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Kenneth E. Baker
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Enter the not so distant future, where mankind is relegated to limited natural and man-made resources. The US has become a third world country. This is a story of new beginnings and old endings.
The old man Kenny cannot give up the past. He keeps yearning for the time when the world was a saner place.
Terry and Stella are making a new beginning for themselves. That is, if they can escape the men pursuing them.
Kenny can’t escape the past and the young people can’t escape the future, but together they can make life a lot easier for them all.
The old man grumbled as he got out of bed. He slipped on a pair of shoes and made his way from the house to an outhouse located almost a hundred feet off to the side of the house. “Only thing the old times were good for. You didn't have to leave the house to take a crap,” he mumbled.
He unlatched the door of the outhouse and picked up a six-foot stick leaning beside the door. He stuck the stick inside and rapped it against the floor and walls. When nothing slithered out the door, he put the stick back in its place. A few years ago the old man had found it prudent to be careful when the weather turned warm because a lot of snakes came out of the mountains. Early last year, he remembered going to the outhouse and walking right in. To him, the incident seemed like it had happened only moments ago. Without looking around, he dropped his pants and sat down. For some reason, a large timber rattler had decided to go to sleep on the seat. As soon as his flesh hit the snake, it opened its mouth to strike. Luckily for the old man, only two inches of the snake's head stuck out from where his rear end pinned it to the seat. Needless to say, the old man didn't have any trouble having a bowel movement.
There he sat with the snake pinned under him. The other part of the snake had fallen through the toilet hole. He heard its tail sloshing around in the urine and crap below the toilet seat. He looked down and saw the rattler had its jaws spread wide. “ Sure got myself into a pickle,” he thought. He knew if he lifted his weight, the rattler would strike him on the rear end. That wasn't the way he wanted to leave the world, not by being bitten on the ass by a damned snake. He saw drops of venom drip from the inch long fangs.
After sitting there for over an hour, his legs went to sleep. He could no longer feel his feet. “Things don't look good for you, old man,” he said to himself.
He hadn't lived eighty-six years to let a little thing like a snake ruin his day. He looked up at the roof and said, “Maw, look at the perdickiment your man has gotten hisself into. All those years I beat this place so you could use it and now I am the one who is caught. There just ain't no justice, Maw.” He shook his head and looked down at the rattler.
He wiggled his feet to get a little feeling back in them. He knew when he moved, he would need all the quickness his old body could give him. He leaned forward and took the roll of toilet paper off the roller. There was about a third of a roll of paper left. He pushed the flat side of the roll down on the rattlesnake's head. Although old, he still had plenty of strength in his arms. He eased his rear end off the seat and the snake. The rattlesnake's tail went wild down in the hole, splashing and thumping on the bottom of the seat. It took all his strength to stand on his numb legs. Sharp needle-like pains shot up and down his legs as the blood began circulating again. The roll of toilet paper slipped a little on the snake's head. Only a quarter of the roll pinned it now. As he eased his legs back a little, they became entangled in his pants which were down around his ankles.
“Oh, doggie! Oh doggie! What am I gonna do now, Maw?”
The rattlesnake's head was about half the size of his wrist. The roll of paper slipped a little more. Now, almost half the snake's head was out from under the roll.
“Of all the times, not to bring my gun with me,” he mumbled. “Maw, you always told me that after you passed away I would probably get killed with my pants down around my ankles. You told me I was still a randy old devil.” He paused for a few minutes, then looked up. “Maw, this is your doing isn't it? I swear, I never touched the Widow Roberts. All right, damn it, I might have pecked her on the cheek, but that's all.”
Remnants of Love by Kenneth Baker is more a social commentary, a Postman-styled “what if” story detailing what could happen if the American economy collapsed. Well-crafted and fast-paced, Remnants follows several main characters and the struggles and trials that they go through, hitting all of the highs and lows of human nature. This book also explores the cyclical ebb and flow of the back-story of society, with its most telling lines (for this reviewer) being: “Humans have a tragic way of repeating history. All the history books show this. I've always said that if humanity is destroyed, we will do it to ourselves.”
Reviewed by: Michelle Fallen Angels review 4 Angels
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 290
Paper Weight (lb): 12.4
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