a short story by Nickel_Manik
Summary of characters and Scenes that im working into the storyline:
Marshal Green-single military member works long hours lives near ocean in townhome actively involved in community
Jackson- 8 year old nephew Marshall adopts af ter his parents were lost in a gun battle during christmas
Maxie-Beloved doberman from New Mexico
Mamma Green & girls next door to her, in college in Marshalls Hometown
1 Marshal’s at his home with his running buddy MAX before Jackson is introduced
2introducing momma, the girls next door…and Marshalls folks and Jacksons mom and dad discussing arrangements for momma after the new year
3Marshal Going home for christmas vacation/graduation celebration
4somewhere in New Mexico where maxie was rescued
5correspondance between marshal and pastor byron
Airport on military base bringing home Jackson
Heres a glimpse of the story ive written so far
My name is Marshall Green. It says so right here branded into the strong leather cover of my pages. haha, no really. I belong to Marshall Green. Im the pages of his most inner thoughts, captured on paper. I help him sort out the things that he doesn’t want to talk about or share with anyone. Ive been with him for a long time.
- Throughout the neighborhood of neatly manicured lawns, staggered mostly modern two story town houses with a variety of vehicles lining the driveway and streets, Marshalls Sunday morning long run begins. He writes,
- Sometime around the beginning of summer this routine began. With all of the popularity of belonging to fitness clubs, online forums dedicated to personal fitness and jogging and a desire to become less sedentary my challenge found me. Despite the appearance of oncoming foul weather, my good judgment lead me into the route. I was doing well with pacing myself early into the 10miles. At around 6 miles my usual aches and pains began to slow me down. Seeking surfaces that were soft, I planted alongside the road in gravel and tall grasses. Had my K9 been doing these longer runs with me I would have been more aware of my surroundings.
- Since the beginning of spring the daylight hours were arriving earlier and earlier. My running buddy Max , a high energy doberman mix with attitude, was nestled under my blankets and against the back side of my legs. When the alarm music started, he knew as well as I did what today was to begin with and excitedly hopped out of bed and stood by the door to the bedroom. We had decided to find a studio for the summer near the ocean to get away from the city as well as get some much needed r&r.
- Getting these clowns all in the same place at the same time wasn’t as difficult as I had thought was the theme I began to notice unveiling before me as the Green’s began to assimilate into the parlor. There had been a family reunion every summer for the last 15 years. had tried to make reason not to be there, however, this year was the graduation of the youngest green from medical school. He had a difficult upbringing-loosing both parents early on to drugs and alcohol and was brought up by his much younger brother. At the time, Marshall wasn’t exactly material for bringing up an 8 year old. he lived near the beach, worked long unpredictable hours in the military and was known for having lots of different women around. Having been home one year during Christmas changed all of that. His vacation abruptly came to an end early in the morning 3 days after Christmas to the sound of gunshots outside his mothers home. the neighborhood had been getting better but was known for stunts like that. His brother and sister in law were caught in the crossfire. Immediately Marshal went looking for his nephew. He was particularly fond of the young man since he reminded him so much of him and his brother. there was an understanding among the family as to what would become of the child given something like this were to happen.
- Yur broter was doin so good mother said shaking her head. She spoke with a heavy island accent. Sometime I tink you to don evn rembr all the time I prayin for you. Strange coincidence that he had become very close friends with the ladies that had moved in next to him. There had been an older widowed man living at that house while he was growing up. he wasn’t sure if the women were related or just happen to find the bungalow in the paper. Either way, he was glad-the old man always gave him the creeps. He was polite to him but the old man just would look up then carry on with whatever he had been doing. He was aloof like that. no one was sure if the man could even hear. The young women were moving in for the school year. Refreshing to have some goal oriented young and multicultural women living next door to his mom. One fair skinned, one very dark skinned and one, well we weren't sure she seemed to have a tan all the time but no one could decide her ethnicity. Mom was always curious about that whenever she met someone new. She would have regular visits from them and became regulars on the telephone when Marshal was calling home to check on his mom. Something about her house always drew people in. A fragrance of clean spring flowers or some delicious herb filled seasoning bubbling away on the stove. We always felt bad for showing up there just to tie on the feed bag and run but mom had become accustom to that with our busy schedule. We would offer to clean up for her, to bring her groceries, even to take her out for dinner. She always refused. I got food here and no one clean like me. I don’t eat no one cooking but my own we would say together mimicking as the words were shouted from her mouth. On occasions like her birthday or Easter we could get her out of the kitchen but that was about it. She was beyond selfless. Once brother and his wife were gone she almost demanded to keep their son but we all knew that wasn’t practical. Mamma eventually let us hire some live in help for her, with all the medication she had been taking things were getting difficult for her. We didn’t want to see her suffer after all she had done for us. Raising 2 boys on her own along with 4 nieces and nephews, the time had come for her to let us take care of her. There were living arrangements being made for her when the shooting happened. Discussions about Marshall and his working schedule would come up but were quickly dismissed since unanimously it was decided that someone would step in for him in the chances of a deployment.
- We just don’t want him house hoping that’s all. He need stability that’s all. None of that was expected from their cousin who had always been a mommas boy, never stayed out running the streets like his brother and always was an outstanding student. Athletics took up the majority of his time and ended up paying his way thru college.
- As for the sudden change for Marshall being the only one able to take in an 8 year old the boy and his uncle were adjusting to their new life. Still without a steady female companion, his cousins would tease by reminding him how old he was getting. The story of him taking in his nephew always made for good conversation, people became fond of him quickly. As for ladies the only steady one that had been around was Maxine, his beloved Doberman. She was the first born in a litter of 10. He was On a tour of a duty station in New Mexico and was introduced to a group of bachelors that were breaking up dog breeding rings. The group had rescued the mother that was in very poor condition. The puppies had not been born yet when the rescue group had seized the dogs from that property. The bachelors nursed the bitch back into health after she gave birth to the huge litter. They had been looking for homes for the puppies when Marshall arrived. Most of the litter had survived except two that had become sick days after delivery. They were black and brown and all looked healthy when the guys helped Marshal decide on Max, the first one of the litter. She was somewhat more social than the rest. She began to bark every.time someone would visit their crate. Something that he noticed right away. She would be a good guard dog huh?
- Maxine had her records updated at the base then was able to travel. Do you have any experience with dogs while traveling Marshal was quizzed. You’ll need to stop frequently and let her out to go potty. Here, give her one of these if she gets restless and doesn’t need to potty. Don’t feed her anything more than a treat here and there for twelve hours when you get on the road. If you decide to give her the medicine especially. That could be a mess. Let her have plenty of water and room to stretch out. When you get back to your station make sure to have her checked in at the vet. Make an appointment for her final shots and have her spayed. She’s got enough parasite protection to last thru the end of the year. this is very important since you live in a warm climate. She’s going to need year round protection. Enrolling her in a behavior class would be good for the both of you. We suggest taking at least 3 so she will receive her certificate. Don’t forget to have her licensed with the city after her booster vaccines. she’s going to need lots of exercise. She’s been wearing that harness for awhile and may need to get another in a month or so, they grow quickly. Make sure she's with you when you make the purchase. we’ve been giving her this kind of treat so here are a few to carry along.
- well I plan on having her on an all natural diet. Its only her and me so I figure why not feed her fresh food. I sure wouldn’t want that bagged stuff every day for the rest of my life.
- That’s good. but we suggest keeping a bag of the stuff around just in case. they don’t mind. besides many of the brands we carry are loaded up on nutrients. Make sure to grab some of the mineral additives for her food when going natural. Also, she’s going to need to have a bath every ten days or so. She loves the water as long as its not too hot. Getting her to the groomer regularly is nice if you can afford it, but having the right supplies at home also work well. Leave getting her nails trimmed to the professionals. They usually offer a package of ear cleaning and nail trim at a reasonable price.
- She became quite the show off after a couple months living with marshal. He followed all the instructions given to him by the vets. He kept a notebook on her eating habits, bowel movements and the times she was scheduled for baths, meds, and school. He would note with detail the runs they went on together.
- Today is Saturday. This morning Maxie heard my alarm going off and was eager to go outside. She was doing her gallup thing bouncing in the air, rubbing her nose on my legs as I attempted to lace my shoes and bolted out of the door of the room the first chance she had. She was using her paw to signal me toward her leash hanging in the closet. I didn’t have time to grab a cup of coffee. We got in the car after she politely squatted by the bush to relieve herself.
- She was perfect for him. He was obsessed with running and soon she was also. They could go for miles together. Besides having a few pair of shoes chewed up, he learned early to put things away, she didn’t cause any trouble.
- So little guy, do you remember Maxie? Marshal began as he and his nephew waited for the flight to arrive. They were able to catch a flight from the air force base just outside the town he grew up in. Space A travel was always a tricky thing, not like the usual flights on commercial airlines. You had to wait sometimes for the plane to arrive, unload and sometimes they were hours off schedule. The airports were different because most of the people were wearing uniforms, had fallen asleep for hours and don’t have all of the ammenities of commercial airports. Security is much more strict. Most people just wait inside rather than making frequent trips outdoors because the security was so strict.
- They had packed a few belongings and sent most of the boys belongings thru the parcel service. A few things he was promised would be replaced that just weren’t reasonable to ship. The details of registering him for school, the military paperwork and hundreds of other things had Marshal somewhat distant away in thought as Jackson nudged him on the side. Gotta go to the bathroom Uncle Marshal. My tummy hurts. He picked up their bags and jackets and headed for the lavatory. Just outside the entrance to the restroom was a row of vending machine. One with tolietries, another with cigarettes, a couple soda and candy machines and one with sandwiches. He looked and found the slot for coins, pressed d7 then out popped a pack of pink bismuth tablets. Here kiddo, he handed the pills over after the young fella emerged from the restroom. Do you want a sandwihich or somethig? Theres juice and cookies in that machine. you gotta eat somethng you know. Ok. I want those. He pointed to the machine with a combo of crackers and cheese. Do you want some water? Yes please. Kid has better manners than me he thought to himself. Uncle, when we get to your house, can I take Maxie for a walk? Does she like playing catch? I can throw real far. She’s not going to lick me in the face is she? I heard dogs do that all the time when they like you. What kind of food are we going to give her? Do I have to pick up her poop? Where does she go to sleep, she can sleep in my bed.
- Having been activly involved in several extracurilicular events around his communinty, marshal fighrued the transition for Jackson would be simple. There were boys and girls clubs, a park near his apartment usually busy with kids playing ball or hanging out around the swingset. He also belonged to the church that was overflowing with middle aged couples and children, much different from the church he belongd to growing up. He regularly visited the library and read books to the kids in the childrens section. Introducing his nephew to his new home should be without incidence. He even tossed the idea of throwing a little get together for jackson to meet some of the kids. He had been emailing back and forth with one of the pastors he was friends with about the whole thing. The pastor was very encouraging, even offering to help marshal do some re aranging at the apartment to make room for his new roomate. You know he wont be able to sleep on the couch forever, hahaha. Might want to move a couple of things out of that office and make room for a bed-I wouldn’t mind taking that guitar collection off your hands. But seriously, we have a contract with the storage company theyre pretty reasonable for monthly storage. Ill put the word out that you’ll be needing some kid furniture and, do you know what size he is?
- thanks byron, just don’t get carried away. Don’t want to be overwhelming for him you know. We will take things slow for a couple weeks, you know. I’ll bring him by the church if that’s what you were wondering. Were going to need some one on one time, he’s probably got a lot on that little mind of his. Losing both parents and moving to a whole new state. Do you know what kind of support group I could get him into around there? Loss or something? Last thing he needs is to think we have forgotten how new all this is for him and for him not to want to talk to anyone. I should just do some listening to figure out what he likes to do first. they are smarter than we think ive always been told. Got to make sure the messages I’m sending him are clear so he’s not afraid to open up to me. I’m just wondering if I’m ready for when he does open up. I need to have the right answers to his questions. being honest but not scary. ‘
- Just start with some kind of routien with him, you know that’s the beginning of stability at home. Regular days you do the wash. When you get up and when you want him to go to bed. Set some time aside at night for the two of you to just get into the Word. Take him somewhere special once a month, you know, like the arcade, and maybe offer to let one of his friends tag along. they’re opening up that batting cage behind the mall in a couple weeks, see if he wants to go. Its not all about painting this perfect picture for him, just letting alowing him to see the way you live and allowing him to be a part of it. and that is true, they are smarter and more aware than we think or expect. He’ll probally suprize you. You might be the one doing the aduusting more than him.
- Despite being tossed into a whirlwind of change in the middle of the school year, everyone began to adjust to their new surroundings well. Before long, spring was approaching. The boys were planning a trip to watch a couple baseball games during the vacation time. While participating in one of his favorite trivial activities, Marshall took a moment to look up from the sudoku puzzle that was being worked on to check the wall clock in his small eat in kitchen. Spending time with his new pal was point of putting in a nook area. there was space for spreading out homework, setting up the laptop and having the best homemade breakfasts. Each of the young men had a special job to do when making breakfast on Saturxays. This weekend was french toast with fresh strawberries. With one calling out the items like a professional, the other gathered and handed over each tool and ingredient. Griddle! Eggs! Cooking spray! Cinnamon! Bread! Spatula! Bowl!