The hidden years in Canada 89, the chuckle

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Thursday 09 July 08:21


The chuckle

Now the rain splashed in the river, thick drops that struck rings in the quiet deeper water. We got wet but it did not matter. Our speed was only inhibited by the water that was up to the shins and acted as a brake but no one felt the need to wade close along the shore. A flash crackled down followed by a resounding blow that shook the valley and a waterfall of rain came pouring down. I was walking cowering away by the sudden thunder and pulled my neck even further in when the blow echoed through the valley and again and once more and I noticed that the water gushed down from my nose. We saw the parking lot looming up, with picnic tables, the rain drops splashing back up from the table tops. The old American was being washed there was a white haze of rain splatters that emerged rebounding from the roof. I ran in front with Bev and Richard in tow behind us Don came running.

Through the sound of the rain I heard a sound I could not place. Had I really heard it? The rain distorted everything drowning most sounds out. A laughing snicker, I looked at Bev and nodded, and suddenly a tremendous anxiety struck me .'Run !! ' I shouted and we plowed into the shallower bit like horses as we rumbled through the current forwards. It sounded again and this time I knew I had not imagined it, we had left it slightly behind us .We climbed up the slippery bank and slid all over the place in the wet grass, the old Pontiac had become one of the most attractive places to reach. I sprinted overwhelmed by an unspeakable fear and when I first arrived at the steel colossus, my hand was stiff and I got in trouble with my tight pocket. I felt around with my fingers and found the keys. I dropped them. ‘Hurry up,’ roared Bev. I made my way to the back door clicked it open and released the black button next to the window. We moved inside and the door banged shut with a heavy metal blow.

We were wet on the seats and we were cold. ‘ Start it for crying out loud,’ commanded, 'Bev' and go. ‘ The starter engine turned around with a whining sound, but the engine did not fire. It was damp and petrol engines have that problem more often, I assumed that the splashing up water had moistened the ignition house. The windows steamed up and then after an eternity came the redeeming growl. I wiped my hand over the window to get away the condense and  the car growled slowly forward across the parking field. ‘ Phew, ‘Bev said,’ we are safe. ‘


‘Where are we going?’ Asked Richard. ‘First we’ll look in at Jones’ and get something warm to drink,’ I suggested and I took from the lack of response that everybody agreed. Just as suddenly as the rain had begun, it stopped. As if a tap had been turned off and the sun came out again, everything looked kind and friendly again. The fields began to smoke with the evaporating water as we drove into Deadhorse. We parked the car in the sun and left the windows ajar so that all condense would disappear. ‘It was just okay,’ said Bev, when we got inside. ‘Why, there are the drowned kittens,’ Jones shouted at us, 'the rain tackled you in an ugly way, apparently. Sit down, I'll be with you in a sec with some hot coffee. ‘

‘What have you heard Bev,’ I asked? ‘She looked at me and said it sounds rather stupid. First the others.‘ 'Rain,' said Don, 'hard driving rain as a drum in my head. ‘ ‘And .. asked Bev?’ I thought that was enough, ‘said Don,’ I slithered all over and then went running after you. ‘ ‘Did you hear something special Richard,’ I asked? ‘I heard you screaming that we had to run and I also wanted to get to the car so I followed you.’ ‘Richard,’ I said, ‘that was it, nothing more?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘why?’ ‘Bev, you've heard some more,’ I think? ‘I do not know,’ she said, ‘in unusual situations you imagine anything.’ ‘Tell me what you are unsure about.’ ‘No,’ she said stubbornly, ‘I think you've heard something and just want to know whether we heard it as well.’

‘Well,’ I said, 'alright here goes, I imagined nothing .. but I heard a kind of whinny, neigh like laughing. ‘ ‘Impossible,’ said Don, 'Mr Jones said himself that there are no horses in Deadhorse .. and he fell silent, ‘you do not mean phew... ‘ he started. ' Bev, 'I said,' if you've heard something similar then I want to know, because I'm starting to doubt myself. ‘ ‘I thought I heard something, but there was so much noise with the storm and the echoes and the murmuring water. I can only say that I was suddenly very afraid. ‘


‘Here's the coffee,’ said Jones, and he put it down, ‘what do I hear, have you experienced strange things?’ ‘Ha,’ said Don, ‘we found a print of the Chucklewig and a piece of his coat, high in a tree.’ ‘Just like in my story about trapper Joe,’ asked the old boss? ‘Yes,’ Don said excitedly. ‘May I see it,’ said Jones? ‘We have not taken it,’ said Don, ‘we naturally should have done so.’ ‘Yep,’ said Jones, ‘now it's just a story.’ ‘We have seen the footprint, ha ha,’ said Don, ‘we found that. It was slightly above a beach. ‘ Richard took over, 'Oh my God, now washed away ofcourse. ‘ ‘Hmm,’ said the old man, ‘was there now? ' He thought that to have heard something chuckling, ‘Don said, and he pointed at me. ‘Yes,’ I said, 'I think so. ‘

‘That sounds very convincing,’ said the old man. ‘Let me get this straight. ‘You’ and he pointed at me, ‘thinks you have heard something but you do not know what and you 'and he pointed to Don,' have seen fur but not taken it along and there's footprint which is gone now.’ 'Yes,' that sounds like a chucklewig ‘and he walked away shaking his head. ‘It's true,’ Bev called after him. The man stopped, ‘young lady,’ he said, ‘in the bush you hear and see things that are simply not logical, that can not be. ' Bev, ‘let go, I said, 'things are like they are.' ' We have seen the print and coat and the sound, well I can not place that. We can go back home and soon have a warm shower. 

San Daniel 2015

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