Seeking Safety

2018-Chrsitmas tree topper“I am so glad you agreed to stay through Christmas,” Linda Rathburn said, as Hilda handed her the angel topper for the Christmas tree. An early snowfall in mid-December had put everyone in a holiday mood. Linda climbed down and reached for her hot apple cider on the table.
“I have to admit, this has been a safer and friendlier place to wait than anywhere else. You and Joe have been wonderful.” Continue reading


2018-IED Iraq

Hilda awoke with a start. Jack was hyperventilating, his body rigid and shaking, sweat starting to soak the sheets. He was sleeping, but not resting, that was for sure.

“Jack,” she said softly. “Jack, wake up.” She touched his head gingerly from the top. As she expected, Jack doubled upright suddenly, eyes wide in terror. She slid her arms gently around him. “Easy, soldier, you’re safe here.”

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2018-GAP mistJack shouted, “let’s stop at the next place with some cover.” Hilda nodded and pointed to an abandoned gas station on the road running next to the bike trail. They pulled in and leaned their bikes against the columns holding up the roof.  Continue reading


Jack ended the call, and slipped the phone back into its holder on his handlebars.

“Done. We have a room on the west bank of the White River, across from downtown.”

Hilda shoved their trash into the recycle bin. “Expensive?”

“More than the only hostel in town, but not much more. The main thing is that we don’t have to worry about where to stay, and the motel desk will be open.” Continue reading


“C’mon, eat up. I want to get out of town this morning.” She looked down at Jack as he wolfed his oatmeal, and cleared her place.

“Jeez, Hilda, what’s the rush?”

“I want to be in deep in Indiana before Detective Hanson or his sidekick wish they could ask me something else.” Continue reading


2017-Deschutes neonHilda stepped out of the blowing cold into the bar. The sign in the window boasted Deschutes beer on tap. She had fond memories of Bend, Oregon, a couple of months back, when she toured the brewery on her way across the High Desert. Chicago was a long way from Bend, but she was glad to visit the Windy City again. She paused at the door. Continue reading

Pay It Forward

Emily sobbed and tried to hug herself. That hurt her arm even worse. The rain that had soaked her had stopped, but now the wind was beginning to pick up. That rain had also soaked the oak leaves littering the road, and caused her crash. Continue reading