Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 36 – Epilogue

The mid-afternoon breeze was a welcome respite from the day’s blistering heat. The dust kicked up as the wind stirred and blew into Sumner’s face who was lying on the ground underneath a generator. He was trying to get a bolt to budge that was having none of that. Sumner began to swear under his breath as his feet clawed into the ground for even a sliver of more leverage. And then the bolt snapped cleanly away from the generator and Sumner fist swung round in a full arc and he punched the ragged metal with a ferocity that was surprising. Sumner jumped up at the instant pain only to slam his head on the underside of the metal device. As blood began to pour out of his forehead and hand he began laughing at himself suddenly. He dropped his head back onto the dirt and cackled all the more. And then oil began gushing out of the machine and splattering all over his face.

Yolanda began laughing hysterically at that, as Sumner began to sputter and spit oil and blood out of his mouth. As Sumner rolled and twisted out from under the generator he hollered out, “You did that!” When he was finally standing and wiping his face with his shirt he was serious now. “Admit it, you dumped the oil on me.” What was once a funny laugh between friends suddenly became a very serious accusation.

“Sumner, buddy… calm down. My crime here is that I watched as you beat yourself to a pulp, and then the generator told you what it thought of you. Nothing more, nothing less.” She was holding her hands up trying to get him to calm down. To slow down and think.
Then Sumner realized what a jerk he was being and cracked a smile at Yolanda that said a million things all at once. And then he ran over to her to give her an oil stained hug. Yolanda howled at this and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.

On the porch the methodic swinging of the porch swing started up again swaying to the rhythm of an unheard song. Cat laid her head back and chuckled to herself while Derek worked under the hood of a nearby tractor. The Montana ranch had been their home for almost a year now. The group had run for a while until Ben had come up with the idea of the generators. The concept of generators working to emulate the pulse of an Emp Shield was their life saver and allowed them stop running. But because the generators could only do so much, their Cranial powers were strictly forbidden here. It was agreed that anyone caught ghosting, glitching, or use their powers for any reason, would be turned out to the other side of the shield.

Eventually Yolanda doubled back and grabbed a rag to begin wiping Sumner’s face and neck for him. Sumner at first didn’t allow her anywhere near him but eventually capitulated. When Yolanda had finished she deliberately wiped a smear of grease back on Sumner’s nose then turned and headed back towards Cat and the porch. Sumner didn’t know what she was laughing about as she walked away and was more than a little confused by the entire interaction.

Ben watched the interaction from a remove and smiled. He was perched at the apex of the two story ranch house, sitting just far enough back from the edge that he was unseen. It had taken months for Ben’s back to fully heal and even now he wished he could Jugg the pain away occasionally. Especially when storm fronts barreled through, it was then that the pain would spike to the most unreasonable of levels. So there was more than a small part of him that wished he could invoke his powers, but at the same time he was with the woman that he loved and they were all safe. At least for the time being anyway.

Ben heard the sound of footsteps and rolled over on to his back to see who it was that was coming. Beatrice was adroitly balancing along the center beam of the house as she slowly and deliberately zeroed in on her prize. Ben raised his eyebrows at her as she came. Beatrice responded by hunkering further down and play acting like she was hunting him down. Ben feigned surprise at this and acted as if he was going over the roof to get away.

“No reason to take your own life there mister. I’m really quite safe despite appearances,” Beatrice joked. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere. You haven’t been up here in a good long while.” As she said this she had finally reached him and she stooped over him as he laid there and gave him an upside down kiss.

“Just taking it all in… I think.”

“You aren’t sure?”

“No. Not at all. I’m not even sure I’m not sure.”

Beatrice laughed at this. “You are such a goober.”

“Thank you love. I’m glad I can aspire to something great. And now I have finally achieved it.”

Ben sat up and pulled Beatrice down to sit in front of him as he wrapped his arms around her. “So, you are good then? I mean, having accomplished such a great thing as being my goober?”
Ben thought a moment and then answered seriously, “Yes. I am. There is a part of me wondering when the next shoe will drop. But every day I get with you is another day of paradise. I want nothing more than this, right here.”

“Then I say we enjoy every moment we are given – to the fullest.” answered Beatrice in a fairly wistful voice. “And never look back.”

Ben squeezed Beatrice tightly and nuzzled his nose into her neck. “Never look back.” As they sat here listening to the sound of laughter below they smiled along. The sun continued its final arc for the day and began its descent into the mountains of montana. Across the fields they saw the horses whinnying and playing and stomping out a game that was as old as the fields themselves. The trees swayed to the subtle push and pull of the wind. And the wandering river that flowed through the property spoke of knowledge and wisdom that each of them understood even if only subliminally. Ben watched as the sun finally set spraying an array of oranges and pinks from one end of the sky to the other. And Ben knew that he was finally content, finally at home, here with his one true love.