For those of you new to our site, we have two ghosts whose living spirit helped shaped our website. One was Peggy Dobbs who delivered home-spun tales in her final years on the planet, and the other was that irascible cowboy Gary Clark. Freud said “Immortality is being loved by many anonymous people.” Our website gave these two immortality. Mike Stang, remembers, again, and misses, still, our beloved Ghost Writer in the Sky.
The old Vet stumbled away from the wall. Slim fingered the last cigarette out from his pockets and lit the end with shaky hands. Time had stopped. His forehead looked like the wounds of Christ pressed against the names he had found etched into the memorial, for the last hour or two. Forty-five years was nothing, they were all there: Jackson, Mich, Over, Pussy, and John, the NFG, who lasted exactly eighteen minutes in the field. Ghosts behind stone.
Miam arrived just in time to watch her Father fall among the tourists. She bolted from the rental and shoved her way past the inner circle. Heart attack, look how he shakes call 911. She heard it all and slapped hard the face of the man she’d trusted more than anybody. Sirens blared; she pulled Slim from the ground, over her shoulder and back to the car.
“Charley, I need a chopper back to Sunspot, dad just collapsed. I should be at Dulles in twenty.”
“Rodger that, six, but be advised you are not on any schedule.”
“He’s dying, Charley, and you’re fucking killing me! Get us to Cloudcroft!”
“All right, shit, you do this every time, Miam. This time you owe me.”
“When was …,” Miam smirked behind the wheel. “Crab cakes at Co Co’s?”
“Take care of Slim.”
Eighteen-inch beams stood the cabin on top of Riley’s Ridge. Slim looked out across the great divide behind windows so tall they scared straight, on the table beside the bed, a fresh pack of Kools sat unopened next to an opened bottle of Jack.
“Better?” Miam came up behind him and touched his shoulder.
“Where am I,” Slim joked as he squeezed her fingers with one hand and rubbed his jaw with the other.
“Don’t ever do that again, you old hoot. Bolling wants my ass for schedule shut down and fuel charges.”
“I needed to talk with my men, okay? Been a while you know. Place looked the same except those damn tourists, what do you want me to say.”
“I love you and everything will be all right.”