Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Unusual Encounter (3)

Below is installment number 3 of this piece of fiction.  I probably won't post any more here.  Again, your comments, feedback and criticism are appreciated.

An Unusual Encounter (3)

Chance paused as he shook the old man’s hand and said, “Mr. O’Malley, I can’t imagine who it is that I remind you of.  I grew up a good bit east of here in Southwestern Oklahoma.  As far as I know I don’t have any relatives out this way.  Maybe I just have a common face.”

“Son, do you have any relatives by the name of Charles and Nancy Hunter?”

The muscles on Chance’s face tightened at the names.  It had been many years since he’d thought about his parents who died in a wreck back in the 60’s.  He had been raised by an aunt and uncle in Oklahoma after his parents were killed.  He could barely remember them.

The wreck had occurred on some back country road in the Texas Panhandle.  His parents had been on a vacation in northern New Mexico and were on their way home.  Chance and his sister Katie had been left with their aunt and uncle who eventually became their foster parents.  The casket wasn’t even opened at the funeral because, his aunt told him, it wouldn’t do to remember them this way.  His uncle later told him they had been so mutilated by the wreck that the mortician couldn’t make them look normal.  So, Chance’s last memory of his mother and father was a tearful farewell as they pulled away from the old farmhouse where his aunt and uncle lived.  He never understood why he and Katie couldn’t go with them to New Mexico.

The old man waited as the faraway look slowly faded from Chance’s eyes.  He knew the answer even before the soft reply, “That was my parent’s names.”

“Well, I thought it might be.  You look just like your father except your eyes.  They look like your mother’s eyes.”

“You knew my parents?”

“Yep, it was a long time ago.  Your dad, Charlie, and I were partners in a little adventure back in the mid 50’s.  When he and your mom got hitched, I got to know her too.  We were good friends even though I was nearly 30 years older than him.  I even saw you once when you were a baby.  You were born at the hospital in Hobart weren’t you?  I came and visited your folk’s right after that.”

“Chance, I’ve got a lot to tell you and it’s gonna take some time.  Why don’t you order something to eat and I’ll start.  We’ll see where things go from there.”

Chance grabbed the menu, relieved to have a minute to collect his thoughts.  He was having a hard time focusing on the items because his mind was reeling at the idea that this old man knew his parents.  He finally flagged the bartender and ordered a hamburger and fries.

The old man said, “Bring us a couple more beers with that if you would.  We may be here awhile.”

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