Forsyth MO – 8:00 AM – I wake up feeling colder than usual. A glance at the outdoor thermometer confirms a reading at or near zero degrees. Outside, all is quiet – the kind of quiet only a blanket of snow can achieve. I ponder a question in my mind – Get up or stay put? I elect to go back to sleep…
10:30 AM – Hunger pains drag me out of a sound sleep. I exit the warm bed and stumble down a dark hallway on my way to the kitchen. The thermostat for the house had been set at 64F leaving only a small space heater to warm my bedroom. I urge my bare feet to go faster. As I pass a front window, I can see that the snow that had fallen the day before had been plowed. Bare, wet pavement peeks through here and there. ‘Thanks plow dudes’, I mutter aloud to the window as I make my way towards and int the kitchen area proper. The stone tile floor is quite cold and my feet protest before becoming numb. What to eat, I wonder to myself.
11:00 AM – I’m back in my room sitting at a computer with a plate of rice and chopped hotdogs. A breakfast fit for champions (and old men with limited culinary imaginations). As I sit there eating and staring at the screen, I use one hand to move a mouse to select various favorite web pages. First, a check on the National news at Fox – Denver lost the Super Bowl – what a surprise. Obama swears to Bill O’Reilly that the IRS targeting was innocent – yeah sure it was. Then, I switch over to Facebook – a site that is always good for a laugh or two. In a few moments, my breakfast was done and gosh darn it, a post meal nap looked like just the thing!
As I slumber the remaining portion of the morning away, a clear blue sky rules my roof overhead. And, it is really bright out there. Too bright for my eyes so I keep them shut even after I re-awake. Somewhere in the house, an old clock chimes out the noon hour. For the second time, I stumble out of bed – after all, it’s now time for lunch!
As I prepare for my second trek of the day, I also remember to place socks on my feet. I then retrace my steps on worn carpet to a well loved site that is the repository of all things related to pots and pans. Ah yes there it is! Nirvana in the form of a white box that hums enters my field of view. Steadfastly, I ignore the pile of dishes, newspapers and other bits of matter that call for immediate attention. A pang of guilt assails my mind and then quickly fades. Anyway, I think, chores are for the afternoon and this is still figuratively the morning…sort of.
With one hand I open the door where all the chilled food is kept. My eyes sweep an assortment of containers trying to make out the ‘use by’ date on each. My habit of buying stuff, sticking them in the fridge and then forgetting about them for a week or two often comes back to haunt me. Just how far past the use by date can one safely go, I wonder idly to myself. I closely inspect a container of coleslaw looking for any unusual bits of color mixed in with the various shades of green. I become uneasy and return it to the back of the fridge then decide that a road trip for food is now the order of the day. (I do a lot of RTFF’s in a given week mostly due to laziness but also due to the desire not to die from E. coli. poisoning).
Now ensconced in my car and somewhat surprisingly to me, the roads were mostly clear of snow as I drove just a short distance to a local convenience store otherwise known to locals as Park Place. Strange name that. I’ve never been sure where the owner came up with it – I’m always reminded of a property by that name in the game of Monopoly. If I recall correctly, it was one of the highest priced pieces on the board and I wondered if that choice was intentional….
Upon entering, I say hello to the cashier – a pretty lady by the name of Peggy and then wander towards the back of the store in search of liquid refreshments. It was only after I had paid for a twelve pack that I took notice of the deli counter – slowly my mind put together the fact that I could probably buy myself a sandwich and thus forgo a time consuming and more costly meal up the road at a local steak house. To which, I ordered a ham hoagie to take home and enjoy.
It was as I was leaving that I looked up into that clear blue sky and saw an object hovering above my head. While I’m not very good at judging sizes, this craft looked to be both alien and huge – perhaps some ten miles across. I could also see much smaller objects breaking off from the ‘mother ship’, some of which were heading my way. Not far from me a women screamed….I dropped my sandwich…
Thank you for reading the intro to my new novel………………….
Dan’s newest novel is now available at a few bookstores in Iowa at the stunning price of only $24.95 USD.