Romance Fiction posted February 11, 2020 Chapters: 1 -2- 3... 


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Bret is mauled by a Black Panther!

A chapter in the book An Angel in the Meadow

A Black Panther for Bret!

by Commando


An Angel in the Meadow Chapter 2

Greetings, Friends!

Cathy Waldron, (aka Tootie) and me, Bill Bishop (aka Commando), co-author this book. Our wish is to make you laugh and cry, then leave you in a state of uncertainty as to what will happen next. We invite you to follow along with us and shall appreciate your feedback and recommendations for improvement. As always, thank you for reading our work and best wishes wherever you are.

~Previously~
"Brrr! It's getting a bit chilly, Angel. Would you pull the blanket up around us?"
"Of course, Bret. Oh my God! I've just been bitten on the hand by a snake. Please help me, Bret!"

 
~Special Note~
Some words in our book are written in a way that is appropriate for Smoky Mountain folks; yet, are not always gramatically correct. Characters will reflect earlier scenes in their lives and talk with the readers at times. Wider spaces between words are due to full justified formatting. 
 
~Chapter 2~
 
"Why, God?  Why did the snake bite Angel rather than me? You chose her to guide me through the wilderness; yet, You don't guide her.  I'm so mad at You, I could scream."

I quickly ran across the meadow, then into Grandpa's barn. I harnessed the ol' blue mule, hooked him to the carriage, then took off lickety-split.  I continued to slap rawhide to the mule's backside.  The dirt road leading to the meadow was washed out in places by the April rains. Therefore by continuing to haul buggy, I was asking for trouble. "So what?" I thought. My getting Angel to the hospital was all that mattered to me.  "Giddy up, Blue!" I yelled.

Upon reaching Angel, I found her unconscious. Quickly wrapping her in a blanket from the buggy, I loaded her onto the carriage, then headed off for the hospital.
*******
Bret was sitting next to me, holding my hand, when I woke up in the hospital.

"Hi, Angel!  . . . Can you hear me, Beautiful?  A little while ago, I asked the doctor if you were doing better?  He replied, 'Hmm! I think so--yet, possibly not. So, I'll think more about it, then let you know.' It's getting so hard to make good sense outta what doctors say anymore. Please, don't worry about yourself 'cause in the blink of an eye, we'll be together in the meadow feeding God's little creatures, lying on the blanket under the willow tree, then I'll play the man with a slow hand . . .and you'll probably slap my face--ouch!"

Suddenly, I couldn't hear Bret anymore. Waves of exhaustion washed over me, and I drifted off to sleep. When I woke, I could hear him once again; yet, I couldn't open my eyes or move any parts of my body. Bret was talking with the doctor about the snake bite. Of course, I remembered crystal clear being rushed to the hospital. Bret was beside himself, and now he was holding my hand once again. Although I couldn't squeeze his, he knew I wanted to. So, he lifted mine, then kissed it gently. Somewhere in my stomach a butterfly fluttered its wings.

I tried to say, "Oh, I'm so sorry, Bret, that I wasn't watching for snakes while we were cuddling under the blanket; yet, my eyes were on your roaming hands. My thoughts were on God, as well, and I was thinking that He had brought me to you to love forever. Although, it seems as though He's taking me away while leaving you to stumble and fall. Of course, that's His call; but, it will shatter my heart apart. So, please, God--spare me for Bret."

Just then, my mind began to race again; my eyesight continued to fail me. I felt deserted as Bret's hand left mine; yet, I knew he was still nearby. Wait a minute . . . I heard another set of footsteps coming closer--click, click, click! Hmm! That's not a man's footsteps--it's a woman's. Who is she, and why is she here? If she's beautiful, wearing a mini skirt, and her top side gets to where she's going ten minutes before the rest of her, then I'm history.

"Oh my word, just look at you ogling me, Bret," I heard her say in a promiscuous way. Sweet Jesus! He must be flirting with her, and how did she know his name was Bret?  Jeez! How easily this Smoky Mountain Man strays, and he's doing it while I'm at death's door. Hmm! Maybe I'm already dead.

The chatting stopped. "So, what's going on?" I asked myself. I heard a shuffling--then once again, there was silence. Bret must of gone away with her. Oh my God, he's probably chasing that woman down the hallway, or to a bed in a vacant room. I'm unable to open my eyes to watch him . . . and just look what he does. 

"Now, God, I remember You telling me, 'I was gonna need help with Bret and that You were giving me strong chain.' Well, my strong chain is about to break. So, just take me away and be done with it all. I can't stand to have my heart broken, as well. He doesn't love me . . . and never did. If he can walk away from me so easily, then all he felt was an obligation to help me."

I felt so tired and unloved as I fell off to sleep. In my dream, I saw Bret and me lying on the blanket in the meadow. We were unselfishly sharing the awesome creations of God. We, as well, shared hugs and kisses while loving one another. We drank lemonade from our cups in a proud way, knowing how blessed we were for having one another to love while we laughed and talked. We stole away into the tranquility of the moment. Little creatures scampered from here to there.  A baby deer nursed from its momma while she ate green leaves from a bush. Momma bear ate honey from a beehive's cone, while baby bear cried for its share. We glowed like fireflies in the night, and our hearts flirted with one another. Later, I awoke from the dream, felt the golden rays of the sun seem to kiss my face, then thanked God for His miracle of life. The days passed like water down the brook, my hospital stay became history, as Bret took me home.
 
*******

Three days later, Bret and I walked to the willow tree in the meadow. The sun had said goodbye, the Star of David beamed down its hello, and the cool April wind blew gently through the trees.  We watched a baby rabbit hop around the ground looking for something to eat.  "Come on home with us, long ears, 'cause we have carrots just a waitin' for you," I called.  It seemed to smile, then scurried off.  "Hmm! That's the first rabbit I've seen that don't like carrots," I said to Angel. 

We said goodbye to God's creatures, then began walking home. Somewhere off in the night, a lone wolf called for its mate; yet, she didn't answer. Angel and I traded glances, then I called back, "Aww, don't be mad, my friend. She's probably got a headache. I understand your frustration, 'cause Angel gets 'em too!" 

"Shee . . . listen up, Angel! Do you hear something else out there in the dark?  Grandpa told me when I was little, 'The darkness has a thousand eyes.' Of course, I always thought it strange, 'cause I never saw 'em; yet, it was probably too dark. From outta the woods nearby came a gut-wrenching scream. I had heard it many times and knew right off it was a black panther.

"Get down on the ground and under the blanket, Angel! Just stay quiet, don't move, and I'll try to distract the panther away from you."

"Oh my God! It's charging you, Bret. 'Please, Father, help him--are You listenin?'"

The panther hit me like a mule kicks and knocked me on my . . .oh, you know, our friends! I tried to protect myself; yet, the effort failed. I felt its teeth sink deep into my flesh. I looked to the sky--with a tear in my eye, then asked God, "Why the dark clouds and rain? What is the purpose of sadness and pain? Sunshine, alone, is not what life brings. There has to be a balance to everything. Ah, yes, I know, God . . . the beauty of a rose, has its thorns; yet, You have my soul to hold." I rolled into a ball--then waited for the inevitable.

 
*******

Aww, shucks! Cathy and I left you hanging.
Beat us with a stick if you must; yet, just come join us in Chapter 3.
Thanks for reading our work, your support, and God Bless.
Respectfully with Admiration, Bill (aka Commando) and Cathy (aka Tootie). 


Recognized


Greetings, friends--we're back again! Please join me in a "SALUTE" to Cathy for designing/printing the awesome book cover. In fourteen words or less, "She is an astonishing writer, and I'm honored to write at her side." Now . . . a "SALUTE" to all of you for following along as we write this "SPECIAL LOVE STORY." We encourage your comments and suggestions for improvement. Your thoughts matter to us. Hope to see you in Chapter 3, 'cause you won't believe what Angel does to Bret--goody, goody! Best wishes wherever you are and God Bless. Respectfully with Admiration, Cathy and Bill.
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