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Everyone having sex is at least 18. This story is a work of fiction. I made it all up. So, check reality at the door and enjoy it for what it is. Trust me, there will be incest … eventually. Special thanks to goducks1 for his help. My stories are much better because of his advice.
Chapter 1 – The Call
I hear Mozart’s Funeral March playing on my phone. I sigh. It plays again. I have that song set for just one person, my ex-wife. It plays again. Maybe she will go away. It plays again. Swell.
I answer my phone in a lethargic monotone voice, “Hello Heather. What the …”
I hear crying on the other end of the phone. We divorced two years ago because I wasn’t the type of strongly motivated businessman, she had hoped I would be. We don’t talk very often, in fact, it’s only when she wants something.
My patience is waning, “You called me.”
All Heather can say is, “Hurricane. Lisa. Gone.”
I hang up. Heather can call me back when she makes sense. I go to my kitchen and pull out a beer. I know she will be calling right back.
My phone plays the Death March again. Yup.
Heather screams at me, “Don’t ever hang up on me you mother fucker! Your sister Lisa just had her house wiped out by hurricane Phillip. She needs your help.”
I am less than caring, “I don’t know my sister. I know you, and that isn’t helping my sister. Plus, I’m busy right now. Find someone else like one of the guys you are fucking these days. Oh, that’s right, no way they have a clue on how to use a hammer. See you.”
Heather screams again, “No wait! I know you’re living in a garage. With so many hurricanes this year, there is a huge shortage of construction people. There is a ton of work. I only ask that you spend some time helping your sister, she’s my best friend. She can’t afford to overpay people. She has no phone, no internet, nothing. She’s on her way to live with me. I’ll text you her address.”
I click the hangup icon.
This is one of those moments in your life where there is a fork in the road, and one of the choices is comfortable and safe. The other option is unknown but holds lots of possibilities. Do I stay the course in my easy but meaningless life, or do I start anew and help others? It will be a ton of hard work.
After I finish my beer, I start loading my woodworking equipment and tools into my van. I am taking a trip to southern Georgia. I say goodbye to my buddy Jim and thank him for the use of the garage.
Technically, I have a sister. She is six years older than me and never gave a damn about me. She hated babysitting me, and that turned into loathing me. This isn’t just simple sibling rivalry, this is pure hate for reasons I never understood and probably never will. With no parents, she is the only family I have, even if she would prefer me six feet under.
Three days later and I pull up to a devastated neighborhood. The brick mailbox and about 60% of the house is standing. This is true for most of the homes along the street and several others. Some homes were leveled, and others held up very well. There are no utilities, the city shut them all off. The devastation is truly staggering and impossible to describe. Those movies of an apocalyptic world and this city look alike.
The people are walking around looking like zombies. They are in a daze because they can’t comprehend the damage that was done. Men, women, teens, even small children are all bewildered. On seeing me pull up, they ask if Lisa is ok. They were worried about her. I explain that she is ok and living with her friend. They are visibly relieved. These are decent people, I can appreciate that.
A few families already have insurance checks but nobody to do the work and no trucks are delivering any materials. Our progress will be hampered because of no electricity. We decide to work as a group. I know enough about the basics of plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling to do most of the work. Some stuff, you just need a pro.
Our first step is to make all utility connections safe so they can be turned on. That doesn’t mean working, it’s only enough so that the city can safely restore service. It means capping water and gas lines in all houses and then making sure all electrical lines are safe. I need to check all the meters and close any valves that need closing. It takes us a week to do both sides of the street. The wives then petition the city to get utilities restored for our block.
Only a few have money, and they need it to rebuild. Within two weeks, just a few families are left. I spend three hours on each of the three houses and then four on Lisa’s house. Most of the money I get goes towards materials, gas for my van, and then when money is left over, I eat.
The other families feed me some, but they all have budget issues, the cost of materials is much higher than the insurance estimated. They figured reasonable prices, not hurricane prices. Everything is more expensive.
Lisa’s point of view:
Four weeks later …
It’s been three months, and I have not seen zenci escort gaziantep bayan my insurance check. I have just pulled up to my house to check the mailbox, and it’s stuffed. Frantically I go through each piece of mail. NOTHING! Oh fuck, I am so screwed!
I notice there’s a light in my house. It’s 11:00 PM. Why is there a light on in my home? I run inside and see a body sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. I noticed that a ton of work has been done to my home, it’s almost livable. The mother fucker stole my money! I run to him and kick him in the ribs. FUCK THAT HURT! I hop around on one foot. Damn, I must have kicked a brick.
Hunter rolls over heaving for breath. At least I knocked the wind out of that worthless son of a bitch.
I scream at him, “I want my money!”
Hunter is disoriented and sucking wind hard, trying to catch his breath. Heather told me what a worthless piece of meat he is. She explained to me that Hunter probably took my check, cashed it, and spent it on whores and alcohol. I hate this mother fucker, he has ruined me!
I shout at him, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!”
He doesn’t say anything. He looks tired and worn out. He has bags under his eyes, and even though he has muscles, he seems thin. He isn’t far from looking like a zombie. Like a zombie, he quietly and lethargically rambles out of the house, down the stairs, turns at the mailbox and walks away.
I try to call my sister, but I have no cell service. Hunter left his phone, and his phone is dead, no battery. I guess why bother to charge it if there is no service. There is a sturdy handmade chair by the table. I sit down and cry my eyes out. I am fucked, and there is nothing I can do about it.
Chapter 2 – What have I done?
The next morning, I get a flash of inspiration. I rush out of the house and speed to the post office. There is a gigantic line of people waiting to get their mail. Two and a half hours later and I have a carton of mail. I drive a few hours inland where I find a friendly burger place. I get something to eat. It strikes me odd, how are people eating?
I start going through the mail, I have a ton of bills and advertisements. I make a stack of bills and then a heap of garbage. Two-thirds of the way through I see a letter with perforations on the sides. I open it up, and it says $319,500.00. I use my phone app to deposit my check.
I use my now charged phone to start calling plumbers, electricians, heating/cooling guys, and carpenters. Nobody answers, or they say to call back in a year, they are booked. I widen my search area, and it’s the same thing everywhere.
I spend the night in a motel. While trying to fall asleep, I think about the condition of my house and my neighbors. Two doors down to the right, three doors down on the left, and one across the street from me. All our homes were having work done. I will go back and talk to them, maybe I can beg some time from them or at least I can be next on the list. Hell, I would sleep with them to be next. I am desperate.
The next morning, I pull up in front of my house. My neighbors are working on their homes. I want to survey what Hunter did before I start asking questions. I notice that our four homes have roofs. The front door looks new, several windows look new, a few walls are fixed, and others are wrecked still. The washroom works but no kitchen. I notice that out back my old shed has been fixed up and is much better looking than it ever has.
That interests me. Is Hunter storing his stolen property in there? I bet he is looting the entire neighborhood. However, what I find is an old van, a ton of tools, and several machines. I know one is a lathe and another is a table saw. There is a mountain of sawdust on the floor. He left his truck? I look, and the keys are in the ignition. No gas. In fact, there is no food anywhere. I check the garbage cans. No beer bottles, soda bottles, only tin cans of spam and tuna. Ewww, close that lid quick! The smell is terrible!
Ok, I see a trend here, and I am not sure I want to know the answers. What choice do I have, I must continue. I have this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m not going to like what I find. I think I have made some horrible mistakes. I go down to Jake and Mandy, they are the neighbors I know the best. On seeing me, they rush me for a hug. Their two teenage girls are next to rush me.
Mandy screams, “LISA!”
We embrace and hold each other for a few minutes before we release each other. They aren’t that much younger than me.
Jake is quick to add, “Have you seen Hunter? He didn’t stop by today. Is he ok?”
I am sure I turned white as a ghost. My legs start to give out. Luckily Jake grabs me and brings me into a hug. I am crying hard, and I can’t be consoled. Those few words I just heard have confirmed what I already suspected about Hunter. The guilt and shame are crushing my will to live. I feel my range of vision closing.
Oh no, no rest for me. My anger pushes the escort bayan gaziantep blackness away. I can’t waste any time, I need to find my brother.
Mandy is calm, yet I see the concern in her eyes, “What was that about? Come on girl, I know you did something. I know you too well.”
I can’t look her in the eyes, “I sent him away last night. I thought he stole my insurance money. He wasn’t responding to his ex-wife or me. I find him sleeping in my house, I kicked him, yelled at him, and then threw him out.
Jake screams at me using his Sargent’s drill instructing voice, “You did WHAT? WHAT THE HELL LISA!”
Mandy is calmer, yet her disappointment is evident on her face, “I take it you didn’t know he was charging us below standard rates, let alone hurricane rates, did you? He worked for three hours every day on each of our houses and then four hours on yours. He also organized getting utilities re-enabled. You’ll notice, no other street has any electricity. He used most of the money we gave him to live on for your building materials and gas so he barely ate. Did you see him?”
Vicki, their eighteen-year-old spoke up, “You know, I thought I saw a guy looking like him down by the homeless shelter. I didn’t think anything of it because I thought he was at home. Maybe, if you hurry, he’ll be there having breakfast. There was a long line though, it’s possible he didn’t even get in.”
She sits on the ground and is crying now although she tells me, “Third and Main, you know the place, it’s the one you volunteer at occasionally.”
I sprint to my car and then rush to the shelter. Once there, a long line has formed for breakfast. I bypass the line and show my badge to gain entrance. I go to the front door where Gail and Pauline are checking people in.
I am excited when I ask, “Did you have a Hunter Clark show up last night?”
I would have used my phone to show a picture from Facebook, but again, no signal. They look through the list, and his name isn’t on it. They give me a blank look of sympathy.
I explain to them, “A neighbor thought they saw him here. Big strong looking guy but thin, hollow looking eyes.”
They both give me a look of excitement.
Gail is astonished, “I know who you mean. We didn’t check him in because we sent him to the hospital. He’s starving to death. They took him to Saint Vincent’s Hospital.”
I thank them and then run out and to my car. I know where he is and that they won’t let him leave for a few days. I am a nurse, and even though he has no insurance, he will be there a while. There is no need to speed and endanger people. Driving the speed limit is hard.
I get to the hospital, check in at the front desk and ask for Hunter Clark. They send me to unit 53 which is on the fifth floor, accessible via the elevators. It’s a long walk to Unit 53, the opposite side of the hospital, of course. It’s a floor of only patient rooms, nursing stations, and two patients per room. A few people are milling around, so I ask to see Hunter Clark.
I swear to God, the nurse tells me straight to my face, “Go fuck yourself. If I see you around here again, I am calling security. I spent several hours last night cleaning that hunk of a man. He was fucking starving, yet he cried himself to sleep mumbling about how he just wanted to help. I heard the whole fucking story you dirty cunt! Now get the fuck out of here! Now!”
How does she know who I am? Three other nurses come out of the room at the yelling, and all eyes are focused on me with hate written on their foreheads. I quickly leave. The last thing I want is the police asking questions about how I beat up my brother.
I am amazed at the venom in her tone and demeanor. I have never experienced something like that even from distraught family members when someone dies. That was also a mix of rage and love to get that level of hate. I have no doubt that everything she told me was 100% true. Just when I thought my guilt could not hit another low, she proved that I was wrong.
I drive an hour inland and buy a cooler, a small grill, ice, and all the groceries I need for a few days. I also stop at the floral department and buy a bouquet of flowers. I buy all Daisy’s. I don’t know if he likes them or not, but I know he bought a bunch for mom every Mother’s Day and for her birthday. If I am thrown out, at least he will know I was there.
I go back to the hospital and as expected; I have been gone long enough that the shift changed. I walk in with the flowers.
I say to the front desk, “I have a floral delivery for a Hunter Clark. What room is he in please?”
The older lady looks up his name and tells me, “Room 5342 bed A, that’s the window.”
I thank her and then it’s another long walk and this time I am carrying a large flower vase with Daisies. I walk to the room without making eye contact with anyone, and now I have a significant problem. There is only one bed in the place, and the nurse that yelled at me is in there, sitting in a chair, holding his hand. She has tears in her eyes. Hunter seems to be resting peacefully.
On seeing me again, her anger flares and she shoots up out of her chair.
I am older and more experienced in handling difficult situations, I take charge. I point at Hunter and bring a finger to my lips to shush her. Her anger flares.
I whisper so I don’t wake up Hunter, “I’m Lisa, his older sister. Yes, I fucked up. Yes, I am horrible. I am the only family he has, and I will be the one caring for him when you release him. He has three allergies; do you know what they are?”
The anger has fled, all I can see is the concern in her face now.
I am commanding, “Bring up his chart, I want to see what they prescribed for him, and I want to see his vitals.”
She logs on, opens his chart. It’s Epic, I know this system. I quickly find the data I need. I point at two of the six medications they are giving him.
I explain, “He is allergic to two medications that are very similar to those, it may be fine, but I would suggest something else.” I type in a note. “If a reaction does come up, give him some of that. It worked in the past.”
The nurse hugs me and then whispers, “My name is Samantha, call me Sam. Sorry for being so cruel, but he got to me. This isn’t my first patient, I have seen thousands. However, your brother, his innocence, his story got to me. I will never be the same if he doesn’t make it.”
I smile at Sam, “Oh, he’ll make it. Little brother will be eating in no time. You are past your shift, go home. I will wait until you get back. Before you go, tell the doctors you found his family and they recommend the prescription changes. I’ll see you in twelve hours.”
We hug, and she went home. She looked terrible, it had been a long day.
Eight hours later and Hunter is waking up. On seeing me, he smiles. He must be delusional. It still makes me smile and that causes him to smile more.
In a very soft voice, he says to me, “Mom loved Daisies. I bought her some, every year until …” Now he isn’t so happy.
I continue whispering, “They brought a lot of happiness to her. She never hid them, she displayed them in the center of the dinner table.”
I hold his hand and look him in the eyes, “I’m sorry. I’m pretty sure that I have yet to do anything right. I was wrong about the money, the work you’ve done, and the type of person you are. Hell, the only thing I have done right in the last few days is buying the flowers.
“I remember your allergies, I had them change two meds. You should start feeling a lot better in the next twenty-four hours. After that, I am going to stuff you like a pig.”
Hunter smiled at me and then says, “Hungry.”
That broke my heart, “They have you on a liquid diet right now. Solid food is bad for you right now. Tomorrow you will be eating. I’ll bring back some candy bars and donuts if I can find some. Shopping is a bit rough right now.”
Nurses barge in to check vitals, and two doctors stop by to check up on Hunter. Knowing the allergies, they agreed with my suggestions, they thanked me for the information. For two hours we sat and watched ESPN and the local news.
The local hardware stores now have a ton of material coming in, and they are in a price war now. Their stock was destroyed by the hurricane, so they had to expedite delivery, that’s why the high prices for a while. Now that standard delivery applies, they are lowering prices to help. They are tooting their horns on TV at how great they are. I know I appreciate it.
Two hours early, Sam shows up and sends me home. After delivering the food and making dinner for the neighborhood, I find a tent out back. It’s not raining, I will sleep outside like Hunter was doing. It was a long emotional day, I fall asleep quickly.
Chapter 3 – Shopping
Early the next morning I borrow Jake and Hunter’s van. We get a full tank of gas and head up North again for more food and a bed. I get a queen-sized bed because the king didn’t fit. I buy a couple sets of sheets, four pillows, and a comforter. I may not be able to cook like normal, but I damn well can give the poor guy a decent place to sleep. Jake helps me set up the bed.
I now have a queen-sized bed in my living room, and surprisingly, I am proud of that. I go to the hospital to see Hunter and Jake borrowed the van to get more wood. He can’t do anything with the wood, but at least they can buy it and move it inside the houses so that Hunter can work with it when he can. Jake and the other husbands spent the whole day stockpiling wood.
Hunter and I have an uneventful day. He is feeling much better, and they have him on solid foods. He got two lunches today and a candy bar with almonds, his favorite. When Sam came back, she was pleased with his progress. He is restless now; he doesn’t want to be laying down in bed. He wants to walk around. Tomorrow, they will release him.
Mandy, Vicki, her eighteen-year-old daughter, and her nineteen-year-old daughter Carla come with me to pick up Hunter. I was a bit surprised, but I guess what else are they going to do? However, as soon as we walk into the room, we all get a huge surprise. Sam has just finished helping Hunter take a shower, and he was getting dressed exactly when we walk into his room. We all stand in the doorway frozen. Not a peep is spoken which meant that Hunter didn’t hurry to get dressed.
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