Wyoming #1


Below is the beginning of a short story titled “Wyoming” which is in turn the beginning of a long saga about the marriage of Zachary and Allison. The formatting of the following excerpt is constrained by the limits of this blogsite, but the words are still there. Give this sample a look if you’re so inclined:

Thirty-two hours on the road with only five short stops for gas, take-out food, and bladder relief didn’t keep Zachary Sandstrom from bolting upright in the motel bed just two hours into a sound sleep that should’ve lasted at least ten. All his senses instantly on edge, he struggled to figure out where he was and what had waked him. Pale light leaked in around curtains and gradually revealed a room perhaps twelve feet square with a door to his right beside the curtains and another to his left. Straight ahead, a dark hole in the slightly lighter wall resolved itself into a T.V. screen atop a dresser. This slow unmasking of his surroundings did little to assuage Zach’s fear, as everything he saw in the dim light seemed charged with threat, or at least a possible hiding place for it.

Then he noticed the pale white shape resting at the foot of the bed and instantly knew it was Gina, his five-year-old Brittany spaniel in her normal nocturnal spot even if this wasn’t their normal bed or room. Then he saw the dark silhouette of a body beside him and realized with sudden calm, as if this knowledge were the single most important piece of information he’d ever gained or ever would know, that this was his wife of just over two days—Allison Mayes, now (he reminded himself) Allison Sandstrom. He leaned over and inhaled the herbal fragrance of her freshly washed hair and the earthier scent of her skin. He knew both scents well, felt like he’d known them all his life. In fact, he’d known Allison almost four years, since they’d begun dating when he was a junior in high school and she a freshman. But he’d never awakened in bed beside her. Last night, they’d been on the road in Pennsylvania and Ohio; two nights ago, their first as a married couple, they’d slept apart in their old beds in their old rooms, separated by five miles of country roads he’d nearly worn out with his frequent trips back and forth in courtship and betrothal.

But he’d never known her as wife, never waked beside her free to extend a hand unimpeded by the old sexual mores (however much they’d ignored them over the years) and claim her skin as his own, make for themselves one flesh in a manner practiced but now suddenly and strangely new. Yet Zach did not extend that hand, did not claim that chance now offered for the first time—he did not know why. If asked, he would’ve replied casually—let her sleep; she’s earned her rest. But that wasn’t the reason at all. The real reason lay far, far away and buried deep—farther away than Zach had ever been, buried deeper than he could or would dig: a treasure waiting a map.

If you’re interested in the remainder of “Wyoming” you can download the entire story (some 9100 words, or about 25 manuscript pages) for free at smashwords.com. The direct link is: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/287850.



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