This Page is dedicated to Harmon E. Davis who was the inspiration for the chase.
She returned to the room. “I’m sorry to stop here, but I have to go see my grandfather. They say he’s taken a turn for the worse.”
Jeanie stood, “I’ll go with you. Ladies, I’m sorry but he is my uncle. I need to be there. Can we meet tomorrow? There’s so much we both have to tell you guys.”
Anna had gotten her feet already.
I rose and took Mirabel’s hand. ” Of course, we don’t wanna hold you. Thank you, for the help you been able to give us. I will be looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. I will pray for your grandfather.”
We took our leave at this point.
I stopped in the doorway, my eyes drawn to the celtic knotwork in the frame. Anna touched my shoulder and I startled. She gave me another strange look and asked
“You okay honey?”
I nodded my head, then thought better of it and shook it. “Later.” I whispered.
I felt nothing passing through the doorway. Once on the porch though, the presence returned. Nothing overt, just as if someone started staring at the back my head. I knew, if I turned around and looked, nothing and no one would be there. We went on to the car and headed home.
On the ride back we were silent. Both of us had too many questions for conversation.
I let the smell of cut grass and spring flowers wash over me, and stared out the window, all the way to Anna’s house.
That watching sensation never left me.
We arrived there the same time Jason’s bus dropped him off.
The babysitter opened the door looking harassed.
Bob shot out onto the lawn at; torpedo in the water, speed. The frantic cat churning up grass as he tore across the yard. He ran up my leg, over my shoulder, and almost launched himself off my head. My not so little assailant ended his flight in my arms before I knew what was attacking me.
A moment later, the twins barreled out of the front door laughing and squealing.
Bob hissed, and tried to climb down the back of my shirt.
Anna let out a piercing whistle that stopped everyone in their tracks.
She turned, peeled Bob off me, handed him to Jason, and turned to the twins. She raised one eyebrow.
They abruptly turned a wide loop and ran back into the house.
The babysitter let out a deep breath.
” Jason, put Bob in your room. Give the poor guy a can of tuna and bowl of water.” Jason nodded.
At the word can Bob stopped looking like a terrified rabbit and came to attention. Horrors forgotten he was happy again with the utterance of those four simple words; give-Bob-a-can.
” Watch the twins until we get back. You don’t mind do you? I need a run. ” Jason shook his head and smiled.
She turned to the babysitter and gave her a couple of twenties and they said their goodbyes.
Next, she to turned to me.
” We are going for a run, before the storm moves in.” I looked to the sky and considered. Anna’s neighborhood jogging path ran through the woods twisting and turning, but it was all paved and has lights every few hundred feet. I really could use a run “Okay” was my only reply.
She ran in to change and start dinner. Red beans and rice!
I jumped in my tractor and pulled a quick change also.
We met at the end of the drive. After a few streches we were ready.
” Once around?” She asked.
I nodded. Once around was two miles.
We had plenty of daylight for two miles.
The two of us ran down the street and on to the jogging trail. The “Path” was a concrete sidewalk that twisted and turned through the trees cutting back and looping in on itself to give the illusion that it was longer and more isolated than it actually was.
If you were jogging in the dark you didn’t have to worry because there were lights every couple hundred feet.
Hedges along the side, and Cedar trees intermittently planted between pine and oaks blocked out sight of the neighborhood the overall effect making you feel that you ran a long way from civilization.
We alternated between jogging and running. After about a mile I start getting winded. I slowed down, and Anna slowed to stay with me. “One to many cheesecakes this week.” I gasped. “Too many hours in the drivers seat is more like it girl.” Anna responded, breathing no where near as hard as I was. “We gotta keep movin’ or you’ll cramp up.” she warned me. I jerked my head in agreement. to winded to smart off. Without another word we began to run again. I could smell the rain on it’s way. I inhaled deeply, drawing in that spicy dusty tang that preceeds a storm.
Lightning struck a couple times in the south. I started to worry we were gonna get wet.
In Louisiana getting wet means buckets, not sprinkles of water.
I started to speed up a little bit.
That’s when I heard it.
click, click, click, click.
I stopped, grabbing Anna by the arm.
“Did you hear that?”
She listened “No what?”
“It stopped” I responded straining to hear it.
We started running again.
click click click click
This time it was Anna who stopped.
“I heard it that time”
We listened. Not a sound.
The flash of lightning and crack of thunder made us both scream. We looked sheepishly at each other. Then at the sky.
Darkness was rolling in with heavy clouds. The first sprinkling of rain hit us in the face.
We resumed our run.
The clicking noise was behind us again.
I looked back but there was nothing there. We ran a little faster and it sped it up.
“Where is it?” Anna called out both of us were looking from side to side but could see nothing.
“Could it be a dog?” she queried. Visions of huge slavering rabid demon dogs in the bushes rose up in our minds. Damn Cujo!
This only heightened our anxiety.
The heavens opened up and released a deluge upon us.
Our visibility was greatly reduced thus, increasing our panic into terror. We leangthened our stride. We could see the house now.
click click click click
The ominous noise sounded so close. wolf?
Dropping all pretense of calm we ran hell for leather at the house dumping everything we had into that last sprint.
The door opened and Tawny stood there. As one we screamed for her to get out of the way. Bursting through the front door at top speed we: hit the tiles, skid on wet feet, slammed into the far wall, knocking the breath out of ourselves, and slid to the floor. Tawny shut and locked the door looking out the window with wide eyes. We shook our heads and waved arms, neither one able to speak. Both of us sat gulping in air and feeling relieved that we made it.
I looked over at Anna, she was staring at my feet.
I looked down and saw what she was staring at.
“How long have your shoes been untied?” She asked a look of hysterical laughter glinted in her eyes. I stared back at her speechless.
The relief and fear mingled and hilarity boiled forth. Laughter seized us in it’s teeth and shook us to tears.
“What? What is it? Who was chasing you? ” Tawny’s concern was turning into anger. Our abnormal behavior made her feel helpless.
“Shoestrings” I managed to bark out.
“We were being chased by shoestrings” Anna cackled pointing at our feet.
The light of understanding came to Tawny’s eyes “Why you have to have those metal tips on tennis shoes is beyond me.”
Tawny fought a laugh of her own. This only served to send us into renewed gales of laughter. Realizing that she wasn’t gonna get any answer from us for a while, she went to retrieve towels for us to dry off on.
After a while the laughter died down and exhaustion took over. Adrenaline has a way of packing the exhaustion of weeks into a compact little ball and slapping you down with it. We decided to skip dinner and get some sleep. Tawny would have to wait til morning to hear what we had learned.
I fell asleep with the heavy comfortable weight of a Bob on my butt.