Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Jul 21

Heart-filled Life by cosmiQ Qaos

cosmiQ Qaos has written a song based on Hilda Oakley’s poem “Set Free“.


Walking sadly on a stretch of sand
My broken heart, a barren land
Peace and serenity healed my soul
Tranquillity has made me whole

A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.
A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.

In the heavens, a moonlit sky
Star-like diamonds, glittering on high
Waves lapping the ocean shore
I found what I was searching for

A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.
A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.

Walking sadly on a stretch of sand
My broken heart, a barren land
Peace and serenity healed my soul
Tranquillity has made me whole

A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.
A heart-filled life forever hoped
Love and grace, together roped.

In the heavens, a moonlit sky
Star-like diamonds, glittering on high
Waves lapping the ocean shore
I found what I was searching for

Released July 21, 2023
Poem: Set Free (C) Hilda Oakley
Song: Heart-filled Life (C) 2023 Jason Oakley – cosmiQ Qaos

   Sep 03

Hilda Oakley Memorial

Sadly, Hilda Oakley passed away on 28th August 2022.

Below is a Memorial video slideshow.

You can also view the complete funeral on Facebook on her page: Hilda Oakley.

   Nov 03

On the Run

Tension was high as two opposites clashed. How could this disaster happen? How could these young, newly conscripted Privates, be subjected to bullying and abuse by this powerful overbearing Sergeant?

He was cruel, loud and always angry. He demanded perfection even in these disgusting conditions. Jim Bob despised the Sergeant’s harsh stringent orders and he hated the army and its rigorous training.

Jim Bob and Bobby Lee were cowering in the corner. “Listen to me you snivelling twerps!” roared the Sergeant. “If you don’t do what I say immediately when I say it, I’ll have your ears for ashtrays!”

They were out on night manoeuvres. This was Jim Bob and Bobby Lee’s chance to make a run for it. They were in their camouflage gear, with their faces blackened and enough rations to last them a day or two. The raucous Sergeant was still shouting out commands. “March properly!” he bellowed, “Or I will have your guts for garters!”

Thunder roared overhead that dark night. It sounded like a lion catching its plunder. Lightning flashed across the sky with brilliant vivid sparks of electric blue.

Jim Bob and Bobby Lee had planned and plotted their risky escape down to the very minute. This was their opportunity, now they must go. Scampering away from the camp like frightened hares, faster and faster they ran. They thought their hearts would burst.

Gasping for air, they pushed themselves to the limit. They waded waist deep through dirty, murky polluted swamps. Up hills, down valleys, through gorges, slipping and sliding, twisting and turning, cursing as they ran, eventually losing their way.

The dirt and grime covered their faces, the stench of it soaking into the pores of their skin. After a couple of days their hair was turning a slimy green colour, whiskers sprouted over their chin. Unshaven, shivering, freezing they plodded on. The pangs of hunger struck. Their small amount of emergency rations depleted, the lesson on survival that they were given had to be brought into action. This was taught in their basic training, but everything was new to them; they had only been in the army six weeks.

They were on the run and hoped they wouldn’t get caught, because that meant confinement, to be incarcerated in the barracks until God knows when.

This would be Jim Bob and Bobby Lee’s baptism of fire, to prove to themselves and each other their skills and darned determination of what they can achieve if they really put their mind to it.

They were swimming across dark, deep, bottomless rivers to avoid detection. Foraging for bush food in places way out of their reach was a real challenge.

Jim Bob was stumbling, crashing, falling and plummeting down. A ginormous tree directly below him broke his fall. Branches and leaves snapped, smashed and lay broken. He crawled to his feet and forged on again, scratched and bruised and literally clinging on to life, but he must find a way down this treacherous descent, find his way through this thick undergrowth, cross the fast flowing stream and climb his way up the bank on the other side.

There on the other side of the stream was a cave. Was it real, or was it a mirage or maybe a hallucination? They decided to spend the night there. Covering the entrance with a thick layer of branches, at last the guys felt safe for the first time since their escape.

The next morning the lads were awake bright and early. They decided to move on and head a little further north, maybe they could walk another ten miles before their next rest. An hour into their walk they crossed a narrow overgrown road. Grass, reeds and small saplings grew between the two tyre tracks. They knew this bush track was going somewhere, but where ever it did go it wasn’t used very often. They followed it for a couple of miles through the thick bush and then there was a clearing. On the other side of the clearing was a small one room log cabin hut. These days they call it open plan living.

Bobby Lee and Jim Bob decided to get nearer and investigate. Maybe there is some food in there, berries leaves and termites might be enough to keep you alive, but it is not at all like proper food. They crept closer keeping well into the shadows of the bushy area. If they cut straight across the clearing, they would be out in the open and definitely would be seen if anyone was there.

Reaching the hut, Bobby Lee circled it a couple of times before entering it, while Jim Bob stayed in the undergrowth out of sight. Bobby Lee gave the all clear signal and they both entered and searched for food.

There were only four small cupboards. They had pots and pans in one, two enamel plates, and two dirty tea stained mugs in another.
There were half a dozen knives, forks and spoons in the third. The fourth cupboard had glass canisters. On a closer inspection, they contained flour, sugar, pepper, salt, tea and coffee.

This was food, but which one of them was going to make something out of it? Neither of them ever tried cooking anything. While they were in the middle of discussing how they would prepare their meal, the door burst open.

A hugely built man with a thick grey beard burst into the cabin, carrying in his hands a double barrel shotgun. He caught them both off guard.

Jim Bob quickly looked around, his and Bobby Lee’s army rifles were lying on the table, at least three steps away from them.

“I wouldn’t try that if I were you young Fella!” The man threatened in a gruff voice. “This gun has two barrels and carries with it a hair-pin trigger. You would both be riddled with buckshot before you took one step towards those guns. Why don’t you just sit down on those chairs, away from the table and keep your hands on your knees where I can see them! Now we shall see what you were about to thieve from me and why.”

Jim Bob and Bobby Lee explained their situation to the old man.

“Not keen on army life myself!” he said, “Did my basic training many years ago, but it was in peace time. We did a lot of walking, running and Sergeants yelling at you. Never did get the gist of most of it. It’s better here in the bush, much quieter and less stressful. Anyway, where are you headed? If you hang around here too long you’re sure to be caught.”

“We are going to make our way to Canada.” Explained Bobby Lee. “Make a new life for ourselves up there, others have done it! When this Vietnam War is over and everything quietens down, we might decide to come back here to the good old US of A. We will see what pans out!”

“What if the Army doesn’t forgive you for going AWOL? What then?”

“Then we will have to stay in Canada” said Jim Bob.

“I’ll cook you fellows some pancakes and eggs. Then you best be on the road again. The Army will be out looking for you I know. Others have come through here before, on their way to Canada.”
They ate their breakfast quickly and thanked the old guy for his hospitality. They didn’t tell him too much, because they didn’t know if they could trust him, or if he would turn them in to the military Provost Marshal.

Plodding another twenty miles along the road they realized they were making real headway. Then all of a sudden they heard the sound of a vehicle approaching. Both of the boys leapt off the road in unison and scrambled about thirty feet into the thick undergrowth. Crouching low, they watched as the Personnel Carrier cruised past scouting the area at a steady pace.

They immediately knew that this Personnel Carrier was carrying a squad of military police and they were scouting around this area, out looking for them.

“That was a close call,” said Bobby Lee. “There is only one thing to do now and that is to keep off the road from now on. I don’t know if that old man informed the military base of our whereabouts or if it was just a routine patrol, whichever, from now on we are not taking any chances!”

“I know this area.” said Jim Bob. “I have a sister who lives not far from here, she will help us.”

Twenty minutes later, after fighting their way through thick undergrowth, they emerged into a clearing and could see another log cabin hut in the distance.

“That’s it!” said Jim Bob, “That’s my sister Suzie’s place, I’ll just check to see if she is home”

Jim Bob crept nearer. Everything was so quiet, too quiet. Maybe no-one was home. He circled the hut then tried the handle on the back door. The door was unlocked. He crept inside and called out, “Suzie! Are you there? It’s me your brother Jim Bob!” There was no answer.

He called out again only louder this time. “Sue-Ann! Are you there? It’s me Jim Bob!”

She came out of her bedroom rubbing the sleep from her eyes. “What are you doing here? Mum said you had joined the army?”

“I was in the army for only sixweeks. My mate and I couldn’t stand one bit of it. It was so rigorous and hard, we got yelled at all the time. I didn’t enjoy it at all. We happened to be out on night manoeuvres, it was pitch dark so we decided to make a run for it and go AWOL. You know, absent without leave. Can you put us up for a couple of days Sis?” he pleaded.
“Army Personnel Carriers have come past my place twice a day over the past week. The MPs are scouting around looking for someone. That someone could be you! The first day they knocked on my door and demanded that they wanted to search my place. I told them I didn’t have anything to hide. They searched and told me that if I see anyone looking suspicious, or getting around in army uniforms to get in touch with army headquarters fast. Since then, they have just driven past without stopping!”

“I have a friend outside hiding in the bushes. Can I bring him in, then we can both get cleaned up before having something to eat. We are filthy dirty and haven’t had very much to eat over the past week?”

Sue-Ann said, “I can hide you both during the day and I think it will be quite safe for you to come out at night, but it is only for a couple of days mind you, and then you will have to move on. I could get locked up too if they found out that I was harbouring army deserters! Bring your friend in and while you are washing, I will prepare some pancakes and maple syrup for both of you to eat.”

“Where are you going to hide us during the day, is it out in the bush somewhere? Which is our room and where do we sleep?” asked Jim Bob.

“I too hate war!” Sue-Ann said, “I want you both to swear on the Bible that you will not tell anyone what I am about to show you.”

“Okay, okay!” said Jim Bob, what is it?”

She went over to the bookshelf cupboard and pressed back a small bar on the bookshelf. As she pressed the bar, the whole entire bookshelf swivelled on a turnstile revealing a hidden room behind it.

“Wow, that is magnificent!” exclaimed Bobby Lee, “If you were in there and kept very quiet, no-one would ever know you were there! That’s really great”

“The way you boys smell at the moment, everybody would know where you were. Now go and get scrubbed up in the laundry and get that smelly green slime out of your hair. By the time you get back here I will have your food ready. I will get some of my husband’s clean clothes for you to wear.”

Unbeknown to Jim Bob and Bobby Lee, the old man they met twenty miles back did get in touch with the army base and reported that the two army guys reported missing had just passed through his property. He was rubbing his hands together, because the army paid informants well for any information that might lead to a capture.
The boys buried their filthy army camouflage clothes in the bush and came inside. They both looked and smelt nice and clean now and sat down to a hearty meal of pancakes and maple syrup.

“Okay guys, it’s time for you to go into hiding now, you never know when the army will be back looking for you.”

Sue-Ann had only just finished speaking, when a vehicle could be heard getting closer and heading their way.

“Get in there fast and no more talking whatsoever!” Sue-Ann whispered as she closed the bookcase door firmly.

This time the vehicle came to a sudden stop outside her house.

Four MPs jumped out of the vehicle and surrounded the house. One of the MPs came to the front porch and knocked heavily on the door several times.

“Is anybody home? Anyone in there?” he called out again a little louder.

Sue-Ann opened the door. “Yes! What do you want?” she asked.

“Is anybody else in there or are you alone?” he asked.

“I am alone at the moment,” she replied, “But I am expecting my husband to be home shortly. He will be finished work soon!” she said.

The MP said, “Do you mind if I come in and have a look around? There are a couple of soldiers that are missing. They are trying to avoid the Government’s National Service Conscription and have been reported of being seen in this vicinity. I won’t take more than a minute of your time to see for myself that you’re not harbouring them, if that’s okay with you?”

“Of course it’s okay!” she answered as she opened the door wider.

The MP did a thorough search through all the rooms under the beds and even in the bedroom closets. Satisfied, he thanked Sue-Ann for her co-operation and returned to his vehicle. He called the other MPs to come and they drove away at high speed.

It was night time before Sue-Ann let the boys out to have an evening meal and a breath of fresh air. They were glad to get out of the dark room and thanked Suzie for her kindness.
They said that they would be leaving the next morning, because the MPs would be back again tomorrow for sure and they didn’t want to put Suzie in any kind of danger. If they stayed any longer, there might just be a chance they could get caught. They both agreed that it certainly was a well hidden room; and it saved them from being captured today.

Sue-Ann said, “I’ve got some friends who live in the woods about another ten miles from here. This way you don’t have to follow the road and be in danger of getting caught. Just follow the path that I will show you and it will take you deeper and deeper into the woods. The MPs won’t get out of their vehicle and walk into the bush; they will stick to the well worn roads. About ten miles down the track you will come across a small loggers hut. The couple who live there are good friends of mine and I assure you they won’t give you away to the MPs. They are true to their word and I trust them as much as I trust you.”

The boys thought this would be an easy trek. Sue-Ann had given them a machete to use in case the track had grown over in places because of little use. Jim Bob and Bobby Lee didn’t need to use the machete until they were three quarters of the way along the track. Suzie had forgotten to tell them that, near the end of the track there was a very steep hill which they had to climb before the path levelled out again.

They found the cabin on top of the hill. It had bamboo growing all around it, so by looking through the bamboo they could see who was coming down the path without being seen themselves.

Bobby Lee scouted around the hut to make sure it wasn’t a trap. They knocked on the door and called out, “Is anyone home!”

A middle aged couple came to the door. After telling them their situation and that Sue-Ann suggested they come this way, they were warmly welcomed in.

The couple introduced themselves as Chuck and Katrina. Chuck asked the boys to sit down and have a cup of coffee, while Katrina made some hot scones with jam and cream.

While they were enjoying their Devonshire tea, Jim Bob began to tell them the full story of why they were on the run.

Chuck suggested, “You guys need to get to Canada a bit faster than this. Have you ever thought of hitching a ride on a freight train heading that way. It certainly would get you there quicker!”

“Never even thought of that!” said Jim Bob.

Chuck said, “You guys can spend a couple of days here if you want. See that large mat over yonder with that large pot plant on it. Well, below that pot plant is a trapdoor with a stairway leading down to a large cellar.”

He continued, “You are quite welcome to spend a couple of days down there if you want; it will be safe down there in the daytime. Nobody will find you down there. Also it would be quite safe to come out at night. There are a couple of beds down there, but it can get a bit dark without a torch.”

The boys agreed to spend a couple of days in the cellar before moving on.

They went to bed early and spent a comfortable night down in the cellar. There was a Tap! Tap! on the cellar door. “Breakfast is ready!” Katrina whispered.

Bobby Lee pushed the trapdoor open. Katrina passed him his breakfast, and then she passed Jim Bob’s breakfast down. “I will close the trapdoor now and put the mat and pot plant on top of it. There is a bit of movement outside today, so we can’t be too careful! If I tap again on the trapdoor, put your torch out and be very quite.”

Twenty minutes later there was a tapping on the cellar trapdoor. “Put your light out and be quiet now. We have some visitors coming!” Katrina whispered’

Sure enough, a group of MPs arrived and knocked on the door. The same thing happened again as at Suzie’s house.

“We are looking for a couple of army deserters.” The MP said firmly “Have you seen anyone of that nature lurking around here lately?”

“No sir!” said Chuck. “It’s just the two of us living here.”

“Do you know it’s a crime to harbour criminals and army deserters? You can be jailed for up to five years as an accessory. Do you mind if I check out your house?

“No! Not at all! Go for it. There are only my wife and myself living here.” said Chuck.

The head MP, the Provost Marshal entered the house. He checked out all the bedrooms, under the beds, in the bedroom closets, the bathroom, then outside he checked the garage, he looked inside the car and even in the trunk of the car.
Being satisfied that the couple were telling the truth, the MP thanked them for their co-operation and hopped into their vehicle and drove off at high speed.

Jim Bob and Bobby Lee felt that they have had two lucky escapes in just a few days. They decided they would make a change of plans. They would wait until dark and then be on the move again. The MPs don’t seem to patrol much at night and the lads could travel a fair way at night without too much worry of being caught. “We don’t want you and your wife to get into trouble because of us, if we were caught!” said Jim Bob, “and we do want to get to Canada as fast as we can.”

Chuck said, “The safest way from here to avoid the MPs is to head north and cross the Missouri River. It is a bit treacherous in places, but you boys look quite capable that you could handle it okay. Follow the road heading north for fourteen miles until you come to an area that has a solitary tree standing by the roadside, I have a good friend who will be waiting for you, if you can make it there by tomorrow night. ”

That evening Jim Bob and Bobby Lee thanked Chuck and Katrina for their kindness in looking after them and followed the path heading north. Reaching the Missouri river just before dawn, they decided to stay out of sight and rest during the day. They were completely worn out from walking all night, so would tackle crossing the river later that evening.

That evening the boys were eager to get across the river. The sun had just gone down and darkness was closing in. Approaching the river a challenge lay before them. The river was deep, raging and surging dangerously, but they had to cross it.

Jim Bob said, “I might have a go at crossing it first. I am fit because I go to the gym regularly and I am a good swimmer. There are heated pools at the gym where I train, so I train all year round!”

With that, he tied one end of the rope around his waist and the other end of the rope around Bobby Lee, just in case the surging white water got the better of him.

Jim Bob was wading across the river and all was going well. He was about in midstream when, in a split second he lost his footing on a slippery, slimy stone and under he went.

Bobby Lee reacted instantly. He held onto the rope tightly and pulled it around a huge boulder in the water. He kept a firm grip on the rope while the fast running current dragged Jim Bob under again. His head popped out of the water for a second. Jim Bob gasped for air before being dragged back under again, his body rolled over and over and thrashed against boulders in the stream repeatedly.

Bobby Lee, still holding onto the rope tightly noticed that Jim Bob had been washed to his side of the river about thirty yards downstream. He edged his way along the bank, still holding onto the rope tightly. When he reached Jim Bob he rolled him onto his back, got behind him putting his hands under Jim Bob’s armpits and dragged him safely out of the water.

He rolled Jim Bob over and turned him faced down. He pressed him firmly on Jim’s back several times. Water gushed out of Jim Bob’s mouth but he still wasn’t breathing. Bobby Lee rolled Jim Bob onto his back and attempted to revive him using CPR.

Jim Bob started to cough up mouthfuls of water. He coughed and spluttered. Bobby Lee turned Jim Bob onto his side, more water spewed out of his mouth and he began gasping for air. Bobby Lee left Jim Bob to regain his breathing rhythm properly.

“You! You saved my life! Jim Bob spluttered, “Where did you learn to do that?”

“Before I was called up for National Service, I was a life saver back home! Saving lives is a thing you never forget.” Bobby Lee said proudly.

“Well thank God for that, you certainly saved my life!” Jim Bob said thankfully.

“We had better get across to the other side of this river pretty soon.” said Bobby Lee, “It is starting to get dark now. What if I have a go at crossing this time and you can be the anchorman?”

“If you go under, I mightn’t be able to save you. I don’t know anything about CPR.” Jim Bob said.

“Don’t worry, I will save myself!” Bobby Lee replied cheekily.

They both tied the rope around themselves again.
This time Bobby Lee waded out into the water. He moved into the deeper water very slow and very carefully, making sure not to put his foot on any slippery, mossy rocks. Eventually he reached the other side safely.

“Your turn again Jim Bob!” Bobby Lee said loudly. “And don’t step on any of those slippery rocks this time.”

This time Jim Bob crept across more slowly and reached the other side safely.
Resting up for half an hour, they remembered what Chuck had told them. After crossing the river, they headed north for about fourteen miles. There near the road was a solitary tree in a paddock. There was a man standing under the tree holding the reins of two Appaloosa horses, one for each of them to ride.

“What do you want for the loan of these horses?” said Jim Bob.

“Nothing!” the man replied, whom Jim Bob now realized was an Indian. “I don’t like war. My tribe and other tribes in this area had wars with each other all the time, many of our braves and their people were killed. Now we live in peace, this is good. If I can help you not to go to war, this also is good.”

The Indian gave Jim Bob a compass and told him to head north east for thirty miles. When you reach the town, wait until daylight and then take the horses to the livery stables. I have a friend who works there and he knows you are coming. He will get the horses back to me.

Jim Bob and Bobby Lee shook the Indian’s hand and thanked him for his help.

They had never tried bare back horse riding before. In fact, Bobby Lee had never ridden a horse before, but he was sure it had to be better than walking.

The horses trotted along at a steady pace for three or four miles and then they let the horses walk for a mile or two, before going into another steady canter again. It was getting near morning by the time they reached the town. The boys waited on the outskirts of the town until daybreak and then went looking for the livery stables.

Finding the stables, Bobby Lee went inside and called out, “Anybody home?”

He was met at the doorway by another Indian. Bobby Lee explained to him that an Indian friend had lent them the horses. The Indian took the horses and wished them well. He said, “Don’t worry, I will take care of the horses and get them back to their owner!”

Bobby Lee took the compass out of his pocket. OK Jim, now we have to continue north, so we will head along that north bound trail. What if we try to hitch a ride with someone? That would save a heck of a lot of walking?”

“Good idea Bobby Lee! I just hope the MPs haven’t come this far north yet.”

The boys started walking along the north bound road. It was still very early in the morning and only about five cars passed them without stopping. They had been walking for an hour, when a battered pick-up ute came up over the crest of the hill. The boys frantically waved the driver down and to their surprise; the pick-up stopped a short distance from them. It was an old farmer taking some hay to a friend’s place about fifteen miles away.

“What do you guys want? He asked.

“We need a lift!” they said, “We have gone AWOL from the army and are on our way to Canada.”

“Yeah! I don’t like wars either.” said the farmer. “I can take you fifteen miles in my pick-up to my friend’s place. If you walk another ten miles north, you will come to a timber shack. I have another friend who lives there by the name of James Brown, I am sure he will help you. I will give you a letter to give to him and he will know you are a genuine pair of army deserters needing help.”

Jogging down the track, they came upon an old shack where a middle aged balding man was digging in his garden.

“What are you doing here? How did you find this place? Nobody comes way out here to visit me!” said the balding man.

“Are you James Brown? We have a letter here for a Mr James Brown?” said Jim Bob. “Is that you?”

“Why, yes! That’s me! And what business have you got that’s to do with me?” he asked suspiciously. “You two look a bit shifty eyed; I don’t think I can trust either of you!”

“Sir! We have a note here signed by your friend Mullens. He said we could trust you to help us. We are trying to avoid going into National Service Training. We are heading to Canada!” said Bobby Lee.

“Well blow me down. I haven’t heard of the National Service Call-up for years.” He said scratching his head. “Don’t tell me they are still doing that!”
“Yes, I can hide the pair of you in those large water barrels out back near the wood shed if those MPs come snooping around. Mind you, they’re not likely to come way out here looking for anyone, more likely they would be checking out your home town, to see if you have gone home for refuge at your wife or parent’s place.”

“We don’t trust those MPs at all!” said Bobby Lee.

“According to this letter, I’m to look after you for a couple of days. Is that right?” asked James.

“If you could, that would be great Sir.” said Bobby Lee.

“Okay! But cut out that Sir business, just call me James. I can only afford to give you one meal a day. I don’t have a lot for myself but I am willing to share it with you.” said James.

“Thank you! Sometimes we have had to eat berries, roots and termites to get by. One real meal a day would be like a banquet to us.”

“Come inside, its nearly lunch time. I will give you some bacon and eggs for lunch and that will be your meal for today. My sister delivered the bacon and eggs to me this morning. If I have more than enough of something, then I trade that bit of produce with my relatives and friends. They in turn may have more than what they can use of something else, so they trade some of their goods with me. My sister and her husband have a lot of chickens; she always has an abundance of eggs. She probably traded some eggs or chickens with a farmer who rears pigs. It is all a form of bartering.”

“It all sounds very interesting.” said Jim Bob! “Everyone seems to get along so well together out here.”

That day and the following day Jim Bob and Bobby Lee stayed close to James’s timber shack. Their stay was peaceful and uneventful for a change. It was now getting late into the second day, so Jim Bob and Bobby Lee thanked James for his hospitality and said that they would be on their way again.

Jim Bob said, “I believe there is a railway line somewhere just north of here! Bobby Lee and I are going to try and aboard a train heading north. If we can do that, it will save a lot of walking!”

James said, “Yep! The railway tracks are twenty five miles North West of here. There are trains going backwards and forwards along those tracks all day.”
The boys walked most of the night. Daylight was approaching when they saw the railroad tracks in front of them. They looked the landscape over thoroughly.

“Jim Bob said, “We will have to think this out well before we attempt to jump on the train.” He pulled the compass out of his pocket.

”Right! Now that way is north, so we will have to catch a train coming from that direction down there. Then, to the left of us, the railway line goes up a fairly steep incline and twists and turns sharply between the high embankments. The train will be forced to slow down to climb that steep slope. Our best chance to catch it is up there near the top of that incline, where it twists and turns the most.”

“Sounds good to me!” Bobby Lee agreed.

They headed up the slope between the railway line and the high embankments.

“This should be right about here!” said Jim Bob! It was still quite dark.

They crept back into the bushes to be out of sight. Bobby Lee said, “I hope we don’t have to wait too long, I’m getting tired from walking all night!”

“We will wait for as long as it takes,” said Jim Bob, settling back into the bush and onto a pile of soft grass.

About half an hour passed before the first train could be heard in the distance. As it came nearer Jim Bob said, “That one’s no good for us, it’s a passenger train and its coming from the north.”

“Blast!” said Bobby Lee as he lay back into the long reeds. “I am going to take a nap, wake me when another train comes past.”

About an hour later, ‘Clicketty clack, clicketty clack!’ Another train was approaching, this time it was coming from the south. In the distance, Jim Bob could see that it was a goods train carrying poles and huge tanks of cement.

“Wake up Bobby Lee! Our train has arrived!” said Jim Bob.

They stayed out of sight until the diesel engine and a few closed and locked carriages passed by.

The engine roared as it pulled the carriages up the steep incline. The train went from sixty miles an hour to about a slow ten miles an hour.
“This is our chance the next carriage has its doors open!” yelled Jim Bob.

They came out of the bush and in seconds were running beside the slow moving train. Jim Bob threw his rifle into the carriage, then with one big leap climbed inside. Bobby Lee threw his rifle into the carriage. The train was over the crest and starting to pick up speed again.

“Come on Bobby Lee, you can make it!” Jim Bob yelled out encouraging him.

Jim Bob got a firm hold on the carriage door and leant out as far as he could; reaching down trying to get a grip on Bobby Lee’s outstretched hand. In a last grand effort their hands met. Jim Bob gave Bobby Lee’s hand an almighty desperate heave. Bobby Lee’s chest landed in the carriage, the rest of his body and legs were still kicking, dangling dangerously outside of the carriage.

Jim Bob let go of the carriage door and with both hands, grabbed Bobby Lee by the seat of his pants and with an almighty upward heave, dragged Bobby Lee into the carriage.

“Bobby Lee, still breathless said, “Thanks, that was a close one. I nearly didn’t make it.”

“If you hang around with me long enough you will be quite safe!” said Jim Bob.

The boys now lay back on the hard carriage floor boards and tried to get some sleep, which was quite difficult, not being used to the monotonous clicketty clack of train wheels turning.

It must have been a good hour before the train began to slow down. Jim Bob peered out from the carriage door and there, down in the valley; about four miles ahead were a lot of houses. The train must be pulling into the station at this town.

He gave Bobby Lee a shove on the shoulder. “Wake up Bobby, the train is going to pull into the station, we have to get off and fast!”

The train was slowing down, but was still going about twenty miles an hour.

“There is grass in the ditch just ahead. We will have to jump for it and take our chances.”

As they approached the grassy ditch, Jim Bob yelled out, “NOW!” and they both jumped together. When they hit the grass it didn’t seem so soft at all.
They rolled and rolled for about ten feet before coming to a stop.

“Are you okay?” Bobby Lee yelled out.

“I think so!” said Jim Bob as he hobbled to his feet, “that is apart from all the bruises I’ve just received tumbling into that ditch.”

The boys brushed the grass and dust from their clothes. They were about four miles from the town and still had a lot of walking to do. At this stage they didn’t know the name of the town.

As they were walking along in the ditch beside the railway tracks, they noticed a couple of men dressed in Border Patrol uniforms talking to each other. They were heading in their direction. There were no trees nearby where they could hide and there were no buildings for at least a quarter of a mile away.

There was a creek flowing into a small lake just ahead of them. Bobby Lee said, “We will have to creep over there to the lake and grab a couple of bull rushes, they are hollow. We can submerge ourselves under water and breathe air through the bull rushes. Nobody will see us, or know we are even there! We don’t want to get caught at this stage of our journey, do we?”

The boys grabbed some bull rushes and slipped into the lake. They kept very still under water. They could see the two men in uniforms slowly walk past the lake. Bobby Lee and Jim Bob stayed under water for another five minutes before surfacing. The men in uniforms were a hundred yards away now heading in the opposite direction.

The lads got out of the lake and proceeded to continue their hike towards the town. They hadn’t gone more than half a mile when they saw an army jeep parked beside the road with the keys still in the ignition. They looked around and saw a couple of army guys in the woods. They had stopped for a comfort stop.

“This is our chance to save our legs!” said Jim Bob.

They snuck over and climbed into the jeep. Jim Bob started the motor and quickly put it into gear and they were gone. The two army guys came running out of the forest and started running down the road after their jeep. After a couple of hundred yards they stopped and threw their arms in the air. They knew it was futile and gave up the chase. Who would believe them when they said someone stole their army jeep? They knew they were going to be in big trouble when they returned to army camp without the jeep.
They had reached the edge of town. Jim Bob said, “We had better get off the main road. I see a side track up here on the right. It looks very rough and hilly, exactly the conditions this vehicle was made for. If someone tries to chase us they will have problems if their vehicle isn’t a four wheel drive!”

They parked the jeep in amongst a grove of trees and walked the rest of the way into town. To their surprise, they had reached the Canadian border at last.

“Hurrah! Yippee! We have done it!” They both cheered. They had reached the border sooner than they expected. Hitching a ride on that train had saved then days of walking.

Jim Bob looked at Bobby Lee and said, “All we have to do is wait patiently this end of the border crossing and when all is clear, we can sneak across to the other side into Canada. I don’t think there will be any security guards patrolling down here!”

Things seemed to be going to plan. They saw their chance and made a run for it.
They were nearly across to the other side, when out of the blue a Border Patrol security guard charged up the road yelling for them to stop.

Pretty soon half a dozen security guards surrounded them. Their luck had run out! They were handcuffed and marched back to the Canadian side of the Border Patrol checkpoint.

Jim Bob said, “We were nearly across. How did you guys know we were sneaking across from there?”

The Border Patrol officer said, “One of you guys must have accidentally walked on a trip wire and set off the flashing alarm lights in our office.”

Reaching the Border Patrol checkpoint, Bobby Lee was taken to an interviewing room. He was asked to produce his papers and Visa for proof of his reason for entering Canada. He had all his papers wrapped in an oilskin, water-proof sack so they wouldn’t get wet.

After a short interview, the security guard said, “Your papers are all OK; you are now free to enter Canada!”

Now it was Jim Bob’s turn. He was taken into an interview room.

“Where are your papers and Visa, to prove that you have a good and valid reason for entering Canada?”
“I’m sorry; I left in such a hurry and didn’t bring any papers with me. So that is why you tried to avoid crossing through the checkpoint then? I am afraid we are going to have to hand you back to the United States Border Security officers and let them deal with you! Our records show that the US Army also have an interest in you for going AWOL!”

“The United States of America government asked us to keep an eye out for a Jim Bob O’Flanagan who deserted his army post. I am sure they will be happy to have you back again!” said the Canadian officer.

As Jim Bob was being led away, he happened to pass Bobby Lee in the corridor. He said to Bobby Lee, “How did you manage to get through into Canada?

“Well it was like this,” Bobby Lee said with a smile, “The army bribed me.”

“Bribed you. With what?” asked Jim Bob. “Money!”

“No! Not at all.” Replied Bobby Lee. “The army promised me a promotion from Private to First Lieutenant if I could find out, how so many American soldiers, who after going AWOL managed to get into Canada without being detected.”

“Well I’ll be darned! And I thought you were my friend. We went through hell together to get here, only to be dobbed in by you! I’ll never trust another person again.” Jim Bob uttered angrily.

Two MPs marched Jim Bob out of the Border Patrol building into a waiting army van and was transported back to the army base. He was tried and found guilty of going ‘Absent With-Out Leave.’ He was convicted and ordered to serve five years in the United States Army Penitentiary.

It was a very difficult five years for him. He had to be up at 5.00am every morning, get dressed in full army combat attire, have his bed made correctly and then go for a five mile hike before having breakfast of bread and water. After breakfast they had to do one hundred push ups before being dismissed. This was no Holiday Camp, it was a tightly run top security army prison.

After serving this sentence, Jim Bob was given a dishonourable discharge from the army. Jim Bob realized it was all for nothing. He now wished he had never ‘gone on the run!’
Hilda Oakley
Copyright © 25.03.2018

   Nov 03


Jewels was out chasing butterflies. Mother Nature had painted bright colours of different hues. With her activities taking all her time, she didn’t heed the warning signs of the storm brewing up.

Suddenly a loud clap of thunder and streaks of electric blue lightening filled the evening sky. She realized she must find shelter and find it quick.

Racing down an overgrown dirt track, in the distance she noticed an old log cabin hut. She crept up to the cabin very quietly, just in case someone was living there. Then from behind her she heard the voices of two men approaching.

Jewels had nowhere to hide! Two disgusting looking men dressed in filthy clothes came into view. They had been out rabbit hunting.

When they saw Jewels, one of the men said to the other, “Now we are we going to have some real fun! Me being the eldest will show you young brother a few tricks.”

Jewels instantly felt cornered. In a split second she reached into her leather bag and pulled out a razor sharp knife and before he knew it, she had slashed the side of Tom’s face. He howled out in pain as blood ran down his cheek. With another quick swipe, she slashed Karl the younger man across his leg. He yelped. It felt like his leg was on fire.

“Don’t you dare touch me!” she yelled out. “Next time it will be across your throats, so be warned!”

Jewels felt a little bit sorry for them, so she added, “Go and have a shower and get cleaned up, then I will mix up some herbs to treat those wounds.”

When they returned to the kitchen, she had dinner on the table ready for them.

The following morning there was a knock on the front porch. They all went outside to investigate. There in a bassinet was a tiny baby. The baby had huge shiny brown eyes; in fact the eyes were nearly black.

The men didn’t bother much about the baby as that was women’s work. Jewels made the men breakfast and a mug of coffee each. When they weren’t looking, she slipped some herbs into their coffee.

She knew the herbs would knock them out and put them to sleep for about four to five hours.

While the men were sleeping, she took the baby and left as fast as she could. Pretty soon she became lost. When lost, she did what her mother had told her to do. Always follow the river.

Jewels took her petticoat off and ripped it up to make a sling to carry the baby in. As she walked along, she gathered some herbs along the way. She knew she could make use of them later.

Sitting in some bushes, she watched the birds and animals drink water from a stream. She now knew that it was safe to drink this water.

The mother of the baby had left four bottles of milk on the porch with the baby. The baby had now consumed the milk and Jewels needed to find some more quickly. She rinsed two of the bottles with water from the stream and filled them with water.

With the material left over from the petticoat, Jewels made some nappies for the baby. There were plenty of bulrushes nearby, so she wove them together in a criss-cross fashion to make a basket. She found some flax which she used to make a handle. She could now put the baby in the basket and pull it along on the water, if she needed to.

Jewels continued walking along the path. Eventually she came upon a small house. As she approached the house, a dog barked loudly. The person living there, a little old lady emerged from the doorway and told the dog to sit and be quiet as she patted it.

“What do you want girlie?” she asked.

Jewels said, “I need some milk for this little baby that was left on the porch where I stayed.”

She then told Mrs Jolly the whole story and also about the men who were after her.

Mrs Jolly said, “You can stay here two nights, but will have to leave then because Mr Jolly will be coming home.” She said, “Mr Jolly would take sides with the men because that is the way it is here. But in the meantime I can sell you some milk from our cow, for your baby.”

“You look dirty. You go and have a hot shower and I will keep an eye on the baby for you.” Said Mrs Jolly.

On the third night, Jewels and the baby left at midnight, as Mr Jolly was arriving home at 3.00am that morning.

Mrs Jolly had everything nice and tidy as usual. You could not fault her at all.

Being stalked kept Jewels alert. As she walked along the path, in the moonlight she could see a man approaching in the distance. It was probably Mr Jolly heading home. She immediately turned off the track and headed in the opposite direction.

Later that morning, after the sun had risen, she saw some men on horses approaching. Once more she panicked but had nowhere to hide. She heard them talking to each other, saying that they were looking for horse thieves.

An idea popped into her head. She would cross the river pulling the water-proof baby basket behind her, hopefully without being noticed.

At this stage she felt safe, but then she froze! There in front of her were fresh horse, hoof prints on the soft ground.

Hiding behind a big oak tree she saw a single Indian.

“Was this a trap?” she thought.

Then without warning the Indian leaves, but Tom and Karl are right there with their horses and catch Jewels and the baby. They tie her hands together with rope. They then lift her onto a horse and head back to their home.

There was a thrumming of drums and smoke signals throughout the nearby hills. What had happened? All the Indian tribes in the area were at peace.

A lone Indian approached the tribe and asked for permission to see the chief.
He told the chief about the white girl who was looking after an Indian baby.

Tom and Karl were ecstatic! They thought they had won the battle. Little did they know that the Indians were watching their every movement.

The Indians snuck about their business quietly. Their mission was to get the baby out of the cabin and back to their tribe at the reservation.

One Indian crawled under the porch and threw a stick outside making a loud noise. Tom and Karl rushed outside to see what made the noise. Another Indian sneaked in through the back door and untied Jewels and took her and the baby back to the Indian camp.

The chief and his woman were ever so happy to have their baby back again.

Because Jewels had compromised herself, the chief let her live with the Indian tribe forever.



Hilda Oakley
Copyright © 29.07.2018

   Nov 03

Melanie’s Mysterious Caller

Melanie’s phone call left Tyler stunned, usually nothing upset her. Her message to Tyler was of a scared, frightened woman. Her voice was shaky, bordering on hysteria, telling Mel to lock all the doors and windows and pull down the blinds.
Tyler finished off with the statement that he would come over straight away.

Arriving on Mel’s estate, Tyler had a gut feeling something was wrong. Tyler checked to see if Mel had followed his instructions on how to protect herself and how to keep safe.

Tyler hid behind the garden shed, moving carefully to avoid being seen. Entering the woods, Tyler found temporary refuge behind the large trunk of a ginormous tree.

All around Tyler, bullets zipped and ricocheted close by. The only reason Tyler could think why he was being shot at was the shooter may have been warning Tyler to stay away from Melanie.

Tyler waited half an hour, he then emerged into the open following a different route back to Melanie’s home, watching over his shoulder and keeping in dark shadows as he crept along. He was grateful it was uneventful that no-one was following him.

Arriving at Melanie’s home Tyler opened the door with his own key. To Tyler’s astonishment and consternation he found Melanie huddled on the couch in the foetal position.

Tyler spoke in a soft gentle tone. “Mel! It’s me, your best mate and friend.”

Taking her hand, he murmured soothing words of encouragement to her. After staring into space for some time, Melanie broke her silence. As she started to speak, her bottom lip quivered and tears started to flow. She sobbed uncontrollably for about twenty minutes, all this time Tyler held Melanie’s hand.

As the sobs subsided, Melanie told him slowly through unshod tears that she had been having weird phone calls for a few weeks.

Tyler said, “You can tell me anything, you are my best friend and best mate!”

Melanie locked eyes with Tyler. Seeing the compassion in his eyes she blushed. Turning her head away, hoping Tyler hadn’t seen her embarrassment.
Helping Mel to sit up, he made her comfortable. She knew what he intended to ask her next.

“Now!” Tyler said, “Tell me exactly what’s happening Mel?”

“Tyler! It’s dreadful. How can I tell anyone let alone you?” She replied.

“Mel.” Tyler told her, “Someone will have to know what’s going on. You can trust me!”

“Well the first phone call of many was heavy breathing. After some time the caller told me things referring to explicit sex and that he wanted me for his partner. Following that he said, I know where you live Mel, I am watching you. How could he know my pet name, only you have that information?”

Tyler was horrified. He showed a blank face to Mel so she didn’t know what he was thinking.

“Listen to me Mel!” Tyler was quite persuasive. “Tomorrow I start my three months long-service-leave, so I will be your personal bodyguard. You will go nowhere on your own.”

Mel questioned Tyler, “How can you mind me and keep me safe all day long. It’s not practicable! You need time to rest.” Mel told Tyler.

Tyler stated that he would be sleeping on the couch, as he would take the night shift. I have eight men, all who have been trained in judo and karate. Each one had earned their black-belt status. This level of belt signifies the wearer had reached a high standard in martial arts.

“Mel exclaimed, “Wow! This information has lessened my fears. Soon this evil man will be caught and everything will be back to normal.”

“She will find out the truth shortly,” thought Tyler. “As these type of men are devious, sly and hard to track down.”

Tyler wanted to know where there was a private place to make mobile calls.

“Try the study, third door on the left!” Melanie told him.

The following are the names of Tyler’s team. First is Dakota, then Jackson, Peter, James, Jordan, Calvine, Jonathon and Evan.

Dialing their unlisted private numbers, Tyler explained the situation to each man. He then told his men the address of where to meet him at 2.00pm that afternoon. Tyler knew that they would work together, as their team spirit was beyond reproach.

As the team assembled, Tyler gave instructions.

Jackson and Calvine’s watch starts at 6.00pm tonight at the edge of the woods.

Dakota and James see to the back of the estate, while Jordan and Peter will cover the left side of the grounds. Jonathon and Evan’s stake-out will be the area to the right side of the house.

As your shift will finish at 6.00am, you will each be relieved by another group. The men in this group are marines who have been deployed and fought in Afghanistan.

Unlike yourselves, their names will unknown to you. Tyler revealed this information, adding he knew each individual as he had dealings with them quite often. They were tough, but would do exactly what he would ask of them. According to Tyler, all the men on watch were equal.

Tyler announced, “Before you leave here, I want to caution you about the man we are after. He is armed and dangerous. I have been trapped in the woods with him. He plays mind-games and is not afraid to use his weapon, so be careful!”

Dakota and Calvine arrived early. They placed a bug in Melanie’s phone and also many more bugs and hidden cameras throughout all the rooms in her house. The equipment was strategically placed to cover the entire facility and outside surroundings.

An unearthly high pitched scream pierced the night silence.

Tyler ran upstairs to Mel’s room. He broke down the door. Melanie was white as a sheet.

“He was here!” she said. “My wildest nightmare had come true!”

“Did he harm you Mel?” Tyler’s voice was raspy with fear.

“He didn’t find me.” Melanie yelled. “I went into hiding in the large wardrobe.

“Tyler!” she shouted at him, “I thought all your men were meant to protect me?
“Can you describe him to me?” Tyler wanted to know.

“He was about six foot tall and had a paunch rounded belly. As for his face, he wore a ski mask.”

Tyler needed an answer. “How did you know it was your phone caller?”

“By what he said he would enjoy doing to me when he found me!” Mel was angry.

“Why did he give up his search for you so easily Mel?” Tyler wanted to know.

“One of your ex-marines shadowed him here. He would have caught the intruder, only that he had smeared grease on his entire body and clothing. Although the soldier was not due for his turn of duty yet, He still rushed to my rescue. He is a true hero in my eyes.” Melanie reckoned.

Tyler was furious that Mel’s caller had made it into her home before being detected. He would blast his martial arts team as soon as he could get them all together.

As the man had long gone, Tyler had time to interrogate the team.

“Which of you slept while on duty?” Tyler demanded.

One of the lads stepped forward. “I found two men lying on the ground. Thinking that they were dead, I shook them to make sure and they awoke. They had been knocked out with chloroform. That’s how the sneaky bastard broke through the ranks!”

Tyler was extremely annoyed.

In all fairness to his men, Tyler spoke about how the scoundrel had crept past him. Tyler told them that when he was on watch, he always had coffee with him. The night before, the coffee had tasted bitter. He was telling them how easy it is to get distracted. He was conversing with one of his men about an important matter, leaving his thermos flask unattended on the front porch for ten minutes. That must have been when it happened. During that time someone must have tampered with my flask.

Tyler was angry about the whole situation.

His team were astonished at what Tyler had revealed to them. No-one moved or talked, their training taught them that in matters like this not to become involved.

“A big change is for tonight.” Tyler said while giving his talk. “Are you up to a challenge? If you are for it, the risk is great and may cost any of you your life!”

“I need fearless men to be on watch in Melanie’s house tonight. There will only be four of you, so you will have to be on guard and be smarter than you were last night. Whatever you’re attempting to do, each agent must protect their backs.” Tyler suggested.

“Are you expecting trouble?” Dakota asked.

“Certainly! After losing his prey last evening, he will storm Melanie’s home tonight. So keep your weapons handy.” Tyler finished what he had to say.

After arranging his men in strategic places, Tyler warned them to be alert and ready for any trickery, if they were to save Melanie and their own life.

Tyler checked his weapons and what the marines carried.

Tyler lay across Mel’s doorway, to keep anyone from crossing the threshold into her room.

It was midnight and the area was filled with tension. Out of the dark night a tiny sound like the squeak of a mouse was heard.

Tyler signaled to his men in sign language to be at the ready.

Inside Mel’s room all hell broke loose. A shot rang out.

Tyler shoved everyone out of the way. Mel was nowhere to be seen. A large man who only had a flesh wound from a marine’s bullet sat on the floor rocking to-and-fro, with a manic grin on his face.

Tyler cussed loudly. “Lock him up in the guest room and guard him well!”

They dragged Ivan to the guest room. They knew him by his first name and they knew him well. With great reluctance, Ivan went to the guest room.

After locking him inside, two armed guards stood in front of the door.

Back at Mel’s house, Tyler found Melanie. Her attire, a classic black dress teamed up with black knee high boots.

Tyler at a loss for words did not have anything to say.

Brightening up, Tyler remarked, “Mel, you look all grown up and so pretty, but why the change of attire Mel?”

“Well, I locked myself in the bathroom. I always leave some of my clothes in a small closet in there, so I chose this frock to wear today.” Melanie explained.

Tyler felt that something was not just right. Mel never liked make-up. Now she had artistically made-up her face. Tyler was puzzled. He must be imagining things.

Returning to the prisoner in the guest room, one of the marines took a meal tray to Ivan who sneered at him. “You think this is over. I will have what I came for!”The psychopath grinned sardonically.

After collecting his tray, Ivan put his plan into action very slowly.

As quietly as possible, he dragged a piece of carpet which had a large pot plant on it. Inch by inch Ivan tugged the stubborn greenery, leaving it behind him there.

What he wanted to do was to get to a concealed trapdoor. On opening the trapdoor, he climbed down a ladder and gently closed the hatch.

There in front of him lay his way of escape.

He chuckled like the manic he was. Ivan remembered what his Grandfather showed him. The underground had various mazes. Ivan found the right key to his freedom. He rubbed his hands with glee.

Ivan felt excited. The temptress would be his. Now he would take her.

Ivan’s eyes bulged. He was going to slap her into submission. Erotic thoughts filled his crazy brain.

Threading his way along the corridors around many corners, Ivan didn’t mind, he was drooling over the fact of the supreme prize at the end.

One of the marine guards was so angry.
“What’s this about?” Tyler asked.

“Our prisoner has gone.” The guards were afraid they would be punished.

Tyler raged on, furious about the situation.

“How! Where! When!” Tyler groaned in despair.

“I don’t know when. Both marines spat out the words. That man had us deceived. He had plotted to outwit every guard and the rules you gave us.”

“Neither of you have told me. How the devil did he get out” Tyler questioned.

Evidently Ivan knew that under a large pot-plant, there was a hidden exit. One marine fired away at him. Also Jackson from your martial arts team intimated that rum smugglers used the very same trail back in the olden days.

“By George! Every man, spread yourselves around into each of the rooms. We may catch the cur again yet, after all!” Tyler boomed.

The sound echoed throughout the room.

Suddenly there was a furor coming from the bathroom.

“What on earth is causing that uproar?” Tyler asked.

“This murdering scum who terrifies women tried to sneak into our house!”

Tyler said, “What do you mean our house Mel?”

“I’m over here Tyler!” said Mel.

“That’s my twin sister Maeve, over there near you.”

“Oh! That explains the difference in clothes and make-up.” Tyler commented.

“Where did you get that stiletto knife from? You have nearly pierced a hole in Ivan’s neck.” Mel asked.

“That’s why I wear boots; they’re a great place for hiding things in too. I even carry a small ladies derringer pistol in my other boot.” Maeve added.

“Why didn’t you tell me that you had a twin sister Mel?” Tyler inquired.

“She was overseas until now. She didn’t answer my emails at first.” Said Mel.

Now it was Maeve’s turn. “What are we going to do with my hostage, Ivan the terror?” She asked.

One of my men contacted the police. They will be here shortly.” Tyler told Maeve.

The next minute the Law came bursting through the door with their guns drawn.

Detective Sergeant Langely-Jones was glad this well known rotter has been caught at long last.

“Thanks to your quick thinking young lady and even faster action, Ivan will spend a long time in prison.”

Everyone cheered. Thank heavens it’s all over!

Tyler spoke in low tones. “Mel, meet me in the study in five minutes?”

When they were on their own, Tyler asked Mel to be his steady girlfriend. Their first date would be at Renae’s Restaurant.

“Yes! Yes!” Mel was so excited.

Out of all of this, at last something good had come to her.






Hilda Oakley
Copyright © 03.04.2019