Ross Anthony, M.Ed. (A Los Angeles Creative)
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By Ross Anthony

Eddie Johnson's Ark

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Page 1 (Excerpt)

The evening sun slips into the dents and hardware scratches that hold together Eddie's reliable old pickup truck. A lone two-by-four bumps and skips in the bed, making a few new scrapes. Eddie rubs his tired eyes, then sneezes abruptly, barely getting his hands in front of his face in time to keep the snot and sawdust from hitting the windshield. The sneeze turns into a yawn as he jabs callused stubby fingers blindly at the radio tuner, keeping a dusty eye on the crowded road. The traffic light ahead turns bloodshot red.

Radio: “...But a little cooler for the evening. Don't put that grill away yet, looks like another clear weekend for the greater Columbus metropolitan area following yet another hot and dry work week. And that's it for the weather on the ones …now for…” click: “… the mayor still denies any involvement …” click “… the drought. Farmers in other Midwestern States have already extended loans …” click … Paul Simon's “For Emily” plays:

… And when I awoke And felt you warm and near I kissed your honey hair With my grateful tears …

The light changes to green. The group of cars and trucks and buses move a block or so like sheep in a corral to the next yellow, now red light. They stop, again, in unison.

An old bearded man, catching a glimpse of Eddie through the dirty windshield, hops to his feet from his newspaper bed on the bus stop bench. His leap implies some sort of instinct or plain-as-day knowledge that Eddie is going to be good for a quarter. As the sound of milk poured in a bowl cracks the eye of a sleeping cat, the sight of Eddie enlivens the empty-pocketed old man. Wrinkled and gray to the point of cabbage and cotton, the man jumps to life, grabs his squeegee and slaps it across Eddie's gritty windshield.

Eddie grimaces, the lights change, cars drive around him like ants around squashed brethren. With a sigh, Eddie fiddles his fingers through the ashtray, then his pockets, rounding up only a dime and a few pennies. With one eye on the old man, he secretly checks his wallet for a small bill. It's empty save for a ten and a five, and a picture of his late wife Emily.

Glancing back at the change, Eddie grunts, rolls down the window and slides the cabbage-patch man the five-dollar bill. The brisk wind of such generosity trips the old man into a backward stumble. Holding the bill up happily, he waves it at Eddie. Eddie's grumbling momentarily breaks into a brief smile before he sighs and turns onto the highway.

The radio's melody changes, finding only half an ear on Eddie's head. On the opposite side of Eddie's head and the highway, emergency crews are all over a multiple car accident. Blue, red, and white lights strobe and reflect off the tops of four lanes of vehicular standstill. In Eddie's direction, the leftmost two lanes slow and nearly stop, populated by gapers. Eddie speeds along in the right lane, ignoring the mars lights, sirens and luring wreckage. With three sons, he'll find enough wreckage when he gets home.


Eddie Johnson's Ark

(Contains Strong Language)

155 page Paperback

A Lumberyard Tale For Those Of Us Under Construction
Eddie's a single parent raising three kids in Columbus, Ohio. He's working nine to five just to keep a roof over their heads when he receives an unexpected and supernatural visit in his kitchen. A recently deceased friend rummages through his refrigerator while delivering a message from the big man upstairs: "It's time for a flood, Eddie, stop whatever you're doing and build an Ark."

"I've read all the books by Ross Anthony. Each one brings wonder and magic back into my life ... one of life's simple pleasures, yet there is always a deeper, profound message." Terry, IT Mngr.

Writing in the here and now, Anthony dives right into the heart of the matter. If there were a flood today and God didn't tell you to build an ark, where would you go? "Eddie Johnson's Ark" is a gritty poignant novel that, in search of soul, challenges all of us to take a swim in murky waters.

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Copyright © Ross Anthony, Last Modified: Thursday, 24-Oct-2013 21:11:36 PDT