Detective Louie Lapin and the River of No Return
. . . a story about rabbits. Of course!
Chapter 1 - The Scream
I‘ve lived the crash a thousand times. Over and over the v tail Beechcraft Bonanza takes off, climbs one hundred feet, and a huge thunder like clap resounds in the air. Black oil discharges and smears over the windshield. The pilot can’t see; hands, feet and mind are racing as he attempts to turn back to the runway. The plane doesn’t respond. The nose goes down; straight down. The propeller slams into the asphalt followed by the engine, the windshield and the pilot, my husband, Daniel. The wings tear into pieces and the tail breaks away from the fuselage. Fire erupts. Smoke slivers into the sky. It ‘s 4:10 p.m. October 2nd, 1992. In the time it takes to dial a phone number my husband’s life is over.
Today is April 12, 2009, seventeen years later and the vision continues to haunt me. In the early years, say 1992 – 1995, the mere sound of a small plane could jettison me into a type of paralysis; my body stiffening, head up and ears alert. Now, the same sound brings the familiar weight of a specific sadness . My eyes feel heavy, my breath is shallow, and a small ache spreads across my breast bone. For privacy, I step inside my tingling skin. No one notices, but me.
October 3, 1992
I woke up hugging the edge of our huge bed. I didn’t stray over to his side. It was empty. He had left his robe behind; an aged green terry cloth robe that now draped over my body and within its folds our kitty, Chelsea Magoo, lay perfectly still.
A sharp quiver started in the center of my chest and spiraled out through my breast and into my throat forming a huge knot below my jaw. Traveling down the sides of my neck, spreading fingers of pressure across my shoulders, back over the top of my head, and finally resting in the heart of my eye sockets. Tears slid easily down the side of my face and in to my pillow. A new day waited to unfold, and I had to step into it. Maybe, if I stayed a little longer, the bed would just swallow me up and the shards of pain would stop.
My steadfast goal was not to forget. I absolutely did not want to forget, and I didn’t. Everything was in place; every horrible thing. If I slipped into denial, forgot for even a second, I would have to live thru it again. I could not. So, with a strange sense of victory I sat up and kissed Chelsea in my favorite spot right behind her little ear. Cement encased my legs, as I swung them down, pushing into the floor as I rose. My only thought, “Daniel is gone”.
Shades of Grief...a memoir
..my personal journey navigating grief after the death of my husband who was killed in a plane crash.
Chapter 1--Weasel on the Loose
“Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Weasel Escapes Screaming Island! The weasel is on the loose! Detective Lapin is no where to be found! Weasel on the loose! Extra! Extra!”
Nigel Needles grabbed a copy of the Jelly Island Gazette, paid the newsboy two bits minus one, trudged through the torrential down pour, dodged scurrying bicycles, crossed The Street of Springs, hopped past Dolly’s Emporium, glanced into the window of Tony’s Magic Shop and finally reached the door of Lyndy’s Cafe which happened to be the only cafe in the town of Hampstead Heath.
Needles opened the familiar bright green door. Immediately the annoying old brass bell rang out a short unpleasant tune. Needles ears curled inward. As he hopped inside a huge puddle formed around his galoshes and he quickly slipped out of his soggy trench and hung it over a peg next to a dozen other drenched coats. He stole a quick glance around the familiar room. The small round tables and chairs were gathered around the fireplace, and were filled with the Town’s folk, all attempting to stay warm and dry. The air was permeated with the steam from wet coats and umbrellas mixing with the intoxicating aroma of roasted carrots and freshly baked blueberry muffins. As was his style, Needles ignored everyone and edged his way around the tables and headed for his favorite seat at the old wooden counter. Nestling in, he spread the Gazette over the counter and searched for details about Weasel’s escape.