Friday, August 15, 2008

There And Back Again

Sadly, the excursions of the Windes’ family has now come and gone, and all we are left with are memories. *sigh* Until next year, that is;).

So, I shall continue where I left off, which I believe was Monday. So, Tuesday began another day of extravagant enjoyment (the enjoyment was extravagant, not the means by which we had it…) But anyway, Tuesday morning brought the early rise of Emily, Amanda and myself as we decided to make a trek to Dordt College for me to show them around! That was marvelous fun for me, because now they when I tell them of my college adventures they can envision just what I’m taking aboutJ . So, we drove out to Sioux Center, IA that morning at 7:30am sharp (I was so proud of them for being on time). We arrived a little before 8:30 due to road construction, but the tour was underway in no time. I showed them my classroom buildings, my dorm from the past 2 years, the auditorium where my concerts are, the music building, the campus center, and the apartment that I’ll be living this fall! Which happened to have a big fat cat in it…I can only hope it’s gone by the time I move in. Oh, and they got to meet my crazy future roommate Sonja and a few other lovely people. Oh, and I took them on a tour of Sioux Center, which took a whole 5 minutes or so:). The drive back was pleasant as we chatted and sang the whole way back, and also got to chat with a friendly road construction worker who had to have us wait and was very pleased that we didn’t “cuss him out” for a change:).

So, once back at the house it was off to the gas station with the entire Windes’ family (and myself tagging along, of course) to get a burrito made from Joel:) (where he works). They also got to meet our famous boss, Gary (well, he’s not my boss anymore, but used to be when we worked at DQ). After the delicious burritos and greetings from Joel, we were off to the very edge of Sioux Falls to get a tour of Jacob’s massive bankcard building, where he works. And what an impressive place it was! He has to wear a tie and has his own fancy cubicle (for those that don’t know, he’s an intern there doing computer security, important stuff). He showed us around and we even got to meet a very frie4ndly executive that Jacob didn’t even know. He asked me if there was marriage and kids in my future:).

After the back, we headed back home and made our earrings! That was great fun and they turned out really well. I think Aunt Lois got more excited about it than any of us:D. After jewelry, we wrote some letters to Ethan and I think went for another walk before Olympics that night….gymnastics! That didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, but still fun to watch, of course.
And that brings us to Wednesday…we got to sleep in! That was glorious. That morning when I got up I ran some errands with Mom while Amanda played some tennis and Emily did some reading. When Mom and I got back, Emily, Amanda, Peter, Sam, Andrew and I all got to go to the Vanderpans’ house and play their Wii and watch a movie on their theatre screen! That was definitely a highlight. We played beach volleyball with four players and took turns, and it was incredibly comical indeed, and much more fun. We also played some Wii mini golf and then Amanda, Emily and I watched ‘The Importance of Being Earnest” while the boys played the Wii some more. After a little while, everyone who had been left at the house eventually showed up there, too:). Uncle Larry even gave the Wii a shot. What a glorious afternoon.

Once we got home we did some dinner preparation and more Olympics:). Sadly, the Windes’ had to begin packing, also. Another fun highlight of the day was playing Scattergories after dinner with Jacob. I think it was Emily, Amanda, Jacob, Hannah, Andrew and I with Tabby being our letter selector. After the game we had a lovely college kids’ visiting session in the living room till Jacob went to bed, and then we dispersed shortly afterJ . As some of you well know, Emily after midnight is always a sight to see, and this night was no exception (oh, and she also somehow convinced me earlier to turn one of my earrings into a nose ring?!). After giggling profusely for I don’t even remember what reason, after Emily had been nuzzled in bed under her covers, crawled over to the other side where I was typing on the computer, and started laughing and said she had a sudden urge to pinch my nose. I couldn’t stop laughing for the next 5 minutes. You may have had to be there (thought I’m sure Katie will understand:P). It was hilarious. Once Emily finally fell asleep, Amanda and I chatted in bed for about 45 min. and then drifted off. And I actually practically didn’t sleep at all that night, and woke up at 5:30 to see them offL . Sad sad morning. They left the house around 6:00am and that was that. *sigh* What great fun it was. And thus concludes the events of the Windes’ family at our house.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Fun Has Arrived

Here it is, Monday night, and sadly the Windes' visit is now halfway through. But what a marvelous few days it has been!

First of all, Mom and Dad left with the younger kids (Hannah, Sam, and Tabby) to take Adam back to Texas on Friday morning, so it was up to the older kids to welcome the Windes' around 1am Saturday morning, technically (it felt like Friday night, so I'll just say that). We talked into the wee hours of the morning (2am, that is) about anything and everything, and fell into a content, exhausted sleep till late the next morning.

Saturday got off to a nice start with some breakfast and chatting amongst the older kids and Uncle Larry and Aunt Lois, and learning all sorts of interesting facts about where all the kids were, what they were doing, and anything else you'd ever want to know about us. A plan was born not only to get a tour of Daniel's medical school, but also of the bank where Jacob works:). We also heard some comical stories about our parents and grandparents, always good.

Around lunchtime, we left for our first adventure outside the house: Hobby Lobby! Sure enough, Aunt Lois, Emily, and Amanda all found at least one thing that met their sastisfaction. We ended up with some scrapbooking supplies and earring materials, which have yet to be used (but soon!). After Hobby Lobby, we made an excursion to Wal-Mart to print some picture while Amanda comtemplated the best solution to her camera/battery conundrum. After said adventures, we headed home to make a lovely feast of burritos. Then...eat! After eat, it was watch Olympics! And more olympics, and more and more to our hearts' content, and off to bed for some more chatting. Oh, and there was a nice walk in there somewhere.

Sunday morning brought the greetings of Mom and Dad back from Texas and church at 9am. For Bible class we had a video presentaton from a Christian comedian, which we thoroughly enjoyed:). After church we stopped by the cemetray to see Tarah's new headstone, and the Windes' saw her spot for the first time. It looks very nice.

After church we went home for some lunch and dove into scrapbooking, with Olympics always in the background. Then, pizza for dinner and more Olympics!

Each day just gets better and better, and today was no exception. We started off the morning wtih some breakfast and off to downtown Sioux Falls! This adventure included 10,000 Villages, an outdoor camping store, posing with various sculptures, rocking out to country music (and Chicago...), going into about 4 or 5 different restraunts before we found one that could accomadate Emily and Amanda (including one very comical diner waiter and a seedy looking Chinese place), being snubbed by a hoighty-toighty shoe saleswoman (but it's ok, we've concocted a plan for revenge), finding a nice little cafe for lunch, and a marevlous store called Zandbroz Variety that had everything from 50% off Hillary in '08 shirt:D. That was our favorite. Oh, and a book on how to get fat, and Mr. Bacon and Monsieur Tofu. What a day. And there were nice clothes stores in between, and witness to Emily's almost transformation into a fashionista/spoiled rich kid persona;). Oh, and planning my wedding and trying to save Emily from her gum addiction. *phew*

After the marvelous drive home, we left almost right away for Vermillion, SD to see Daniel's apartment and tour his medical school. Great fun. Even the "obscene" poll. Once we got back home (the drive included "Celebrities 101", taught by myself), dinner and...you guessed it...more olympics! And now Emily and Amanda are sleeping soundly as we are going to be up bright and early to go see my college tomorrow, and then hopefully head out to see where Jacob works. *sigh* Good thing I didn't wait till the end of their visit to post;) Oh, and I almost forgot the most important detail. There was a marvelous (can you tell I like that word?) thnuderstorm tonight and Amanda and I went for our walk in it:). Ok, good night!

Friday, August 8, 2008

It's One 'O Dem Zippedee Doo-Dah Days...

Today is a good day! Or...it should be, anyway. Here are a few reasons why:

1) My LAST day of slavery at Hobby Lobby!!
2) I get to see an awesome friend that I haven't seen nearly all summer!
3) I get to see Emily and Amanda! (the awesomeness is not in this order, this is just the order they'll happen)
4) It's Friday, that's always good regardless.

Some other good news, the headstone for Tarah's grave finally came in. I don't know if any of you knew, but originally she went without one for a few weeks because that was the first time we visited the grave since her funeral and realized that she never got one. So, the cemetary put a temporary one there and we ordered her a nice one.

The temporary one, in the mean time, got sort of chopped up by lawnmowers and was even missing half the letters of her name. So, we've been kind of anxious for her to get the nice one, and it finally did come and was put in yesterday. There's supposed to be a picture of her on it too, but, ironically enough, the factory that makes the picture additions BURNED TO THE GROUND! Who woulda thunk...

So, at least she has the marker, just no picture yet. And now I have to get back to cleaning so Emily and Amanda actually have room to walk...:)

Friday, August 1, 2008

...where I left off

Wow, it's been a while. I've tried several times over the summer to come back and pick up where I left off, but it would be an understatement to say that "where I left off" was a downer.

Sometimes writing is therapuetic, and sometimes it just isn't. And sometimes timing is everything. I don't know why I chose now to actually write something here, but here I am, so I may as well:)

What a strange summer it's been, on so many levels. At the end of the school year, I wanted nothing more than to leave school and get home. I wanted nothing more than to be away from school and with my family. School, towards then end of the year, grew to embody nothing but bad memories and I just didn't want to be there. Little did I know how much more home would bring out those memories, but I least I've had my family along with me.

So yes, summer has been a strange one. Apart from trying to adjust, or whatever the word is, to life without the little princess, that has had an impact on everything else. Everything. I discovered that I am bad at separation. I was told by a friend once that I take on the burdens of my friends instead of helping them when they need it and then living my life. I can't separate their problems from my own life. And it gets heavy after awhile. I also discovered that some people in my family can separate. I didn't even know it was possible. In talking to them about how they deal with things, they're just able to.

I cannot separate having lost my sister from ANYTHING. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it sure makes it harder. Basically, if anything, I suppose this summer has revealed a lot to me about not only myself, but so many people around me and just how incredible they are, and how lucky I am to have them in my life. And also, the how incredible the ones I don't have anymore were. And also, (forgive me if I sound cliche') my relationship with God is more defined than it ever has been. I was kind of forced to come face to face with him and REALLY talk to Him. Sometimes its good, sometimes not so good, but at least I know where I am, well, sort of:). God has always been a part of my life just as much anytime as He is now, I guess you could say I just have more to talk about, or argue about, or whatever it happens to be. I guess the bottom line is, He is there.

So, I'm probably going back to Dordt in a few weeks (the whole "probably" part is another story all it's own), and I'm a little worried about how that's going to play out. Part of me just wants to dive into it just so I can get this part of "healing", as it's been called by some, out of the way and started. I know so much is going to flood back to me when I go back, but I do want to go back. Another part of me wants to hold off as long as I can:). But that never seems to be the best option;)

So, that's my first post back in however long ago the last one was:). Not much, but it's a start. Thanks for listening.

Friday, March 21, 2008

March Madness...and I don't mean basketball

The most relevant news of late is probably Tarah-relatedness. Earlier this week she gave us quite a scare from an especially bad episode that ended in a seizure because she didn't her pain meds on time (it was decided that the seizure was a result of her pain being too much for her and so she stopped breathing). We had to call an ambulance and she was stabilized before they got to our house, but they took her in anyway. They did some tests and sent her home, but this just proved that something needs to be done now, because its getting worse.

Her doctor (well, one of them) wanted to send her back to Denver now (she was there last year around Christmas for about 2 weeks and nothing really happened). And just today, we got a call from Dad telling us that they have her scheduled to fly over tomorrow morning! Meaning, no Easter with Mom and Tarah. Daniel, Jacob, and I all have to go back to school on Monday, which is a bummer because it would've been helpful if we could've been around while she's gone. There's no telling how long they'll keep her there, because last time it was about 2 weeks.

So, that's what's going on with Tarah. They're looking into some sort of pain disorder now. But anyway, the rest of life is pretty good. There's been a lot of church lately, with Holy Week. I'm home right now with Tarah because she can't go to church, everyone else is at Good Friday service.

Last night we (Jacob, Ethan, Joel, and I) got to go visit a newborn of our old boss, which was really great. And then we got to go to a friends' house and just hang out, which was really nice. I haven't touched homework this entire break, so I don't even know what I have to do. I'm going to be pretty sorry when I get back to school, I have a feeling. But I'm not worrying about that right now:). As Scarlett O'Hara would say, ""I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

*sigh* So, its been a little more eventful than I would've hoped for, but it is what it is. God knows what He's doing, even if we have no idea. But any prayers would be much appreciated. Thanks guys, I love you all! Oh, and I can't forget that March Madness is underway:). TTFN!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I am home! Wahoo! I love home! I was telling a friend that home is by far where I feel the most loved and I love loving them right back:). It's one of my favorite things to do. *sigh* Everyone is home now except for Daniel, and he should be home anytime now.
Tarah has not been doing well lately, so it's great that we're all home now because she loves it when we're all home:). Yay break!
And...it was almost like summer yesterday! Well, 40s, but to me that's practically summer:). I went for a walk on the winding dirt roads, and it was gorgeous because everything was starting to melt. Spring is peeking through! There were mini streams everywhere from all the snow melting, and even a mini waterfall (I'll have pictures on facebook at some point).
I got my hair cut today. I ran into two awesome people that I haven't seen for a very long time. I got to watch "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" with the coolest little brothers and sisters ever (great movie, you should see it), and I got to see Jacob's mohawk in person for the first time. It's been a pretty good day!
And now, I'm off to go join said cool little-ings to watch "Chicken Run." We're waiting for Mom and Dad to get back, they're out on a date:). Tehe.
And now, I am off to answer the call of "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey, don't touch me!" Gotta love 'em.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sketchiness...oooooh

I have no officially survived my first official bachelorette party (I've been to bridal showers before, but that doesn't count). Actually, I also survived planning and co-hosting it, too:). Hehe. It was great fun and there was much sketchiness had by all. Let's just say that mad libs at a bachelorette party turn from the path of innocence pretty darn quickly. And that's the extent of the detail to be posted on a blog:).

It's been a busy weekend. Eryn and I have been planning for that party for our friend Kirbee for the past month or so, and were up making food for it at 9am, and then it went till about 8:30ish, and right after that I ran back to campus for a band concert that Eryn and lots of other peoples I know were in, and then came back to my room and finished watching a movie called "Elizabeth," which was quite good. Very brutal, but good. Cate Blanchett makes one wicked queen (in a good way).

And now I'm going to tally all the homework that stands between me and spring break. As of now, off of the top of my head, I can think of one test and three papers. *sigh* But...its not a full school week! I pretty much am home free once I get past Wednesday. Then...HOME! And Adam will be home! I haven't seen him since Christmas. Apparently he had to spend the night in the airport that night...*guilty giggle*. Actually, I don't feel terribly guilty for giggling at him, I feel guilty more on account that I DON'T feel guilty. Haha, ok, I'm going to stop now.

Onward and upward...to homework. Huzzah. Happy Sunday to all!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Is it a "happy-to-be-alive" day?

...down came the snow and washed the color out.
No, actually, last night the snow was abosultely gorgeous. I was working on a paper till about 2am last night (ok, maybe it wasn't ALL paper writing, maybe there was a LITTLE "Lost" watching...) and when I walked back to my dorm there were the most gorgeous, big fat flakes of snow falling that I had ever seen. It was more like floating than falling. And it wasn't terribly cold. Perfect. *sigh*

I'm doing remarkably well at this whole posting thing (just wait till break, though). Today has been a constructive day, at best. I went to class! I think that can be classified as constructive. Aslo, I am currently getting paid to sit here and type. That's right. Work was cancelled because of the eventful fire incident in the theatre department the other day. And seeing as how the costume shop is a part of that, we aren't allowed in due to smoke smells (or something), but we still get paid for when we would've normally worked:). No complaints here.

Tonight shall entail orchestra, dinner, and writing about ballet. Yay! That's right, I get to write about ballet. We have a personal choice essay due on Friday and I am writing mine on the origins of ballet. In the words of Sonja...*celebratory hand motions*. And that is all...for now. May you all have a most joyous and splendiferous "happy-to-be-alive" day. Because I'm happy that you're alive:).

Ok, and...bye.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Escape'...hey, that looks a lot like the word 'escape'!

Well, seeing as how it is a new month, I shall post a new post (especially since I know Anna is itching for another one;).

For starters, I had a marvelous weekend. It consisted of marvelously enjoyable peoples, ridiculous boys (who we determined were more girly than we were), a NICE hotel, crazy car rides, and the Mall of America! See Facebook for pictures:). It was a wonderful off-campus escape, which was greatly needed and greatly effective. There was much celebrating had by all, and much more fun than that. *sigh* Alas, I did not want to come back.

Now I am back in the real world, but the high is still wearing off, I think:). I just hope I can hang on to it till spring break, but I doubt it. We'll see. Life is just a little eventful of late. But that's ok. At least it's not boring, right? And I am surrounded by wonderful people to make sure I don't get lost amid the craziness:). Yay for people to save me from other people:).

God is good. That's a given. He's amazing, actually. And today feels/looks like spring. Its a tad chilly from the wind, but I can tell spring is peeking through. I think (cross my fingers). Oh, and excitement of the day was the fire alarm sounding TWICE during one of my classes (there was actually a fire in the theatre arts department). And now, I am in a computer lab in the basement of my dorm and the laundry room was filled with smoke. Sheesh, what's going on today.

Anyway, back to happy paper writing. Huzzah...not really. Fare thee well, until next time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Informative!

Well, Katie and Anna asked for another post, so this for you guys:)
Hmmm...what is new in my life? Well, "Dead Man Walking" is currently in production, so this is a fairly busy time for us costume shop workers. I worked the play tonight and last night. Basically we sit down in the dressing rooms during the shows and are prepared to fix and "wardrobe malfunctions." All I did tonight was cut some dangling threads. But hey, we get paid for it! Oh, and we clean the dressing rooms after everyone's gone. Fun times.

The show itself is really good...though I'm sure I exactly agree with it. It's about a man on death row. Very powerful stuff, and everyone involved did/is doing an excellent job. There was a responder tonight who watched the show and then critiqued it afterwards, which also went pretty well, I thought.

School is going pretty well. Not much to report there. Life is still insane, as usual. People are still insane, as usual;). Katie and Anna, if you want the specifics on that, give me a call:). Oh wait, I don't have my phone right now. E-mail! Or facebook message!

Ok, to everyone NOT Anna and Katie (well, you guys, too), have a marvelous day/week/whenever you read this and I be happy:). This post wasn't too in-depth, but it was nice and informative:). TTFN!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mood Swings?

Wouldn't it be nice if there were locked-in moods? Kind of like interest rates? You know, if you could lock in a mood where you've just buried some major demons, come to terms with battles, set to rest worries, and are just happy with your life? Content with what God has given you? Joyful, in fact, in what God has blessed you with??

It would be nice if you could lock that in because I feel like just a week ago (exactly, I think) I felt just that way. And in just one night, I somehow let it all get turned around again. I'd been doing so well. I don't know what happened.

Well, things happened, I guess I just don't know why I'm letting them bother me now. What's different about tonight from last week? That's what I'm trying to figure out...so I can fix it. Fix may not be the best term. The way I see it, all the blessings I had that brought contentment along with are still here. No matter how I choose to look at things, it doesn't change the fact that I am incredibly blessed. I have more than enough to be content. Which is why I'm kicking myself for being where I am now.

I think one thing is I'm looking for strength in the wrong place. Lately, anyway. I've been looking for it in people. That's one of the reasons, I think, that I've let my mood be swayed, is because I've been letting people get to me. Normally that isn't a problem for me. Externally, anyway. If someone is bothering me I don't usually do anything about it externally (which can be a problem in and of itself), and internalize it. The thing is, last week, I wasn't even internalizing it! I wasn't putting my hope in man...I was putting it on God, which is where it needs to stay.

However, God puts people in our lives to help with hardships, right? But that doesn't mean they should become a distraction in where my eyes and heart should be focused at all times. I just need to remind myself of that every once and a while;). If you see me in the near future, you can remind me, too:). "Why so downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God!" Basically, I have no reason to be downcast, even though I am. And I know I can't force myself out of it by telling myself I shouldn't be. I need to thank God for the amazing people he has placed in my life, and not give up on the ones that I'm struggling with. Not dwell on what might not be going the way I want it to (but pray about it), and concentrate on the countless things that I do have, yet don't deserve. Count my blessings! God really is good.

Now I have to go write some dialogue...fare thee well!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My First Fiction Writing Assignment

The following is a story I had to write for my Fiction Writing class. A condensed plot was provided, and we simply had to expand it. So...here it is (and excuse the numbered headings from every page, it was just a pain to try and get rid of them):

Hooked
The glow of the setting sun caught the rusty dashboard of the old Ford Tempo and illuminated the otherwise-humdrum hue of this ancient relic. The bronzy-orange finish was peeling in multiple areas, but you could hardly tell due to the fact that the unveiling of the rust underneath was almost the same color anyway. The entire landscape seemed to have a color theme of oranges, yellows, and browns. The orange of the setting sun complimented the browns and yellows of the vast expanses of wheat fields for miles in every direction. The wheat was tossed about delicately by a light wind that had been steadily dying down from the mid afternoon.
It was evening now. The Ford was parked on the side of a winding country road that wrapped around the countryside and nothing but, for miles in every direction. It was as remote a spot as any two love birds could hope for in small town smack dab in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas.
Nowhere, Kansas was all Harry and Ellen needed. They’d been dating for two years now. This romantic escape was celebrating this two-year milestone. It was a storybook romance. Both had grown up in this small town, gone to the same school, same high school, and they were even both attending the same university. The proposal was only a matter of time. In
Heckmann 2
fact, Ellen’s mind began to drift off on the soft music of the crackly radio as she daydreamed of wedded bliss with her childhood sweetheart.
“Harry,” she whispered, eyes closed, face nuzzled up against his chest, “let’s not ever move. Let’s just sit here and fall asleep in this moment, so it never has to end. Let the music carry us away…”
Harry smirked at her girlish sentimentality. “Well Ellie,” he said in the most matter-of-fact tone he could muster, “at some point, this old junk heap is going to give out on us and then there won’t be any more music to float on, you know.”
His playful sarcasm brought her abruptly back to reality as she tried to stifle a smile. “Oh, come on now,” she said trying to sound annoyed. “That’s not funny.”
The sun had almost set beneath the field now, as the color in the sky slowly diminished into a darker blue. Harry and Ellie decided to lay words aside and took Ellie’s advice, as they began to drift off to the sound of the radio.
The romantic moment was short-lived, however. The music suddenly came to an abrupt stop. The crackling that replaced it brought Harry and Ellie back to reality once more as they curiously sat up and reached for the radio dial.
Harry refrained from switching stations, however, when a man with a very serious tone came on the air with the words, “This is not a test.” Looking at Ellie curiously, he resorted to turning the volume dial instead. The voice continued, “I repeat, this is not a test. All citizens of Teller County and surrounding areas are asked to return to their homes immediately. Word was
Heckmann 3
just been received that a convicted murderer has escaped from Teller Country Prison and his whereabouts are currently unknown to authorities. He is at large in the area and is very dangerous. He is approximately 5’ 11”, dark brown hair, approximately 175 pounds, and has hooks in place of hands.”
Harry almost had to chuckle at this last bit of information. “Are they serious?” he asked.
Almost in response, the voice continued, “I repeat, this is not a test. Please take this information with the utmost seriousness and get to safety as soon as possible.”
“Baby, I think he’s serious,” said Ellie shakily. “Come on, we better leave.”
“Ellie, come on, are you kidding me? A murderer with hooks for hands?”
“Harry! I want to leave!” Exasperated, Ellie violently switched off the radio and reached for her seatbelt. “If you don’t start this heap of metal Harry, I will.”
Harry was obviously annoyed at her sense of urgency, not to mention the loss of the romantic mood. “This is the best part of the evening, baby. Come on, we can’t leave now. The night’s just begun.”
Ellie refused to respond with more than a heated death glare that scared Harry more than any hook-handed murderer.
“Ok, fine, you win,” he retorted, obviously perturbed. “I cannot believe you’re letting this scare you. This was going to be our special night, nothing was going to bother us, remember?”
Heckmann 4
“I think a convicted murderer on the loose is cause for an exception, Harry!” It was never a good sign when they started using each other’s names in every sentence. Doing his best to appear incredibly put out, he dramatically reached for the keys and turned them in the ignition.
The car noisily sputtered into gear, making Ellie glance around suspiciously. Wanting to accentuate his exasperation, Harry slammed his foot down on the accelerator as the wheels spun amid the dirt and gravel, trying hard to get a firm grip on the road. Once the old Ford accomplished this feat, Harry sped down the winding dirt road back towards whatever civilization waited for them back in town.
It was not, however, fast enough for Ellie. She couldn’t help darting glances here and there every time she heard a leaf rustle, or a rock roll.
As the lights of the town came into view, Harry decided to break the silence at an attempt of reconciliation. “Come on now Ellie, I really don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”
Ellie’s mixture of morbid fear and annoyance at Harry’s lack of concern resulted in indignant silence. Harry sighed and turned the radio on again, weighing down on the breaks as they entered the sleepy little town. The gas station was the first sign of life coming in from the countryside. Glancing over the shadows of the rusty old general store attached to the station, Ellie’s heart suddenly stopped. A gasp escaped her lips as she clutched Harry’s arm with enough solidity to cut off his blood circulation.
“What is it now?” demanded Harry, not pleased with the swerving her clamp had caused.

Heckmann 5
Ellie said nothing as she climbed over him to look out his side of the window. Not uttering a word, her eyes unwavering, she unlocked his car door and slowly climbed out, still not breaking her line of sight.
“Ellie, what are you doing?” asked Harry, more sternly this time. “Come on, get back in the car. What do you see?”
A few feet from the vehicle, Ellie froze in her tracks, her gaze deepening as she strained her eyes to see in the dark.
Slightly unsettled, Harry climbed out of the car and gently touched Ellie on the arm, sending her reeling around with a shriek.
“Harry, don’t!” she yelled.
“Well come on, what are you looking at? Just get back in the car.”
Not getting anything from her, Harry attempted to follow her line of sight. Following hers, his gaze landed among some shadows between the farthest two gas pumps on the northern side of the building.
From behind the first pump, he immediately became aware of Ellie’s apprehension. Barely visible from behind the apparatus, he made out the form of a curved, metal piece jutting out from the shadows.
Letting the silence linger a few moments longer, Harry let out an obviously stifled laugh as he slapped Ellie on the back. “Ummm, darling,” he said lovingly, between chuckles, “that’s
Heckmann 6
the gas pump. Now, I know you’re paranoid, but there really is nothing to worry about. So, let’s get back in the car and get you back to your apartment.”
Still laughing, he walked over to her side of the car, opened the door, and helped her in. Sauntering back to his side, he couldn’t help laughing to himself over the whole ordeal. Now, off to her apartment it was.
The old Ford slowly screeched to a halt as Harry pulled in front of Ellie’s off-campus apartment building, just down the road from the small town junior college that they both attended.
As Ellie reached for the lock button on the car door, she gazed out the window to her front door. The gap between her and home seemed an eternity longer than any of the other million times Harry had brought her home, just the same way. She hesitantly reached for the car door and set her feet on the cool pavement.
“Walk me to the door, Harry?” she pleaded, almost pathetically. Harry had never seen her this way. Still rather amused by the whole ordeal, he hurried over to Ellie and offered her his arm.
“Now, I’ll get you inside all safe and sound, and tomorrow you’ll be laughing about this just like I am.”
Ellie didn’t respond as they made their way up the sidewalk to the front door. Harry, deciding to maintain that gentlemanly fa├žade, reached for the door doorknob to open the door for her.
Heckmann 7
As his hand touched the cold metal, the amused smirk on his face immediately froze in one of utter horror. The doorknob wasn’t round. The doorknob wasn’t a doorknob at all. As the moon momentarily moved in front of the menacing clouds overhead, the brief gush of light illuminated a shiny, thin, metal hook.