Misty looked up at the sky and saw a quick flash of lightning. She looked up again and could see the Viking god, Thor grasping a large bolt of lightning in his hand and pointing it at her. Misty next heard an enormous clap of thunder. This time when she looked up at the sky she saw Thor racing across the sky holding on to a leash that controlled six rabid silver wolves. The distance between the sky and the ground appeared to be rapidly closing in on her.
Misty’s instinct directed her to run to the next thicket of bush and trees. When she had run about ten yards she was tripped up by some vines hanging on the ground. This caused her to bump her already lacerated head on a large stone further opening the wound. Misty tried to lift her head up to look at the sky but instead she lost consciousness.
As soon as Rick, Gypsy and Sasha started down the trail they thought that Misty had taken, they started calling her name but got no response. Due to the pouring rain they too slipped and slid down the paths into the woods. Rick ran ahead of the others but quickly turned around to see that Gypsy was right behind him. Perhaps the adrenaline rush was providing Gypsy with more athleticism than he normally possessed. After a few minutes they came to the large oak tree where Misty had struck her head. They could see a large blood stain on the tree and could see a puddle of blood diluted by the rain water.
“Misty’s hurt!” Rick yelled to his companions.
“She probably slipped and hit her head against the tree,” said Gypsy.
“Or has been attacked by a wild animal!” said Sasha who was starting to panic.
The group decided to continue searching for Misty by following another path. The path they chose appeared to have some droplets of blood diluted with
rain water giving it a pink washed-out look. The acid that Gypsy had taken was already starting to peak. The trees, bushes and brambles all appeared to have arms that were reaching out to grab him. Gypsy looked up and saw three different Mistys, looking very ghost like in appearance sitting high up in the tall trees. Fortunately for Gypsy he was very experienced with psychedelics having taken around a hundred acid trips. Three of these had been bad trips. He now knew how to use the part of his brain that could distinguish reality from fantasy. The rational part of his mind told him that that there was only one Misty, not three and that she was not a ghost.
Rick pushed through some thick brambles and could see a body lying prone to the ground about ten yards further ahead. “Guys, there’s a body lying face down just up ahead!” yelled Rick as he jogged towards the injured party.
As they all got closer to the body they could tell by the clothing that it was Misty. Rick was the first one to reach her. He began to survey the area as he was taught to do in a first aid course that he had taken at St. John’s Ambulance three months ago. A few seconds later Gypsy and Sasha joined him one on each side of Misty’s prone figure.
Fortunately, by this time, the heavy rain torrent had passed over them and there was now only a slight drizzle. The sun was starting to poke its head through a few clouds. Gypsy went down on one knee to make sure that Misty was breathing. When he heard her breathe, he next felt for her pulse in her carotid artery. Gypsy was greatly relieved to know that Misty was both breathing and that her heart was beating.
At this point Gypsy remembered that he should send someone to get help.
“Sasha, I need you to go find the festival doctor. Tell him that Misty is breathing and has a pulse but she still appears to be unconscious and is bleeding from a head wound,” he told her.
Rick and Gypsy both started asking Misty if she could hear them. They could hear a few moans of pain from Misty. She began to slowly roll over crying out in pain. She looked at her tee shirt and could see that it was covered in blood. The gash in her head was still open, but most of the blood had coagulated by this time. Rick took off his tee shirt and tore a piece off it. He
used the piece of his shirt to tie around Misty’s forehead. It was very likely that Misty had lost a lot of blood from her head injury.
After several minutes passed Sasha arrived with the young doctor. Lloyd was several steps behind, trying to catch up with them. The doctor knelt down beside Misty. He opened his black medical bag and pulled out a slim, black flashlight.
“Hello Misty. I’m Dr. Fields. Would it be okay if I examined you?”
Misty just let out a feeble cry.
“I’ll take that as a “yes,” said Dr. Fields with a smile. At this point it appeared that all Misty could vocalize was moans and grunts. The festival doctor tapped the bottom of Misty’s feet with his flashlight to see if she would respond. She let out another moan that seemed to indicate that she had sensation in her feet.
“I’m going to shine a light in your eyes now Misty. When I move it I want you to try to follow the light with your eyes,” the doctor instructed.
Misty was able to follow the light emanating from the flashlight. Misty then rolled over on her side and began to vomit. Mixed in with the yellowish discharge was bright, red blood encasing a part of a tooth, about a tablespoon’s worth.
“It looks like your sister is going to need to see a dentist after I find out how much damage there is to her head and body. The vomiting could be an indication of a possible concussion. On the other hand it may mean that she is going into shock. Could I borrow your blankets?” asked the doctor.
Fortunately, Sasha had carried their festival blankets with her. By this time Lloyd had pushed past Gypsy and was looking down on his injured daughter. “My God,” he screamed. “Is she going to be all right, doctor?”
Lloyd said this as if he was suffering from a terrible cold. His nose was all bandaged and he was starting to develop black marks under his eyes.
“Yes, I believe there is nothing life threatening in her condition but we are going to need to get your daughter to a hospital as soon as I am finished my preliminary examination. She will need to have some tests done,” answered the doctor. Dr. Fields then carefully untied the makeshift wrapping on Misty’s forehead. He then got some medical supplies from his black bag to help clean out the wound on Misty’s forehead.
“The wound on her forehead is going to require suturing when we get her to the hospital. I am more concerned, however, about the possibility of a concussion or a serious head injury,” said Dr. Fields. “We need to get this girl to a hospital immediately. I am going to call for an ambulance.”
In about twenty minutes an ambulance carrying four paramedics arrived in the woods where Misty lay. During the wait Lloyd, Gypsy, Sasha and Rick all tried to communicate with Misty by asking her questions. All Misty could offer in response was some garbled speech. At one point Lloyd violently confronted Gypsy. Lloyd grabbed Gypsy’s vest and briefly lifted him off the ground.
“This is all your fault you idiot!” yelled Lloyd with his face pressed close to Gypsy’s. “ You gave her that bad acid, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I did, but she asked for it, man. I didn’t stuff the acid down her throat. Misty told me that she was eighteen and that makes her an adult, old enough to make her own decisions. And by the way, the acid wasn’t bad. I took some myself,” Gypsy shot back giving Lloyd a shove.
At this point Rick got between the two angry men. “Take it easy guys. This isn’t going to help Misty,” Rick said firmly.
Lloyd backed off and Gypsy moved away from him.
“Yeah, cool out guys. I have my hands full with one medical emergency already. I don’t need you guys shedding more blood,” added Dr. Fields.
When the paramedics started unpacking their medical bags Dr. Fields briefed
them on what had happened and his assessment of Misty’s present medical condition.
“The patient needs to be taken to the hospital immediately. She will need some scans of her brain. I believe that this girl suffered a concussion. I just pray there isn’t a more serious brain injury,” reported Dr. Fields.
The paramedics carefully loaded Misty into the ambulance by placing her on a stretcher. One of the paramedics asked Lloyd, “Are you the girl’s daughter?
“Yes,” Lloyd replied.
“We’re going to be taking your daughter to Winnipeg General Hospital. You can meet us there,” said the lead paramedic.
“We’ll go get my van and we’ll meet you guys at the hospital,” said Lloyd. After jogging to the van Lloyd opened the doors for Rick and Sasha.
“Can I come along with you guys?” asked Gypsy.
“No. If you really want to be helpful, man, just stay out of my daughter’s life,” Lloyd snapped.
Gypsy got the message loud and clear and walked away from the van.
“Lloyd, it might be better if I drive. You must still be feeling quite a bit of pain,” Rick offered.
“Thanks Rick. I probably shouldn’t be driving right now. I’m too upset about what happened to Misty,” said Lloyd gratefully. “If you and Sasha weren’t technically still on your first date I would say that you’d make a great son-in-law.”
After Lloyd said this they all broke out in laughter. It was a great release for their collective built up stress, anxiety and fear. However, for Lloyd the
laughter also increased the pain coming from his broken nose.
“I’m really scared, guys. The only speech from Misty was gibberish,” said Lloyd.
“We all are. All we can do now is wait,” said Rick, choking back tears.
“We could pray for her,” said Sasha. “I believe in God and you told me that you do too Rick.”
“I’m kind of an agnostic myself,” Lloyd offered, but I’d be more than willing to pray for Misty to get better.
“I’d like to, too,” said Rick.
“We’re all in agreement then,” said Sasha hopefully. “ Dad, pull over to the side of the road and we’ll all say a quick prayer for Misty. I know how to pray for healing. I’ve heard my mom pray for people to get healed many times.”
Lloyd pulled the van over to the side of the highway.
“First let’s all hold hands,” said Sasha taking the lead. “We need to all be in agreement when we pray. Okay, I’ll start praying,”Heavenly father, we hold up our sister, Misty to you. We ask you to pour your great love and compassion upon her. It says in your Word that ‘By His stripes we are healed.’ We ask you now to say the Word so that Misty will be healed. I know that physical healing is part of the atonement so we ask that you supernaturally restore Misty to full health. We ask this in total faith and agreement. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Lloyd and Rick both said, ‘Amen’ in unison.
“Wow, where did you learn to pray like that, Sasha?” asked her dad.
“ From watching Mom. She’s also taken me to some charismatic healing
“What’s a charismatic healing service?” asked Rick.
“Let’ all get back in the van and I’ll explain it,” said Sasha.
They all got back I the van with Rick once again moving into the driver’s seat. For a few minutes there was silence and a strange feeling of peace in the van.
The passengers in the van were silent for a good ten minutes. Finally, Rick spoke up,” Sasha, you were saying some thing about some kind of healing prayer meetings. And what was the word you used, charismatic?”
“Yeah, my mom took me to a few meetings like that in California,” answered Sasha.
“So what happens in these meetings, exactly?” asked Rick.
“Well, it’s kind of hard to explain if you haven’t been to one or are not familiar with The Bible, but I”ll do my best to explain it,” replied Misty. She was actually grateful to talk about anything and stop worrying about Misty for a few minutes.
“Well, these healing meetings can either take place in a church or someone’s home or really anywhere for that matter. Usually the evening will start with a praise and worship band performing choruses or spiritual songs. The congregation will either dance, clap, sing a long or just sit and pray while this is going on. Then the pastor or spiritual leader will give the message for the evening. The message can go on from ten minutes to two hours depending upon the preacher and the move of The Spirit,” Sasha explained.
“The Spirit, what kind of Spirit?” asked Rick.
“The Holy Spirit. Like I said I’d have to go into a whole bunch of background
teaching before any of this made sense to you. It would be a lot easier to explain if we were actually in a charismatic healing prayer service right now,” answered Sasha.
“Well, okay. Let’s forget about The Holy Spirit for now. What happens after the preacher finishes the message?” asked Rick.
“Then the preacher or spiritual leader will usually ask the congregation if anyone needs prayer. He will ask people to come to the front of the sanctuary to get prayer.
“Wow, the more you talk about this Sasha the weirder it sounds,” said Rick.
Sasha laughed after Rick said this. “Well, you’re right. It does sound pretty weird until you’ve been to a few healing services, Rick.”
“How does the preacher know that a specific person in the congregation has a specific illness and what is a ‘word of knowledge’?” asked Rick. At this point he was trying very hard to understand what Sasha was telling him, even though he was completely baffled. Sasha answered a few more of Rick’s questions and then asked him to just have faith.
After about a forty minute ride Lloyd’s van arrived at the Winnipeg General Hospital’s parking lot. Lloyd, Rick and Sasha all rushed to the area marked Emergency. They could see an ambulance pull in as they got to the hospital’s entrance doors. They notified the receptionist that they were there for Misty. The hospital receptionist told them that Misty had been admitted about ten minutes ago and she would get a doctor to talk to them once he knew what Misty’s condition was. She asked them to have a seat in the waiting room.
Rick nervously started looking for something to read on the magazine table. He selected a recent issue of Sports Illustrated. Lloyd and Sasha opted to skip trying to read. They both just sat and waited nervously. There were about ten people in the waiting room. Some of them looked like they had been waiting a long time. Rick offered to get the others a coffee from the vending machines in the hall.
After approximately one hour’s wait a doctor walked into the waiting room and asked if he could speak to Misty’s father.
“Good evening sir. I’m Doctor Pauls. I have examined your daughter and have sent her for a brain scan. We were able to suture the wound to her head, but I am concerned about Misty’s garbled speech. We are checking for a possible brain injury. Could I ask you a question, sir?”
“Of course. Is Misty going to be all right, doctor?” asked Lloyd with a worried look on his face.
“We’ll know more after the brain scan. Try not to worry. Did your daughter take any drugs when you were at the rock festival?” asked Dr. Pauls.
“She took some bad acid,” Lloyd replied.
“LSD?” asked the doctor.
“Do you recall the time that she ingested the LSD?” asked Dr. Pauls.
“It was probably early this afternoon. Some creep she met at the festival gave it to her,” Lloyd answered.
“The reason I am asking is that the LSD may account for some of the symptoms your daughter is presenting. It appears that she may still be experiencing hallucinations,” explained the doctor.
“Well, an acid trip can last up to twelve hours,” said Lloyd speaking as one who should know. Lloyd had tried acid a few times in his life but didn’t really like the drug’s strong effects. It had made him paranoid. Lloyd much preferred the milder, mellowing effects of smoking marijuana.
“In approximately one more hour we should have the results from her brain scan. Don’t worry. I have assigned a nurse to sit in a chair beside Misty’s bed
to monitor her condition. I instructed her that if there is any change in Misty’s condition to alert me immediately. Why don’t you go to the cafeteria to get a coffee and I will give you an update you in about an hour,” said Dr. Pauls with a calm, reassuring tone to his voice.
“Thank you doctor. We’ll be back in the waiting room in about forty-five minutes,” Lloyd said.
While the doctor was talking to her father Sasha had gone to the nearest pay phone in the lobby of the hospital. She called her mother, Sheila’s, number.
Her mother picked up the phone on the second ring.
“Hi, honey. How are you enjoying your vacation so far?” asked Sheila.
“Well, it hasn’t been boring. I can say that much. Look, Mom the reason I’m calling is that Misty is in the hospital right now,” said Sasha with a quiver in her voice.
“Oh, my God, what happened to her?” asked Sheila sounding like she was choking on her words. Sheila was just about to go out to a Bible study.
“Misty had an accident. She slipped and fell and hit her head on a rock. The doctor was able to sew up the wound to her head but he is still keeping her under observation as he fears there may be some complications,” Sasha said checking to see if her father was still talking to the doctor.
“What kind of complications?”
“Well, Misty has been speaking in gibberish and appears to be hallucinating,” answered Sasha.
“Where were you guys when this happened?” asked Sheila beginning to sound very agitated.
“We have been at The Lake Mariposa outdoor rock festival for the past two
days. Dad took us,” said Sasha.
“Did Misty take any drugs when she was at the festival?” asked her mom.
“She smoked some weed but I think that a guy she met at the festival gave her some acid. The acid may have been contaminated,” said Sasha.
“So what’s happening right now?” asked her mom standing up now and beginning to pace while talking on the phone to her daughter.
“Well, Dad is talking to Misty’s doctor right now. I’m sure he’s getting an update on her condition.
“Look Sasha. I’m going to quickly drive to my Bible study where I have some great prayer warriors that can start praying for Misty. And Sasha. I want you to call me as soon as you get further updates on Misty’s condition.”
“I will Mom. I’m going to give you the phone number for Winnipeg General Hospital Emergency. I’m sure that Dad and I are going to be here for most of the night. I love you, Mom.” Sasha began to sob.
When Sasha had finished her phone call she saw her father walking away from the doctor. They met Rick in the waiting room.
“What did the doctor say about Misty?” asked Rick.
“Well, he doesn’t know very much yet. He said that he should get the result of the brain scan in about an hour and then he would be able to tell us more,” Lloyd answered.
“Did the doctor say that Misty would be all right?” asked Sasha.
“ He couldn’t answer that yet but he did ask if Misty took any drugs at the festival. He also said that when Misty tried to talk her speech was garbled and that concerned him,” Lloyd replied.
“I phoned Mom,” said Sasha.
“That’s who I thought you would be talking to,” said Lloyd. “So what did your mother have to say?”
“She said that she was going to her Bible study and was going to get some people there to pray for Misty. She asked me to call her immediately when we heard anything new about Misty’s condition,” said Sasha.
“Well, your mother has a lot of faith in God and in miracles. And that’s what we need right about now. But I know she’s going to blame me for what happened,” said Lloyd with a sigh.
“She didn’t say anything like that Dad,” said Sasha trying to comfort her father.
“Well, the doctor said that we should all go down to the cafeteria and get a coffee. This was probably be a long night. It’s been so long that we last ate that I’m actually starting to get a bit hungry,” said Lloyd.
“That sounds like a good idea, Lloyd. Sasha, are you getting hungry too?” asked Rick.
“Yes, I am. Plus I want to get out of that hospital waiting room for awhile. I can just feel the pain and anxiety coming from the people there.” Sasha replied.
Lloyd, Sasha and Rick all got themselves a coffee and a sandwich when they got to the hospital cafeteria.
“Well, Rick you’ve sure had some excitement with us this weekend,” said Lloyd.
“That’s for sure. I could do with a little less of an adrenaline buzz the next time I go camping with you guys,” Rick joked.
“ I’m amazed that you would even consider going anywhere with us again,” said Sasha.
“Ah, come on, you guys are already like a second family to me,” Rick said with a smile.
Lloyd was watching the clock in the cafeteria closely. When the forty-five minutes was up Lloyd told the others that it was time to get back to the waiting area of the emergency ward.
The group waited nervously for word from Dr. Pauls. After about ten minutes he arrived.
“Fortunately, I’ve got good news for you. I think Misty is going to be all right. The results of the brain scan came back and nothing abnormal was found. This is a good indication that there won’t be any permanent damage from Misty’s head injury. She did, however, suffer a mild concussion so I would ask that you keep a close eye on her for the next few weeks,” the doctor reported.
“Oh, praise God!” Lloyd said. Lloyd isn’t a Christian but these were the first words to come out of his mouth.
“Praise Jesus!” said Sasha in a loud voice.
“When can she go home?” asked Rick.
“We’ll keep Misty under observation for the rest of the night and the morning but if she remains stable you should be able to pick her up at about two in the afternoon,” Dr. Pauls answered.
“I better call Mom,” said Sasha. Sasha walked the short distance to the pay phone to call her mother.
“Hi, Mom. I’ve got great news. Dr. Pauls said that Misty is probably going to
be all right. He told us that the brain scan did not show any evidence of a permanent brain injury,” said Sasha excitedly.
“Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!” said Sheila almost screaming into the phone. I’ll have to phone all the prayer warriors and thank them for their prayers for Misty’s healing.”
The weekend at Lake Mariposa had been the biggest adventure that Rick had in his eighteen years on this earth. The rest of the summer was anticlimatic in a way. The simmering passion that Rick and Sasha had that weekend began to slowly but steadily decrease as the last weeks of summer came and went. They still had fun and enjoyed each other’s company as the days and weeks of summer passed. They often walked to the downtown library together, listened to Bob Dylan albums and passed quiet summer evenings with Lloyd and Misty in their backyard. On Saturday nights they would often go to River Heights community club to dance and to listen to a local band. They would even go to Memorial Park one or two weekday evenings and hang out with some cool people. But things were changing and Rick knew it. They were no longer lovers. They had become friends. Rick noticed that Sasha was starting to really enjoy talking to other guys at the park. She was starting to talk about returning to California in the fall and how much she missed her mom. Rick could see the writing on the wall. His relationship with Sasha would be over at the end this summer. It was time that he started to make plans for himself for the fall.
At last, Sasha called out to Rick, “Be careful Rick.”
By this time the local security guards had contacted the RCMP on their walkie -talkies. Within a few minutes the police jumped into the fray and started to break things up. While this was taking place the rain started to come down in buckets. Most of the crowd were starting to leave as they knew they weren’t going to hear any more music today. Many of the bikers also quickly got on their bikes and left the area. Several of them were on parole or had outstanding warrants and didn’t want to get arrested by the RCMP.
As the crowd started to thin out Rick was able to get to Lloyd who was still lying on the ground. Lloyd was still conscious but it appeared that his nose had been broken by a biker’s punch. Rick could see that there were several places on Lloyd’s arms that were turning black and blue.
“We’ve got to get your dad over to the first aid tent,” said Rick to Sasha as the rain continued to pour down. Gypsy came over to introduce himself to Rick and Sasha.
“Hi, I’m Gypsy. I just met Misty this afternoon. How’s Misty’s dad doing?” asked Gypsy. He didn’t wait for an answer. Gypsy bent down to have a closer look at Lloyd.
“ Your dad has a broken nose and several contusions on his arms,” said
Gypsy, taking charge of the situation. Gypsy had also been a paramedic in the States for a short time. “We need to get him over to the first aid station eventually, but I’ll need a doctor to examine him here. I don’t want to move him as he may have a head or neck injury. Can one of you run to the first aid tent and tell them that we need a doctor here right away?”
“You won’t need to do that, man. I’m a doctor. As soon as I saw the fight break out I knew I’d be needed here,” said a young festival medic.
“The patient is breathing and has a pulse,” the doctor said as he bent down with one knee on the ground.
By this time Lloyd was starting to come around. He opened his eyes, looked around and tried to lift himself up. As he moved only slightly a strong wave of pain came over him and Lloyd gave out a loud groan.
“Just rest easy for a bit, man and let the doctor have a look at you,” Gypsy instructed.
The doctor began his examination of Lloyd. Once he was satisfied that Lloyd had sensation in all his limbs the doctor asked Gypsy and Rick if they could help Lloyd get to his feet.
The effects of the acid that Misty had ingested earlier were starting to manifest. She began to feel very paranoid and disoriented. Misty could not make any sense of what was going on. When she looked at her dad being helped to his feet by Rick and Gypsy she thought that her dad looked like the monster in the book, Frankenstein. Misty had recently been reading this novel and she saw a resemblance to her father probably due to his misshapen nose and the blood all over his tee shirt. Gypsy and Rick appeared to Misty as two ugly gargoyles who were Dr. Frankenstein’s assistants. Misty let out a scream and ran into the bushes behind the main stage.
Slowly getting up onto his feet Lloyd yelled,” What’s wrong with Misty? “
“Where’s she going?”
“She looked very freaked out,”said the young doctor. “Your daughter may have taken some of the bad acid that was floating around this afternoon. We saw a lot of bad trips in the first aid tent.”
“Rick and Sasha go find Misty!” Lloyd directed. He then watched Gypsy follow Rick and Sasha into the woods.
” You need to stay here, sir. I’ve got to fix up your nose. It’s dislocated,” said the doctor.
Lloyd groaned and said, “I’ve got to find my daughter and help her.”
“Don’t worry about that sir. It looks you have three responsible people looking out for her,” said the doctor trying to reassure Lloyd.
“Yeah, well I don’t know who that other guy is. If he’s the one that gave her the bad acid I’ll kill him,” Lloyd replied.
“We don’t know that sir. I’m sure your daughter will be all right. Once the others find your daughter they can bring her to the first aid tent where I can treat her,” said the young doctor attempting to calm Lloyd down.
Misty had a head start into the woods of several minutes. She further increased her distance from her would-be rescuers by the speed of her running. The acid that she took was very likely laced with some amphetamine and this was adding to the speed of Misty’s escape from her perceived monsters.
The rain continued to pour down causing Misty to slip and slide as the grass became slippery and the grass muddy. Misty lost her footing and slid right into a large oak tree. Her head took a nasty bump as it collided with the trunk of the tree. The collision had caused a small gash to open on Misty’s forehead. Her blood started to mix with the pouring rain and Misty’s own perspiration. When Misty looked down on the blood dripping on the ground her panic increased. Instead of staying put and calling out for help Misty
“Exactly,” replied Lloyd. “Misty would still be up after midnight playing her stereo very loud. I’d ask her to turn the volume down as the rest of us were trying to sleep.”
“This didn’t go over to well with Misty,” added Sasha. “She would turn her music down for about twenty minutes and then up would go the volume again.”
“This turned out to be the least of our concerns with Misty. I often didn’t know where she was going when she went out or who she was with. It wasn’t with her usual friends as some of them would still phone to ask for her,” said Lloyd.
The next band was ready to perform and the group stopped talking about Misty. They were local favorites, Diane Heatherington and the Merry-Go- Round. As their equipment personnel were setting up their amplifiers, microphones and drums, some ominous black storm clouds were rapidly moving in. Some light drizzle could already be felt when a sudden flash of lightning and a loud boom of thunder was heard. One of the band’s roadies told the group that it might be wise to postpone playing their set until the weather cleared a bit.
One of the rock festivals MCs announced, “ Look, people, it appears we are in for a bit of a storm. Hopefully, it won’t last long. Dianne Heatherington and the Merry-Go-Round have decided to postpone their set until the storm passes. It’s just too dangerous with the lightning and all.”
“Bullshit!” yelled a member of one of the biker clubs near the stage.
“Damn rights,” bellowed another biker from the same club. “ They’re chicken shit. If we can stand a bit of rain so can they. We came here to hear some music.”
“ Ah, cool out man,” yelled a member from a rival motorcycle gang. “Give the band a break. You can drink some beer and smoke some dope until the weather clears.”
After hearing this, the two bikers who had spoken first walked towards the spot where their rivals had set up their bikes. Within a minute some more words were exchanged followed by some pushing and shoving.
The lead guitarist of the band spoke from the stage,” Hey, you guys up front, cool it, or we won’t play at all.”
With this, one of the bikers climbed up onto the stage and stared the musician down and said, “You”ll play if we tell you to.”
One of the band’s big roadies responded by giving the biker on the stage a shove that almost knocked the biker down. Lloyd had been intently following the drama that was unfolding and decided that it was time for him to intervene. Lloyd climbed up onto the stage, grabbed a mike and said, “ Come on people. Let’s all cool out or you’ll ruin the whole festival.”
By this time both Gypsy and Misty had already downed their tabs of acid. They didn’t feel its effects yet but their acid was not of the best quality. Misty and Gypsy also watched the activity unfolding on the stage. By this time all hell had broken loose. One of the bikers had knocked Lloyd out with a roundhouse right. Lloyd fell off the stage and landed back in the crowd in front of the stage.
Meanwhile, a general scuffle broke out in front of the stage. When Lloyd toppled from the stage he ended up at the bottom of a pile and people were
Inadvertently stepping all over him. Rick jumped into the fray to try to rescue Lloyd. As Rick attempted to pull Lloyd out of the pile he got jostled around by other people who were either bystanders or active participants in the fight. At one point Rick took a knee to the groin and doubled over in pain for about a minute.
“We got to help my family and Rick. There all up there by the front of the stage,” said Misty to Gypsy. Gypsy called out to his friends to get ready to do battle. While all this chaos was going on Misty felt like she was frozen in time. This was all too surreal for her. The acid she took was starting to kick in.
Although Rick and his family did not attend church, Rick had always believed in God. He whispered,”Thank you God,” under his breath in response to the good day that he was having. He was also praying that his relationship with Sasha wouldn’t meet the same fate as the one with Arwen.
He whispered loudly enough for Sasha to hear him.”
She looked at Rick and asked, “Do you believe in God, Rick?”
“Yes, I’ve never really doubted God’s existence. My parents aren’t religious or anything but whenever I look up at the night sky or look at animals I can’t help but think that they were created by some Higher Power,” Rick explained.
“Just like in the book of Genesis you mean?” asked Sasha.
“Do you read the Bible, Sasha? “ Rick asked with surprise.
“Not as much as I probably should but I’m exposed to a lot of Biblical teaching at the Christian school I attend in L.A.” answered Sasha.
“Your dad doesn’t strike me as the religious type,” laughed Rick.
“ He isn’t. It’s my mother who is the Christian. She got saved about three years ago.”
“Saved? What do you mean by saved? Saved from what?” asked Rick lighting up a Cameo cigarette.
“Saved from many things but most importantly saved from hell,” answered Sasha.
“And how does one get saved from hell?”
“By accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior,” answered Sasha.
“I’d like to hear more about this but right now I’m getting a strong craving for a corn dog. The aroma from those concession stands is really getting to me,” said Rick searching in his wallet for money.
“I’d love to stop for a corn dog, Rick,” said Sasha.
“What are we waiting for then? I’ve got enough money for two corn dogs and drinks for both of us,” Rick offered as they walked about ten yards across to the concession stand.
After they purchased their corn dogs and soft drinks Rick and Sasha found a round table covered by an umbrella with the Pepsi logo on it.
“So why did your mom want you to go to a Christian school?” asked Rick as he took a sip of his Pepsi.
“My mother has some Christian friends that highly recommended the Christian School in our neighborhood. At that time I was getting into a lot of trouble at the public school that I was attending. My mother hoped that the Christian school would provide me with some good moral standards,” Sasha explained as she unwrapped her corn dog.
“And has it?” Rick asked as he tried to block out the sun’s rays that were shining directly into his eyes.
Sasha laughed, “To some extent. At least I’m starting to think about the repercussions of some of my behavior. In that sense the Christian school has been good for me.”
“How does your mom feel about you staying with your dad over the summer?” Rick asked.
“She’s cool with it, for the most part. She doesn’t hate my dad. She wishes that he would become more mature and give up a lot of his bad habits. My mother left my dad because she didn’t think that he was capable of providing a stable life for us,” Sasha answered with a look of sadness on her face.
“It must be hard for you, with your parents split up and living in different countries,” said Rick.
“It is, but it would be worse if they were still together. They are so far apart in terms of philosophy of life that they may as well be living on different planets.”
“ You see, my mother wants me to have a relationship with my father even if she does not approve of his life style. Her parents split up when she was young and she said she lost all connection with her father. She didn’t want the same thing to happen to me.”
“So you’re glad that you’re spending this summer with Misty and your dad?” Rick asked.
Rick felt that Misty’s problem with him was that he was a “straight” in her estimation, as opposed to the “freak” she had seen at the park. At this point I should explain the meaning of the term, “freak” as it was used in the nineteen sixties. A freak was a synonym for “hippie”. A freak would have long hair, usually well past shoulder length, wore bright often tie dyed tee shirts or a tank top and well worn blue jeans with patches. It was considered essential that a freak use illicit substances on a regular basis. The minimum requirement for a “freak” was to smoke marijuana.
Those who were on a “higher level” (no pun intended), in “freakdom” took LSD or as it was known, “dropped acid.” A freak was usually broke and was often temporarily homeless and would either sell drugs himself or ask passer-bys for “spare change.” Rick could never understand the concept of “spare change” or especially, a “spare cigarette.” When he bought a pack of cigarettes there were always either twenty or twenty-five cigarettes included in the pack. He never recall opening a pack of smokes that had twenty-seven or twenty-eight cigarettes in it.
Rick was what was known in the hip community as a “straight”. A “straight” was a person who wore a short, respectable haircut and did not take drugs of any kind. A straight might have tried marijuana once or twice but decided that “smoking dope” was not for him. You could smoke tobacco cigarettes and get drunk on beer every weekend and still be labeled a straight. Depending upon their age, straights would either regularly attend school or hold down a steady job. Straights usually did not like the music of Jimi Hendrix or The Grateful Dead but there were exceptions. A straight from Canada was often not even aware that a war was going on in Vietnam or if they did, did not see any relevance for it in their lives.
For seventeen years Rick had towed the line. Although he was not a great student he had studied hard at school this year and had brought his marks up from Cs and Ds to Bs and even an occasional A. He was only good at one sport and that was hockey but he had excelled as a goalie during the past season. Rick had occasionally gone to drinking parties with some of his teammates and had earned a reputation as someone who could really “hold their liquor”. Rick liked the feeling of being drunk but was not an alcoholic. After this hockey season ended Rick started smoking cigarettes again. He had started smoking for a short while when he was fourteen but was not by any means a heavy smoker. He didn’t even buy his own cigarettes at this point. He pinched a few smokes from his dad’s pack. When he got serious about playing hockey at age sixteen Rick gave up the habit. Now that he had retired from hockey he decided to start smoking again as he now believed that his athletic career was over.
He had certainly heard about marijuana but didn’t actually try smoking it
until he was eighteen. Rick tried it at a party because he was curious and wanted to look cool. He found that he didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Smoking dope hindered his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation at a party and he was not happy about this side effect. Rick much preferred beer as it made him more loquacious. He was normally a quiet person but he would become quite talkative once he had consumed a few beers.
Prologue To Lake Mariposa:
I have recently re-read my novella, Lake Mariposa. I was delightfully surprised by how much I still enjoyed it several years after writing the original draft.
If the reader grew up in the mid to late nineteen sixties this story will likely be very nostalgic. I believe that most of us tend to glamorize our youth as we grow older. We often tend to romanticize those years as being almost a golden age. The nineteen sixties are still glamorized by the media today.
There can be little doubt that the sixties were a very unique time in which creativity, art and self- expression flourished. What many people forget was that it was also a potentially dangerous time period in which experimental, psychedelic drugs were easily accessible. Lake Mariposa takes a look at the dark side of the sixties as well as its positive attributes.
On the positive side of the ledger the music of the sixties was more experimental and creative than the music of any other decade. Most people in my age group find it difficult to get interested in the music of the seventies, eighties, nineties and two thousands to the present. Much of the creative spark appears to have been lost somewhere along the line.
There are exceptions, of course, such as nineties Seattle grunge bands like Nirvana and the punk genre/heavy metal stylings of The Ramones and Motorhead.
I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada during my adolescent years. We were very fortunate to have a very strong local music scene that featured some great home grown bands and musicians. During one summer, several local rock festivals took place in Manitoba. If one had easy access to a car or was not afraid to hitch hike, one could attend one or even all of these local, outdoor rock festivals featuring a dynamic collection of Canadian talent.
As this was the ‘hippie era’, it was not difficult to connect with a diverse group of strangers as there appeared to be a shared, almost communal philosophy of life. Young people went to these rock festivals not only to hear some great music but also in the hope of making some new friends preferably of the opposite sex.
Lake Mariposa also deals with the different segments of youth such as the straights, the jocks and the stoners.
One of the themes of Lake Mariposa is the burning desire that young men of that era had for female companionship and hopefully, a girlfriend. The novella deals with the intense challenge that this posed for many young men of that era. Lake Mariposa is concerned with young, romantic and immature love. It is also about how to make sense of a changing society and the difficulties involved in making the necessary adjustments.
I hope you enjoy reading my novella, Lake Mariposa. It can be read for free at Wattpad.com, WordPress.com, Typepad.com and on my own web site, kendavidstewart.com
Thank for your time spent reading this prologue.
Ken David Stewart
Episode 74 of The Lake Demon by Ken David Stewart
In two minutes Todd was back with Garry’s supper. As he passed Garry his supper tray Todd’s cell phone rang. When Todd answered the call the fourth floor receptionist told him that he was needed immediately in the emergency department.
“Sorry, buddy. There’s a patient in emergency who appears to be on a bad acid trip and needs someone to talk him down. That job always goes to me when I’m on duty. I’ll come back to talk to you when I get back. Enjoy your supper.”
After not eating in over thirty hours Garry was famished. He wolfed down his chili and fries like a man who had been on a shipwreck for several days.
After quickly demolishing his meal Garry felt like having a smoke. He walked down the hall to speak to the duty receptionist. Garry asked her if there was anywhere he could go to smoke a cigarette. The receptionist told Garry that there was a small outside courtyard that was all locked and gated on the outside fence. She said that the gate was kept locked in case anyone was thinking about leaving the hospital. Garry was given the directions to get to the courtyard.
As soon as he got there he opened the door that led to the courtyard. He reached in his jacket pocket for a pack of Marlborough cigarettes. His dad had been in the United states recently and had bought Garry a carton of red Marlborough cigarettes. Lionel had remembered that these were Garry’s favorite brand of American cigarettes. Garry pulled a cigarette out of his crumpled pack. He must have scrunched the pack up somehow when he was on the Greyhound bus. He lit the cigarette up using a lighter that had a picture of the late Marilyn Monroe on it.
Garry then heard a voice in the dimly lit courtyard. The voice was coming from a wooden bench. “Can I get a light off you man?” asked the Voice.