Novelist and more.
This particular story I wrote in one sitting from 11a.m. to 2 a.m. Why did I do this? Heck if I know.
I seem to have many characters in multiple stories with “handicaps”. The term “handicaps” has always shouted to my consciousness as: “I DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU!”
This is a multiple chapter story already completed, more chapters will be forthcoming. Enjoy!
Andrew Baxter grunted as he adjusted his high-tech running leg getting into his Jeep.
He was glad the gym was open twenty-four hours and was close enough to the reservation that he could do his five-mile runs around the track plus work out without others staring at him and his missing right leg and hand.
He didn’t really care what people thought but occasionally he would notice. He didn’t like people staring at him as they inevitably did when he exited the gym shower and all his scars were exposed for anyone changing.
They usually saw the scars, noticed the long braided ponytails before noticing the dog tags he refused to take off after wearing them for so many years of his life and in some of the worst combat in the Middle East.
“Hey, thanks for your service.” was commonly said.
It was the typical response, sometimes he could tell it was sincere; other times he knew it was just an automatic phrase.
If it was from a fellow warrior, it always led to more.
“Where did you serve?”
After so many times repeating his service record, he discovered if he was short with them, then he was rude or assumed to have PTSD. If he gave them the whole rundown, their faces either filled with understanding or with pity.
He hated the pity and doubted they understood since they were whole.
Worst of all, if they became super Patriotic.
“We should just bomb the whole place. Wipe all those ragheads off the Earth. They’re a bunch of barbarians who need their whole country turned to glass. Shooting them in the head would be the best thing for them.”
Those individuals he couldn’t speak to. He often wondered if that’s how Europeans thought about his ancestors? If they said similar things about his tribal cousins in Western tribes or his own ancestors who had died on the trail of tears?
Often they would ask how he had lost his hand and leg and received the many scars on his right side.
He hated talking about it and couldn’t understand how a person could ask a stranger to describe and relive one of his most traumatic experiences of his military career.
Thankfully tonight no one had been in the locker room as he changed.
He was feeling grumpy.
His Grandfather’s health wasn’t doing so well, and the hospital bills were piling up.
Since his father had died of his heart attack and his mother had died of cancer, Grandfather had been the only one to meet him after his third and final tour. His Grandfather and many of the tribal elders and several cousins had visited him in the VA hospital as he recovered. It had been a long three years of recovery and getting used to his ghost limbs.
His Grandfather preferred the old ways of the Cherokee, and disliked the white man’s hospital, but he wanted what was best for his grandson, now he was stuck in the white man’s hospital with the roles reversed and Andrew coming to visit him instead.
At least his Grandfather liked the nurses.
Most of them were tribal girls.
Andrew laughed about that as he started up the Jeep and shifted into first gear.
He needed to head home, get something to eat and get some sleep. He had told Grandfather he would come see him in the morning before he went to his job at the Casino.
He pulled out on the main road and rolled down his window even though the snowy landscape blasted a cold wind against his face.
After so many years in the desert he learned to love the snow.
Ten minutes later, half way home, he watched as a car in the oncoming lane began to drift across the lanes.
TO BE CONTINUED…