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Train of Thought

Chapter 3; Jack

By Keith McHughPublished 25 days ago 18 min read

A cool breeze blows passed the naked bodies, lying beneath the purple and orange clouds, bringing in the rain. The early sun kissing the sky. An eerie fog rolls across the canyon floor. Helen catches a chill and opens her eyes. She stares over to her husband, to see he's still sound asleep. Dreaming of something, he was mumbling, muttering something, about separate and rearrange, there's something he needs to change. She felt it a little strange. paid him no mind, and rose to change into some clothes to warm up.

The horses tied to the trees getting antsy, sensing the storm up ahead. Helen cleans up camp, after all, this was the way of the times. The hand made rickety wagon their only way to carry their small but important necessities. Their 2 horses up in age. they are not able to travel very far at one time. The next Town still a three day travel. If the heat doesn't slow the horses through the day. Buttes decorate the landscape, as the river cuts through the arid canyon floor. The recent amount of rain making the sandy ground soft and hard for the horses to pull the large thin wheels of the carriage. The desert has been kind in that way. Keeping it cloudy and cool. Puddles to grab plenty of water. The Universe always tends to their needs, keeping them safe on their journey east to the Quartz Crystal Caverns. Helen takes a moment to gaze upon the beauty of the rainbow colored sky above her, as the sun beams its warm morning rays. She sees the clouds in the horizon getting closer. "Storms Coming", she thought.

They are headed towards greener pastures. They were forced from their homes in the northwest, due to the rampant wildfires spewing up, from the constant deforestation happening, as they were making way for more and more homes as the population grew. see its a tricky world and mother nature has things in their place in perfect balance within the ecosystem. And if your not careful you could upset the balance and create otherwise avoidable consequences. Jack and Helen were no strangers to the wonders of nature and the impending problems ahead and decided to take their son and belongings and head east to the Famed Crystal Caverns of the Ancients. It was believed to be a place of pure beauty and harmony forests full of fruits and flowers beyond what they could ever seen in the climate they grew generations of family. It was now time to find a new home for their son, full of hope and promise. They warned their friends the harm ahead, they scoffed at his naturalistic view of how things were stirring up and would only get worse. Humans can tend to be overzealous when it comes to things of the world, they forget about being in the world. So they were no longer going to test fate and began their journey.

Jack lay dreaming, mumbling, stuttering. His eyelids shuttering, as Helen hears him uttering, "A change is coming, you'll remember nothing, When you wake you'll think of one thing. Let it be, Focus on Jimmy." Helen gets closer to listen further, now so curious as to what he's been dreaming about, she wants to wake him at the same time , see further into his dreams as he lay lightly twitching his wrists as if he's writing something. she lay beside him and gazes into his fluttering eyelids and wonders what he'll say next. Her warm body getting comfortable next to him. He always made her feel safe and beautiful. He was a tough man, but he made sure she was his number ONE. Her eyes slowly close. "Just for a moment", she thought.

Jacks dream more than anyone could ever imagine, was about to take a strange twist, Is he the only jack that exists. I cant resist, Geodes about to assist in this. The energy from Jacks DNA was slowly charging with the particles of the timeline Geode currently exists.(In the hospital tied to tubes, his only company his thoughts.) As the shift of energy begins taking place, each layer of DNA has to be activated in order for Geode to make the shift. See deep down DNA is the same for centuries, identifying the energy's unique origin. DNA starts collaborating within the bloodlines. As Geodes light body Traverses through the Time Space Continuum, he slowly identifies each strain needed to activate the shift into his ancestors world. The acts carried out by the super conscience are meticulous, perfection placed upon an imperfect design.

Helen has drifted to sleep now herself. When a rumbling from the sky startles her. Her eyes pop open to see Jack now shaking uncontrollably. Lying now over 10 ft away, towards the edge of the river. How did she not feel this, she was right beside him. She jumps to his aid. "JACK!!! JACK!!! Honey come back, JACK.. OH my god he's having a heart attack. Jack Please come back." The force of the shaking was hard for her to control, as she starts to cry, Jimmy yells from under the carriage where he loved to sleep. "IS DADDY OK?", staring out through the spokes of the wagon wheels. "Yeah he will be fine, stay there a minute please.", wiping the tear from her cheek as Jacks twitching comes to a halt. She whispers "Jack dont leave us, come back. I cant make this trip alone. Jimmy needs you. C'mon Jack Focus on Jimmy. Please honey, dont leave." A tear drops onto jacks cheek as he lay there motionless and unresponsive. you see Energy transfer is dangerous and if your not strong enough the amount of electricity and sheer vibration of molecules could cause massive confusion within the body's cellular connection. Geodes' bloodline carry the gene that adapts to any surge or cellular interruption, making their Genetic Make Up, the best weapon, capable of building antibodies and rapid reorganization to combat any virus that may infect the host, Allowing even the deepest abrasions to heal at a noticeably faster rate than Helens.

She lay with her head on his chest as the air slowly exits his nose. Relieved she rests next to him, wraps her arms around him saying, "I hope you're OK, God please be OK. you got to come back, Jack please come back. The storms real close we got to pack up the wagon." The sound of thunder comes rumbling through the sky as the clouds have now completely blocked the beautiful sunrise, bringing impending downpours. Helen cant wait any longer, she has to get ready. She still has to get everything into the wagon and cover it before the storm. It doesn't take long with Jack helping and Jimmy loading. With Jack sleeping there's no telling how long. Could she do it by herself she thought. "we've done it so many times" she says. No time like the present she thinks. "C'mon Jimmy. Daddy needs a little more sleep. Help mommy pack up". Kids are easy to fool at that age. Now only 7, Jimmy was becoming quite the man. They've been living on the land for so long, at 7 jimmy has already hunted his own rabbit, trapped a few squirrels. Jack is tough on jimmy, as his dad before him and his before him. A boy needs to learn how to live in the wild early, or he becomes the food.

The threat of the storm closing fast as Helen hurries to ready the wagon, she looks to Jack with a worried look. He hasn't moved an inch since she left him. She begins to wonder if he has had a stroke. Will he be the same Jack. Will he stay strong enough for this journey. The Crystal Caverns are more than a months journey to the east. Struggling with the canopy frustrated Helen throws it to the ground and screams, "That's it, I've had it, we are just going to get wet." Jimmy stares upon her angry face with saddened eyes. "Why isn't Daddy helping?' Helens attitude shifts fast as she wasn't aware he had been watchin in stead of packing up the sleeping bags. " Soo sorry Honey, c'mon over here. " Helen says with the calmest tone she could muster. " Daddies' just being lazy, and hard headed, like your daddy is. Once the rain comes he'll wake up for sure." The edge of the storm taunting Helen as she tries to Fasten the wagon. Jimmy hustles to pick up all the sleeping supplies. The crash of thunder rings through Helens chest, knocking her clear off her feet. A bolt of lightning strikes not 10ft from where Jacks body lay. Sending an electrical charge of particles through the air, impaling themselves upon Jacks now charged cells. The activation has begun.

 Jack jumps to his feet as if startled by the thunder. Without missing a beat, he calls out "C'mon we got to get moving, honey why didn't you wake me. It was the craziest of dreams. Ill tell you about it on the way." Helen looks to Jack with a disgruntled face. "You don't even know" she responds. "Now get over and help me with the cover.." Jack rushes to help Helen, just as the rain starts to splash down. Helen Giggling at Jacks nakedness rushing around to secure their wagon. After the last clasp, Jack retreats under the cover, dries off and puts on some warm clothes. seems it may be another rainy start. Helen calls down to jimmy who was now under the wagon after the thunder and lightning invaded their camp. Jimmy never liked the lightning or the noise it brought with it. "C'mon out of there boy, dont be scared of a little thunder" says Jack. They decide its best to wait there a while. the dessert is a dangerous place when it rains. Its safest to follow the river cutting through canyon. The rocky trail a clear path for the wagon. The rain pelting against the leather cover, the sound settling the 3 down. Jack searches for his pipe. "Honey can you grab my tobacco?" Helen looks to the usual spots to find it not where it should be. Jack had left it by the fire. He jumps from the wagon and retrieves the wet package, returns to find it unusable. With a frown on his face he puts it off to dry. It will never taste the same now he thought.

 The rain beats down against the canopy as jacks thoughts shift fast to the dream itching his every nerve. unable to explain the experience, Jack describes what he says to Helen to be like being in a room on a spaceship. There were tubes coming from where he was laying. staring into a pale white room with shiny walls. Numbers lit up the machines in the room beside him. He was wearing some kind of robe, as if they were running tests on him. The fear of the experience clogging the recollection as his heart starts racing. "It was so real honey, i can still feel where the needles where into my wrists." The blast of cold through each nostril as he inhales the damp dessert morning. "it was like breathing but not getting air. it was so vivid. Thunder crashes through the wagon as the storm passes through basin. startling all in the cart, the horses let a loud Neeha in protest to the heavy rains drenching them from the canopy above. "I hope we can get some ground covered today" says Jack as he reaches for his pipe. His hand falls upon the damp slippery shaft of the pipe, reminding him of the unfortunate event. "oh dammit" he says tossing it back into the corner. "It's never going to dry. Man, there's no telling if we will ever run into someone who has it, before the next town." Jack has to have his pipe, been like that since his daddy shared it with him, as his daddy before him.

The Mc'Dougles where friends of the natives of the lands back in the day of the great migration. Chasing the people south, as the top of the globe became the sheet of ice at the first sign of the pole shift. Tobacco has been a trading commodity since the natives first introduced it to the foreign people, now starting to arrive. With language a barrier, food and goods became the common grounds to build small friendships with the people of the land. The Mc'Dougels been trading with them long before the movement. They had many friends among the tribes of the lower lands. Jack always managed to grow a few of his own plants, thanx to a secret taught to him by the Tomahatchie people. He has been planning this trip for over a year so he was ready with a new batch when they first embarked on their journey. Now a soaking wet mess with no way to dry, Jack was on his way to losing the small crop he had cultivated for the trip. Tobacco was very valuable among the folks along the way. Everyone would trade something for it. It had such natural calming effects. Often leading some to violently ill and nauseating effects if consumed in large quantities. Jack clearly agitated, sits back against the canopy and scoffs the rain for ruining his supply.

 What Jack didnt know, was how the plan set in motion went perfectly according to the divine plan. According to the timeline which geode had chosen. Thoughts are a tricky thing in the universal mind. Anything that can be perceived can be achieved. So traveling through thoughts is the fastest way of travel. Tempted to ride the rails, Geode now infinitely creating new trails. In order for a complete restoration and reintegration to a new creation, The source of the problem needs interpretation, Then divine intervention confirms the connection assuming the proper course to make the correction. So leaving the tobacco was not exactly an accident, with the hurried thinking and jacks nightmare, conveniently that was left behind in the hustle. See its funny how everything is interconnected, how the family tree grows from its roots. How each fruit spreads its new seeds, and the generations evolve. The good and the bad, both adding their traits, to the stew lying on the hospital bed. The shift has such an extreme effect on its travelers, no one ever even knows its happened. The lifetime has to play out in its own way, without any free will interference. Jack was about to get a surprise, he isn't aware of the side effects of the tobacco. Without his trusty pipe to chew throughout the day, the rain wont be the only obstacle for the day. The 3 Lay nestled now in the bed of the wagon, the cover whipping to the wind as the rain continues its onslaught. Jacks thoughts on his now wafting memories of his vivid experience. Jimmy's head rests on Helens lap, hers on jacks shoulders. Their eyes heavy in the dark wagon, a nap seemed to be on all their minds, as thunder rumbles through the corridor.

 Jack wakes to the crashing water against the rocks as the river manages the torential rain that came blasting through the area. Relieved to see a drip free entry, jack peeks out to glance at the sky above to plan on his next move. They have been so lucky traveling through the dessert with nothing but cloudy skies and rain to slowly carry them across what would otherwise be a sweltering trip for the family. luckily only a weeks journey through the wide open space before them. the river cutting through the bedrock making its own way through the harsh terrain. Just one more good day before they can reach the rivers seldom found crossings. Jack reaches for his pipe once again and puts it to his mouth as he picks up the pouch still wet from the rain. " aww Dammit, I forgot about that" he says tossing the 2 back into the corner with a huff. "Well I better go get the horses ready. Damn rain." He slowly lets Helens head fall to his side as he tries to wiggle out from Jimmy's sleeping head on his lap. He manages to wriggle free after a few cautious movements, the 2 lay silently on the wagon floor. Jack a little more agitated with the situation, walks over to the wet horses with some food, to nourish the pair before trying to make a dash down a muddy river side.

 As he's getting the feed he feels the effects of the Nicotine in the tobacco, and cant quite concentrate as the feed spills to the wet ground. Now Jack is furious, he quickly gathers what he can save and Kicks the remainder towards the horses. "They'll find it ", he says. He throws a little more food to them and returns the feed to the wagon. "Man I wish that rain didn't ruin my smoke", he says to himself. He then proceeds to River to catch some Grub for the trio. A little searching and he finds a nice hole, suitable to find lunch. Jack finds a nice long stick and shaves the end into a point. "This should do just fine", He says, as he pricks the tip with his finger. Jacks father taught him to spear fish when he was just Jimmy's age. Jack wasn't about to teach him today. The rain already cost them enough time. The river water was rushing pretty good, so the water was much murkier than usual. He had to take a better vantage point, to be able to see the water rushing out of the swirling pool. That was the only way he was going to see any fish. He was a pro with a spear, it took no time to snag 3 fish.

 He Gathers some dry hay from the wagon floor, careful not to disturb the slumbering duo. With all the rain the last few days Getting fires started has been a struggle. He scurries about the rivers edge searching for small twigs and other fuel to add to the fire. he wasn't going to be able to grab any big logs. They were saturated with water and would only stifle the fire. At least the small stuff would dry fast enough to burn before the hay was finished. Jack knew his way around the outdoors and is showing Jimmy the ropes. This morning being rained out, there was no time to show him today. Jack continues back and forth collecting as much small wood as he could to keep a fire long enough to cook the fish up for their meal. He heads over to the wagon to grab his flint stone for the fire, Grabs some dry hay from the floor, and heads back to the pit where he began striking the flint into the dry kindling. ClACK, SMACK, ZZZT, rattle through the air as Jack hits the flint against his knife. CLACK, SMACK, ZZT, an ember falls into the kindling slowly smoking out before he could try to blow into the small kindling ball. He drops it back to the ground and continues to strike his knife. Jack lets out a frustrating grunt as he throws the whole bundle to the ground. "Damn rain, I'll never get it started" as he reaches to his pocket for the trusty pipe. "ARghh!!! what the .. This is just crazy" jack calls out to the air. He tries to rebundle the straw he threw down and retain some of the dryer hay. Little Jimmy heard his old mans call and slowly climbs down the wagon to investigate further. He finds Jack furiously striking at the stone over and over and over, very few sparks were seen. His anger grows and he throws the stone to the ground. It bounces once and lands at Jimmy's feet. Startled Jack looks up in embarrassment. He doesn't let Jimmy see him when he's Angry, trying to keep it together for those 2, was his only goal. To see Jack worried would only cause more strife. He apologizes to Jimmy, as he exclaims the wet straw was being very difficult. "Come over here son," says Jack. "This would be a good time for me to teach you how to strike a flint stone." Jimmy excitedly accepts the challenge. Jack quickly shows Jimmy the strokes to use, and sets him to practice while he grabs some more straw from the wagon. Hurriedly Jack walks to the wagon and immediately heads for his pipe and tobacco.

Now Jack is feeling extra fidgety, and agitated as his shaky hands reach for the wet tobacco pouch. Helen hears him rustling around and calls over," Honey what are you doing over there?". Jack replies, "This DAMN rain, everything is wet, I cant get the fire started." "Do you need any help?" she asks. "No Dammit, Im going to get it started, Just hold your horses." he scoffs back. He finds it tucked into the corner under some straw. Jack quickly grabs for the pipe. he reaches over for the soaked pouch of tobacco, with a sad look in his face, he wines.."It's ruined, Its all ruined. its miles to the next town. Man all I wanted was a nice pull off my trusty pipe. it always calms me down. Now what am I going to do?" Jack tucks the pouch into his coat and sticks the pipe in his mouth. He rustles up as much dry straw as he could to get the fire started. "Maybe, I can dry it out over the fire." He thinks to himself. Jumping out of the wagon, Jack rushes over where Jimmy is still tirelessly striking away. Tiny sparks spewing from the stone.

Jack steps up behind Jimmy, Grabbing for the stone. "Let me have that!" he snaps. He pulls the straw from under his arm and quickly kneels down creating a cover to keep dry as he hurriedly strikes at the stone. "I'll dry the leaves, It Shouldn't be to hard." Jack says quietly. Striking furiously against the stone. Sparks spraying onto the dry grass. A small gust of wind lands perfectly within the pair, creating a small flame, from the straw laid before them. Little Jimmy was quick with more fuel. As the fire grows, the 2 boys celebrate their success. Helen finds the first smile of her day, as she looks at her two favorite people so excited about a fire.

Jimmy runs up to his mother tugging on her shirt, 'We got it momma, We got it!!!". "I see, I see, You guys had me worried" she says with a smile on her face. "Good Job Jimmy", She Says. "I got To Go Find Wood" jimmy chirps as he scurries off into the wilderness to collect the driest and smallest sticks he can. Meanwhile Jack rustled up the charred bed from the night before. To create a dry spot for the small fire, and to claim some of the partially burned wood left from the night before. The rain nearly soaked all the way through the thick bed of ash in the pit. Jack puts the remainder of dry kindling in the small blaze and proceeds to the wagon for more, until Jimmy returns with his load. Stepping forward, Reaching into the wagon, Jack stubs his barefoot on a large piece of wood lying under the wagon. "DAMMIT, DAMMIT, That stupid kid, WHERE is HE" Jack scorns as he twists his head around furious as the pain in his toe the only thing on his mind. He begins to yell " How can you be so stupid, there's wood right here under the wagon, you got to be smarter than that. I really hurt my foot

Helen was quick to Jimmy's defense, "You have no right talking to him like that. that's a silly thing to be so upset about Jack". Jimmy looks on from a distance, curious as to why his dad was screaming. He scurries some more twigs together, and rushes back to the camp site. "Sorry Paw, I didn't think we had any left from last night. i didn't even look, i'm sorry you hurt your foot." Jack embarrassed by his outburst, Rubs Little Jimmy's dark brown hair and quietly apologizes for yelling. "Well lets get back to that fire," pipes Helen. Breaking the tension Jack had built up. Jack grabs the stick, Jimmy takes his bundle and the two head over to the smoldering pit and get to work. The fire is burning bright in no time. Helen cleans up the grounds and tending the horses when she hears jack call for the fish he had caught earlier in the morning. It was getting close to noon by now, rain giving them a late breakfast. Helen brings The cutting slab and fish for Jack to get started preparing. Meanwhile she and Jimmy tend to the fire.


About the Creator

Keith McHugh

Good day to the wonderful soul reading this. I'm so glad to be able to share my art with so many awesome people, with such great imaginations. I hope you enjoy my little contribution. See you in the station.

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    Keith McHughWritten by Keith McHugh

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