Resurrection 15

This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.

Reunion

It took the trio less than 40 minutes to take the gently downsloping trail to Fisher’s Store. When they arrived they didn’t see a store, just a crossroads, but they did see a Sheriff’s car with a uniformed deputy leaning against the hood.

“Are one of you…,” he looked down at his notepad, “…John Reeves?”

“That’s me officer!” J.W. raised his hand as he approached the vehicle.

“Light’s fading Preacher,” Tiny said, “we better head back.”

“Nice meeting you, Preach.” Creek hugged J.W.

Tiny and Creek headed back to the trail. J.W. went up and shook the officer’s hand.

“Thank you, officer, I can’t tell you how much this means to me, to my family.” J.W. held out his hand.

“That’s ‘Deputy’, I work for the Sheriff.” the deputy shook his hand. “Name’s Mark Thompson. You can call me Mark. Get in and we’ll head to Townsend. It’s just about 20 minutes from here.”

J.W. started to open the passenger door on the Charger Prowler.

“Sorry, you’re gonna have to ride in the back. Got all my electronics there.”

“Thanks,” said J.W. as he opened the passenger rear door.

Once they were inside,  Mark asked about the emergency. As they drove, J.W. filled him in as best he understood. His family all thought he had died. Police and coroner had come by. Turns out he wasn’t dead, but his family was needing him home pronto.

“Don’t think I’ve ever heard a story quite like that,” remarked Thompson.

“I hope to never hear one again,” replied J.W.

Within a short time, J.W. was directing the deputy to where his Jeep Grand Cherokee was supposed to be parked. He had already pulled the keys from his pack. He had cleared the parking ahead of time with the cabin rental place he intended to leave his vehicle and paid them $50 for the trouble.

“That’s it, up there on the right, Mark.” J.W. began gathering his things to throw into the Jeep as soon as he exited the Prowler. Mark pulled up along side.

J.W. jumped out, grabbed his pack, closed the door and ran around to the driver’s to say thank you one more time.

“You’re welcome. ‘Protect and Serve,’ right? I guess this is the serve part. Have a safe trip home.”

Mark drove off as J.W. unlocked the vehicle and threw his pack in the back. He started the Jeep, plugged his phone into the dash and dialed Suzanna as he drove out.

“Honey, I’m in the Jeep and on my way. Should be home in a little over 2 hours.”

Suzanna was excited, “John be careful, but do get here soon. We all miss you so much.”

J.W. quickly made it to Maryville, then Knoxville and then he was on I-75. Less than two hours later he hit Corbin and took the exit that would lead him to Silerville.

Fifteen minutes later he arrived at the parsonage. Pulling into the drive he was surprised to see the church’s lot with a dozen cars on a Thursday night. Suzanna, holding Claire, greeted him on the porch, along with Ed and Maggy. Suzanna hugged him deeply with her free hand.

“I thought I had lost you,” she said tearfully as she pushed her head into his chest. She didn’t mind the smell as long as he was home.

Magnolia hugged him crying as well. “John Wesley, don’t EVER give me a scare like that again.”

Once Maggy released him, Ed shook J.W.’s hand, “Glad to have you back, son.”

Suzanna interrupted, and took J.W. by the arm, “Come on, everyone wants to see you.”

When the entered the parsonage, the living room was full of people. Several of the members of the church who had at first been devastated at news of his death, now came together to celebrate his return. Tom and Rachel were the first to approach for hugs.

“You might want to not do that, Tom. I’ve been on The Trail all week, I don’t smell so good.”

“You never did,” said Tom, embracing J.W. in a bear hug.

All the food people had already begun bringing for the grieving family had now become party fare. After greeting everyone, J.W. asked to be excused to get a quick shower and change of clothes. From upstairs he could still hear the joy and laughter.

 

 

 

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