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Kreyenda 7r - George Barlow

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Kreyenda 7r And a History of Buck Creek

Copyright © 2018 by George Barlow

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

ISBN (Print Edition): 978-1-54393-338-3

ISBN (eBook Edition): 978-1-54393-339-0

Table of Contents

Acknowledgment

Prologue

The Situation

Confrontations

Krista's Life

Plea for Help

The Pastor

The Last Sermon

Scapegoat

Accident

Homecoming

Dexter Duncan

A New Beginning - Again?

The Whiner

Her Low Point

Suicide Note

Neighborhood Dissension

First Interlude

Into Politics

The Council

Disintegrating Council

KFRN-TV

The Newscast

The Talk

New Career?

Rosey's Tavern

Buck Creek's New Resident

Restaurant's Decline

The Takeover

Gunplay Comes to Buck Creek

The Big Raid

The Scam

To Pay Back the Swindle

The Payment Plan

Crisis in Buck Creek

The Aftermath

The Big Adventure

Second Interlude

Tragedy

Epilogue

• ACKNOWLEDGMENT •

Just a few words of recognition to the two ladies in my life, without whom probably no one would be reading these lines. First, my wife of forty years, Thelma. I started writing this story during the final phase of her long terminal illness – she was slipping away to dementia – in an effort to keep my head on straight enough to be able to deal with my upcoming loss. There was nothing that could be done except stand by and watch her slowly fade away. She passed on November 28, 2012.

Now remarried, I feel a debt of gratitude to my second wife, Diann Anderle, herself widowed after having lost her husband to sudden heart failure. An avid reader, she served as my ‘in-house’ editor and although she didn’t realize it I drew on her spirit while finishing this book, and I especially appreciate her technical assistance.

My gratitude to both,

George Barlow

• PROLOGUE •

Just beyond the event horizon in the black hole at the center of our galaxy dwell the Lesser Gods, hundreds of them, charged with managing the more mundane affairs of the Milky Way. Recently deceased, the botched result of a tragic auto accident, I find myself here, confused and frightened, when two of Them at a large podium call my name and beckon me to approach. As I look up at Them, They appear to be a male and a female, and She explains that I am still in limbo, then He tells me to stand behind Them, that They will get to me shortly, so I drift effortlessly around to the position to which He is pointing.

They seem to be focusing on a small rocky planet orbiting a star in radiation-safe zone about midway between the center and outer edge of the galaxy, and are deciding what entities from this planet are entitled to a happy afterlife. She reaches under the podium, pulls out a small book and places it on top. As They open the book and turn Their full attention to it, He asks, Who’s first?

Zaron 8B, She says. Then They lean over the book and talk in quiet tones clearly meant to exclude me. After a brief conversation They rise, face each other, and as both nod ‘yes’ She mouths, Okay. He tears the page from the book, holds it high over His head and a small, white birdlike messenger comes quickly from nowhere, takes the page and flies rapidly away to the right and out of sight. They turn Their attention back to the book.

Diazka 5N, He says. This time Their conversation takes a little longer. When They rise and face each other this time They shake their heads ‘no’ and I hear Him say, Not good enough. She tears the page out, holds it high and a slightly larger, darker messenger also comes quickly, takes it and flies away deeper into the black hole and out of sight. Back to the book.

Torkwon 2H, She says. This one doesn’t take long and gets ‘yes’ nods. The page is torn out, held high and the busy little messenger comes, takes it and quickly disappears to the right.

This same ritual is repeated many times. The pages are always taken to the right with yes nods, and always deeper into the black hole when They shake Their heads no.

After a number of names and pages have been disposed of in this fashion, They lean back over the book again and He says, Kreyenda 7R. But this time something seems different. They look perplexed and uncertain as though They don’t quite know what to do. More than the usual time passes. After a long quiet talk They rise, face each other and this time allow me to hear Their conversation.

He says, This one is so borderline I think we should send her somewhere for further evaluation.

She says, Yes, how about to the Enigmatic Adult Revisable Temporary Hell?

He says, "EARTH?! Isn’t that a little harsh? That’s nearly twenty-seven thousand light years from here, and out on the other side of the galaxy. Besides, those entities there have never been able to get along with each other. They even came close to annihilating themselves and their small planet with their nuclear weapons not long ago. They called it a Cuban Missile Crisis."

She answers, "Yes, but we intervened at the last moment and caused them to back down, saving them from their own self-destruction – remember? This is just what we saved this small planet for. The main entities there are otherwise a lot like the ones we are dealing with here, despite their belligerence toward each other. If she can deal with them she gets a happy afterlife."

He hesitates then says, Okay. What type of situation should we put her in?

They notice that I am hanging on Their every word and turn away. There is a long, quiet and sometimes animated conversation between Them. When Their discussion finally ends They turn back towards me and I overhear Her say, A small town in the year 1990 Earth time, okay? He nods yes and She tears the page from the book and places it on the podium. This one is pending, She says.

Then He looks back at me and says, This is going to take a while.

• ONE •

The Situation

Now, far from the black hole, out between two spiral arms of the galaxy exists a mediocre-size star being orbited by eight planets and various other debris. The third planet out is also small and rocky, not unlike the one the Lesser Gods are focusing on. This planet is called Earth, and it seems to be infested with strange, intelligent but conceited and egotistical creatures called humans. These creatures think they own the planet and have divided it up into areas they call nations. These nations often go to war with each other, and sometimes even have internal conflicts which they call ‘civil’ wars, for various reasons – territory, resources, religion, race, political philosophies, pride – and sometimes for no good reason at all. Within these nations the humans vie with each other for wealth, power, social status, revenge and whatever other contentious reasons they can dream up to feed their fragile egos, usually at the expense of others. One of these nations is the United States of America, and within the Midwest of this nation once existed a small, rail-head farming community called Buck Creek, population one-hundred and twenty-two, a little over half of whom lived in a local mobile home park. The only real industry was a large grain elevator and feed mill complex, which employed twenty-three of the local humans in one form or another. There were two small enterprises, a local restaurant across the street from the elevator (which owed its existence to the elevator) and a gun shop, but these were just small businesses, not something that could provide anyone with a comfortable living.

The year was 1990 and tensions amongst the nations seemed to be slowly easing after coming perilously close to annihilating themselves with their nuclear weapons in 1962. A divisive wall in a European city had also just been removed in late 1989 easing tensions a bit further, but the citizens of Buck Creek took little notice of all this, after all none of that involved them so why should they care?

Krista Sue Fox, a shy but otherwise typical human, was awakened during the night by a strange tingling sensation throughout her whole body. She rose and felt a little dizzy for an instant, but the whole episode was over so quickly that she went back to bed and thought no more of it. She was thirty-one years old at the time and had been born in Buck Creek and had lived there her whole life, and was then working part-time at the elevator. She had married Byron Fox ten years earlier, and for the first seven years of their marriage they lived in the mobile home park. Her father had retired as General Manager of the elevator nearly three years earlier and her parents had moved to Willow Grove, the county seat and the largest city within a forty-mile radius of Buck Creek. She and Byron made arrangements to buy the old homestead directly from her parents. It was, after all, the house of Krista Sue’s childhood, and so they had moved from the mobile home park and into the old house. Thus far they were childless, and although she would like to have a family they just couldn’t seem to conceive.

Byron, then age thirty-three, had moved from a large city to Buck Creek eleven years earlier to be near his new job at the elevator. The job, although somewhat dirty and dusty, appealed to young Byron because it was becoming increasingly a high-tech, computerized operation. Besides, city life never did appeal to him – the congestion, noise, stop-and-go traffic, endless rules and regulations for almost everything (walk, don’t walk, stoplights, limited parking space, one-way, etc.). The comparative simplicity and serenity of the small community was very appealing. That relaxed, easy lifestyle looked good to him, so he rented a trailer in the mobile home park and moved to Buck Creek. Most of his fellow employees liked and respected Byron, but he was resented by one man in particular because he seemed to be in line some day for his father-in-law’s old job as General Manager. The current manager, Grody Maxwell, would also be retiring within the next few years.

Byron’s seemingly all-consuming hobby was radio-controlled model airplanes, and one fine spring Saturday afternoon he loaded his two favorite models into the back of their covered pickup and told his wife, Krissy, goin’ out to Jed’s farm. Carl and Jim will be there, too. Be back about six.

Okay, I’ll be right here.

Jed Bender owned a farm barely one-half mile from the edge of town and had allowed the local ‘modelers’ to scrape off and smooth out a seventy-foot circle for a landing pad. Although his wife didn’t much like it, saying that this was land that could be used for crops, she went along with the idea because it did, after all, help keep peace in Buck Creek. A few of the local residents had complained about those big, noisy insects and had been pressuring the town council, which consisted of three people who met in the break room at the elevator once monthly, to ban all model aircraft within the town limits, so now the small planes were flying over open farmland instead of the town.

As Byron approached the farm, he noticed a model flying above and to his left, as though following his truck. He knew Carl had been building a new plane, so this had to be it, but how was he making it follow him? When he arrived at the pad Carl had just landed his new plane. He carried it over to Bryon’s truck and enthusiastically told him that he had been watching his truck from nearly the instant he left town. His new plane was mounted with a TV camera! Byron got out and looked the plane over with intense interest. It was a little larger than any of their other models, a four-foot wingspan. Wow! Carl said, Let’s get it back in the air and see if we can spot Jim.

After a quick refueling and restart he had his camera plane back in the air again. Carl skillfully flew it back out over the road and seconds later, as if on cue, spotted Jim’s van on the small screen. At that point he stopped watching the plane and started flying it by watching Jim’s van on the TV monitor, something he was just learning to do.

Byron asked, Can you give him a buzz job?

Not ‘til I get better at this.

Carl Johanson, then age thirty-six, was the veteran model builder of the group. This was his fifth plane and easily his most ambitious project yet. He brought it down to a skillful landing befitting his years of experience just seconds before Jim turned off the road and onto the lane to the landing pad.

Even before Jim got out of his van he noticed both Carl and Byron looked just a little smug. How did you do that? It followed me like it had radar. I wasn’t even in sight, yet.

After Carl proudly showed off his new toy, Byron suggested they see what Buck Creek looked like from the air. You can keep it up high and stay just outside the town limits so we won’t give the cranks somethin’ to bitch about.

Carl refueled it, started the engine and launched it toward town, gaining altitude as it went. Careful, he said out loud to himself, Don’t want to let it get beyond radio range. The view they got of the town wasn’t very good, but as the three men hunched over the small screen Byron did get a fleeting glimpse of his house and thought he saw a car in the driveway.

Except for a broken landing strut on one of Byron’s planes, the result of a rough landing, the rest of their flights went well and the time came to call it a day. Lotta fun, but I gotta go. Promised Krissy I’d be back about six, Byron said, then carefully loaded his models into the back of his truck and departed. Jim soon followed, but Carl, who had no wife to answer to, stayed another twenty minutes for just one more flight.

When Byron got home he kissed Krista and asked, Was somebody here?

No. So how’d it go?

Pretty good. Broke a landing strut on my biplane, though. Should only take about twenty minutes to fix. He thought it a little odd the way she answered and then seemed to want to change the subject. Wasn’t she even curious why he would ask such a question? But then he quickly forgot the issue and went out to unload his planes, something he would have normally done first.

An uneventful week went by and it was another beautiful Saturday afternoon. Byron told Krista that he was going out to the flight pad but didn’t know if the other