What a long trip. The 2 couples had been on the road for the better part of a day, but finally, they’d made it to the cabin. They had left Memphis before sunrise, and were fully exhausted by now. Mark and his wife Kathy, along with his brother Barry and his wife Diane were beat. They never knew it would take so long to get here. Mark had found an ad for this cabin. It was a bit rundown, but it was cheap, and most importantly, it was private. The ad said there was no civilization for hours in any direction. It hadn’t lied. They hadn’t seen so much as another car for the last 3 hours.
Knowing they were headed for the deep woods of the Boston Range of the Missouri Ozarks, they stopped as they crossed the Mississippi River in West Memphis. The food was cheaper, and unlike Tennessee, you could buy hard liquor in the same spot you could buy food and beer. They stocked up for the 5 days they were to be away. Plenty of food and booze.
Mark and Barry were not only brothers, they were also partners in their own law firm. They had each worked in the legal sweatshops of the larger, more prestegious firms in the Bluff City. Their reputations were well earned. Departing their firms had been a cordial affair. The partners knew there was little they could offer these 2, and gave their blessing when the time came to go out on their own. They even managed to take some of their better paying clients with them.
As for their wives, Kathy and Diane, each had grown to enjoy the life of a lawyer’s wife. Both came from middle class families, and suffered the long hours and little pay when things first got going. But now, things were so much better. Gone were the days of hamburger helper for supper. Now, they were members of the Memphis Country Club. There had been the mandatory trips to the Carribean of course. The couples had always been so close. You rarely saw just 1. Barry and Diane had even bought a house in Central Gardens, across the street from his brother. Quite a step up from the 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment they had to accept in Whitehaven.
The original destination was to be Europe. They had wanted to go for so long. Then Kathy got to announce to the world she was pregnant. Life had indeed gotten better.
Then 2 weeks ago, just as all the arrangements for their trip were being finalized, Kathy fell from a chair she was standing on, cleaning a fixture. She was fine, and the doctor told her she could have more children. Still, she cursed herself for running her mouth. Everyone always told her she should wait until she was out of the 1st trimester to make her announcement. Suddenly, Europe didn’t seem like such a good idea. She had become sullen, withdrawn. Then, quietly, she asked Mark if it would be ok if the 4 of them just went on a road trip. Someplace quiet, peaceful.
The cabin fit the bill, in spades. (more…)