Day 55. Marysville, 0 miles
Today was a down day, as we regrouped from separate lives, and prepared to continue the traditional 50 States adventure. We emptied the trailer and bike, cleaned up and repacked.
Today, I'm giving you a gift. I'm going to write a compilation of short stories, '50 Stories in 50 States.' Each story takes place in the state we've visited, and can be fiction or non, or based on true stories. Some can be really short, some a bit longer. You'll be able to read around half of the stories posted here during the 50 States adventure, and they will be available as ebooks by the end of the trip. So enjoy!
Tom Gibbs walked down the rock steps toward the overlook.
"Stop there, Tom. Help me. Why aren't you more caring?"
He sighed and turned. Just a few more minutes. Put on his best smile. "Okay dear."
Ten years. You don't just kill someone without good planning. He held her hand as she walked down the stairs like a queen with her entourage. That's how people screw it up. Tom remembered the day she snapped at him and he snapped. Ten years ago. And he was done. But rather than go off on emotion, he planned the event and acted like the loving husband, part of the alibi, the excuse, the reason he wouldn't be suspected. Oh sure, they always suspect the spouse at first, but he planned this carefully.
"Slow down." Brother! She's on me for every little thing. His heart pounded in his chest. He glanced around at the Black Canyon, the path behind, the lodge above. He knew the place, had checked it out carefully, so they would be just out of sight of the building. No more than three seconds, and then run up the hill, crying and screaming for help. He even acted that out on a few camping trips.
He looked at her face from the side, her mouth in a permanent frown, her thin lips always tight. I want to see the shock in your eyes. May not get to see that, but it would be even better.
Twenty two years of marriage-of prison, really. It turned early, from loving bliss to tolerance to-well, to this. I'll take the insurance check to your nagging and grief any day.
He scanned the area. Still no one around. Before them yawed Black Canyon, its sides plummeting a thousand feet to a river below. Trees clung to the sides like limpets, growing in impossible places. Tom steered her to the spot, a bit to the right. Glanced back. The lodge hid behind a tree, not a soul around. He could hear the river below, a bird in a tree nearby.
"Tom, stop pushing me-"
He picked her up and heaved her over the side. She turned and fell, rotating onto her back in the sky. I will see her face! The shock, the surprise.
Instead of falling into the abyss, she hit a rock bench on her back, with a loud crack. Her eyes met his. Instead of shock and surprise he saw-what? A question.
She's going to stay there, break her back; the authorities will come and arrest me. It seemed like an eternity as she paused on the lip, but it was only a second as the inertia rolled her over the edge and she fell below and out of sight. Tom leaned out over the rail and peered down. Her body must have bounced off a rock as she flew into view once more, her legs apart and one arm at the wrong angle, probably broken. Then she flew out of view.
She wasn't heavy and it was easy to throw her over, but he panted heavily. Get a grip. She fell and you're frightened and shocked. Do this!
He spun and headed for the steps when he heard a cry and saw a movement in the brush. A boy!
Micah Blake loved spy stories, and made it a habit of hiding and tracking and watching people. Yet this time a man had thrown a lady off the cliff! As soon as he saw it he let out a cry and headed out to the path to find his parents. Tears streaked down his cheeks as he bounded up the stairs. He felt a heavy hand on his shoulder as the man grabbed him and spun him around. The guy got low and looked him in the eye. His blue eyes pierced his soul.
"Son, you didn't see anything. You got that? What's your name?" His breath smelled like coffee.
"Micah Blake." He decided to slip the man's grasp and run away. He pulled but the man held his arm in a vise like grip.
"Micah Blake. Now I know your name. I will find where you live and if you tell anyone, I will kill you. You know I could now don't you?"
He nodded, a short, shaking move of his head.
"Okay Micah. This is our secret. No problem. I'm going up the hill. You stay here and compose yourself, okay? Then go find your mom and dad, right?"
He nodded again, unable to speak.
He stood and patted him on the shoulder "Good boy." The man walked away.
Tom walked up the stairs, his footsteps heavy. Good grief! Ten years of planning and tripped up by a boy. He stopped and leaned over, his hands on his sides, panting like a runner after ten miles. Get a grip man! Time for the shocked frightened grieving disbelief. Actually, the panting is okay. He took off up the stairs two at a time and ran to the lodge.
Micah wiped his nose on his sleeve and shivered. Looking around, he saw no one. He trudged up the steps. Must not tell. Like a secret agent, it's my secret. He spotted his dad in the parking lot, ran up and hugged his leg.
"Hey Micah, we missed you. You at the overlook?" He nodded into his leg. "Okay buddy. We're going to head out." He peeled him off his leg. "Hey, you all right?"
Micah wiped his nose. "Yeah."
They walked to the car and Micah held his dad's hand. Mom caught up with them and they piled into the car. Micah looked for the man through the back window before fastening his seat belt. No one.
"I need to tell you something."