Carry On

Written for OLWG #240 prompt – “you lost more than your hair”

Personal Photo Collection

The sky was overcast, a typical late fall day. Winter was coming and it looked to be a bad one this year. Farmer’s Almanac had forecasted multiple days of snow. With all the many chores I had to do around the homestead, I had neglected to put in a sufficient amount of firewood. I could order up a cord or two of firewood from the Delany brothers, but money was tight. Plus they charged way too much for the firewood. Heaven help you if you asked for credit. Scorn and derision would be heaped upon you for the rest of your days by the brothers.

I looked at the elm tree leaning over the bunkhouse. It had been slowly dying the past few years. Elm is not the best firewood as it brings out an odor even when dried for a year or two. Having to chop down this one and split it into firewood for this year was sure to smell up the house. Plus the wood is notoriously hard to split. I knew my axe wasn’t going to be up to the job. Over the years after many sharpening’s, it was about worn out. It would take a coon’s age to chop down the tree not to mention getting it down to chunks of firewood.

I knew I needed a chainsaw to get the job done in time. With all our money saved just for food and utility bills, there wasn’t any left to buy a chainsaw. I took off my cap and rubbed my mostly bald head. It somehow helped me to think. There was only one thing to do but I knew my wife wouldn’t like it. I had to do it, no, I needed to do it. I’ve exhausted every opportunity.

I slowly limped back to the house with dread in my heart. I steeled myself before opening the door. This was going to be hard. I walked in the back door to the kitchen. As I reached into the top shelf of the cabinet over the sink, I heard my wife come into the kitchen.

“What are you doing?”

I pulled out my .45 Colt M1911A pistol from my service days. Ignoring her question, I popped the magazine out of the pistol and checked to see how many rounds I had left. Two, only two, but that would be enough.

I sighed, “What’s the saying sweetheart? Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

She sank down on the chair with disbelief in her eyes.

“Are you . . . are you . . .”

I hung my head and quietly said, “Yes, there is no other way.”

“Jerimiah, you lost more than your hair, you’ve lost your mind. After what happened last time? How could you even think about doing this.”

I slowly turned around while shoving the magazine back in the pistol with a click. My wife, my soulmate looked panic stricken. I smiled at her and then gave her a wink.

“Don’t you cry no more, it will be all right.”