Bane Of Sachem Pond ..... read it for FREE here


Bane is the sequel to Princess Of Sachem Pond which you can still read it for FREE at or just google or bing it. About a family from Northern Calfornia who come to Long Island NY and run straight into the Indian Princess legend. Jaws in a Lake if you would.

Bane, the sequel

About a hurricane on Halloween and the wolf and grandma come to visit. 

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sorry about the contact page, was hoping, we'd all be able to see the comments, but if you like you can email me at or if you do comment I'll get it at If you're on Facebook, you can leave a most or message at Bane Of Sachem Pond or at Princess Of Sachem Pond. 


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When a friend on Facebook asked me what the sequel to the Princess was, this was my reply:

 Princess sequel in my head, about a good old LI hurricane on Halloween.

- April 28, 2012 at 10:06pm ESP only works on events, actually it's now in 1st draft, needs an edit and to be typed into web page …. sent this to my ex-neighbor/still a friend, just wanted to put up date I told her also told a friend at work and a FB friend, is important to me.... From Princess Of Sachem Pond Facebook page.


Got ‘Bane’ from wolfs bane, a poisonous herb of the buttercup family

‘Bane’ definition

1.A cause of great distress or annoyance.

2. Something, typically poison, that causes death.


About the author

  - he has been through a few hurricanes including Gloria and Sandy, the story is mostly about Gloria.

  - Donnie was a real person, he did walk into a lake because he couldn't live with the plate in his head and what that entailed.

  - he has lived in Sacramento CA and Long Island NY

  - he doesn't have a sister but went out with a girl who was a triplet

  - calls himself a Zen Catholic if he has to

  - if he was alone on a desert island with the music of Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys and the East Village Opera Company that would be okay with him

  - knows he is not the most interesting man in the world, learned that a long time ago.

  - began writing at 23

  - his relatives: one grandfather was a printer, the other was business manager for Washington Senators minor league team, one uncle was a batboy for the 1911 NY Giants and played minor league ball who also visited Cuba in the 20s as a player, one uncle tried out for the Chicago Cubs as a catcher, one uncle was an engineer for the Long Island Railroad and was in two derailments, one uncle was a stockbroker but also president of the Downtown Athletic Club for who he gave out the 1970 Heisman Trophy on national tv, his brother was a drummer, made an album, was a DJ on KZAP and KDVS in  CA , a photographer, a book and record collector, a songwriter and a father.

  - he published 3 magazines and wrote for many others.

  - has written songs but not published

  - was in a movie as a college student about Lord Of The Flies made on a sand bar on the American River in Sacramento under the Watt Ave overpass.

  - doesn't have or want a bucket list.

Just Enjoy

copyright 2013. BVTS Publishing

 Bane Of 

Sachem Pond


                                                                                              FOR MOM

Friday, October 31


All Hallows Eve


It’s 12 years after Princess Of Sachem Pond, Lido is now married with two 10 year old twins, her grandfather is older and grumpier. Bane is about a hurricane on Halloween and a grandma and a wolf come to visit.


Charlie Roberts promised he would get the kids when they got off the school bus. It was warm for a Halloween, and also a full moon was scheduled for this Friday night. With his aluminum chair under his arm as he walked, he knew if the bus was late he would have to use it while he waited. Standing was the nemesis of late for his old bones, he would say.

Lido’s kids, the ten year old twins,  were Wart and Mojo, nicknames for their birth names Walter and Maureen Jody. They were the ones who he was waiting for. 

For his Halloween costume which he only wore for Lido, his grand daughter, he was dressed in his old tuxedo which still fit him. The one he wore to his wedding and at the service when he buried his son Donnie. The one he never wanted to wear it again after the funeral. But for Halloween this year, he, Lido and her husband Roberto were going to be the Addams Family. Vampires or the Borgias, no matter, Charlie wasn’t happy about being Lurch. Lido was Morticia and Roberto would be Gomez. Charlie was never going to say ’you rang’. But he never promised he wasn’t going to groan.

He set up the metal webbed chair by the bus stop sign. The school bus should be here soon. He wasn’t that early. Charlie was also wearing an old baseball hat. It wasn’t that cold. But he usually wore it when it did get cool. And since he was so thin haired on top, he would say, not much snow on the roof anymore, the hat helped keep his head warm.


The driver was late, now the bus was later and Grandpa would be waiting for them at the bus stop, Wart thought. He was probably already there, in his chair.

This Halloween almost all the boys were pirates and all the girls were princesses. Wart was a pirate too, but he added his own nuances. He even had tattoos with food coloring for the ink with help from his mom. Last year he was also a pirate and he did the tats himself with ink markers and they had to wear off.

Mojo was also a princess. Not the one with the tiara, she was the princess of the Pond. Also with help from her mom, she was dressed as what they both thought the princess looked like. Pigtails, beads, dark clothes and a feather in her hair She didn’t want any traditional garb. Because she wasn’t a princess, never wanted to be. She just wanted to be a real girl.

A kid in the back of the bus yelled to Wart, “There’s a full moon, are you going to turn into a werewolf. “ Wart yelled back, “No, are you?”

“Did I make you mad, Wart?” Wart was sorry he ever told the kid about his latin uncle and who his uncle was. He had the body hair disease. 

The kid again. “Are you going to get your sister after me?”

Mojo just watched.

Then she said before Wart had a chance to answer the kid, “You won’t like it when I get mad!” The old Hulk tv line, but it worked.  The kid shut up.

Mojo looked at her brother for his reaction.

“What?” he said.

They could see Charlie from the bus now. All dressed in black, wearing his baseball hat and sneakers. Leg crossed over leg. The bus is late, Wart thought, he’s going to be grumpy.

The kids made it to the bus exit doors before the bus stopped. Wart got off first.

“Grandpa!” he said.

Charlie stood up and fold his chair. “I’m not your grandpa I’m your great grandpa, but you can call me Charlie.”

“We know,” Mojo told him, “but I can’t call you Charlie.”

“Why not?”

“Mom calls you Charlie.”


Mojo looked at Wart. “I guess we can call you Grandpa Charlie.” Wart shrugged.

“If you have to,” Charlie said.

With his chair again under his arm, Charlie and the kids walked toward the house. 

“C’mon,” Wart told them, “I gotta get changed.”

“Wart!” Mojo said.

“Hold your horses.” Charlie stopped for a moment.

“I gotta make a new costume.”

“Well, go ahead. And then we’ll go up to town for more treats.”

“And no fructose,” Mojo added. 

“Good luck with that,” Wart told her.

And then to Charlie, he said, “I thought you were gonna be grumpy because the bus was late.”

“I’m never grumpy.”

“Um, okay.”

“What’s this new costume?”

“You’ll see.”

“I don’t like the sound of that.”


Lido was in the kitchen making her famous bad weather stew. Just in time for the oncoming hurricane later tonight. Actually any kind of stormy weather. Rain, snow, sleet or even the wind coming their way. But where were the damn peas. She thought. She swore she had bought two cans for the stew. You could hardly taste them but they worked in the stew.

The plan for tonight was to let Charlie and the kids to go up to town before dinner. Charlie would get to see his old friends who still owned stores and they could kid him about this year’s costume he begrudgingly would wear for her. It was either the Addams Family or a Munsters theme this year. She in a long black dress and big dark wig over her blond hair. Roberto in a suit with a pencil thin mustache. And Charlie was Lurch the butler and part time organist in sneakers and a baseball hat. Their kids who would get another reload of candy in town after the first one they got in school, couldn’t be talked into going as Pugsley and Tuesday. Every year it was pirates and princesses. But they were happy and that was all that counted. She just hoped one of them got some KitKats, her favorite, in town. Actually any chocolate was good, but it was better when it crunched.

The phone rang.

“Lido!” It was her mom. Jody Thurman Roberts, her license and her Facebook page said. She was the Jo in Mojo. “I made it here okay. I’m at the hotel.”

“I’m glad you made it here before the storm, Mom.” Lido checked the kitchen a second time for the peas.

“You sound distracted and you’re never distracted. What’s up?”

“I know I bought some peas and I can’t find them, and I know you like them in the stew I’m making.”

“I also like beans.”

“Kidney it is.”

“Sounds great. Look I’m going to get settled here, eat with you guys and then go see you father at the Pond. Haven’t talked to him in a while. We’ll eat and then I can talk to Charlie about taking the Chevy Nomad home with me.”

“Uh, yeah, you’re going to have to talk to him about that.”

“So I’ll see you after five. You have everything? I can pick something up.”

“No, I’m good here. See you then.”

Her mom lived in Virginia. She and Lido moved there after Donnie drowned in the Pond. Lido did all her schooling there and even would say she grew up there too.

Jody was a free spirit back then. A gypsy if you will. Even into the paranormal. A couple of weeks after the funeral she went to a local psychic here to ‘talk’ to Donnie. She was told that he was ‘up there’ organizing everything for their late relatives including Jody’s own mom. The woman convinced her it was Donnie. Jody said, “That’s him.” And that was how Lido remembered it.


Wart had everything he needed. A sheet, two cans of peas and a can opener. He opened the peas, waited for them to drain and spread the sheet on the driveway. The family cars were in the garage so he had plenty of space.

The color of the sheet was perfect. It looked just like a white handkerchief even though it was a fitted sheet with pleating in each corner. He took the peas and spread them on one side of the sheet and then folded it over like a tortilla. Then he stomped on the sheet.

Wart stopped when Charlie asked, “What the hell’s that going to be?”

Charlie had been watching this ordeal by the garage door.

“It’s a snot rag,” Wart said, “It’ll gross everyone out.”

“I’m sure it will. But your mom’s going to kill you. Why didn’t you become a ninja pirate or something?”

“A what? Never heard of that one.”

“You ready? Get your sister and we’ll walk up to town.”

“Yup, all done.” Then Wart yelled, “Mojo!”

“I could have done that.”

“ … three, two …”.

“What, Wart?” she yelled back.

Charlie just shook his head. “Twins,” he muttered under his breath. 

“We’re going,” Wart told her.

“Your booger costume ready?”

“Yup, to get some more candy.”

“Sometimes I can’t believe we’re even related.”


It was nice to be back in New York again. On the Island. 

Jody had a good flight, no surprises. Rented the car right at the airport. Called Lido, all set for dinner. She was looking forward to seeing the twins, but Charlie not so much. Two kids and an old goat. He’s going to fight her on her wanting the Nomad wagon. Donnie’s care. Her car too. But it will nice to see them all anyway.

On the way to their house, she’d make a pit stop at the old deli by the church. To get a little something to snack on for later. While the hurricane was blowing. She’d get to bite into a buttered roll, some potato salad and a couple of those big black and white cookies that she liked. She’d get some Pond Pizza to bring home if she could figure a way to pack it in her suitcase and keep it from getting all over her clothes. She laughed when she thought about Homeland Security searching her bags at the airport check in if she did.


The wind was just beginning to blow as they reached Charlie’s old hobby store. It was now called Tommy’s Toys and Stuff. And just like Charlie’s old store if Charlie had a lot of money, , tons of time to do it right and a full part time staff from the high school. In his store, the woman who the kids called the Hawk because that was how she watched every one of them each time they came in the store, was the cashier and sometimes stocked the shelves. When she was in a mood to. But the bullwork was done by Charlie, a kid from the local high school usually Donnie or even Sheriff Park’s kid Jason in the later years.

“Charlie!” Tommy the owner yelled to him from the back of the store.”

“Tommy!” Charlie extended his hand as Tommy walked toward him. “Stay here, Wart.” Mojo grinned. “You too.”

Mojo said, “See, he doesn’t want to get your stupid peas all over the store.”

“Then why are you standing here?”

“Because Grampa said to, Wart.”

Wart rolled his eyes. “My name is Walter or Walt. Just because you couldn’t say my name when you were little. Can you even say Walt?”

“Walt. But you’ll always be a Wart.”

He shook the sheet at her getting peas all over the floor. “Ew,” Mojo said and then laughed.

Wart laughed too and then pushed the peas around with his foot.

“I like Mojo,” she told him,  “You should know that being my twin and the oldest.”

“By ten minutes.”

“It would have been more if you weren’t pushing me out.”


Jody parked the car away from any trees that lined the street in front of Lido’s home. Even though it was a rental she didn’t want to have to pay for any scratches or dents.

It would be nice to see Lido and her family but not Charlie and not Roberto. Charlie had gotten old on her. Not open to talking to her about Donnie anymore. But she could still talk about Donnie and to him. To remember him. For him leaving her. Roberto was another story.

Roberto Guillermo Cepeda Rodriguez was from a small town outside of Mexico City. A full professor at the four year college there. Taught provincial science which he always had to explain what it was. Jody for some reason didn’t like him or even trust him. But Lido loved him and he made her happy. So she kept her opinions to herself, buttoned her lip and kept her nose out of their business. Most of the time.

“Anyone home?” Jody knocked on the screen door.  She heard the kids running to the door, then Lido’s steps right behind them.

“Grandma!” both twins said in unison.

“Hey, my little monkeys. You’re both getting big since I last saw you.”

“I’ve grown four inches since last time,” Mojo told her. Mojo was still wearing her princess costume. Wart was a pirate again, the sheet of peas nowhere in sight. Jody kissed them each on the cheek.

Jody and Lido hugged. “Missed you, Mom,” Lido told her. “Dinner’s going to be ready soon.”  

I’m famished,” her mom said.

“We’re famished too,” Mojo told her.

“Where’s the professor?” Jody asked.

“In bed, he tore some ligament in his ankle.” Lido answered. “We’re all getting ready for the hurricane.”

“I’m going to stay at the hotel after I go see your father. After we eat, that is.”

“Nonsense. You’ll stay here with us.”

“No, I’ll be fine. I’ll come by early as I can tomorrow. We’ll spend the day.”

“Okay. Promise?”

“Promise. Let me go see your husband for a few minutes.”

“Dinner will be ready so don’t get lost.”

“I remember telling you the same thing a few hundred times.”

Lido smiled at her. Roles reversed, she thought.

Jody walked down the hall to the master bedroom. She knocked on the door. “Immigration,” she said.

Roberto all propped up with pillows behind his back. He was checking some notes on his tablet while watching tv between his feet. Another pillow was under his left foot which was encased in a walking boot. She didn’t think he seemed to be in any pain.

“What did you do this time, wolf boy?” she asked.

Wolf boy was a dig at Roberto’s uncle. The one who had hypertrichosis, it was also called the werewolf syndrome. Hair all over the entire body. Tio Estaban had had a great life. Once he joined the circus that was after his family didn’t know what to do with him and he became famous for saving a child who got too close to one of the elephants.  He was on Telemudo and even did a few games shows as a panelist. 

“Hey, you old witch, I heard you were coming over,” he said. They didn’t hug or kiss, they never did.

“Are you treating my daughter well?”

“As well as I can on one leg. Stepped in a hole last week at the college and heard a pop or two. Probably’ll need surgery.”

“One crisis at a time.  Well,  one if you’re lucky.”

“Speaking of crisis, time to take a pill.”

“Let me get it.” She fill a glass with water and handed it to him.

“You’re too good to me.”

Mojo stuck her head in the door. “Mom says it’s dinner. She’ll be in in a few for you, Daddy. C’mon, Grandma.”

Roberto muttered okay and Jody waved to him as she left with Mojo.

Out in the kitchen, Lido gave everyone a plate under their bowl of stew. A pile of French bread pieces all cut and ready for dipping and mopping up stew sauce.

She put together Roberto’s on a tray so he could eat in bed. She said she’d be right back. 

“Who the hell is Rick Nielson?” Charlie asked in a loud voice. He sounded mad too. “Every place in town we went. They said I looked just like him. Hard enough to be Lurch. And what the hell is a cheap trick?’

“You kinda look like him with your hat and sneakers. I used to love them.” Jody then tried to explain that Rick was the guitarist for a band called Cheap Trick. “ 

Mojo even brought up a picture on her cell phone.

“Hmm,” Charlie said when he saw it.

“Tomorrow you’ll look your old ghost self again, And then we can talk about me taking my Nomad home.” Jody looked at Charlie after she said it. He just shook his head and left the table.


The storm was coming up the east coast. There was no doubt about that. Winds were to be just under 100 miles per hour but the rain which couldn’t be anticipated was what everyone was worried about. The time of the storm’s arrival on Long Island was going to be around 10 pm and on a Friday even the kids would still be up. The wind was going to blow all night.

All week in school, Lido’s classes at the community college were taught with everything she could find or think of when it came to hurricanes. Her kids too. She brought home maps and all kinds of things for Wart and Mojo to see. It was all on google but seeing it on paper was more impressive. Even found the NOAA weather site online for them too to track the storm.

The storm at the moment was hugging the shoreline almost touching the southernmost part of New Jersey. The path was wide, From  Jersey to Montauk Point on the east end of the Island. The eye of the hurricane was scheduled to go right over Sachem Pond. That meant they’d get the storm, then it would be dead calm as the eye went over the area and then the wind would start again until the storm moved on. It meant a lot of rain. The full moon would insure that.

Cars were in their garages or under their carports. No cars were parked under trees or by telephone utility poles. Trash cans and everything else was tied down or in a garage. Putting tape on windows was optional but a good idea. And the old oaks in the back yard were already beginning to sway. 

Wart kept saying that the east coast weather map he was seeing on the Weather Channel looked like half a pizza. Mojo agreed with him for once.  The storm had already hit from Florida to South Carolina and the tail was over the North Carolina shoreline where the storms always got hung up on the Hatteras cape. The kids were hoping that it missed their grandma’s house in Virginia, so did Jody who had called her neighbors twice to see what was going on, but said ‘c’est la vie’ when the phone service went out in the commonwealth.


Jody was in the car on her way to the Pond. Her goodies from the deli were on the passenger seat. Over Lido’s warning to stay away from the Pond and stay with them or go back to the hotel, she wanted to talk to Donnie. At the Pond. It was like she had to. It had been a few years. He was buried out east on the Island in Calverton courtesy of the military and the government as a veteran. There was one there too for her, when she was ready.  But she’d never be ready, she smiled and remembered the old poem, miles to go before I sleep.

She parked by the abandoned bookstore on the Pond side of Sachem Pond Road. It was run by an old guy who ran it until he died. Used books were his love and if he knew you he’d throw a book your way from his perch in the corner. It was usually a good one. When it was open, it was alive, but now it was closed and empty, just a shack with a lot of memories.

A pack of dogs crossed the street in front of her car. She watched them go. Then she found the old path opening to the water. The wind was blowing harder now. She’d only be here for a short while, still had to drive back to the hotel. The smell of the rolls and the cookies had made her hungry even though she was still full from the stew but still they pulled at her.

The full moon peaked out from behind the dark clouds and  hovered above the Pond. Everyone saw the man in the moon, she saw a rabbit. That was the image she saw on the lunar disc. Donnie could only see the face of the man.

“Donnie,” she called out. “I’m here, I came back to you again. I know you’re here. You’re never at the grave.”

She told him how proud she was of Lido and the kids. They had a nice family here. Good jobs, a nice house, the kids weren’t brats.

“Talk to me! I know you’re listening.” She sighed with a shrug. The Nomad, she told him, she was here to take it home. To Virginia. She needed it to be near her. It was her best memory of him, how happy he was over that car. Before the pain, before all the pills, before the day he left her to walk into the Pond for the last time. For forever. To her.

“Give me a sign!” she screamed, looked upward and put her hands on her hips. And then the wind really began to blow. “Damn it.”


The table was cleared from dinner, the dirty dishes were in the dishwasher, the pots were in the sink soaking. Lido had the dishwasher going, she wanted to make sure it went through its cycles before the power went out. She even got a few chocolate bars out of the kids for later in the dark.

Jody had offered to help her, but Charlie told her to go, they had it handled. Lido said the same, but she also wanted her mom safe back at the hotel before the storm hit if she wasn’t going to stay with them. Charlie didn’t want to look at her and knew they were only going to get into an argument about the Nomad if she stayed.

Tomorrow was another day for that, he was in no mood for that tonight never mind the storm. And he also thought Rick Nielsen was ugly. Charlie was old but he was never ugly in his whole life. All the store owners had said he looked like the guy in the band. But it was his tux, the hat and his sneakers was what they saw. 

Jody had even said that she thought Cheap Trick was an ugly band, except for the singer, who made good music. An ugly band, that was the first thing in years that Charlie had agreed with Jody in years.

Mojo sat with Charlie on the couch to see if there was anything on tv they both would watch. The weather channels to check on the storm or then a story on one of the Discovery Channels about lions. Wart played a game of his phone with lot of explosions and car crashes.

Lido went in to check on Roberto. He was still sitting up. She thought he was asleep until he moved his arm. The bowl of stew was about half-eaten.

“What’s up, mon ami?” she asked.

“Tish, I mean Lido, that’s French.” He grabbed her by the arm and kissed it from wrist to shoulder. “Not bad for a bunch of vampires, huh?”

“Thanks for going along with the Addams Family theme for Halloween. You make a good Gomez.”

“Hey, for you.”

“You need anything?”

“I’m good but help me with the pillows.”

She fluffed up all three and said, “See you in a bit.”


The wind kept blowing outside. It was around 70 mph. Not quite a hurricane yet but still very windy for the area. The tree limbs were swaying and a plastic trash can lid rolled down the block. As the velocity of the storm picked up each hour, the white noise that accompanied the storm made sure that Sachem Pond was in for one big Act Of God.

And the fact that a hurricane was on track to hit the area was abnormal, if not downright weird. Hurricanes usually arrived in August or September at the latest. Never this late in the season in recent memory. Usually a big storm would take a sharp right turn  back into the Atlantic after it hit the Carolina coasts.

Nope this one was going to arrive on October 31, Eve Of Dia De Los Muertos, Day Of The Dead. A holiday to honor the ancestors, both dead and the cycle of life. The Rodriquez family each year celebrated Halloween with a hat tip to Los Muertos because Roberto would make sure it was celebrated in their house and in his classes at the University. A celebration in that death is only another part of life. And it all would be okay. And it was this though Lido had lost her father at an early age had troubled her until Roberto opened her eyes.


“Who wants to play a game?“ Lido asked. She, Charlie, Mojo and Wart were sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the storm. “I have playing cards, board games?”

“I’m already playing a game, Mom,” Wart said still staring at his cell phone screen

Mojo grabbed a flashlight from the middle of the table next to the candles, the extra batteries, the other flashlights and a couple of portable radios. “I want to tell stories, scary stories.”

“Okay, but if you have a nightmare …” Lido told her, “but let me call Mom again first.”

She dialed her mom’s cell number. It went straight to voice mail as it did the other three times she tried.

“No answer again. Where the hell could she be? I’m starting to get worried,” Lido said, her face showing her concern.

Charlie told her, “She probably turned her phone off. Maybe she’s at a séance. I’m kinda glad she’s not here telling me that the car is hers. That car is yours and the kids.”

“Well, I know she won’t tell me but I’m guessing she’s having money problems.”

“Then ask.”

“She won’t.” Lido looked at her phone again. She wanted to call again but didn’t. But would again the first time the lights in the house flickered before the power went out for the duration.

“I have a story,” Charlie announced, “a funny one.”

‘Yay.” Mojo clapped her hands.

“Last year on Halloween, I really didn’t feel like dealing with the trick or treaters coming up to the front door. The little kids tripping up the stairs and their parents giving me dirty looks like I did it. I didn’t need that. So, I put out a bowl of those small packs of M&M Peanuts on the steps. I was still being nice. Kind of a self serve thing,  a help yourself deal. Well, I came out a few hours later and there were two small packs left in the bowl and a couple of squirrels were in the back yard opening the small packages with their tiny hands. Must have been at least six empty bags on the ground. I yelled, ‘Hope you’re happy’ and chased them off. 

They all laughed at his story and Lido grabbed her cell to call Jody again.


On the Weather Channel, one of the meteorologists stated that the storm seemed to be stuck over Atlantic City in New Jersey.

Three inches of rain fell in the last hour, winds finally reached 85 miles an hour and now officially a hurricane. One of the casino’s roof had caved in due to all the water, they didn’t say which one it was in case someone was hurt they didn’t want anyone to go there or feel bad because a loved one was injured or worse.

A lot of basements there in Jersey were going to flood all throughout the state if the rain kept coming down in sheets. One man was rowing a boat in his neighborhood while his son bailed because the boat kept filling up from the intense downpour. And the storm hadn’t even hit New York City yet.

Lido had everyone all settled in. Charlie was in Wart’s room, gave him an extra blanket which he immediately used.  To keep the old bones warm, he said. No candle, just a flashlight. In case he got up and so he wouldn’t kill himself in the hall at their house.

Mojo in her own bed with her cell . A flashlight for her too although her cell served as a night light. At least until the battery died.

Wart got the couch in the living room. Still playing games on his phone until there was No Service or his battery ran out. The big tv was off, but he had the remote close by in case he wanted it.

While Lido was setting up the sleeping arrangements, looking for sheets for everyone, she found Wart’s costume in the wash. Walter Charles Robert Rodriguez, she yelled. Wart knew he was in trouble. Mojo always told him, she’s mad when she says your whole name. Wart knew it, he didn’t have to be told. My peas and a fitted sheet, she asked him from the hall. It wasn’t a question. It was going to cost him more than a few chocolate bars this time that he had given her when they got home from town. He was trying to forget about it or he’d never make it to Level 4 on his Dead Zombie Monsters game.

Roberto was still sitting up in bed, switching back and forth between a movie and the Weather Channel. But Lido was exhausted even with help from the kids and Charlie getting the house ready for the storm and her mom putting the finishing touches on dinner including serving. At least everyone had a warm bed for the storm and a full belly. Even with the tv on, she was asleep in five minutes.


One of the sheriff’s cars took the turn passed the church onto Sachem Pond Road. The rain was really coming down now and the wind had picked up too. 

“Car 21, pick up, Jason come in.” It was Glenn, now the Sachem Pond sheriff. He had replaced Sheriff Park who got himself promoted after they caught the guy who was killing all the kids in the Pond. 

“I’m here, Sheriff.” Jason Park answered. He was the old sheriff’s youngest son and had been able to get him assigned under Glenn. He was six months on the job after his training and Park knew his son would be in good hands under the new sheriff.

“What’s going on out there?”

“Town was quiet, so was by the high school and the church. I’m on Sachem Pond Road driving east.”

“Well, why don’t you think about coming back to the office. You can watch the storm just fine from here. I have full faith you can do it. It will be good experience.”

“For the new guy?”

“Yeah,  okay for the newbie. Ask your dad about his first solo during hurricane Gloria sometime. Tree went right through the office roof. Scared the hell out of him.”

“I will. See you in a bit. 10-4.”

Jason continued down the hill on Sachem Pond Road, took the turn passed the public beach and saw a large tree had fallen over into the street

That big elm that they’d been trying to get the town to cut down and his dad had no luck with them either. Plant a tree in sandy clay and it’s eventually going to fall, Park Sr. had told the board. Well, today was that day.

He parked the cruiser in the town beach parking lot. The tree had blocked the entire road, wires were caught up in its branches. He’d call that in into the power company emergency number when he got back to the office.

He couldn’t even see the old bookstore from where he was. It wasn’t much but it would be nice if the tree had spared it. Since the old fires that claimed the pavilions, his dad used to tell him, it would be nice if it still stood.

Jason took down a few notes for his report, got out of the car to see if he could see anything else, and got soaked for his effort. Back in the car he turned the car around, wiped his face on a small towel and headed back for the office. Tonight was the storm, but tomorrow the real work started, he thought. It was going to be a long day.


Charlie’s nightly trip to the bathroom because of his diabetes two was going to be an adventure this night. He grabbed the flashlight off the night table then headed out into the hallway. He laughed to himself that he had made it there just in time. It was 3 am. The time was a ritual. He had been dreaming about his wife Maureen. He really missed her these days.

Roberto’s snoring had woken up Lido. She thought the storm was louder inside that outside. The eye of the storm must be over the Island. Silence now, but she didn’t want to look outside to see any damage on the property. Saturday would be soon enough for that.

She checked her cell phone. No Service. Flicked the wall switch, nothing there either. She went into Mojo’s room. No Mojo. Was she still dreaming, she asked herself. But there was light coming from the kitchen.

Charlie and Mojo were eating cereal by candlelight.

“Just put the bowls in the sinks when you’re done. Mo, I’m going to sleep with you. The professor is sawing logs,” she told them.

Mojo giggled.

“I smell cereal,” a bleary eyed Wart said. He could smell food through a locked door.

“Sit down over here,” Charlie told him and filled a bowl.

Lido went back to tuck in Roberto before she went into Mojo’s room to fall back to sleep.

She shone her flashlight on the bed, Roberto’s legs were all tangled

in the covers. The double French doors to the outside deck didn’t look 

right to her so she unlocked and then relocked them. She’d figure that one 

out tomorrow too.


Glenn was hoping to sleep until at least 5 am and make it in by 

six, when Jerry the other deputy arrived. And with the two of them there 

they could send Jason home for a few hours of sleep and see him again at 

11 am. And then the three of them could deal with the aftermath of 

the hurricane.

The storm had slowed to where the eye was over the Island and

 didn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. But he knew from prior storms,

 all of a sudden it would move on and the wind and the rain would be on 


He placed his coffee cup in the drink holder and started up the car. 

Jason answered when he called in. The kid was a lot like his old man, he 

was going to be good. It was weird after Gene Park left for his new job, just 

he and Jerry until they got their new man. Gene was the one who called 

Glenn to tell him. Take care of my kid, he had told him. And Glenn was 

getting  like the old man too. He knew if he called Gene on his cell he’d be

up too, thinking about going into the office, because it was just too damn


Glenn turned the cruiser onto Sachem Pond Road. He wanted to 

see this downed tree for himself. Lots of tree limbs all over the place. Even 

saw a few seagulls and Canadian geese smashed against the metal hurricane 

fence. Looked like they were trying to fly away when the wind started. 

These ones didn’t make it, maybe tomorrow he’d see a few who made it.

He got out of his car and stared at the elm for a few minutes, then 

called Jason . 

“Hey, in your report, you just saw the downed tree, right?”

“Yes, Sheriff, just the tree, lots of leaves, a few limbs. Why?’

“Look up the phone number of the power company and call the 

tow service at Newton’s. I think there’s a car under the tree.”

“Wow, I mean, will do.”

“No, wow is right. I’ll see you in a few. Make sure the coffee’s hot.”


November 1st. All Saints Day

All Hallow’s Day


Glenn was back at the office and everyone at the Rodriguez house 

was asleep again. Lido had made everyone laugh when she said that 

Wart could smell food even in the back of her SUV when she got home

 from  shopping. The wind was up around 90 mph and the rain was again

 coming down but harder than it was before the eye went over. The

 sewers were all clogged with leaves and the water was over the curbs in

 most places .


Lido was the first one awake at the house. She always was. Force of 

habit, she would always say. Mojo had tossed more than usual and Lido 

woke up every time. They had had to cuddle in the single bed. Lido was 

used to her queen sized bed with Roberto and they cuddled to except 

when he started to snore.

Charlie was up almost every hour with trips to the bathroom, Except for being a human dribble glass, his words, he was in pretty 

good shape for an old guy. With some creaks, again his words. But Lido 

didn’t want to get out of bed. She didn’t know what she would find outside. 

But nothing that couldn’t be fixed, she always said.

She checked her cell on the night stand, then Mojo’s, Both read No 

Service. Not a surprise. She tried the light, no power. But that meant no 

heat in the house either. The gas stove would work if she could find a 

disposable lighter or a match if she could find one. Kettle for coffee or hot 


Might as well get up, she said out loud. Mojo never moved.

She peaked in on Charlie, he was still in bed, so was Wart on the 

couch. Roberto’s legs were still tangled up under the covers.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hey, yourself. Want some help getting untangled?” She grabbed her

 watch off the dresser. 530.. 530 am? “Damn.”


“It’s too early. Here let me help you.”

They did it easy so the soft cast stayed in place. When they got the

 covers off, the cast was wet and there were a few oak leaves there


“Were you outside? When I came in earlier I had to fix the back

 doors. Thought they’d been opened,” she told him.

“Thought I heard the dog, thought he came back. But I must have 

been dreaming.”

“Not so sure you were. Wolfie has been gone a few days. He’ll be 


“Guess, I did …”.

“What is it with you guys and my sheets? First Wart and now you 


“I’m sorry?”

“It’s okay, it can be fixed. How about some pancakes?”

“We have power?”

“Better. We have gas!”


Gene Park was up early too. His thought was to get in the car and 

see if he could make it to his office. Normally he was off on Saturday unless 

something happened and this storm was a happen.

But the road he needed to take to get to his own desk was flooded

out. Right near the small ponds where they even did since he was a kid. 

Guys used to play hockey and girls ice skated. But now both girls and 

boys played hockey and no one ice skated or at least admitted to it. 

So he decided he was going to head down to the sheriff’s office, see

 how they were doing, even if he had to take the long way. These days

 he only got in contact with them if he needed something or they did. Today 

he would be there for them. It was their ball out in the field. So he was 

only going to help if they asked. To make a phone call or to make a call they

 didn’t want to have to make.

He turned onto Sachem Pond Road and stopped the car. He could 

see the downed tree and a car underneath it from the direction he 

had come. In a way it was good, he could provide them some info they 

might not know about yet. Besides they had walkie talkies and coffee. And 

milk. Well, they usually did. No hurricane could stop that. And he knew he 

would have to remind himself, at least once, to stay out of the way. And only 

help when Glenn asked. This was all unofficial. But this was his old team 

with Jason now too. And he wanted to help. Every bone in his body wanted 



Charlie had his hip waders on, rubber boots that went all the way 

up over his knees. Wart was in the garage. He was looking for the old 

kiddie pool that he and Mojo always had had fun in. With Charlie’s help, he

was going to float down the street. The water was deep enough.

Charlie yelled to him, “Ready to go to my house and go check on the


“What the hell are you guys up to?” It was Lido with her head 

sticking out the front door. 

“Found it,” Wart said. He had found the plastic wading pool that he 

and Mojo both used to fit in. It was now a one man pool. Or one kid.

He placed it on the driveway.

Lido shook her head and went back inside.

“Ready now?” Charlie walked toward him.

“Yeah, let’s so see what’s going on at your house.”

“Is that thing going to float?”

Wart pushed it on the wet grass and into the water in the street 

next to the curb. “So far.” Then he got in, threw a rope to Charlie and said, 

“Yee hah!”

“Your yee is going to hit you right in the hah, don’t go too fast.”


Lido had already put the breakfast dishes in the sink to soak in hot 

water. She didn’t know when power would be back on to kick start the 

water heater. The boiler was gas but had an electric starter like everything 

else in the house. Under penalty of death was the refrigerator door 

opened and on a kill list if you stood there gawking for something to eat.

Mojo was in her bedroom still in her PJs but she had her head

 under the bed.

“C’mon, Mrs. Desmond. You slept with me most of the night. Come 

out. Here, kitty.” She grabbed the catnip that was shaped like a chew 

toy, tied a string to it and threw it under the bed. After a minute, it came 

out after she pulled with he cat attached to it. The cat was covered with


“You know if Wart was here, he’d call you a dust bunny.” She picked

 up the cat and combed her. “And the dog ran away again, so you should be 

in heaven, you scaredy cat.”


Wart got a fifteen minute ride in his makeshift raft. Charlie used the 

rope as a tether more than something to pull on. As the arrived, he tied 

Wart’s pool up to the fire hydrant next to the curb.

Charlie automatically pushed the button of the remote to open the 

garage door. He laughed.

“More power, Captain,” Wart said who had finally got Charlie to 

watch one of the Star Trek movies with him.

“We’re going to need human power.”

Instead he opened the front door of the house and went into the 

garage through the door off the kitchen.

“Son of a witch!” Charlie said when he saw the Nomad.


“You don’t see it?”

“Passenger window broken , busted in.”

“Okay, I can now.”

“Son of a bitch.”

“What’s a bitch?”

“Nevermind that. How did someone get in here? I’m going to check

 it out. You check the house for leaks.”

“Son of a bitch, “ Wart said.



Roberto finally woke up. When he went to wash up, Lido heard him 

and changed the bed.

“Thanks,” Roberto said, “I swear I heard the dog. Or at least 

something out there. I knew he was going to run away before the storm 

hit. The dog was part German Shepherd and part Huskie. He looked like a 


“Oh, yeah, he does that.”

“You look like a little raccoon.” She went to check herself in the bath

 mirror and laughed, then washed her face.

When they had met in Mexico at the university where Roberto was 

teaching but not tenured. She was working on a summer sabbatical that 

made it sound like she was something as a break from something else 

which she was.

They dated for a while, then she talked him into applying to some US 

colleges and he got accepted as an interim professor at Sunny Brook, the 

New York State university in Suffolk County. They moved back to Long 

Island, stayed with Charlie for a while and she got the job she has now at 

the local community college.

They both told it differently especially how they met. But Roberto 

always let Lido’s version stand.

“I swear I heard that dog. That’s why I went out on the deck.” he had 

a quizzical look on his face. 

She just listened.

“I also got up because, don’t you laugh, the walls were melting and 

the floor was bleeding. Thought I was dreaming, but when I got wet … and 

then I was still wet in the morning, well …”

Lido stood up and checked Roberto’s water glass. On the side at the 

bottom was a picture of Popeye on a small piece of paper.

She pointed to it. “See this?”

“What is it?”

“And LSD tab, lysergic acid whatever.

“I remember it from when I was growing up in Virginia. I forgot 

which phase my mom was going through at the time. Earth child, gypsy or

 just experimenter.”

“Well, the bad news is the old folklore that LSD is supposed to 

trigger werewolfism in …” he said and paused.

Lido’s eyes got big,  She thought of his uncle with the condition.

“ … but the good news is I can start standing on the floor and the 

walls look normal. But how come you look blue?”

She grabbed him around the neck and they fell back onto the bed. 

They looked at each other for a moment . He gave her a ‘no pain’ look. And

 then her cell phone rang.


Glenn was at the office on the walkie talkie with one of the power 

company workers. The man was using Jerry’s communicator and they were 

both standing in front of the downed tree. Glenn also knew about the 

flooding by the Pond and on Agnew Street, the main drag in town.

They sent Jason home for a few hours. Gene Park was sitting across 

from Glenn who was getting redder by the minute.

Glenn said, “Damn!” and put the walkie talkie down. He wanted to

 throw it.

“Is that what I used to look like?” Gene asked.

“Ah. You know what he told me?”

“Same old crap they used to tell me.”

“The chainsaws have to cut the limbs to get to the wires, but they

need power  to get gas from the pumps for the saws … “You’re right, 

same old shit. You’d think one of these years they’d be ready and do it 


“I’ll make you a deal when the phones and the power comes back

 on, I’ll give them an earful.”


Charlie must stood silent with his hands on his hips staring at the

broken car window of the Nomad for like 5 minutes. Wart knew enough 

not to say anything until Charlie did.

“You know, everything in that car was original. Chrome, lights, 

everything. Even has the original tires.” Charlie just shook his head “Now 

where am I going to get a new window?”

“I’ll help you, Grampa Charlie,” Wart said.

“You will, huh?”

“Sure. I’ll help you look online for it. Just google it. Put in the year, 

the kind of car, all that stuff. When I get service on my phone or we can 

use Mojo’s laptop. She won’t mind. My dad likes old Chevys. And he sees 

these online all the time. We’ll get one. Maybe even from somebody who 

lives close to us.”

“Alright. I’m going to take you up on that. When did you get so


“Me?” Wart shrugged. “I just want to know how somebody got in

 here and broke the window.”

“Weird, huh.”


“Well, let’s lock this all up. Except for the car, everything seems okay. I

 want to get back to see what’s going on. Get your pool, we’ll be going 

against the current on the way back.”


Lido had jumped when her cell rang. Roberto laughed so she hit him

 on the arm.

Still No Service. Strange, she thought, and it wasn’t even charged.

She was hoping it would be her mom calling to see how they  had 

made it through the storm and a report of what was going on at the hotel. 

But she’d never know because the Caller ID didn’t catch the number.

She wasn’t even sure if it was her mom or if she would call or

not but Jody had her cell phone number and her room had a landline. 

They’d connect when the power was back. One way or the other. 

Lido checked her cell for like the fifth time this morning. No Service. 

Again. Well, at least it was consistent, was her thinking. 


The power company had been down at the Pond for almost two

 hours now. Two other crews had just arrived. One from Connecticut 

and the other from Texas. They were all drinking coffee and eating rolls and 

pastries from a roach coach vendor who had the foresight to stock up, 

keep his truck products drinkable and edible. He also got one of the power 

company bosses here to let him park close to the sight.

The site was the big downed tree. The crews had gas powered line 

cutters and chainsaws. Both needed gasoline and there wasn’t any to be 

had except for what was in the power company trucks. One of the Texas 

guys even offered to siphon out the gas they needed from the chipper 

truck that probably would have to be left here anyway because of all 

the broken limbs.

Nope, no go, couldn’t do it, he was told. Not policy. The Texas guy 

went back to his unit shaking his head. These guys were so good they 

could have had the limbs cut and the lines severed and be able to tell the 

make and model of the as it was being freed from the old collapsed elm.

It was going to be a long day, one of the power company bosses said. 

The Texas guy heard him and thought, at this rate it’s going to be a 

long week.


Jason Park was on his way back to the sheriff’s office. He saw the

 crews by the Pond. No sound of chainsaws. No sound of anything. 

He was back on the job after four hours of sleep. For breakfast two

 cups of coffee and a couple of granola bars. He was going to need some

 protein or another nap.

Even though he was a walking, well driving, zombie, he would have

 had a chainsaw and the chipper going. Maybe his old man could

 light a fire under somebody big in the power company who would need a 

 favor sometime in the future from the local guys.


The roaming dog pack saw the men at the Pond and went the other

way. Usually, Herb the roach coach guy would toss them some food that he 

was going to throw out anyway. 

They had the run of the town, kept the feral cats on the other side 

of the Pond away from the locals and didn’t bother the postal carriers 

unless they did something stupid to them. For most part they didn’t bother

anyone. The town hadn’t even had a dog catcher or an Animal Control 

Department for years.

The little old ladies and a lot of other people still fed the birds at 

their houses. Most of  them didn’t even fly south for the winter anymore. 

They had plenty of food. The squirrels in turn got into the bird seed 

feeders and they were getting on the chubby side. Their population had 

exploded. The raccoons were now in the area too and ate the wild brown 

bunnies and  the squirrels. The cats would take on the raccoons. The dogs

knew better.

The pack had headed for town. The new burger place always left

 something out  and Papa Joe’s Pizza couldn’t fit everything in their 

dumpster. The storm had thrown the stuff around, but the pack 

could smell it at the Pond even through the rain.


By the time Charlie with Wart in tow had reached the Rodriguez

 house, there was a truck by the sewer entrance. With rakes and shovels 

The workers were trying to clear the leaves and other assorted crap from 

the drain opening. The speed of the water didn’t help.

They walked up the driveway, Wart with Charlie’s help put the pool

 back in the garage and hoped they wouldn’t need it again during the 

aftermath of the storm.

The trip back had been slower since the current had slowed. Charlie

 pulled and Wart stood up in the pool with a hockey stick that he had used 

as a rudder on the way out and had had to use it as a pole to push himself 

on the way back. If only the dog were here, Wart thought, that dog

could pull him and even Mojo too all over the neighborhood while they

 were growing up.

Lido opened the screen door, “Good, you’re back, I want to drive

 over to the hotel and see what’s going on.” She had the cell phone in

 her hand and pointed it like she was going to toss it into the water in the

 street. “I’m lost without this thing. I’d make a terrible pioneer


Charlie just smiled. He was old enough to remember watching the 



The store owners up on Agnew Street had more damage to their 

establishments that they thought they had. The rug store owner felt lucky

 that he hadn’t lost any merchandise but just glad he had the bulk of his 

inventory in a big dry warehouse up on Highway 25. The delicatessen and 

the Carvel ice cream store both lost refrigeration from no power and 

were giving away free food to anyone who needed it. Every kid got a Flying 

Saucer ice cream sandwich.

The pizza place had their gas ovens going all day so they were the 

only ones making any real money if you didn’t count the liquor store 

which had a line out the door. The beer distributor was selling warm beer 

and warm soda. It was all they had. Even the ice had melted. Their old dog 

which Charlie thought was dead over in the corner the last time he went 

there which wasn’t many times of late, got out of the way and found a 

sleeping spot behind the counter. Other stores didn’t even bother to 

reopen. No haircuts or finger nails to be done for a while.

The old hardware store on the corner even ran out of hammers

 and that never happened in their one hundred plus history of being 

in business. They had stocked up on plywood and had a few sheets left. The

wind broke some front windows, most  businesses who didn’t install 

plexiglass from the last hurricane. A few of their roofs leaked but everyone 

was okay and they all would eventually reopen. The bank over on Taylor 

had a sign in their window read that they would open up again on Monday.


One of the dogs had broken away from the pack who were now 

more interested in the free food in town. They weren’t really wild, but 

more like dogs tired of getting their tails pulled or kicked in the butt by 

some of the overworked, overtired owners who literally went home after 

work and took it out on the dog. The economy didn’t help.

But this one, the Huskie was just watching men who were

 trying to figure out how to move the big tree without any power or gas. 

He watched them go to the roach coach or smoke a cigarette. He licked his 

lips but held his ground. He could meet up with the pack again when

he got hungry. The deli guy would always toss him a bologna end whether 

there was a storm or not.

He could smell something familiar on the beach. Not sure of what it 

was, he followed his nose to where the smell was coming from.


The power in the area would be coming back in waves, but nothing

 close to resembling an electrical tsunami which was needed. More like a

bunch of ripples.

The sheriff’s office still had no power and Glenn was crossing his 

fingers that they’d have some lights at least in town before the sun went 


The lights on the desk phones came on suddenly, he picked up the

 receiver and heard a dial tone. “Where’s that damned power 

company phone number?”

It was just Glenn and Gene Park in the office at the moment but 

with roles reversed. Glenn was now the sheriff and Gene his trump card.

Jerry and Jason had each taken a cruiser. Jerry had parked down by 

the tree by the Pond while Jason drove through town and by each school

 in the local area. Both had reported in, no progress on the tree at the 

Pond and still quiet in town and by the schools. Glenn just didn’t want to 

hear about any looting or kids being wiseasses on the streets. It was bad

enough that there were no traffic lights or later any street lights.

Glenn had been on the phone for fifteen minutes talking to one of 

the power company supervisors who sounded like he was reading 

from a script.

“I’m the Sheriff of Sachem Pond and we’re in an emergency 

situation, but you want to put me on hold …”. He heard a click on the line 

and then said to Gene Park, “You believe this, he put me on hold.”

Gene just smiled. It was mostly to put Glenn at ease. He almost 

wanted to wink at him.

“Hello, yes, would you now hold, just a sec,. Yes, two seconds …” 

Glenn said and handed the phone to Gene.

“Hi, this is Gene Park, the county emergency coordinator and I need 

to talk to your boss.” Gene wore a lot of hats for the county.

The voice on the other end of the phone stammered for a moment 

and said, yes sir.

Gene gave Glenn a thumbs up. Glenn high fived him, sat back in his 

chair and put his feet up on the desk.

“Fuck with us, will ya.” Then he looked around to see if anything else 



No one was there earlier when Lido’s phone rang,  she had hoped it 

was her mom. But when Mojo’s phone rang they all jumped. No one was 

there either. Phone company testing the phones? Who knew.

Then the phone on the wall in the kitchen rang, a land line. Lido got

 it on the third ring.

It was Lido’s friend Reggie Rufe. Their phone had just been activated

 and she called them to see if theirs was too. Today Lido was glad that

 Charlie and Roberto hadn’t let her cancel the house phone.

Mojo talked to Reggie for a few minutes. She had asked about Wart, 

but didn’t want to talk to him. She liked him but he wanted nothing to do

with her. When they hung up, Mojo told her brother, “Your girlfriend says

hi.” She then laughed.

Wart groaned.

Mojo then yelled, “House phone’s back.”

Lido heard her and thought she said cell. But her own phone read 

No Service. Weird, she thought, they both had the same exact phones. Lido

then went into the kitchen  and grabbed the phone out of Mojo’s hand.

“Hey, Mom!” Mojo said.

Lido dialed her mom’s hotel room phone number. No answer, just 

the sound of a French police car. Lots of beeps.

“Thought you called out.”

“No, Wart’s girlfriend called me.”

Wart shook his head. “She is not … oh, nevermind.”

She grabbed both of them, checked the street outside to see if the 

water level had gone down, it had. Had to manually open the garage door, 

yelled to Charlie to watch the house and started up the SUV.

“Where are we going?” Mojo asked and then she looked at Wart

 who was already staring at her. 

“To go find your grandma at the hotel. And if she’s not there. I don’t 

know what.”

Charlie went into Roberto’s bedroom and knocked on the 


“I heard,” Roberto said even before Charlie could open his mouth. 

Charlie thought he was watching tv with his eyes open.

“Lido may mean beach to a Latino, but she more like the sand, always

 moving, never staying still.”

“Isn’t that the truth.”

Sunday, November 2nd

All Soul’s Day


The deputies sat in the cruiser watching the power crews who 

looked busy. But basically they were just moving things around and drinking 

coffee. They were waiting for the okay from management. And the roach 

coach guy would have his best sales day ever.

They had been in touch with the sheriff’s office every half hour. Glenn just kept telling them to sit tight. Jason wanted to go home 

and get his own chainsaw. He wanted to find out if anyone was in that car

under the tree. Glenn also said they could check the beach, but Jerry 

wanted to wait to see what the crews were going to do. And from the car, 

the beach was looking okay to them. Even some of the birds had come 


One of the dogs had appeared on the sand from time to time. A 

Huskie mix who looked like he found something. Probably a dead goose or 

gull, Jerry told his fellow deputy. But the dog came coming back like a wolf 

guarding something? Babies? Who knew, Jerry said.


When Lido and the kids arrived at the hotel, the parking lot  was 

deserted except for an old Chevy with a dent in the back by the trunk 

lock. A few tree limbs lay on the outer rim of the lot strewn about by the 

fierce winds.

“You guys stay here,” Lido told Wart and Mojo. “Honk the horn if you 

see grandma in her car.”

A chorus of ‘okays’ followed.

Lido walked in the front door of the building. “Is anyone here?”

A man greeted her from behind the counter. He was dressed like he 

had been cleaning up both the inside and the outside of the hotel. He 

appeared to be alone.

“Sorry, we’re not taking reservations,” he said.

“No, no. Is there a Jody Roberts registered?”

“Car’s not here, but she hasn’t checked out. She’s got the room until 

tomorrow at noon.”

“This might sound silly but have you seen her since the storm?”

“I don’t know, but I’m not the manager. He’s not here. He’s at home. I 

could call him if we had a phone here working.”

“Some people have phones, but no cells yet as far as I know.”

He checked his phone and showed her. No Service. He shrugged.

She gave him her cell phone number anyway and asked him to call 

her when he got service. He would but he didn’t know when that would 


Lido shrugged this time.


Lido dropped off the kids and asked Charlie to watch them. What

the hell was he going to with two techno twins and no power in the 

house, Charlie thought.

“And you’re going where?” he asked her.

“To find my mom.” And she was out the front door and got into the 

Mommobile as the kids called it.

The kids just stared at him.

“What are we supposed to do, Grandpa Charlie?” Mojo asked him.

He was going to shrug, but he went over to one of the kitchen

 drawers and got out a deck of cards. Then he lit a candle on the 

kitchen table.

“Who wants to learn how to play poker?”

No reaction.

“Rummy? Gin? Canasta?”

Same thing.

“Go fish? Pickup 52?”

“Hey, we’re not babies,” Mojo said.

“Then how about Cutthroat?”

Now you’re talking. Wart grabbed a chair and sat next to Mojo. “Deal 

‘em podner.”

Charlie just grinned. Lido might get mad at him, but Cutthroat was

 the only game Donnie would play with him too.

As they played, Charlie remembered a story Donnie used to tell

 about the first time he met Jody. They were all around sixteen. Jody

 was with Gene Park that day. They had been going together off and on that

 summer, mostly off because she had a mouth on her even back then.

Gene left her on the beach under the boardwalk and started talking

 with Donnie who was standing on the raised boardwalk. They were talking

 about cars. As usual. Donnie was telling Park about a ‘55 Chevy 

Nomad he had his eye on. Gene was saying he liked it but he was going to 

get a goat. A Pontiac GTO with the big engine and with positraction in the 

rear end. He didn’t have the money. But they both could talk their old 

man into it if a promise to pay it off was kept.

All of a sudden, a fight broke out. Well, not exactly a fight, more like a 

beating. Some girl had her knees on Jody’s shoulders as she lied face 

up on their blanket. And beating the hell out of Jody. Big mouth pay back.

The girl’s boyfriend and his buddy stood by the action. Donnie and

 Gene had froze. It looked like Gene was going to jump in, but it was 

over in about two minutes. So he didn’t.

It only broke up when the girl grabbed by her boyfriend was walked

to the edge of the water near the old pavilion cement foundation. No, 

blood, but Jody sat up on the blanket licking her proverbial wounds. 

Gene had that ’I should have stopped it’ look. But Donnie who had

also seen the whole thing, saw something Park never could have. 

Sometime during the fight, the boyfriend’s buddy had gotten behind Gene 

and was ready to jump him if he joined in or stopped it. Donnie told him 

about it the next time he saw Park. The buddy was Billy Schmidt, the man 

that Park would catch years later who was drowning the kids at the Pond.

Donnie didn’t know Jody at the time because she was attending the 

junior high middle school and he was going to Pond High. Park was also 

going to the high school, but he knew Jody from grammer school 

and had met her again at a party he said he shouldn’t had even gone to. 

Because there was a another fight. Over really nothing. It always was. 

Just teenage jousting that always got out of hand.

Donnie would meet her again after she dumped Gene or he

 dumped her depending on who was telling the story. And the two of 

them, he was a quiet kid who got along with his parents even back then, 

Jody was the rebel who didn’t seem to get along with anyone except 

Donnie. And they both clicked. She was almost nice when she was around 

him, away from him still her butt headed self, she would say years later.

Park would go out with Sherry the puncher about a year later. She 

would marry him and become the mother of Jason and his two older 

brothers. Even became a born again who refused to spank her kids leaving 

the discipline up to Gene the cop. But all their sons turned out well.  

Small world in a small town.


When Lido had left the house, she ran out the door and headed 

straight for the garage. For the chainsaw and the Mason jar bottle of gas

with the rubber lip on the metal cap.

She only took it because she didn’t know what she was in for. Trees

 could be down. Whatever. But she wanted it in its bright yellow case in the

 back of the SUV instead of remembering it was in the garage all safe and 



Wolfie was still running around on the sand at the Pond. He could

smell something in the air.  Smelled like the humans. A smell he knew

when he lived with the family with the two kids. He was hungry and 

should have been with the pack who were headed to town to see what

was on today’s menu or at least see what the merchants were throwing 


But the smell. The human smell. His nose was sorting it all out. The

 workers one smell, the roach coach a bunch of odors, the aroma right

 after a storm. The smell was coming from around the fallen big tree. The 

 human smell. No blood smell. He knew the blood smell. He got closer to

 the tree roots.


Jerry and Jason were still sitting in the cruiser. Not much movement

on the part of the workers. A couple of the men checked the tree every 

so often, a few just stood at the roach coach to be close enough to get a 

coffee refill. Some in safety vests took turns getting the traffic to turn 

around and find another way around this side of the Pond. Sachem Pond 

Road was closed and it didn’t appear like it would be reopening anytime 


Out of the corner of his eye, Jason saw the wolflike dog pacing on 

the sand. The canine wasn’t causing any trouble but he knew animals could 

do strange things even after big storms. Have weird reactions even.

Jerry meanwhile was tired and freezing even though they were in

the car with the windows rolled up. He had called in and spoke to 

Glenn who told them there was no news. Three times and that wasn’t 

good news at all. Glenn had called the power company and when Gene 

Park had talked to the utility company and he was wanting to hear back 

from them. Hurry up and wait and wait and then wait some more.

Jason looked for the dog again, but it was gone. Probably on his way, 

Jason thought. The young deputy had kept scanning the situation in case the

sheriff’s office needed a report. Or his dad just wanted to know what 

really was going on at the Pond.

A whole lot of nothing, he thought, and that was all there was at the 



Roberto thought it was a good idea to get up. Out of bed. Not just to

use the bathroom again, but up. He was tired of being in bed. Hurting his 

ankle at school. Stepping in that six inch hole he didn’t see.

“Hey, where are you going?” It was Charlie. “You okay?”

“I get up all the time to do the bathroom thing.”

“You don’t like being in bed?”

“I know, I have to rest it. Just wished I saw that hole I stepped in.”

“They always seem to find us.”

“That they do. Kids here? Lido?”

“Twins are in their rooms. I taught them how to play solitaire. Lido 

took her truck.”

“Okay, let me get cleaned up and we’re going to find her and my 

friend Jody. “ With that he closed the bathroom door and Charlie went to 

see if the kids had gotten into any trouble.


Lido got stopped at the security station that the power station had

 set up. She could see the felled tree. It was taking up both sides of Sachem 

 Pond. The sheriff cruiser was parked near the gate opening of the public 

town beach. It looked to her like there were two deputies who were also 

waiting, waiting for the power company to do something. 

She didn’t know any of the workers and they didn’t know her. No

 one except their people and the deputies could go in and out of the area.

It  looked like a whole lot of standing around. She asked one of the 

men at the gate if they saw her mom or her mom’s car.  They couldn’t or

 wouldn’t tell her anything.

Even at the checkpoint she could see something under the tree. She 

had tried not to stare or even strain her eyes to see what it was. For some 

reason she didn’t want to look conspicuous. From what she could tell, it 

was dark blue and it was crushed. It could be anything. A sign, a dumpster 

or even a car.


Roberto found an old pair of sweat pants in his dresser drawer. 

When he put them on his left ankle was almost twice the size of his right. 

Like he had elephantitis of his lower limb. Standing was going to be a 

problem, but the pain was tolerable. But he was up.

He limped out the living room. Charlie was reading a magazine in 

Mojo’s room. The kids were in Wart’s room.

“So are you ready?” Roberto asked in a loud voice.

“Huh?” Charlie was now standing in the bedroom doorway.

Wart said, “I am. Lets do something. I’m lost without my cell phone.”

“You’re lost anyway. Where are we going?” Mojo asked.

Roberto said to Charlie, “Unless you want to stay here and watch the 

twins …”.

“You okay to drive? They still don’t want cars on the road, you know.”

“But my dear Carlos, I have a truck and my gas pedal and brake leg is 

muy bueno.” Then he moved a certain way and said, “Ouch.”

“Well, Professor Zorro, if you can do this without hurting yourself 

out there, I guess we can go …”.

The kids yelled, ‘yay’ before he even finished his sentence.

“Then lets go, muchachos and muchacha.”


Glenn and Gene Park sat across from each other in the sheriff’s 

office. Both spent the time trying to come up with an idea to get the 

power company off their asses and do some work. And wanting them to 

call their office back was getting to Glenn.

“This sucks,” he finally sad.

“Is that your official comment, Sheriff?” Gene smiled at his old 

deputy and added, “Welcome to my old world.”

“We can’t sit here any more. At least I can’t.”

“No power for the gas pumps,” Gene paused. “I have a really crazy 

idea if you want to hear it.”

“I’m all ears.”

“You remember Barry at the oil company over in Pochogue?”

“Yeah, finally put in a gas pump years ago for his trucks … well, 


“I think I still have his number. And I’ll drive over there if I have to. 

They won’t stop the old sheriff on the road. Get old Barry to truck over 

some petrol for the saws to get things started.”

“I’m all out of ideas, Gene, and that sounds better than just doing 

nothing here.”


“This is cool, no stoplights,” Wart said out loud. He was sitting in the 

back of the SUV with his sister.

“Not so cool with the way some of the nuts around here drive.” 

Charlie was riding shotgun in the front passenger seat. “But it looks like 

they’re being extra careful so far.”

There were still only a few cars on the road and the parking lots of

the shopping center and in town were near empty. Couldn’t be much 

food in the stores, only a few deliveries if any and the perishable and 

frozen foods were already melted. A lot to be thrown out in the next few 


“What’s the most dangerous nut in the car?” Roberto asked the kids.

 Charlie just grinned. “The nut behind the wheel, but not in this car.” The 

twins laughed.

Mojo got a serious look on her face .“Looks like they dropped a 

bomb here.”

“We’ll find them,” Roberto told her.


The dog couldn’t find the smell that reminded him of the house with 

the boy and the girl. The wind blowing a little again. Two many smells, 

dampness, people, the trucks aroma, the food truck itself, even the geese 

and the gulls who had returned, and then the Pond. Way too many to sort 

out. Probably why the pack relied on the handouts by food places in town. 

They couldn’t follow a scent like their wild cousins. 

Wait, the dog found the smell of a second. Just like the girl. Like soap 

and shampoo. Maybe even hand lotion. The whole house used to smell that 

way at times when he was there. He could even smell it on his coat when 

the girl took a shower and he would be sitting on the bathroom rug 

waiting for her.

But this was different, more soap and less lotion. He sniffed around

 the roots of the tree on the beach side. The limbs were up on the road. 

He got down on his haunches and crept under the dirt covered roots. It 

was more clay than sand. But the scent was stronger there.


Lido sat in the SUV. And sat. She didn’t really know what to do, but

 sitting wasn’t something she did. And she didn’t do it well.

Her cell still read No Service. She guessed she could could by the 

hotel again or even go back to the house and call the hotel. But the staff 

didn’t seem to know any thing other than her mom hadn’t checked out. 

So she sat. The chainsaw was in its case in the back seat. The jar of gas 

was on the floor there too. Ready to go when she was. 

She could sneak, not a word she was proud of thinking of, with the 

saw and see what was going on. On the beach? Or go without the saw and 

then come back to the car to get it.

Something was drawing her to the sand, she didn’t know what or

 why.  It just pulled at her.

But, screw this, she thought, at least go see what was what. Could

 just be the geese pooping all over or the gulls pecking at anything that 

moved on the sand. Sitting in the car was making her crazy. She wouldn’t 

even be here if her mom wasn’t missing or at least temporarily lost.

She would try to get to the beach but if a deputy or one of the 

workers stopped her. Then she’d know.


Barry called back from the oil company. He had a whole tanker truck 

that he couldn’t move until the pumps at his gas station clients had power. 

The sheriff could have as much as they needed.

“But I’m not waiting six months to get paid,” he told Gene.

“I’ll take care of it,” Park told him and gave him the address to mail 

the bill to.

“Okay,  so how are we gonna do this?”

“Let me put the sheriff on.”

Glenn told Barry where he wanted him at the Pond. Jason and Jerry 

were already there. He’d see their car. Let them escort him through the 

security line.

When he hung up the phone he said to Gene,”Today may turn out 

to be an okay day after all.”

“Sometimes it does when you use your noodle.” Gene pointed his 

finger to his temple. “Feels good to be back in the trenches.”


Roberto drove through town and then took the turn to the Pond. 

The sky was overcast and it wasn’t easy to see the street signs. He didn’t 

drive much locally. Mostly to the college and back home. But Charlie was 

watching too so they would get there safe.

“Mom’s car!” Wart pointed out the window to the SUV.

“No one’s in there,” Roberto said. 

Charlie looked toward the Pond. Geese, gulls and that tree in his 

vision. “This is a real mess. Going to take a while for folks to clean this up.” 

After they parked he got out of the car and walked over to the far side of 

the street and saw the security tape, the workers, the roach coach, and the 

two deputies in their cruiser.  An even bigger mess, he thought. All were 

waiting for something. To happen. To start. To something.


The smell. The dog caught the smell. Again. 

He could see the lady. She was the one who fed him at the house. 

And she was coming toward him. She had something with her. He 

saw the case but the gasoline went right into his nose cavity after the scent

 of the lady.

Branches were in his eyeline of her because there was nowhere for

 him to go. And he couldn’t move far and because just sitting there the 

roots were digging into his coat. He would have run up to her and licked 

her hand. He was happy to see her. He just couldn’t move, so he barked.

“Wolfie,” Lido cried out.

She had walked on the beach expecting to see someone lying on the

 beach. Maybe even her mom. 

But it was just geese and gulls, the usual characters. She was almost 

going to leave, get back in the car and go back home, but for some reason 

she decided to check the tree roots.

She patted the big dog on the head, told him she was here and then 

opened up the chainsaw case. She made sure the dog saw what she was 

doing. Same thing she did when she took him to the vet. Let the dog see 

what was going on. It seemed to have a calmimg effect on him, most of the


He watched her every move as she put gas in the saw and turned in 

his direction right before she started it up. The dog pulled away, but he had 

nowhere to go. He could barely move where he was. She went to touch 

him again for reassurance and he licked her hand.

She started up the saw.


“Where the fuck did that come from?” one of the power company 

guys said. 

They all knew that sound and looked over toward the site 

supervisor. No reaction by him. They all did crane their heads to see if 

anyone could determine the direction of where it came from.

It wasn’t them was all they knew. No gas truck for them, no 

siphoning of gas even from one of their own car gas tanks. The tree didn’t 

help and the Pond was never helpful to locate where a sound came 

from. May have even caused a small echo.

One of the guys who would be doing the chainsaw work if they ever 

did have any gas got on the top of the cab of one of the trucks. He still 

couldn’t see anything over the tree and the sound was the same.

“I got nothing,” he said to no one in particular. 

The site supervisor put down his clipboard and began to walk off to

 the sheriff’s car.


With the windows up Jerry and Jason did hear the chainsaw motor 

start. They could both also see the power company supervisor headed for

 the cruiser. 

“If this asshole let one of his guys start a saw without the gas truck 

after all their crap, I want him to tell me what’s going on.” Jerry was pissed. 

He was told they’d tell him when they got permission to start. Then to 

Jason, he said, “You go find out where the saw is unless you want to stay 

and deal with this guy.”

“I’m gone. This is the day I get to enjoy my lack of seniority.” Jason

 grabbed the First Aid kit and the cruiser’s shotgun.

“And that weapon is a last resort.”

“Got it.”

“Well … go!”

“Yes, sir.”


The guy with the truck full of gas was talking to the security man at 

the checkpoint who knew nothing about his delivery.  He was just about to 

turn the truck around and leave when Jerry yelled to him. He had walked

over with a walkie talkie in his hand. A click of a button and Gene 

Park’s voice was on the other end. Jerry handed it to the driver.

But the driver had decided he still wanted a check or some 

assurance that he was going to get paid. After all he had shown up here 

and was ready to pump some gas for them. The guy told Park he wasn’t in 

business for his health. Park trying to hold back his anger told him to wait 

right there, he’d be right down.

Meanwhile, all the ears and eyes were still focused on the Pond 

including Jason and Jerry.


Lido had cut away some of the smaller roots. She knew this dog well 

enough to know that not much scared him. And while it was cool out but 

not cold down by the water, he was shaking. He still couldn’t move and she

had moved the saw on the left and right side of him. She didn’t know what 

he’d do when she cut the thick root above his head. She put the saw down 

and scratched his neck this time and then rubbed his snout. He licked her

 on the hand again.

She couldn’t hear anything but the saw while she was petting the 

dog. Charlie had been able to see her for a hundred feet. He had yelled, 

but she never turned around. When he was about ten or fifteen feet from 

her, the dog saw him and must have barked. Only then did Lido turn 

around to see what was going on.

“Lido!” he yelled. He then saw the dog and could see what she was

 trying to do with the saw.

“Hi!” she yelled back. She motioned and said, “Come around this side 

and hold this root.” Charlie moved around her left side and saw what 

she was wanting him to do. He wasn’t concerned with the saw 

in her hands, after all he trusted her with his life. He was more 

concerned with what the dog was going to do when she placed the saw 

above the dog’s head and freed him with the cut.

Charlie grabbed the root with one hand , gave the dog a pat on the 

nose and then gripped the dog by the loose skin at the back of his neck. 

Lido moved his hand on the dog before she began to cut the root.

When she was halfway through all three of them were covered with 

sawdust. Charlie and the dog held their ground. Another minute and she 

was through.

Charlie removed his hand from the dog who seemed to relaxed. He 

held onto the branch until Lido put down the saw and helped him move 

the root.

The cut had been precise enough to free the dog. Everyone had all 

their extremities and not a hair mussed on the dog but he was covered 

with dust.

She had expected him to get up, shake himself off and lick her face 

or something. But he didn’t move. Charlie checked him over. No broken 

bones. No spots that hurt when he was touched. Lido and Charlie looked 

at each other with that ‘now what’ look on their faces. She shut the saw off.


Gene Park arrived at Sachem Pond with a signed voucher for the 

gas in his hand. He shook hands with Barry the gas man and showed 

him the paperwork. They finally seemed happy. Gene then went over

to speak to the head man there of the power company and told him what 

was going on. The supervisor said he had to call into the office to get the 


While Gene waited, he canvassed the area. He could see the car 

under the tree branches. He hoped that no one was in the car, but that 

was usually never the case. The car roof was crushed but maybe the driver 

had time to duck down if they could have seen the tree limbs coming 

down on them.  Maybe.

It was so quiet after the saw by the Pond had stopped. It was almost 



Jason saw Charlie standing on the beach. He didn’t know him but he 

knew who he was. The deputy also then saw Lido and her blond hair, Then 

the Huskie under the tree roots. The saw was idling on one of the tree


“Can you get him out?” he asked when he reached them.

“He won’t move,” Lido told him.

The dog licked her hand again, but he wasn’t going anywhere. She 

checked him over again for injuries and to see if any roots were sticking 

into him. No on both. The dog’s coat was dirty in places where the roots 

had touched him, but no blood. No nothing.

“I have an idea,” Jason offered, “If I grab him at the back of the neck 

and you grab his front legs, we should be able to pull him out.”

“Okay, I’m willing to try anything.”

Charlie lifted the root up a few inches while Jason and Lido pulled. 

Nothing. It was like when someone became dead weight and no 

matter what you did, you couldn’t move them.

“We’re going to need a crain or a fork lift or something,” Jason told 


And then they heard a groan. 


Gene Park still had the payment voucher in one hand and a walkie 

talkie in the other with Glenn holding down the fort at the office at the 

other end.

With Glenn’s blessing, he had finally talked the gas guy into taking the 

voucher permission. At first, the guy didn’t want it, he still wanted a check. 

But ended up taking it when he saw the situation. 

The power company supervisor on the other hand was having 

trouble getting the okay from the utility in the main office which was 

located upstate over a hundred miles away. They didn’t even know where

the hurricane had it on the Island. Park shook his head when he heard 

that one. 

But after a half hour of going round and round with them, the 

supervisor handed the phone to Park when he asked. Gene asked to speak 

to their big boss and basically asked why they couldn’t clear an obstacle 

blocking an emergency route with possible loss of life.

The main office gave the permission to fill the saws with gas from

 Barry’s truck. Gene even accepted a golf date in Nassau County with

 the big boss as an appeasement for their trouble even though he had 

never even swung a golf club ever.

Park gave the phone back to the local supervisor. Ten seconds later, 

the man yelled, “Fill ‘em up!”

Glenn had got to hear most of the conversation, well Park’s side, 

because Gene had had his finger on the walkie talkie send button.

Twenty-five chainsaws all going at the same time. You couldn’t hear 

yourself, Park thought. He then shook hands with the power company guy 

and then walked back in the direction of his car so he could speak to Jerry

and see what he wanted him to do here.


Lido stuck her hand behind the dog’s back. Sure enough there was 

someone in there behind him. She decided to climb over the dog.

She smiled back at Charlie. “I felt an arm …”.

He frowned. “Do we have any food or anything to draw him out?”

Lido shook her head and started the chainsaw again and began to

cut at the roots again. Charlie gripped the roots by the dog’s rear end. 

Jason helped by pulling out the wood cut by the saw.

They could all hear the saws out on Sachem Pond Road when she 

stopped the saw. Again she pulled so hard on the dog’s neck that hair came 

out in her hands.

“Wolfie, geesh.”

“We could shoot him to get him out,” Jason told her. Charlie just

 rolled his eyes.

“No one’s shooting my dog.”

“It was a joke, lady.” Jason shook his head.

“It’s especially not funny when you’re wearing that uniform.”

“Noted for future reference, sorry.”


Wart couldn’t sit still in the back of the Dadmobile. Worried about 

his mom and hearing all the chainsaws had his mind racing in ‘What If’ 

country. And though he’d never tell anyone, he was a little scared.

“I’m outta here.” He opened the SUV door handle and was out the 

door. Running in the direction of the beach, he saw the tree roots.

Mojo grabbed at her door. “Hey, where are you going? Mojo?”

 Roberto shouted.

“Uh, nowhere. We’ll never catch him anyway, he’s fast,” Mojo said. 

“Not knowing is the hardest part.”

“Maybe you could ...”.

“Nah, he’s the fastest kid in our class.”


Must have been all the chainsaws running at one time because all

branches were pulled then carried over to the side of the road. The rear 

end of the car could be seen now. It had been buried from sight from the 

fallen elm.

Jerry got out of his cruiser stood close enough to read  the license

plate number. Even before he got the computer in the car he knew it was 

a rental. Then he remembered that the computer was still out. 

Well at least that was something, how the hell did they do work like 

this back when, the thought made him smile because his computer

would be back in a day. He could also tell that the car was an airport rental 

from MacArthur Airport. He could still function out here without his 


But still no Jason. He’d give the young deputy a little longer then raise 

him on the walkie talkie. Going to be another long day until the power 

really comes back on, he decided to stop thinking and called Glenn at the 

office and let him know what the status was at the Pond.


When Wart reached the sand he saw his mom, Charlie and the 

deputy. They all had their backs to him. His mom was still cutting at the tree 

roots so they couldn’t hear him coming.

When the saw was shut down, he yelled, “Wolfie!” and they all 

turned around to see him.

The Huskie moved out from under the roots and ran towards him. 

He knocked Wart over  and licked him on the face and hands. The boy 

started to laugh nonstop and rubbed the dog on the head, back and legs. The tail was wagging like crazy.

“Kids,” Charlie said and they all laughed. “Glad he came.” Then to 

Wart, “Hold onto him.”

Lido turned back to the roots. 

It was a woman and she was very dirty from the root debris. Hair, 

face, clothes were covered from the storm, wind and had scratches too 

from the thin roots. Lido checked the head. The hair was matted on one 

side probably from a blow to the head. She was breathing but it was 


Jason said not to move her. He got on the walkie talkie to both Jerry 

and Glenn. Glenn said to keep the woman warm and he’d call a helicopter 

to come pick her up and take her to the hospital by the college in Sunny 


They thought about letting the dog go back under the roots to 

warm her, but before they did Lido cut away a few more roots so the 

medical workers could get in there. When she stopped, the dog got away 

from Wart and he went straight back to his spot where they found him. So 

much for choices. But now more of the woman’s head was exposed. The 

dog laid by her legs and torso, but an arm still stuck out.

Lido grabbed the hand to comfort the victim. She noticed the ring 

on the woman’s finger, she had given it to her mother.

“Mom?” Lido said in a low tone.

Charlie heard her, “What? Jody?”

“Whoa,” Wart said, “Grandma?” and then petted the dog on the 



Sitting on the sand with Charlie and Wart with her, Lido found 

herself remembering growing up with just her mom, Without a dad.

Sure, her mom had boyfriends, even a few serious relationships. But 

Jody wasn’t getting remarried anytime soon.

There were a couple who Lido liked. They’d take her out to eat with 

them or go see an Oriole baseball game. But Jody would eventually find 

something wrong with them. All of them. Lido didn’t think her mom even 

wanted to have a relationship again.  After a while, Lido really wanted a dad 

but when your mom has to bury her husband who walked into Sachem 

Pond because the pain in his head just got so bad. Schrapnel did that.

And when Lido spoke to Charlie  about it all, Charlie had his own 

ghosts too. That was why he spent so much time in that aluminum chair 

there at the Pond. Hope. That was what he said it was all about. 

But all that had happened to Jody in her life, some for the good, a lot 

for the bad. And then one day, she announced that she and Lido were 

driving to Virginia. No reason, but she really didn’t want to see the Pond 

again. Lido on the other hand wanted and knew she would live on the 

Island again. It was where she was born.

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,

The angels, whispering to one another,

Can find, among their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of "Mother,"

Therefore by that dear name I long have called you -

You who are more than mother unto me,

And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you

In setting my Virginia's spirit free…

- Edgar Allan Poe


The power workers almost had the road cleared of the outer tree 

limbs. They placed them in any open area just to get them out of the way.

The roach coach guy packed up and closed the truck side serving 

doors. He wasn’t going to make any more money now that the saws were 

running, but he did tell them he’d be back later. They weren’t going 


With the power still out,  the driver wanted to drive up and down 

the residential streets but wasn’t sure if it was legal. Probably not, he 


The rental car was still buried under hundreds of pounds of tree 

trunk. From what they could see the roof of the car was crushed, pancaked 

all the way down to the door handles. If anyone was in there they’d have to 

be lying flat on the seat most guys agreed. The good news would be that 

the car was empty.


Jason had called the sheriff at the office and Glenn had been on the 

phone with the hospital. The problem was that the helicopter needed AV 

gas and the pumps were just getting power, but they were checking 

another location to fill up unless they could get their own pumps going.

They did tell Glenn to keep the patient warm. He told them, no 

problem. He knew about the dog. It was the first time that morning he had 

smiled. Okay, in a couple of days.

So all Jason could do now was wait for the copter, keep in touch 

with the sheriff who was in contact with the hospital then wait some more. 

He was glad the dog was here for the woman’s body temperature. 

Otherwise the victim would have had hyperthermia hours ago.


With service back on his cell phone, Roberto called Lido from the 


“Hi, you okay?” He asked her.

“I guess,” she answered, “How long have the phones been working?”

“Just a minute or so … hey, I’m mad at you. What were you thinking? 

Running off with a chainsaw no less.”

“Guess I wasn’t thinking, I just did. You were laid up with your leg, 

Charlie was watching the kids and I didn’t know where my mom was 


Roberto remained silent.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“Parked in my SUV right behind yours. Are Wart and Charlie with 

you? Mo’s here with me.”

“Good … Roberto?  I found my mom.”

“I’m so glad for you.”

“I’m going to stay here until the helicopter comes to take her to the

 hospital. And don’t think I could get Wart and Charlie to leave either. We’re

going to need Wart to get the dog out and away from my mom anyway, he’s 

her security blanket.”

Mojo who had been listening to her mom too, yelled into Roberto’s 

phone, “You found Wolfie too?

“Yes, baby. I seem to be finding everyone today. We’ll see if he wants 

to come home again.”

“Okay, Mom.”

Roberto then said, “We’re going to take off. Everything okay? We’ll 

meet you back at the house.”

Lido nodded and said, “Yes. We shouldn’t be much longer here.”


The chainsaws out on Sachem Pond Road almost had the car out 

from under the branches. The roof, hood and trunnk were a mess. One of 

the workers tried to open the driver’s side door and was surprised it was 

unlocked and opened.

There was a small paper bag on the passenger seat. Another power 

worker tried the trunk. No luck. Something was bent or the button by the 

brake was broken.

“I love these,” the worker sitting in the driver seat said and took a 

bite out of one of the black and white cookies. “A roll and some potato 

salad too.”

“What the hell are you doing?” he heard the job supervisor say who 

then shook his head. “And don’t eat any of the salad, I don’t want you 

coming down with tomaine.”

The tree would be cut in three foot sections and set on the side

 of the road. They would sit there for months right where they were.

The car paperwork was also in the car, on the front seat. The 

supervisor would hold onto it until he could give it to one of the sheriffs 

who would contact the car renter or call the rental agency to come get 

what was left of their car.


The helicopter landed on the sand about 25 yards away from where 

where the roots of the tree were. Charlie was amazed how close they 

could land with all the trees and the downed power lines. Like a 

flying surgeon, he thought.

Wart just liked the noise of the rotor blades and the pilot’s helmet. 

Lido covered the dog with herself so the dog wouldn’t freak out from the 

noise and the blowing sand. But he was more calm than she was. He even 

licked her hand.

The medical attendants carrying a stretcher and a medical kit ran 

over to them. Lido stood up and motioned to Wart to call to the dog. After 

Wolfie came out from under the roots, the medical personel took over.

“Nice little operation you have here,” one of the attendants said. Lido 

smiled. Wart patted the dog on the neck. Jody was prepped and strapped 

into the stretcher, the other attendent said, “One of you can come with us 

if you want.”

“Can’t I’m the driver of this crew,” Lido told him, “Charlie?”

“I don’t do choppers,” Charlie said.

Lido looked at Wart. “No, you’re going to hold the dog in the 


“Aw,” Wart said.

And then the dog wiggled out from Wart’s hug around the the dog’s 

neck and was gone. Again.

All Souls Day, Sunday

November 2nd


The house was warm again. The electricity had come back on while 

they were all down at the Pond. That Sunday morning breakfast smell was 

in the house once more. Bacon, eggs, coffee, green tea, orange juice, and 

toast. All smushed together. 

Roberto the pepper and Tabasco omelette. Charlie the scrambled 

eggs. Twins the eggs over easy, Mojo with the tiniest drop of Tabasco, Wart 

the broken yolk spread over every inch of his eggs so they were the same 

color. Lido had poached because mer mom had showed her how to make 

them and she still remembered how.

The phone call from the hospital had come right before she took 

everyone’s breakfast order. Jody was awake but groggy from her 

concussion, a good sized bump on her head, a cut on her arm,

and a sprained wrist.

And except for the thoughts about Jody, everyone was clean, rested 

and mostly relaxed. Roberto who had overused his leg in all the recent 

excitement would stay home at the house. Everyone else would be piling 

into the Mommobile to go to the hospital when Visiting Hours started at 2 

pm. Lido decided against bringing anything with them to the hospital. Jody 

probably couldn’t eat anyway and sleeping more than usual. Might not even 

be awake and know they were there. Maybe a change of clothes from the 

motel if anything.


Charlie would go to the hospital too, but he did keep thinking he was 

a hippacrate. He didn’t hate Jody, he just didn’t like her sometimes or was it 

just her ways. She couldn’t save Donnie. But neither could he. He had the 

dream about Donnie before. Always the same one even though he and his 

son had shared a lot. Good, bad and the ugly like the old Eastwood movie. Or fugly as Donnie always said.

He’d call to Donnie at the Pond in his dream. From his chair on the 

beach, but Donnie never even turned around. Just kept walking into the 

water. Charlie never saw it coming. And his dreams and imagination had 

created a tape loop of how Donnie probably had met his end.

Hopefully, Charlie thought his son had thought long and hard on the 

decision. He would have and he probably would have chickened out on 

death. But if only Donnie turned around once in the dream when Charlie 

called to him. He could have some closure or maybe even some peace.

Charlie’s wife Maureen, Donnie’s mom, died a few months after 

Donnie did. She had been in near perfect health until Donnie’s death. His 

suicide had killed her too, Charlie used to say, but now he could hardly talk

about her. She had been the rock in his lfe when his mom Nellie had 

passed away from a stroke years earlier. And he always felt the worse for it 

that he would never be the rock for her. He did give his all to Maureen 

when she got sick. It was cancer of the pancreas so she was gone in a few 

months but he always thought it was because of that walk into the Pond. 

Lido never knew them that well and he never really talked about them to 

her. One day he would.

And these were the reasons why he sat in that uncomfortable 

aluminum web chair at the Pond. Waiting for Donnie. Because he knew if 

his son returned his life would be whole again. Donnie and Jody would be 

together, maybe another kid or two. His Maureen with him in their older 

years. He missed that, then laughed to himself, how can you miss what you 

never knew. But he still missed it anyway. That was his dream. Every single 



Gene Park stood up from his chair in the sheriff’s office and 

stretched his arms.

“Guess your work is done here.” Glenn put his hand out to shake 

the ex-sheriff’s hand.

“It’s never done. You know that. But you’re the one with the harder 

job. I should know.”

Glenn shrugged. “I guess.”

“I’m here for you, Glenn, Not sure what I can do, but if I can …”.

“I know.” Glenn changed the subject. “Jason, he’s great. Like working 

with a younger version of the old man. But not grumpy at all.”

“I appreciate that.” Park then laughed about Glenn’s line about being 

grumpy as he put his coat on. He put his hand on Glenn’s shoulder and 

said, “Til next time.”

“Bet on it.”

“Call me once in a while. And we’ll talk about something else besides 

this stuff.”

Glenn said he would and Park was out the door.


When Charie and Lido arrived at the hospital, they were told Jody 

was sleeping again, The kids who thought they were going up to the room 

were told it would just be their mom and Charlie and would have only 

been Lido if she didn’t almost beg Charlie to go with her.

Charlie agreed because he thought she might be a little scared. She 

had lost her father and now this. Except for him, she didn’t have too many 

more people to lose. And he wasn’t going anywhere. At least not without a 

fight. So he went. For her. Not for Jody.

The kids did put up a fuss, but like Lido told Charlie, thank God for 

cell phone games. And they could be hanging out with Roberto who would 

need their help at least once, but he was good with them.

On the elevator ride up the room, Lido was wondering what to 

expect. But when they got there Jody was awake.

“Hey, you old ghost, you still alive?” Jody said when she saw 

Charlie and then smiled.

“Where’s your broom, you witch?” he told her.

Lido just hugged her mom easily around the neck.

“You scared the hell out of us,” she told Jody.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to. I was asking Donnie to talk to me. Give me a 

sign. Then I hear this crack and then I’m here. Guess he wasn’t in the mood

 to talk.”

Lido lightly squeezed her mom’s hand. Charlie took that as a cue to 

go and sit in the visitor’s area out in the hall.

“So what’s next?” Lido asked.

“Well,  for one. I’m going to try my best to come up here to see you 

gus more. I want to know my grandkids. And I’m also going to be nicer to 

that old man. He’s still in pain from Donnie and so am I. Maybe we can find 

a truce. Jody’s eyes teared up and so did Lido’s.

“I think he’d like that.”

“But don’t tell him. I want it to be a surprise.”

“Don’t worry, it will be.”


The dog found his way through the neighborhood and stopped at 

the bottom of the Rodriguez’s driveway. He sat on the edge where the 

grass met the curb. A puzzled look on his face. Almost like he was making a 


Wart saw Wolfie from his bedroom window and began yelling that 

the dog was back. Mojo ran to her bedroom window, she saw the dog too. Roberto asked them both what was going on.

They both said, the dog’s back. Wart was getting his shoes on and 

then trying to zip up his jacket. Mojo kept watching through her window 

curtains and kept telling her brother to hurry.

As Wart fumbled with the lock on the front door, he heard his sister 

yell to him that the dog was gone.


On the way back from the hospital, Lido drove the Mommobile 

through town. Charlie said he must be getting absent minded to forget to 

lock the garage. And how he had figured out that it was Jody who had used 

a window breaking hammer to bust the Nomad vent window. He also 

wondered how much that was going to cost, never mind find one. Wart 

said he would help.

“Charlie, you know you can move in with us,” Lido told him.

“You don’t have room for me.”

“We’ll make room.”

“Nah, I have a whole house to amble around in.”

“What if …”.

“Enough of that. We’ll just leave well enough alone.”


Lido turned the SUV onto Sachem Pond Road before they went 

home. The kids had their noses to the window. 

“Drop me off here, will ya,” he had asked, “Chair’s in the back. One 

last time before it gets too cold.”

Lido parked the truck near where the tree fell and commented on 

how different it looked. Charlie told her, sometimes different is good.

He got the chair out of the back and told her he’d call her 

tomorrow. She said okay and she and the kids watched him walk to the 

beach area before driving home.

When he reached the sand, he unfolded the chair and sat down. He 

stared out at the water for a few minutes when the Huskie lied down on 

the sand next to him.

“Well, hello there,” he said to the dog who licked his hand and 

Charlie then sat back in his chair.

He patted the dog on the head and said, “Talk to me, Donnie.”









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