The Journey Begins

Today we will begin to write the book here on the blog.  Of course we will not make the entire thing visible on line, but we will share the progress we are making.

If you especially like or dislike something you read here, please feel free to post a note to us sharing your views.

Our story begins on a beautiful bright day early in May in a small mid-western town. Hints of a warm summer ahead blew on a gentle breeze as I leisurely strolled along a dirt path that meandered  behind a church, through the edge of a small woods, and down a short drive through a cemetery out to the main road.

I was intrigued by the foliage around me. Leaves that had fallen from the trees the autumn  before had been transformed by the cruel winter weather. Most of the fleshy part of the leaves had been completely worn away leaving behind the veins with what appeared to be delicate lace in between.  There were Maple, Elm, and Oak leaves, among others I couldn’t identify. In addition there were small segments of bark that had come off the trees which formed perfectly into the shapes of letters – “W”s, “V”s, and “N”s. They seemed to call out to me to take them home and create a unique centerpiece for our dining room table. Just as the thought solidified in my mind I spotted the perfect piece of wood to use as a base for the creation that was beginning to form in my imagination. I cradled it in my arm and continued to gather pieces of leaves and bark, stacking the smaller pieces on top of the  larger ones

. I was about mid-way through the edge of the woods when I glanced up to see a very strange sight in deed. There was a man shoveling a very long deep hole in the ground a few yards inside the tree line. The hole was about the size of a grave, and I felt very uneasy as the man who was digging glanced up and caught my eye. I hurried my pace until I was well out of the woods and in sight of the road. At that point I had quite a large arm load and was thinking about what I would do to treat the different pieces of my collection and then assemble them. I wasn’t paying much attention to the path or road as I turned to start the walk back home along the edge of the road. Again an uneasy feeling overcame me as I realized there was a man driving a van who had slowed way down right beside me. He called out to me a name I didn’t recognize, obviously intending me to respond. I figured he would see he was mistaken in my identity when I looked fully at him, but instead he insisted I get in the van with him. I picked up my pace while explaining that I didn’t live far away and preferred to walk. I tried not to panic when he offered a stuffed animal to me if I would get into the van. I was very sure I didn’t know who he was and he didn’t know me, either. I moved as quickly as I could with my arms loaded down like they were, and headed for the nearest house which was just up the road a small piece. I planned to approach the house as if to enter, figuring he would assume it was my home and would take off; but instead he pulled in the driveway. I knocked on the door and prayed someone would come quickly; but the man got out of the van and strode quickly toward me. I couldn’t let him corner me on the porch, so I took off at a fast trot towards a golf shack that was located back from the road in a field next to the house and called over my shoulder that I would call the police if he didn’t leave me alone. Still he came after me, stuffed animal in his hands. I went into the shack and asked to use the phone. I called the police and reported to them what was happening and where I was. Of all the crazy things, the guy still hung around. I figured he couldn’t be right in his head.When he chose to stay in the shack, I left to wait for the officer outside. The stranger followed me outside but I kept a good distance between us. He chose to stay out near the road, so I stayed farther back closer to the shack.

When the officer arrived he spent a considerable amount of time talking to the stranger before he came back to talk to me. I found that to be extremely strange. The whole situation was senseless.  When the officer did approach me he left the stranger by the road alone, and insisted that I tell him my name and address. He would not let me tell him why I had called for him, or that the man he had been talking to was the stranger who had insisted I get into his van. I kept asking the officer to please secure the stranger so he would not escape while he talked to me. The more I tried to explain the whole situation, the more insistent he became that I  forget about the guy by the road and I tell him my name and address. Eventually he said he was the only person on duty and did not have back up available to him. Then I knew for sure he was lying to me; but why? Why would the policeman behave this way? Why would he lie to me? Why was he treating the stranger like an comrad and me like a criminal? What on earth could be going on here? I started to think of all kinds of very scary possibilities. I was truly terrified.

When I finally decided to tell him what he asked for, in hopes that he would then listen to me, I realized with horror that the trauma of this whole bizarre set of circumstances had caused me to forget my name and address. It was a total mental block. All I could do is try to explain to him the conclusion I had just come to. I was convinced that the only solution was for them to all leave me alone so I could just resume my walk. Surly I would remember if I could just get past the trauma; but the officer would not hear of it. I was really trying hard not to panic. It seemed to me that there must be some scheme to trap unsuspecting women for some horrific purposes; and the stranger and policeman were involved in it together. If I panicked and fled, the officer would say he had some reason to take me by force; so I very carefully and intentionally started moving toward the road. There was a man across the street mowing his lawn; and I figured if I could just get to him, he might be willing to let me call 911. Surly that would bypass the local police who were involved in this scheme to entrap women. When I got to the road I carefully looked both ways. There were semi trailers coming from both directions, but neither one was close at all, so I began to walk across the street.

I got about 1/2 way when all of a sudden police vehicles came from everywhere. Six vehicles in all, some of them containing two officers. My heart sank as I backed up into the field and the officers formed a wide circle around me. All I could do is shake my head and say, “Why are you doing this to me? I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m not running away. Why?”

The circle got tighter and tighter as I talked until in the last moment four officers grabbed me at once and my legs caved trembling underneath me. They shook me and told me to stand up but I was so terrified I wasn’t able to do it. They carried me to the nearest police car and strapped me in. As we drove away, the two officers in the front seat discussed what they were going to write in their report for a reason to take me into custody. They decided to say that I had endangered myself by crossing the road when the trucks were coming – an absurd lie, and we all knew it. I was stunned and terrified. I can’t remember a time I ever felt more helpless and hopeless in my life.

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