“Some Who Wander” Fiction by Doug Hawley


I guess I’m getting old.  Just called my wife by the cat’s name.  Yeah, I make some mistakes, so what?  We are all getting older, but Felicia, no Sheila, doesn’t have to make a big deal about it.  She forgot the dentist appointment.  I’m not the only one.  Her brother calls me Doug instead of Duke, but maybe he is just messing with me.  I joked she could just abandon me somewhere and if I made it back she would be stuck with me.  She gave me an odd look.


My memory seems a little worse.  I never know what day it is without looking at my watch or a calendar.  I thought that the president was Watson, but she was the last president.  I’ll be OK.  I’ll just repeat and write down things that I need to remember.


I looked at the squirrel and wondered if I could eat it raw.  I don’t know how to start a fire and probably couldn’t catch it anyhow.  How did I get here?  I was in some car, maybe my car, and then I’m lost.

It’s coming back to me in bits and pieces.  Either my wife or my mother that I live with somewhere decided to drive us somewhere and told me to get in.  We passed houses and cars for a long time; at least it seemed like a long time.  More time passed after we walked, then that woman wasn’t here anymore.

The fog is lifting.  A semblance of clarity returns if only for awhile.

My wife, what’s her name, always threatened to abandon me in the woods when I became demented, but I didn’t believe it.  If I could find my way back she would take me in.  I thought we were joking when we talked about contingencies if one of us became demented.  She wanted to sit in her chair, eat chocolate and watch Hallmark movies.  I said to take me into the woods and abandon me. Or she suggested it.  If I could find my way then she’d be stuck with me.  At the time it was a joke.  No joke now.

I’ve been losing it for some time.  Forgetting friend’s names, mistaking my nephews for my children.  I couldn’t find my way to familiar places or remember familiar words.  Then I’d be normal for awhile.

I tried as best I could to laugh off or deny my lapses, but what’s her name wasn’t fooled.  She kept track of my lapses and became very grim.

The woods are lovely, but cold.  I’m so hungry.  I’ll lie down for awhile.  Why am I here?

“Those three passages in the notebook in the deceased’s pocket paint an ugly picture.  It sure looks like the wife is guilty of some crime, negligent homicide or something like that.  She could claim she acted out of compassion or fulfilled the wish of her husband, but all of that is up to the district attorney.”

“We are lucky that he was found.  Even though she turned him loose in a wilderness, he starved to death within ten feet of a trail.  The wife had a chance that he would never be found.  What do you think lieutenant?”

“I think that with a good attorney, she’ll walk.”

The author dabbles in sci fi, horror, crime, non-Hallmark romance, essay, humo(u)r, and memoir with not a trace of style or nuance published in the UK, USA, Canada, Iran, Netherlands, India, Germany, and Spain.  After actuarial work he writes, volunteers, hikes, snowshoes and collects music with editor Sharon and cat Kitzhaber in Lake Grove Oregon.  https://sites.google.com/site/aberrantword/

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