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Nearly Relevant
Nonsense, Fiction, and Miscellaneous Things

Short Story #1
     This is my first try at a serious short story.  Actually, I don't know whether it qualifies as a short story, but it is a short piece of fiction.  None of the characters is anybody I know or know of, and the events aren't real in my life or anyone's that I 'm aware of.  Of course, although the people and events aren't real, they are possible. They unfolded from my imagination. 
     My imagination is not fanciful.  That is to say, there are no spaceships, no aliens, no vampires or not even oddball characters.  The story is, in this case, just mundane.  I still think it qualifies as a story, however. 
      I realized It wasn't going to be interesting  just because I threw in some aliens or such, so I kept the events something I could handle and I was merely glad to be able to get some actual dialogue between characters.  This tactic, kept me from getting disappointed and quitting because I had inadvertently gotten in over my head. 
      I may not write another short story, but if I don't it won't be because I got depressed and upset trying to write this one.  This one involved some work, some changes, some rewrites, but nothing which was too nerve-wracking.  Had I tried aliens or vampires or whatever, I'm certain I would have given up. For example , the only alien name I might have come up with might have been Zorzon 3 or Pluton or Xertex. Not very original space names. Some people may have done better trying aliens and vampires rather than ordinary characters.  Maybe , they would have been bored crazy with names like Bill or Joe, or Ted.  Anyway, This is my story, the good and the bad.  I'll let other writers worry about their stories, the good and the bad.  So, here it is.
     PH looked up and saw a young man running towards him, tie and sportcoat flailing with the wind.  The air  was warm,  with some fair-weather clouds.  To the left, the field was flat, leading to a neighbors farm.  The neighbors house was not really the centerpiece of their property, the farm fields of cornstalks, or rather, short, frayed, harvested cornstalks were the centerpiece.  These cornstalks continued through PH's property, but without actually being part of the neighbors stalks.  They continued to the right, eventually passing up and over a small hill.  Beyond this  field, in the distance, stretching from the left of the landscape to the right and continuing over the same small hill was a roadway.  The road accompanied by telephone polls and wires had infrequent traffic.  On this day PH would have seen none , if he'd cared to notice.
     PH was rotund, as many middle-aged farmers, but it wasn't an unhealthy figure,.  Healthy living, from exercise, to proper food stuffs and moderation in all,  were broadcast in ads and information, but they, typically, were not much motivation for PH to change.  The things he would have had to give up were not worth the change.  The old sayings about farmers and their family meals were pretty much true; and low-fat, low-sodium, low in cholesterol, etc. meals were not the main course.  If it had been  40 years ago he'd have been riding a harvester instead of walking the field.  Certainly, this lifestyle wasn't an unhealthy one as a lot of people seemed to be convinced it was.
     Phil had seen PH from the road, and seeing him as his first, if not best, chance for help, started across the field. A field of recently harvested corn stalk remains. It was a field he wasn't unfamiliar with, having grown up in a community of farms.  But it seemed like it had been awhile since he'd been this close to one.
     When younger, he rarely ran across a farm field. Either, he was working it or, by way of farm discipline, was stuck to home and it's living space.  But this was his car that had broken down and it was a remote area, he figured PH might be able to help. 
       "Hello" said Phil, braking his run as he approached. "It's a beautiful day."
       "Yes, it is." PH replied. "What can I do ya for?" he asked.
        "My car broke down. About . . . not far, maybe 1/2 a mile from here.  On the highway.  Can you help me?" he paused.  " I think it's just a water hose leaking."  Phil deplored bothering people and for this reason he felt that what had seemed like his 'best chance' was , at the moment, an intrusion which the farmer could justly ignore, thus leaving Phil stuck and starting over again to find help.
        PH looked at  Phil, Phil looked away for a moment and PH interrupted. "Come with me. I've got some tools , we can probably fix it, if that's all it is."
      Phil felt instantly more at ease.  
      "Where you from? asked PH of Phil, as they continued.
      "Strathorn"." replied Phil.
      "That's a ways."
       "Yea, I was going to  work."
       "What kind of work ?"
      They  went only a little farther before passing under a wooden framed door entrance.  PH walked to the left, grabbed a tool box and returned.
      "We can take my car to get to yours." said PH.
      "Great." replied Phil.
     It was a sunny day made sunnier upon leaving the darkened barn.  Phil began to relax, his doubts about getting out of this jam, easing.
     They slid into the car's front bench seats and drove off.
     As PH braked his car behind that of Phil's, it began to rain. Starting slowly, but quickly becoming a down pour.  Both men, staring out of the car window, determined that it was probably a summer shower and would end soon.  They waited.  At times the rain washed the windshield as wave upon wave flowed over the window.  Shortly, the downpour stopped and the sun appeared, leaving a steaming, wet road.
     They exited the car and as the two approached Phil's car PH said, "This car is old.  I won't be able to replace any parts. Hopefully, we can jimmy something to get you going again."
     " Fine." said Phil, and quickly added, " Thanks for your help."
      PH continued his inspection.  He found a hose cut from which radiator fluid had leaked.
     "I can temporarily plug the leak and you should be all set."
     "Great." replied Phil, "Can I help?"
      "Naw, I think I can get it." said PH. 
      PH finished in about fifteen minutes. He realized he'd forgotten to bring water with which to refill the radiator and after telling Phil of his intentions, he left to get some and returned shortly.  The system was refilled and Phil was ready to go.
      "You should be all set." said PH
      "Thanks, thank you very much, I really appreciate it." said a beaming Phil.
       Phil was happily relieved.  
       "Your welcome." replied PH.  " Have a good ride from here and good luck. It was nice meeting you."  PH got into his car and began backing toward home and his driveway. 
        For a moment, Phil kept a watchful eye over PH, as if this act of stewarding would protect PH.
        Later, Phil thought about how absent-minded he'd been in not offering PH 5 or 10 dollars as thanks for his help.  
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