening her eyes and finding herself sitting in the driver’s seat of a dilapidated late model SUV. From what she could make-out, it was early morning and she was parked in the middle of some forest. Jax, was stretched out beside her in the passenger’s seat while Hamza and Kaliyah were sleeping quietly in the back. Suddenly, unexpectedly, Julia sucked in a deep and satisfying breath of pine-scented air, “Oh so invigorating,” she thought. Only a moment later and with a smile on her face, Julia popped out of the rusty old Suburban and snaffled another happy, refreshing breath of sunshine. “Mmmm, lord, that smells good!” she thought appraising her surroundings and wondering how safe she’d be heading into the woods to manage a little necessary business. Moments later Julia slipped quietly beyond the first line of trees. After a few minutes she made her way back to the vehicle, muttering to herself as she walked, “Humm, wonder where we are?” Julia glanced toward the tops of the trees. “I sure don’t recognize these woods… hum, not at all.” Looking over at the old SUV she mumbled, “And how in the world did we end up in that old rust-bucket?”
“You should know, Jules.” Kaliyah nipped, stretching into a yawn, “You’re the reason we’re up here, Girly-Girl.” Kaliyah stretched again releasing another long sigh. “What time is it?”
Julia, glancing at her phone noting, “It’s 7:25. And what do you mean I’m the reason? I have zero idea as to where we are or what we’re doing out here, for that matter; wherever here even is?”
“Naw, don’t give me that, Jules,” Kaliyah snarked in her typical irritated fashion, “Early yesterday morning you and Jax showed up at our house and talked Hamza and me into joining this crazy Mountain-Man road-trip.” She cleared her throat, “Excuse me, sister, Mountain-Person road-trip,” then harumphed. “Oh yeah, and Jax said you were the one who insisted on going camping and pushing everyone into joining the fun.” Kaliyah visibly grimaced, “Where’s the toilet paper, Wilderness-Wifie?” Kaliyah’s sneered into her tone.
“No, I did not!” Julia protested, pondering the vagaries of yesterday’s adventures and her apparent shoddy memories thereof. “Wait a minute?” Julia whispered, “I do sort of remember something about yesterday. It’s just,” she paused, stroked her chin, “It’s just an unclear snippet. That’s all I have, something about coming to your house to see if you guys wanted to join us.” Julia suddenly wrapped her arms about her chest, “Oh my gosh! How could I have forgotten that? So much went on yesterday and I’ve forgotten almost all of it?”Continue reading