The Most Beautiful Sound
Seth lived on the back side of the Cow, renting a parcel for what amounted to a fortune, but he didn’t care. He would have ten fortunes by the time the snow came again. For the snow was here now. It was snowing like a banshee out there, already at least a foot, with more forecast to hit throughout the day and night, and into the next day.
Seth was bummed because the snow meant that Joey would not make it back today; even with his big four-wheel-drive, it was just too extreme. There were too many narrow turns, with the snow built up five feet on the inside of the road, down to inches on the outer edge. It made for treacherous going. He had been counting on Joey for an infusion. He had those bill collectors hounding him again. He couldn’t understand why they were alway harassing him, other than the fact that he was occasionally delinquent on a payment.
He thought back to last August, with the last of his loot gone from the previous year’s gig, and how he’d had to scrounge just to make it through until he had a little black box action happening. Then he could rub it in their faces, the ones who were always giving him the stare, when they thought he wasn’t looking. He knew it, though they didn’t mind it when he whipped out those Ben Franklins to buy his groceries with, paying prices that gouged him every time he reached into his wallet. But it was still better than going all the way into town, or even down to Willits, Buddha in a bucket. He hated that shit.
Of course, being stuck on the back side of the Cow was no picnic, especially when the choppers were around. Buddha, how he hated those twisted metallic pests, with their reverberating thrumming thunder, drowning out everything, even his DrePhones, normally guaranteed to isolate you from what was going on around your space. But even the headphones were not capable of shutting out those thundering mosquitoes, and the sound seemed to come pulsating back at him, in the silence of the blanket of snow.
Ah, the silence. He loved and trusted the silence. He hated those invading helicopters. He’d been at Joey’s the time the he had been camped on, and it was hideous. All of those goons, dressed in camo, being so goddamned happy in their work. He’d hated them, but not as much as he hated the choppers. That pervasive racket. It was like having a migraine in his ears. And it would not cease and desist.
He cold not drink enough Jamie, to stymie the confusion, that those whirling blades created. Why did there have to be such a devious devise in existence. He just didn’t get why the universe allowed those kind of aberrations to what was decent and right.
Ah, the hell with it all. Time for a nap. Seth threw a couple more substantial chunks of pine onto his already glowing stove, and stumbled over to his grime infused sofa, and collapsed, thinking one last time how quiet and serene it was.
He awoke to the sound of Dawg, whining and yipping like the such and such he was, which made him see red, until he realized he was seeing red. His stovepipe was cherry red, a grinning, sneering semblance of a stovepipe, and he realized three things simultaneously: he should have cleaned those pipes; he should not have been burning that pine, with all that pitch oozing out; and third, he was fucked. There was no way that the volunteer fire department, was going to make it up his road.
Right then and there, he had the most coherent thought he believed he’d ever had: he was about to lose it all. He could feel the heat emanating from the attic, and he knew that the stove pipe had never been able to withstand the infernal within it. He repeated to himself, “I am so completely screwed.”
And then he heard it, the chopper storming directly for his homestead, a container with about a million gallons of water suspended from it opulent stomach, and he thought to himself, “That is the most beautiful sound, I have ever heard.”