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VOICES story

Story ID:4139
Written by:Richard Laurent. Provencher (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:Retired
Story type:Fiction
Location:Truro Nova Scotia Canada
Year:2008
Person:Richard L. Provencher
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“Harry. It was disgusting.”

“What’s that, Hon?”

“For goodness sake, put the paper down. Listen. I just had another call from one of those awful men. I think he’s trying to get it on with me.”

“Not again, Joan?”

“Yes. And I think it’s time to call the Cops about this telephone rapist.”

“Well, he’s not that really…”

“Yes, he is. Filling my mind with garbage. And me being a good Christian.”

“Okay, I’ll give them a call. “I don’t even want to know what he said. But you’ll have to talk to the Cops.”

“So let me carry the load again. Wait ‘til you get one of these crazies on the telephone. What are you gonna do? Phone the cops or run to your prayer beads?”

Yes, he wondered about what his wife said. And what would he do if he ever received such a call? Shortly after finishing his supper, he had just sat down when the phone rang. He couldn’t believe that pervert would call here again. And how did he get this number, anyhow? His ears were getting a going over, and he being a good Christian, too.

Such awful things were spat over the phone. He was ashamed to even share this message with anyone. Maybe it’s time to get a private number.

*

“Hello doctor. It’s very nice of you to check up on Harry so often.”

“I understand how hard this must be on your family, Joan. Unfortunately, there’s no change in his comatose condition. The procedures will be explained tomorrow. Definitely. We’ll call you, if we get any kind of movement. You’ll be here by ten in the morning?”

“Yes, it’s been a long three years.”

Now there’s a good word. Movement. It has a reassuring sound to it. Like the many times he had his canoe fishing its way across Lake Mattatall, in central Nova Scotia. The wind, loons diving nearby, AAH…the memories.

“Hey, I got a bite.”

“Me too. Thanks for bringing me here, uncle.”

“Fresh trout on the campfire tonight, right?”

“Yah.”

Harry always thought Lawrence was a good little boy. At least his aunt said so, very polite, always tried to do the right things. Then finding out he was really a brat, and in later years tried to make up for all the pranks he pulled. Almost scared his parents half to death back then. Ha-Ha.

He remembered one day the willow switch sang a different song joining in with the boy’s loud protests. His habit of wandering off down the street was scary for his dad, the switch-king. And a sore bottom was a long time reminder to stay closer to home. All Harry wanted to do was go down to the lake for a look at Otter aircraft. But then, he was only four years old.

And Lawrence was too young to realize Osisko Lake was also very deep.

*

“Nurse?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“Please keep an eye on Mrs. Joan Courtney. She’s visiting on the fifth floor. You know, the one whose husband is going off life support. She and the children have been waiting a long time for him to come home. One more night of close observation will be required before the final step.”

“I’ll have a look-see Doctor.”

“Thank you nurse.”

“Any possibility of changes before morning Doctor?”

“None, I’m afraid.”

“Such a shame.”

“Yes.”

*

He remembered the first time he had to go to the hospital. A broken ankle was the reason. Acting silly in a game of soccer with a group of friends. He had tripped, twisted and broke what turned out to become years of painful aggravation before the ankle was properly strengthened. That Cortisone shot was not nice either.

Then one of his children had a serious accident where the skin was peeled from the front part of his foot. That took three months to heal, sufficient for his oldest son to return to high school studies and P-T work. “Does it hurt son?”

“Not really. Must be the Morphine.”

“I’m proud of you son. Lying there all day with your foot stretched out.”

“It’s okay. I can handle it.”

“I don’t know if I could handle it, son. Laying in bed all day must be awful.”
Now the blackness in his mind is so dark, even stars have evaporated. Harry suddenly remembered he never did get a private phone line.

*

“Pastor, will you please read from Psalm 23, Harry’s favorite?”

“And would you wish to say something?”

“Our grandchildren are here, and sons and daughter. We had such good memories together. Each of us held up hope he would return to us, but the stroke is not cooperating. And now after three long years, we release him to our Lord, Jesus.”

Finally a litany of words, ages old. A man’s love of life. And the return of such favors. A similar love from his family; sobbing among the tears.

Harry was no longer surrounded by blackness, only a bathing of brightness.

* * *

© Richard L. Provencher 2006

Richard and Esther Provencher invite you to view their novels written during a recovery from a stroke, which gob smacked her husband Richard in 1999.

Direct links to these novels from www.synergebooks.com are below.

FOOTPRINTS is about Joe who receives an anonymous letter stating he has a 14 year old son he was not aware of. Will this affect a recent marriage to a wonderful lady with two children who love him? His desire to find his missing son puts a strain on everyone. Unknown to Joe, an angry son is also looking for him.
http://www.synergebooks.com/ebook_footprints.html novel available now.

SOMEONES SON is about Sheldon who has overcome much hurting these past three years. He has been the man of the house since his father moved out. Now dad is back and wants to spend time with him. What about Larry, his neighbor who has been like a father all this time? And mom wants to marry again? http://www.synergebooks.com/ebook_someonesson.html novel available soon.

INTO THE FIRE is about Troy who has no real friends, only an imaginary one, JC. Without him, Troy might not be able to cope with living in the country, since dad took up drinking. Troy has to be the man of the house because a terrible accident killed mom three months ago. Then a mystery changes everything.
http://www.synergebooks.com/ebook_intothefire.html novel available soon.