Copyright Mark Christopher Garrett 2022
Hailey was on her way down the Old State road way out in the country, she had left the big city just over 6 hours ago and has been relocating to her new home.
Hailey just accepted a job offer at a small animal hospital as she has just graduated college and looking forward to following her passion that also led to her degree.
Hailey had lived all her life in that city and promised herself that one day she would leave, not just like a bat out of hell, but on her own terms
Today is that day and Hailey is on top of the world, the sun shining bright, the breeze blowing the leaves on the beautiful forest of trees, the scenic picture perfect post card settings of white picket fences and barns, not to mention the lovely horses running across the fields.
Hailey knew she had made the right choice and couldn’t wait to see the small farm house she had bought through an agency a college friend of hers was working at.
As she was making the curve around the corn fields she heard a loud pow and her steering wheel jolted
“Oh, great, there goes a tire”
She pulls off to the side of the road and opens her trunk
“Ok, so I see the spare, but where is the jack? . . ., oh ya, I let the sorority use it at that fund raiser, I guess they never put it back and I never bothered to ask., . . . great what dod I do now my phone stopped getting reception 2 hours ago”
After an hour and a half of sitting on the side of the road stranded a car aproaches, Hailey jumps up and starts waving it down frantically, the car pulls off to the side and parks just behind Haileys car
“Can I help ya Ms.?”
“Yes please, I have been stranded here forever, my tire blew, I have a spare but no jack”
“Whoa, there little Missy, slow down, no need to worry, the calvary has arrived”
“Oh thank you so much, I’ll pay you what ever you want”
“”No need for that ma’am, especially since I’m about to put you to work”
“Yes ma’am, you see that small barn through that corn field, I need you to walk over there and when you get there go into the barn, walk to the back left corner and there will be a jack there, in the front of the barn is a wheelbarrow, use it to bring the jack back here”
“What about the owner of the farm, should I find him and see if it is ok first”
The old man chuckles
“You’ve already met the owner, trust me you won’t have any problems in that department, now hurry before the sun starts to set”
“OK, but why can’t you just drive over there and pick it up . . . ?”
“Because the road is longer than the walk, now go, plus I need to go fetch my son as my arthritis prevents me from doing any work like that, he will meet you back here, no hurry along”
As Hailey walks through the corn field she can’t help but actually to enjoy the whole thing, most people would be upset to be broken down and stranded in an unknown are, but Hailey was the adventurous type and she just saw this as another adventure
She arrived at the barn and everything was right where the old man told her it would be, she gathered what she needed and headed back towards her car
When she got there, a young man was already waiting on her, and he already had the car jacked up and the tire off
“I guess you had your own” she said
“Never leave home without it, . . . hello, I would shake your hand but I am a little greasy right now, how are you enjoying our neck of the woods?”
“Oh, how do you know I’m not from around here, well first off Ms, your accent is a dead give away, second, this is a small town and that is one fancy car, I can’t think of anyone else in town that owns one, but even if all that was just conjecture your license plate is a dead give away”
“Oh, ya well I guess that would do it, I’m sorry, just nerves about all this, “conjecture” huh, pretty fancy word for a farm boy”
“Even some of us farm boys read a little from time to time, well that should about do it, you are all set Ms”
“Oh thank you, what do I owe you?”
“Don’t insult me Ms, out here we do favors, because it’s the right thing to do, you needed help, I was available, no biggie, just somethin’ us farm people do”
“Well, thank you, now I need to figure out where I am heading, but my gps is out and I’m not sure where I’m at”
The young man busted out laughing
“No, it’s not funny, it’s true, I do not know where I am”
The young man has a hard time speaking over his laughter
“Ms., I take it my father did not tell you when he sent you to the barn to retrieve the jack that he sent you to your barn to retrieve your jack, as that is your farm, your corn field and the house is just over the hill on the horizon, just follow the road you are on now till you reach Scenic Dr. turn there and that will take you to the main house”
“How do you know all this, how small is this town”
“Nothing like that Ms, I know all those things because my father sold you that land, my mother’s real estate firm handled the transaction, any way, if you need anything my families farm is on the opposite side of the road albeit many acres away, just call the number on your real estate paperwork and that will connect you with my mom and dad
“Well thanks, will I ever see you again?”
“In this town Ms, I guarantee it, have a good evening Ms.
Hailey pulls back out onto the road and follows the instructions the young farm hand had given her, including information on the fact that her phone would work just around the corner, she arrives to the front of the house and is amazed at all it’s glory, the sun was setting perfectly behind it and she thought it a perfect ending to a perfect day.
Then she went inside . . .
She froze, closed her eyes, did an about face and walked out where she immediately gasped for air
Once she composes herself she holds her breath as she runs through the little cottage farmhouse opening up all the windows, then she runs out the back door and leaves it open as well
“Good, that ought to do the trick, and while it’s airing out I think I’ll use the rest of the daylight to explore my new surroundings”
She falls in love with the entire property, but that cottage, boy did it need some work
As she sat and watched the rest of the sunset she made a checklist of all the things she would need to get at the store the next day to clean up and fix up the little cottage
Once the sun finally set she realized she was getting tired and decided to see if it had aired out enough to go in. She sticks her head in the back door and sniffs, . . .
“Hmmm, not so bad, actually a lot better than before”
As she heads in she flicks on the kitchen light, . . . only, . . .
No kitchen light
“Oh great, seriously”
She walks to the living room and again flicks on the light switch only to find the same result, darkness
“Oh come on”
She uses her cell phone as a flashlight and pulls out the real estate paperwork
She finds the phone number and calls it
The old man that had pulled over earlier to help her answers the phone, she tells him the situation and he just chuckles, he then instructs her that there are some kerosene lanterns over at the farm house and she can use them to light up the place, the hot water heater was wood heated and the wood was on the side of the cottage already cut into the small pieces. He then hangs up the phone, his wife glances up at him to see what the fuss is about and he just shrugged his shoulder and said “city folks” to which she sighed and then chuckled herself
Hailey makes her way over to the barn, at first she was afraid she might run into a critter or two, but after running into several inside the cottage she figured what’s the difference.
She located the kerosene lamps as well as some other items she thought would be useful and had them all stacked up and ready to put in the wheel barrow to take back to the main cottage, then realized she left it where she had her flat earlier that day.
So Hailey does the only thing she can do, she goes and gets the wheel barrow.
By the time she makes it all the way back to the main cottage with a fully loaded wheel barrow the moon has become full and bright
“Wow what a magical looking moon, I think I can get used to this country stuff”
She sings and humms while she lights up the rooms of the cottage one by one with the lanterns, she keeps one outside for the hot water heater which she has now fired up
She spends the entire night cleaning, scrubbing, dusting and in general just a lot of basic tidying up
“This feels perfect, this is exactly what I wanted, and I am so glad to be out of the city”
Hailey retires to bed as tomorrow will be a big day for her, she has to find her way into town and start her new job.
She is so excited she can barely sleep, but she is so tired she falls asleep immediately, she just dreams of being awake and not being able to fall asleep
Early the next morning roosters every where are waking up the roost, Hailey is no exception as she is up early herself and ready for work
Once she arrives she sees a young familiar face getting out of a vehicle, it’s the gentleman from yesterday, and she see’s he is pulling his dog from the vehicle as well
“Awe, poor thing, let me go see if I can help., . . . . Hey remember me from yesterday, you helped me with my flat, I see you brought your dog in, whats wrong with him”
“Oh, are you the Vet?”
“Well, as you know I just got into town, but yes I am the new Vet, my name is Hailey . . .”
“Oh well then, thank you Hailey, I think its his paw he might of broke it I’m not sure”
“Oh let me see”
The dogs limp arm just hangs there as Hailey feels the bones in it
“Everything feels O.K., lets get him inside so we can get some X -rays to find out for sure, here let me carry him as we do not want to risk further injury”
“Wow, thank you Ms”
As they approach the front doors the young man speaks,
“Oh I forgot to tell you, all the lights are unscrewed half a turn to prevent shorting during storms, you may need to turn them back in to get the lights to work”
“Why that little, your father told me to use the kerosene lamps”
“Is he still pulling that one, he loves doing that, ha, ha”
Just then in the middle of chuckling the young man pulls out a set of keys and unlocks the doors to the animal medical facility
“You never said you worked here”
Just then the dog barks and jumps out of her arms and runs over to his doggy bed and plops down
“Wait, there are no other employees here, I remember that was the reason I was hired, so that means you are . . .”
correct, nice to formally meet you, and you have already met my furry little actor friend over there, Comet”