Fiction: The Pacemaker

Hurtling on I-70, through the flattest part of Indiana.
Mile marker 191.
Plans to break at exit 208 for lunch.
Husband, at the wheel for the past two hours, stares straight ahead at the broken white line.
Highway nearly empty, one small orange semi square far ahead.
Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey” croons through the speakers.
*Life goes on day after day…*
“Boring drive,” I say, noting the endless cornfields on either side, brilliant blue skies.
No answer.
He stares ahead in total concentration.
Mile marker 195.
*Each with their own secret care…*
“Well, then…” I brush off the perceived slight.
His body looks stiff and unyielding.
“At least it’s not raining.”
No response.
Dead stare.
Is he playing a cruel joke on me?
Slight panic. “Honey?”
Still nothing.
Mile marker 197.
His breath seems steady and regular, no sign of pain, color looks good.
Always a concern with a cardiac patient.
*Hearts torn in every way…*
Yet the car remains steady, cruise control on, slight curves navigated perfectly.
The blankness scares me.
My God, is something wrong with him?
*And always take me there…*
Yes, we’re almost there.
*So I’ll continue to say…*
Exit 208 ahead.
“Stop! Stop! That’s our exit!”
Without a word, Husband zips the car toward the ramp and slows down.
“Wha –?” He shakes his head like a dog.
“We’re here.”
“I lost 17 miles. What happened to miles 192 through 207?”
*We’ll never turn you away…*
“Hello! The miles didn’t disappear. You did!”
Husband slows down and switches on the right turn signal – when exiting to an unfamiliar place, he always turns right – one of his quirks.
“Oh. I remember now,” he says.
Green road sign at the T:

Liverpool      1 mile

There’s a Liverpool in Pennsylvania, but no signage has indicated an Indiana Liverpool, at least from I-70 and, specifically, exit 208.
“That’s right.” A strange red glow emanates from Husband’s eyes.
Panic rises in my heart. “I think we took a wrong turn.”
“It’s gonna be all right, all right.”
“What? Are you kidding? We’re totally lost.”
“Here we’ll always stay,” he says, his voice not quite – him.
I suddenly get a whiff of salt air, mixed with that of marine life – not something I’d associate with Indiana.
The squawk of seagulls.
Gulls invading mid-America?
Back home, they often travel inland and hang around malls, about 50 miles from the Chesapeake Bay.
Gulls would have to travel hundreds of miles to be here.
And why?
Husband sings along: *‘Cause this land's the place I love…*
“What are you talking about? Indiana?”
“No. Liverpool.” He takes a deep breath. “They'll never turn us away.”
“Commonly known as Liverpudlians.”
Another sign:

Ferry      1/2 mile

He sighs impatiently: “We’re taking the ferry ‘cross the Mersey. The River Mersey.”
*We don't care what your name is…*
“A place we can love.”
A boat ramp materializes before us.
“Here we’ll stay.”
Forever here.
Ahead, a foghorn wails.


Jennifer's Cloud

21st Century Poetry A Grave Digger in Search of a Body A Long Bio A Short Bio A Slice of Life Abe Lemons About Jennifer About Jennifer's Sites About My Blogs About My Sites Abrahami Acrostic Advance Obituaries Advance Obituary Advanced Obituaries Advanced Obituary Advice Aging Aging Boomers Aging Issues Airline Safety Al Boliska Albert Einstein Allegory Alternate Universe American Poetry Angela's Ashes Anger Anne Bernays Antagonist Apollo 11 Apollo 8 Are You EVER Going to be Thin? (and other stories) Articles Articles and Resources Astronauts Aunt Sexy Babies Baby Boomers Banner Credit Baseball Bat Boy the Musical Beginning Bio Blogs Casinos Catholic Church Character List Characterization ChatGPT Cherokee Iowa Cherokee Mental Institute Childhood Childhood Memory Children Christmas Story Climax College Professors Conflict Contact Contact Jen Contact Jennifer Controversy Copyright Counter Culture Creation Creative Writing Creativity Curriculum Vitae CV CV: Education CV: Employment CV: Honors and Awards CV: Offices and Memberships CV: Professional Activities CV: PUblications Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje D.H. Lawrence Dear Aunt Sexy Death Death and Dying Denzel Washington Description Details Dialogue Divorce Drama Drama: The Queen Bee (A Playlet) Dramady Dream Dreams Dying Dylan Thomas Dynamic Characters Dysfunction Dystopia Earth Earthrise Eleanor Roosevelt Elements Elements of Fiction Elements of Fiction: Character List Elements of Fiction: Characterization Elements of Fiction: Other Elements Elements of Fiction: Point of View Elements of Fiction: Structure Elements of Nonfiction Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson Offers Lovelorn Advice... Epiphany Escape Essay Essay Review Essay: Running Away Essay: Sixteen Horny Women in Search of a Poet Essays Ethics Eulogy Excerpts Excerpts – Memoir Madness: Driven to Involuntary Commitment Falling Action Family Drama Family Relationships Family Reunion Fantasy Fathers Feminist Poetry Ferry 'Cross the Mersey Fiction Fiction Review Fiction: A Reporter Three Orioles and an Astronaut’s Family (The Grand Experiment) Fiction: Peer or Self Review of a Short Story Fiction: Two ChatGPT Stories Fire First Person Flash Fiction Flash Nonfiction Fold Me Up Folding Forgotten Rooms Formal Essay Frank McCourt Free Verse Fulbright Scholar gender General Guidelines for Peer Reviewing Creative Works Gerry and the Pacemakers Ghosts gunas haiku Hey Hey little trollie Hidden Rooms Hippies Homelessness Horny Women Horny Women at the Sewing Factory Humor I Came I Saw I Kicked A$$ – and I Didn’t Die on December 5 1984 I Died on December 5 1984... I Have COPD Goddammit... In Waiting Informal Essay Interview Interviews Involuntary Commitment Iowa Ironclad Rules Ironclad Rules for Creative Writing Jack Kerouac Jazz (Haiku) Jeff Jeffer Jennifer Jennifer Semple Jennifer Semple Siegel Jennifer Writing Jennifer's Advanced Obituary Jennifer's Blogs Jennifer's Books Jennifer's CV Jennifer's Fiction Jennifer's Long Bio Jennifer's Nonfiction Jennifer’s Other Writing Websites Jennifer's Poetry Jennifer's Short Bio Jennifer's Sites Jennifer's Story Jennifer's Writing JenniferRIP Jerry Siegel Journal Journaling Journaling or Memoiring: Private Vs. Public Writing Joy Ufema Lady Chatterley’s Lover Larry Rubin Letters Life Changes Long Short Story Love Lovelorn Advice Made-up Words Margaret Atwood marriage Mary Riley Meet Your Pilot Memoir Memoir Madness Memoir Madness: Driven to Involuntary Commitment Memoir Review Memoirist Memoirs Mental Institutions Messages Monologue Mothers Music My Fiction My Long Bio My Name is (Also) Jeffer My Short Bio Name Names Narrative Nonfiction NASA nature Nature Poetry Non-fiction Non-fiction Review Nonfiction Nonfiction: Self or Peer Review of a Personal Essay or Memoir North Macedonia Not-so-great Poetry Nursing Homes Obit Obituary Objective Point of View Objective POV Objective Viewpoint Obsessions On My Husband's Retirement Oral Histories Oral History Orioles Over 50 Years Ago: Apollo 11 – First Men on the Moon. Where were You? Pamela Painter Peer Review Pems Personal Essay Philosophy Photo Credit – NASA Play Plays Plot Poem Poems Poetry Poetry in Motion Poetry review Poetry: “Street People (1969) Poetry: How Not to Send Out a Poem Poetry: On Resubmitting Her Creation Poetry: Self or Peer Review of a Poem Point of View POV Pregnancy Primary Characters Privacy Privacy and Copyright Notice Private Writing Protagonist Psychedelic Bingo Psychodrama Public Writing Puns rajas Reality Play Reality T.V. Resolution/Dénouement Resources Resources: Articles and Elements of... Résumé Retirement Review Rhetorical Nonfiction Rising action Rules Running Away Satire sattva Scene Science Fiction Scope Second Person Secondary Characters Secret Rooms Self Review Senior Citizens Sestina Sestinas Setting Sexuality Short Bio Short Fiction Short Stories Short Story Short Story Collection Short Story Review Show Simple Rules Sites Skopje Snark Sons Spoof Spoofs Sports Starlings Static Characters Stories Story Structure Story-poem Street People (1969) Summary Symbolism Table of Contents Table of Contents: CV tamas Tell All the Truth Telling Tense The Deep Room The Long Bio The Pacemaker The Politics of Memoir The Politics of Memoir and the Making of Memoir Madness The Room Where I Never Go The Short Bio The Trash Can of L.A.: A Reality Play Thematic Sites Theme Themes Third Person Third Person Limited Third Person Omniscient Third Person Singular Three Basic Rules Tone Trollie Trolls TSA Tupac Shakur Viewpoint Webpages Websites Weight Weight Issues What If? Why I Write Wikipedia Women Writer Writers Writing Writing Exercise: The Objective Point of View Writing Exercises Writing Purpose Yoga Principles York College of Pennsylvania York Pennsylvania Zomja
Show more

Privacy and Copyright Notice

Photo Credit – NASA

The banner on this site has been created from one of the most iconic photos in modern history: Earthrise as viewed from the Moon. More

Copyright Notice

All creative works posted here are © by Jennifer Semple Siegel, 1969 - Present, and may not be reprinted or reposted without permission of the author. All creative works posted on this website are by Jennifer Semple Siegel, unless otherwise specified.