First Page: Stars and Rainbow – adult fiction
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A Desert Storm Veteran, Jerry Pruitt, sometimes known as JP, thinks about changes. He glances up to the sky satisfied to be living in a ghost town, Litton, Kansas. Barney, Jerry’s white Labrador trots unencumbered ahead of his master. JP enjoys the warm early June morning, but this is a work day. He calls Barney, “Come. Let’s head home.”
JP walks down Front Street and looks to his left, the vacant lot once held the largest building in town, Litton Junior and Senior High School. He remembers he and his best friend, Derek Lawson were the town’s athletic stars, of the day. Now, Jerry thinks, the sixty-five year old building is gone, Lawson is the County Sheriff and Jerry is Postman of Litton and whatever else needs to be done.
Living in a ghost town isn’t all bad or lonely. He has a town full of friends, though few residence, he has Barney and much more. There are other changes in his life. JP, no longer a forty-two year old bachelor, he and Edie are ready to begin their first work day as a married couple; he postman and she, school teacher. Jerry strolls down the dirt road looking forward to his favorite lawn chair in the backyard garden. He needs to prop up his leg. He anticipates the relief of pain from the menacing combat wound. Damaged ligaments cause an occasional limp, a constant reminder of the past.
Mrs. Portman, across the street, looks up from her constant tangled garden hose. “Hello Jerry. Lovely morning isn’t it!” He doesn’t answer, but waves. Poor old thing couldn’t hear a car back-fire if it were in her house.
Litton once supported several businesses, a population of a couple hundred residences within a square mile. Today the census may stretch to less than fifty. JP dreams of putting Litton back on the map. His first attempt started by reestablishing the post office, rebuilding the gas station; the drug store and revamping the old fashioned soda fountain.
The next change is the World War II historic museum. Third generation world war veteran, Jerry intends to honor all veterans, especially his grandfather Gerald F. Pruitt. JP doesn’t remember his father who was killed in the Vietnam War. His mother never recovered from her loss. From age ten, raised by his grandparents, JP learned responsibility early and clings to old eras and personal fears.