Dreaming of Heroes
Dreaming of Heroes
The day was long and tiring, Chastity set her fresh cup of tea on the lampstand next to her recliner. She sat back; propped her feet up and began a much deserved rest. She took a sip of her tea and picked up the book lying on the lampstand to read......
A knock came on the door. She opened the door to see a stranger in a dark leather hat pulled down over his face. “Can I help you?”
He looked up and tilted his hat brim back smiling. She stopped, and stared in shock. “hello beautiful”
She didn’t even hesitate, and hit him with a solid right to the jaw, knocking him on the floor. He rubbed his jaw and smiled up at her. “Nice to see you, too.”
Get up and get out. What do you want here anyway?
Take it easy. I'm looking for your father.
Well you're two years too late.
Avalanche. He was digging. What else? He spent his whole life digging. Dragging me all over this rotten earth. For what?
Did you find him?
Hell no. He's buried where he was working; probably preserved real good, too, in the snow.
Not a bad way to go. Doing what he loved.
Don't give me that stuff! What do you know? I'm the one that was left in a bad way. He didn't leave me a penny. Oh I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years. But somehow, no matter how much I hated you, I always knew that someday you'd come through that door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. Why are you here... now... tonight?
I need one of the pieces your father collected.
Her eyes went Icy She swung at him again with her right, but this time he caught her at the wrist. Then he grabbed her left hand as she brought up to slap him. Her emotions overcame her and she fought to get the words out through her tears “You son-of-a-bitch! You know what you did to me, to my life? This is your handiwork.
I never meant to hurt you.
I was a child!
You knew what you were doing.
I was in love.
I guess that depends on your definition.
It was wrong. You knew it.
He released her arms “look, I did what I did. I don't expect you to be happy about it. But maybe we can do each other some good.
Why start now?
Shut up and listen for a second. I need that piece your father had. I've got money.
Enough to get you out of here and back where you came from. Where are his things?
Gone. I sold it all. It was all junk. The junk he wasted his life on.
Everything?” he queried, she nodded… “That's too bad.”
You look disappointed. I like that” she quipped. “How's it feel?”
“You're a tough broad now, aren't you?”
It's no act, pal. She smirked, “This ain't Schenectady.
“Look, I can only say I'm sorry so many times….”
“Well say it some more” she paused and began again “I may be able to locate some of his things. I know who's got them. What do you want?
A bronze piece, about this size.” He made a circle with his hands. “In the shape of the sun; probably broken off at the bottom. Has a little hole in it, off-center. Does that sound familiar?”
Maybe, How much?
Three thousand. American.
That'll get me back, but not in style. This doodad must be pretty important.
I knew it would happen eventually. I knew it. Something had to go my way. I want ten thousand”
Okay, I can give you five thousand now. I can get you more when we get back.
You word, huh? Just like you said you'd be back last time? That was your word too.
I'm back, aren't I?
Come back tomorrow.
Because I said so, that's why. It's about time I called the shots in this relationship.
He nodded and turned to leave.
Wait a minute. Leave the five thousand here.” He hesitated then she continued “You want trust, give some. I want to smell your money.
He glanced in her eyes and thought for a moment then reached inside his shirt and pulled cash from a money belt, and laid five grand on the counter; “I’m trusting you”
You're an idiot.
I've heard that. He smiled then turned and walked away, without looking back –“Tomorrow…”
When Chastity awoke the next morning still sitting in her chair, her cat was climbing up her lap meowing. “Good morning Casper” she said stroking her pets head, “did I fall asleep here again. I’m sorry let me get you some breakfast.” She looked at the book turned down on her lap, put in the marker and closed it. “What happened to the real heroes Indy?” she half smiled and set the book down.
She stood and walked into the kitchen and set her cat on the counter. Reaching up she opened the cabinet containing Casper’s food and took down an envelope. Opening the bag, she poured it into the food bowl and threw the bag away. “There you go baby” and smiled as Casper stared to eat.
“Well I guess I best get ready for work,” she remarked. Pouring herself a cup of coffee she checked the time and walked into the bedroom.
When she arrived at work that morning, things were already busy. The night crew was working overtime with every bed in use.
Good morning Ma-am’ “ a young LPN’s said while dressing a bandage, “Big accident on the freeway, we got the overload, all the OR’s are full and there are five staged.”
“Why didn’t someone call me?”
“They said you worked late last night Ma’am and needed to rest.”
“Who sad that?”
“Dr. Patel, she was the ORD on-call”
"Never mind,” she said rushing to put her scrubs on. “Who’s the duty nurse? I need the pas-down.”
“Richards Ma’am, she’s in six”
“Thanks, and quit calling me ma’am, gees!” She put on her head cover and tied the bottom of the mask around her neck while walking to six. ‘This is going to be a wonderful day’ she thought sarcastically shaking her head.
As she walked into the room the Doc looked up and greeted her “Hey Chas you gorgeous thing, when you gonna go out with me?”
Her smirk was hidden by her mask but her reply resonate, “I don’t know, how about I call you wife and see what night you’re free.”
“Ha-ha never mind,” he chortled, then began again. “This one is almost finished and Richards has it covered, I need you to help in three, and assist Patel and Bennett. They have a woman in there touch and go.”
“Yes Sir” Chastity rushed out and over to OR3. ‘And so it begins’ was her only thought as she pulled her mask up.
Hours had passed and the surgical ward was slowing down. Orderlies were cleaning the rooms preparing for whatever came next. After making one last pass through the recovery room, Chas walked into her office took of her cap and wiped the sweat from her brow. The reports were stacked in front of her along with her pocket recorder and laptop. Now the long and strenuous task of documenting everything that happened since her shift started. It had been ten hours since she walked in that morning, though it felt like an eternity.
After knocking half the reports out, she picked up the rest and placed them in her satchel, she would finish them later at home. Right now all she needed was some food and a place to relax. She headed to a favorite coffee spot, knowing she could find a table with Wi-Fi and some good food.
Chastity just began working on the files resting beside her fresh cappuccino, when the door burst open by a man with a gun came running in. “Nobody move, Just want da money an be quick so nobody gets hurt!”
He’s got a gun” someone screamed as the employees froze. Chastity was afraid to move and just stared at him and the gun. “We…we don’t have much money... this this…we’re just a coffee shop.” the cashier stammered.
“I know what this is, I know you got money too! Now get out da cash and I want everybody's money in da bag” he replied throwing a pillow case on the counter.
The patrons nervous; slowly stared getting out their wallets and opened their purses while the cashier began removing the cash from register. The gunman kept waving his piece and shouting for them to hurry.
Then out of nowhere there he was; towering over the gunman. Reaching from behind he grabbed the hand holding the gun and pulled it straight up. The gun discharged and the shot went aimlessly into the ceiling. The stranger swung the man around and planted his fist hard into the man’s jaw sending him crashing to the floor. “Now Mister, you done three things I don’t cotton too…” he put his foot in the man’s chest, and waved the gun at him like a toy in his hands. “First you got no call to start this ruckus with all these people just commin’ in for to get some coffee and such.”
Chastity couldn’t take her eyes off him he was brave, tall and strong, and wow was he good looking. He was everything she thought a man should be.
The man started to fight against the foot holding him down, “Now you just stay right where you’re at for a bit, cause I ain’t done yet.” He pressed his boot down harder into the man’s chest. “The second thing is you insultin’ all the ladies her by bargin’ in and wantin’ things they hold special. That ain’t no way to treat lady-folk.” he paused for a minute and leaned over resting his hand with the gun on his knee. “ The third thing was you shootin’ of that pea-shooter and disruptin’ my peace an quiet, and the last thing was….”
The gunman interrupted him “hey you said tree things!” he rebutted trying to speak...
“I didn’t reckon you could count. But I just felt like addin’ one more thing since you got nowhere else to get off too. I was a might put out you kept me from getting my cup of Jo, and that flat out rankled me. Now I’m gonna keep this little pea-shooter for my niece, and you’re ‘gonna get on out of here and stop messin up everyone’s day. Now get. He picked up his foot as the man scrambled to his feet and ran out of the shop.
The patrons opened up in a round of cheers and applauds. “Twerent nothin folks just takin care of a snake, now if you don’t mind” he turned and addressed the cashier, ”Ma’am would it be too much trouble to get a big ole cup of plain black coffee?”
“It’s on the house and anything else you want.” she smiled putting the cash back inside the register.
"Thank you kindly Ma’am, I guess a ham sandwich would be nice if it ain’t no trouble. And” he leaned over to her and whispered “if you could help me with one more little thing?”
“Sure we’re all in your debt, what else I can do.”
“Can you tell me the name of that cute little philly I noticed settin by the door“
She smiled, “I cant until I ask her permission first sir.”
Reckon that’s the right thing to do, but if’n you don’t mind…”
A grin came over her face, just a moment please,” and she walked away for the counter and strait over to Chastity who looked a bit confused as she approached.
“Ms. Beaumont, that man wanted me to give him your name, but I told him I couldn’t unless you are ok with it.”
Chastity glanced over at the stranger leaning against the counter; he smiled and tipped his hat. She looked back at the cashier and gave her a nervous smile, I guess so….”
“Great”, she turned and addressed the man, “would you mind coming over here?”
“Be my pleasure.” He walked over towards Chastity and removed his hat, Ma’am, names Connors, Guthrie Connors or just Gus to my friends.”
“Mr. Connors,” the cashier began “this is Chastity, Chastity Beaumont; she’s one of our best customers.”
It’s a real pleasure to meet you Ma’am.”
“It’s nice to meet you too Mr. Connors. That was quite impressive how you handled that man earlier.”
“That weren’t no big deal Ma’am. And Its Gus, please.”
“OK Gus then, and you can call me Chas.” A warm smile came across her face, “Please have a seat it will be a nice change instead of these files to keep me company. As Gus took the chair opposite her and set his hat down on a third chair, then leaned back to wait for his order.
Chas whispered under her breath “There ARE still heroes Indy…”