by Elaine Fields Smith
The beep-beep from deep within Sandie’s purse indicated a text had been received. Stopping at the back door, she rummaged past her wallet and various used and unused tissues to find the cell phone. She was late, and she hated that feeling. The message stated, “I am here, where r u?” and was from her first client of the day. After keying a quick reply of, “on way,” she threw a kiss to the photos of her twin daughters and five grandchildren hanging on the wall. Grabbing a jacket, she smiled with the memory of her husband of thirty-three years pointing the electric heater toward the commode earlier that morning. He didn’t want her butt to get cold. Sandie happily rushed to the economy car used for her cleaning business.
Living in the country had its advantages like having space for horses and lots of cats, but Sandie had to cover the five miles to town in a hurry to meet her appointment. The woman was a longtime customer, and had a party coming up, so Sandie and the big guns were called out to spiffy up the house. With a giggle, she pulled out of the drive onto the dirt road and thought gladly that Herbert had been loaded the previous evening. She’d need the high powered Hoover on this job. Certainly the 31st president of the United States wouldn’t have appreciated having his name lent to a mighty sucking machine, but, it was a good joke which made her clients laugh.
A dust cloud rose from behind the car, as she pressed her foot on the gas pedal. Suddenly a large shadow passed over the windshield, momentarily blocking the morning sun. Sandie reacted by lifting her foot, and with a sharp intake of breath quickly stopped the car. Amazed, she looked at a figure in the roadway. Pulling forward just a bit, she saw it to be a large Red Tailed Hawk, a common predator bird in her area.
The majestic bird of prey stood directly in the middle of the dirt road staring intently in Sandie’s direction. The hair on her arms rose, as the bird’s gaze met with her own. She could see its eyes, wide and looking straight at her. Time seemed to stop for a moment during this unusual encounter. Abruptly, the hawk turned its head to one side, then looked back at Sandie in the car, and spread its wings to take off. It soared around the car twice before catching a breeze and disappearing over some nearby trees.
Sandie took a deep breath and continued on more slowly. As she approached an intersection of two country roads, a large pickup truck pulling a cattle trailer barreled across in front of her, running the stop sign and thoroughly scaring her already shaken psyche. She sat still in the car for a minute.
The shadow fell across the windshield again, as the hawk made another pass over Sandie. It again disappeared into the blue sky. That mighty and wild bird had delayed the car’s forward progress such that Sandie was not in the path of the speeding truck and trailer when it blasted past the stop sign meant to allow her lane safe passage. Closing her eyes, the woman sent a prayer of thanks to Heaven.
Call it luck.
Call it fate.
Call it the hand of God.
Whatever it was, that hawk was sent at that particular moment to keep this wonderful woman safe. It cannot be a coincidence.
Elaine is a Native Texas, straight-but not narrow-non-tatooed ex-biker chick with a good sense of humor who can write, grow great tomatoes and grill a mean home-grown steak. She has two books in print, a children’s video project in process, and releasing a book of Cowboy Poetry in March. She’s an all around good gal who is easily amused, and gaining attention as a writer/publisher. Elaine can be found on Facebook and on het website: http://www.blazingstarbooks.