I stood on the road in front of our motel carefully scanning the sky. Dressed: boots and coat, and was holding the backpack I’d been using as carry on luggage in the truck. Most of my clothes were in a bigger bag in the room. I went through the pockets and the main compartment to see what I had. My wallet as expected but I also had my gun and my Kim Cross passport. Our real ID had been well hidden since we were traveling as John and Rachel. A couple of changes of clothes and my toiletries. A felt pen?
I must still be dreaming. There was no way I could have dug around to find my gun and Kim ID and gotten dressed and out the door without waking Ray. It was starting to snow hard when Ray and I turned in but the sky was clearing now and I could make out the stars in patches. The remaining clouds didn’t bother me. What I was hunting was high above them. They wouldn’t cause me any problems at all. I went back to scanning the sky.
We’d been running at full speed for nearly an hour; a quick shakedown following urgent repairs to the turbine that powered us over the black ocean. When I sat very still the surface of my bath quivered with vibration that was felt more than heard. As I watched the ripples deepened as the pilot started our slow approach to rejoin the fleet. I’d spent much of the past hour getting grease out from under my fingernails and easing the ache in my back from yanking on a heavy wrench in tight quarters. They were lucky the Captain was small enough to fit where most of the engineers couldn’t.
“Ma’am, engineering is satisfied with the repairs.”
Winter air accompanied her as she let herself in to my stateroom. The Captain’s First Assistant was always the choice of the Captain unlike the rest of the crew who were more often than not assigned by some dumb land-legged bureaucrat back home. My First Assistant came from a proud line of mediocre sailors. Her father and current head of her House never commanded anything sturdier than a lifeboat. Neither had my father for that matter; First Assistant Cora Williams was my sister.
She’d shown no interest in my naval career until I made Captain and earned command of The Esteem. Through bravery and infallible reputation I struggled to bring respectability back to our obscure House. I wanted to be on top; a leader who watched the honour of my House growing as mine did. Cora on the other hand wanted to build our House back up from underneath. Service on my ship gave her access to the kinds of men who could help her; men who could be influenced by the persuasiveness of intimate encounters with the discreet and talented Cora.
Katie Moore was tired. Not the too much partying and cramming tired like college or the weeks of irreverently getting to know Ben again tired after he returned from Afghanistan. More the drooling in front of the TV tired and can’t remember the last ten miles of highway tired and has no idea what the black stuff in the pot was before it set off the smoke detector tired. She was actually starting to enjoy the detached feeling like the slow sleepy sex Ben would wake her for when getting used to being home left him needing something he couldn’t put into words in the middle of the night.
She couldn’t remember the last time she slept. It was more like she blacked out. Ben had left her nearly three weeks before. He loved her and wanted to help but he needed someone stable so he’d gone to stay with his brother. Katie remembered him telling her that he kept waking up to find the front door open and her gone or she’d be pacing around the house muttering one disgusting thing after another. The last straw was when he woke up to find her naked crouched next to him on the bed shrieking and trying to hold her ears on her head. At first Katie tried seduction to keep him. Ben went to bed with her but within hours she resorted to tears to try and hold him and he walked out anyway. By the time his car had left the driveway she’d forgotten why she was crying and hadn’t returned his calls since.
The stone had taken his place.
© 2013 Elizabeth Munro all rights reserved
Some things just go straight to hell don't they?
A peak inside a crack house based on real life events in a small Vancouver Island city.
This is a presentation of Nanaimo through the bars of shopping carts which are used as transportation for many people in south Nanaimo and some in the north. Everywhere you go they can be found near creeks, bus stops, schools, signs, shopping malls, bushes and marshes. Although the Canadian government is fond of saying how prosperous a nation we are it’s important to add perspective. Clearly not everyone has enjoyed the prosperity if they need to push a shopping cart for collection of bottles, packing of clothes or distribution of groceries. As I continually passed by these modern donkeys I would wonder how they got there and who pushed them? I grabbed my iPhone and decided to document their pilgrimages.
With that as a backdrop I wanted to show through pictures some of the sadness which afflicts Nanaimo and I guess always has. This is the story of the shopping carts and not necessarily the people using them.
© 2015 Elizabeth Munro all rights reserved