The day has finally come after caring for her for going on two months now. The 35 year old mountain man with long shoulder length black hair and hazel eyes, now nearly a full beard that was graying slightly, as he prepared for the harsh winter months to come. He pondered standing over her as she lay there in his cottage in the middle of nowhere.
His one room log cabin that he himself built by hand. He hadn’t expected company nor did he want any. His power and water run by generators. No phone , no Television. No radio. His entertainment only provided by himself, strumming on his acoustic guitar which he did almost every night. Playing his favorite songs of his favorite artists. Jim Croce. James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot and a few blues tunes. He stood there on the hard wooden shellacked floors, in his red flannel shirt and jeans and then sat down on a large chained green trunk, beside her on his , well for the past few months it belonged to her now, bed.
Her head still bandaged fully. Her hair pony tailed with a rubber band , only a mouth slit for her to be hand fed broth and juices. She had tried to talk but her vocal chords needed time to heal and her jaw was dislocated, He did his best to pop it back into the socket. Her right arm splinted and was healing nicely thanks to his makeshift pulley system. He provided daily movement therapy. She still had a long way to go yet.
He already had to do some back woods surgery removing some steel fragments from her right side and stitched her up. He had to cut the suit off her and he dressed her in some of his older clothes, a blue pajama top and some grey jogging pants. Her left foot and ankle wound heavily in an ace bandage and her other foot covered with a wool sock. She was unconscious for the better part of the days.She needed lots of rest with no movement in order to heal.. He kept her pretty whacked on some morphine shots he was able to get from the supply store, they were meant for animals but he did the best he could with what he had or could get. He knew she was in some sort of trouble and just couldn’t take her to the far away city for care until he found out exactly who this woman was.
He whispered to her as he un-bandaged her head.”Okay angel. Lets have a look at you. It’s going to be bright ..Real bright till your eyes make the adjustments." He was hoping she wasn’t permanently blind after what he saw the first time he saw her …His thoughts of that day flashing through his mind as he slowly unraveled the bandages from her head. He remembered everything like it was yesterday.
Tanner Frost or more commonly referred to ,by the few that knew him now, as Blackey had been trekking back to his cabin in his beat up black mountainized Jeep Cherokee when he heard the buzzing , intermittent sputter above him and then caught a glimpse of the low flying small Cessna airplane. It was plummeting low into the valley. He was concerned it was much to fast to land anywhere and there was no place to land even a small aircraft in these heavily thicket- ed, swampy regions of Burning Springs Kentucly.
Blackey was out of his vehicle now, standing on a high ridge begging for the pilot to “PULL UP! PULL UP ! You Goddamn fool.." He could only watch from above as the plane skirted dangerously near the tree tops. Then it happened it dipped and one of the wings sheared off and the plane spun relentlessly into the deep forest. For Blackey it almost looked like slow motion. He saw the tail separating and the propellers that were left were on fire. Cutting a wicked path through the dark foliage and then it was gone. He, nor anyone else would know it had even happened.
“Fuck ! I cant just ignore it." He walked around the front and started locking in the hubs, knowing he would need all 4 wheels to even get close. He then got back and In driving frantically down the slopes to where he thought it would be. As he descended down the ridge and onto the closest thing to flatlands.HIs newly purchased supplies bouncing off the back seat and the larger items doing the same in the very back.
He could see the plumes of dark smoke beginning to develop, making this uninhabitable valley even darker than it already was. He came to a point where even his truck was useless Even with the lift kit and huge treaded tires he knew he had to stop. Opening his door he saw it was already in the swamp up just below his doorstep. It wasn’t much farther though , he could smell it. Without a second thought he jumped out and started treading through the thick muck and stumps. He headed straight toward the wreckage where black smoke rose in a thick cloud and metallic grinding noises echoed off the ground. He could see pieces of what used to be a plane . The remainder of the cockpit was crushed into a super large swamp oak that just happened to grow on a dry patch. He approached it bounding across the thick roots of the aged tree. He felt the heat from the underlying fuel fire on his burly face, the closer he got the hotter it was. His hand shielding what he could as he explored the task in front of him. The entire cockpit was crushed from the top and sides. There was a small opening and he could barely see that someone trapped inside.
”Hey! Can you hear me?” Nothing not a sound or movement. He touched the mangled metal burning his hand. “Damn it! Hold on you hear. He looked and found a metal rod from the landing gear. It was warm too. He kicked it loose into the dark green muck allowing it to cool and then began prying the metal back to wear he could see. A figure of the pilot. It was not good. He grabbed a shoulder that felt like jellow and then raised the mans head , it was so close to being severed it nearly came off in his hands. “Shit man, all you had to do was pull up. Why the fuck you flying in these parts anyway..Fuck.” He'd ignored the furnace created by the flames melting the airplane's steel structure as he made his way around to the other side. Well what was left of the other side it looked like the jaws of life had been used on it already. It was torn completely off. He could see a large metallic green trunk lodged in the twisted metal. He grabbed and tugged at it but it was stuck.
He was close to getting it dislodged when a sound scared him from behind. It was a really low moan. He turned and saw her. She was lying in a clump of swamp grass. He could see on the dry patch, the indention's in the muck where she attempted to drag herself to safety. He crept on his hands and knees to her side. Afraid to touch her at first. She was in a fetal position. Her hair, what appeared to be red at one time, now full of weeds and mud, matted to her face. Her right arm in such an awkward angle that it had to be broken. She was wearing what appeared to be like a multi colored designer ski suit. He could see the elastic cuffs were melted to her wrist. Her hands burnt severly. She had a large gash in her right side, her rib bone exposed. He brushed her wet murky hair behind her ear to see her face. Her features charred and cuts above her brow. Her eyes flickered momentarily long enough for him to see they were damaged internally with blots of blood,and then closed.
Her lips were thin and had a light gloss. She tried to murmur something to him but it was not audible, the bleeding also seeping from her mouth.
“Shhhh. I’m here honey ..You hang in there, you hear." His hand brushed her cheek. He was rather shocked at how attractive she was or used to be anyway. He had first thought she was just a young girl but she appeared to be maybe early or mid 30 something. He attempted to cradle her in his arms and move her. She let him know real quick that wasn’t a good idea. She didn’t have the strength to fight him off. “ Okay, okay, just …Just hold on okay. He went back to the wreckage and with a good hard yank the trunk came out almost knocking him backwards into the swamp. The lid opened and some of the contents came out. There was something heavy wrapped and tied with rope in a brown blanket..He needed that blanket. He untied the knot and saw two AR-fifteen assault rifles. “ Holy shit, What have we got here." He examined them briefly they were loaded and ready to go with full banana clips in each. “ What the fuck..This aint for hunting.” Curious now he went to look at the remaining contents of the trunk. “ Oh Fuck! He paused looking again down into the trunk. And then touching it to make sure it was real..Bands of hundred dollar bills filled the trunk. He looked back to her mangled body. “ Blackey what are you getting yourself into here.. Just leave and get outta here. “ But he couldn’t just leave her she was still alive. He tossed the rifles back on top the stacks of money and closed the trunk. It was heavy even for his 6 foot 164 pound frame, He struggled to place it on one of the elevated roots in the weeds where it couldn’t be seen. He grabbed the blanket and went back to her side.
“ I don’t know who you are pretty lady or what you did but I’m gonna get you out of here NOW. If you can hear me darlin’ just grit your teeth. He took a deep breath and wrapped her as well as could in the blanket and cradled her moaning and futile attempts to form words all the way back to the Jeep. He pushed all his newly bought supplies and groceries aside and laid her gently in the rear of his Jeep. He thought the whole time as he was going back up the ridge. “ What are you going to do Blackey..Where you gonna take her?” Where you going to take her is right. There aint nothing around these parts except for Blackeys cabin and the Supply Store which is nineteen miles away, other than that its just mountain ridges, woods and swamp valleys. In a couple months it would be an ice covered landscape and time to hunker down.
Pm me if up for the challenge
DON'T BE BASHFUL CHANGES CAN and WILL BE MADE