TITLE: The Long Way Home
GENRE: Commercial Fiction
"How does one save a life though the mail?" Walter muttered to himself, "UPS, FedEx or just standard parcel post?" But he knew he couldn't trust the contents to any delivery service. There was only one person on this earth he'd trust with what was here.
He put the last of the leather-bound volumes in the box and placed the lid on top. He should have made something special. He had plenty of wood in his shop. He could have made a box of oak. Something strong to protect this story after he couldn't do it anymore.
But it was too late. There wasn't time. For him or for his daughter. If he weren't such a coward, he'd give her the box himself, while he could explain what she didn't understand. But he never considered himself an overly brave man. She would have her history, but she'd have to wait until he was a part of it as well. It wouldn't be long.
He took a deep breath and picked up the box. He limped out the wooden screen door to the cab of his pickup truck. After placing the non-descript file box on the passenger's seat, he made his way around the truck. He leaned against the door for a moment and tried to catch his breath. His heart raced in his chest.
When his strength returned enough to continue, he opened the door to the truck and cranked the ignition. He put the old truck in gear, but didn't take his foot from the break. He looked first at the box, then the house, then at the old willow tree by the pond. He closed his eyes and he could almost feel her sitting next to him, her tiny frame hardly larger than the box that shared the cab with him now.
He opened his eyes and put the car in gear. "I don't know what you were thinking when you picked me," he muttered toward the heavens.