And now for the end of The Cabin. I could have cut it up into 7 parts, but I didn’t think that any of you wanted to wait that long. Hope you’ve enjoyed this ‘blast from the past’. Now to get back to a few unfinished stories…
Sawny had tidied up the cabin, and was working in the garden when she heard a truck pull up. It was too soon for Ian. So, she walked around to see who it was. From up on the hill, she could see that it was the flatbed from the feed mill. Her stuff! She started down the hill hollering “Hello!”
The driver turned around, and Sawny’s heart came up in her throat. “Jake! Oh shit! This was not good,” she thought. The look in his eyes said it all. She turned and ran. Having the hill to climb gave her a little bit of an advantage, but not much. She ran around the cabin and headed off into the woods behind it.
Crashing through the trees got old fast. It also told him exactly where she was. Sawny started to move slower and quieter. Trying to blend in. Pretty soon, she couldn’t hear him. She stopped where she could look down on the cabin. No Ian yet. “Where was Jake though?” she thought. She moved off to the left and as she came around the clump of trees, she walked right into his arms.
Sawny screamed. They scuffled as she fought to get away from him. He was as strong as ever. He finally caught her hands and cuffed her across the face. Jake hit her until she stopped fighting him. Subdued, she let herself be dragged back to the cabin.
Ian had just finished putting the groceries into the truck when a shadow fell across
the bed. He looked up to see who had come over to chat, and had the scare of his life. It was Uncle Joshua, standing there as solid as anyone. Ian would have screamed, but his voice was frozen on his lips. Uncle Joshua just looked at him. Suddenly, Ian had the horrid thought that something terrible had happened to Sawny. The instant he thought it, Uncle Joshua disappeared. Ian dived into the truck and hauled out of town.
Ian had never driven that road so fast in his life. He flew over some of the dips. All the way there, he tried to puzzle out what could be so wrong that the ghost would appear to him like that. It made his flesh creep. Worried didn’t even come close to how he felt.
Half a mile from the cabin, there was someone in the road. Ian slowed, then gasped as he realized who the tall figure was. Uncle Joshua was warning him again. He slowed down and then cut the ignition and rolled silently down the hill towards where they parked the trucks. There was a flatbed there with boxes on it. Ian got out and checked on the truck. The engine was cold, so it had been here a while. Ian decided he had better approach the cabin from the woods. He backed away from the truck and started to work around towards the back.
Sawny was on the floor. Jake had hit her enough that she wasn’t going to move. He had enjoyed having a little revenge. It had felt good. He’d indulged himself. In a bit, he’d hit her some more.
She lay there and concentrated on just breathing so it wouldn’t hurt. It was getting dark, and she knew Ian would be back soon. A fact that Jake didn’t know. All she had to do was survive. The ache in her side made her wonder if he’d cracked her ribs. The scald from the other day hurt in it’s own way. One eye was swelling shut and she could taste blood on her lips.
After he had dragged her back to the cabin, Jake told her how he had tracked her down. It was the storage unit. When her mom got the stuff out for her, he had gotten wind of it and decided to give it a special delivery. He gloated over her mistake.
Jake blamed her for the year in jail on assault. He blamed her for a lot of things. Today, was payback day. It hadn’t taken much to convince the idiot at that feedlot to let him borrow the truck and deliver it himself. Said he was her brother, and sure enough, the names on the slips matched. It was almost too easy. Good thing the stupid bitch had left a map. Otherwise he would have had to bring someone with him. At least part way that is.
It was easy when he got here too. Sawny thought she could run from him. These woods were nothing compared to the Bayou. She was so smart, but did she have a phone? No. She didn’t even live with anyone. Not even a dog. He would do what he wanted and leave, and no one would know for weeks, if even then. Jake stood on the porch and enjoyed the sunset.
Ian watched the movement in the house. He couldn’t see Sawny, and that worried
him. The shouting had stopped and then the guy came out onto the porch. From the look of him, he matched the description of Jake that Sawny talked about. If it was, Ian had just stepped into a nightmare. He moved towards the back of the house while the man was occupied on the porch.
Thankfully, the kitchen door didn’t squeak as he pushed it open. The door was in
the shadow of the loft, so he could look into the room. Sawny was on the floor. His heart wrenched as he realized she had been beaten. His first impulse was to grab her and run. The other was to kill Jake. He didn’t have any weapons and no way to distract Jake long enough to get to Sawny. Sawny moved just enough to attract Jake. Ian retreated.
Once outside, he looked around for a weapon. All he could find was the broom. Better than nothing he figured. What he really needed now was the Cavalry. That and a whole lot of luck.
Sawny was getting on his nerves. He figured it would be much more fun. Instead, she just lay there and didn’t even moan. Last time, she was much more lively. Jake pulled her up onto a chair. She sat there and wouldn’t even look at him. He was about to start hitting her again when someone came up on the porch. Jake shot Sawny a look and then went towards the door. When he got there, the porch was empty. Jake looked around both sides and saw nothing. “Maybe I’m getting jumpy,” he thought. “Better finish this off and head out.”
Sawny took a chance. The instant that Jake was out the door, she ran for the kitchen and out the back door. She almost screamed when a hand grabbed her. Ian’s hand went over her mouth. “Shhhh dear love,” he whispered. “Go down by the stream and walk to my truck and lock yourself in.” She hugged him and started off the way he pointed.
Jake came back in the door and saw that she was gone. “Damn!” He didn’t want to have to chase her in the dark, but there wasn’t much choice. He headed out the back door from the kitchen and walked right into a broomstick.
Ian hit him for all he was worth. In spite of that, this guy got up. Ian hit him again
and again. The last time across the back of the knees. Ian couldn’t tell if he was out, but looked around quickly for something to tie him up. He remembered some rope in the shed and went for it.
Jake was stumbling down the hill when Ian caught up to him. Ian tackled him and pinned him. As he tried to get him tied up, Ian felt the sting of a knife slash his arm. He fell back. Jake got up and headed back for the cabin. He never made it, because as he got to the porch, Ian heard a bloodcurdling scream. Ian looked towards the cabin just in time to see Joshua standing on the porch and Jake passing out cold.
Ian tied Jake up as tight as he could. Tied him to the porch of the cabin as well. Then he ran down the hill to Sawny. He was going to rap on the truck window, but she burst out of the truck and into his arms.
“Oh thank goodness you’re alive! ” she exclaimed. “I was watching the whole thing, and I was so scared.”
“So was I,” said Ian. He started moving them towards the cabin. His arm was bleeding from the knife cut.
“I knew I had to survive till you got here. He arrived with my stuff from home. I didn’t know how he got it, until he started shouting at me, ” she said shaking her head. “I just hoped you wouldn’t be late. I could tell by the way he acted that he didn’t know about you.”
“He also didn’t know about your Uncle Joshua,” Ian smiled. Sawny looked at him
puzzled. Ian sat her down on a chair and went for some water and rags. As he began to clean the two of them up, he explained. “I was just putting the last of the groceries in the truck when I thought someone had come up to talk to me. I looked up and there was Uncle Joshua. Scared the hell out of me, and I suddenly had a really bad feeling there was something wrong with you,” Ian said. He finished washing off her face and handed over the washrag.
“Yeah, Jake,” she said as she started to clean the knife wound. It wasn’t deep, just
long and jagged. Sawny put some of his mother’s salve on it and then wrapped it up. “So you headed back here as fast as you could?”
“Right up to the point just before the hill. Uncle Joshua was in the middle of the road, so I slowed down. I did the coasting trick and got in here unnoticed. I think it was Joshua that distracted him when you ran too. I couldn’t be in two places at once, but it seemed like I was. Did you see Uncle Joshua on the porch? And the way Jake reacted?” Ian asked.
Sawny smiled “I did. Just as he got to the porch, Uncle Joshua appeared and scared him! One second, the porch was empty, the next there was Uncle Joshua,” she said. She picked up the bloody rags and water and headed for the kitchen. She came back and sat down.
Ian looked at her and was surprised at how calm she was. She looked a mess. Bruises and cuts everywhere. “Are you going to be okay? Should we head in for the doctor?” Ian asked.
Sawny shook her head. “No, I used your bag phone in the truck to call the state
patrol. They said it would be about an hour. They were going to grab Doc on the way out.”
Ian hit his head. “I didn’t even think of the phone. Glad someone has brains.”
Looking at her again, he started to say something when headlights twinkled in the distance. “Ah, the Cavalry is here,” he said. They got up and went out on the porch. Jake was still out cold. He didn’t know how lucky he was.
It was late and they were alone at last. Doc had seen to Sawny’s cuts and bruises
after the patrol took pictures. He had wanted her to come into the hospital, but she refused. Ian promised to keep an eye on her. Doc nodded and packed his bag.
Jake had been glad to leave, and didn’t say a word as they stuffed him in the patrol’s 4X4. One of the other patrolmen along with Ian brought the boxes up off the flatbed and promised to get it back to town.
As they sat there in the cool night air, Sawny and Ian talked of the events of the day. Ian started to say something then stopped. Sawny asked him what it was.
“I almost forgot. I asked mom what was in the salve as you could smell lavender in it. She laughed and said Sawny ought to know as it was her Aunt Elene who taught my great grandma how to make it!” Ian said. They both laughed as much as they dare for all the bumps and bruises. Ian rose from his spot and took Sawny in his arms and carried her up to the loft. They snuggled in bed and drifted off to sleep.
Out on the porch, Joshua and Elene took one last look in on the lovers and then they walked off into the night knowing everything was all right.