Chapmantown, CA

One evening around the summer of 85, a Mother tells her husband that something is wrong. The auburn haired petite woman exclaims she feels it in her gut. The husband sighs and pauses for reflection. “Micah, were going to look for Tazz”.

Tazz being the youngest of three boys was a wild child to say the least. The sneaking out, parting with older adults, drinking moonshine with the best of them among other stuff. He also had what some like to call the seven day itch.

Although he was only fourteen or fifteen at the time, he was infatuated with this one long haired brunette girl that towered him with parents that would kick the kiddies out even if late at night, so they could have adult parties and not feel bad about it.
By the time the father and eldest son got ready, it was nightfall. Not knowing where to begin they head out to the favorite stumping grounds and seeing no signs they decide to head out of town. They take the back roads and catch highway 32 headed to Hamilton City.  Once in Hamilton City, the father and son are aChico CA, Chapmantown CA, Hamilton city, butte county.t a crossroad as to which path to take. They decide to take highway 45; a shortcut to what might be one of the destinations if trying to relief that seven day itch.

With headlights on bright, the father looks on one side while the eldest son is watching the road and looking on his left. A few miles down while traveling at 55 mph, the eldest son catches a glimpse of reflections casting from the high beams in front of him, with hands in the 10 and 2 O’clock position swerves hard right hoping not to hit the object in the middle of the road. The brakes slam a few feet ahead of the object that laid there in the middle of the road. The father’s face is pale, tears falling. The eldest son is in shock –wondering.

They both open the car doors of the light blue white soft top 67 Cadillac and proceed to the object just lying there motionless. The realization hits when they see it is Tazz not moving a muscle with a touch of frost bite on his skin. The father kneels, raises his son’s head, the eldest son thinking and feeling the weight that he just ran over his little brother.

After a minute they hear a very faint whimper/whisper. Eyes close for a moment while the father hugs his son tighter. They carry him to the car and drive to a small local diner/truck stop to get him some hot chocolate -trying to warm him up. The younger brother explains the events how he was left stranded by his friend and the middle brother, so he thought he go see his girl, he didn’t realize how far the walk was. The father asked how he got so far, Tazz said that he caught a ride by an older guy that was headed in the same direction so he took the ride not knowing he still had 20 miles to go. The drive back was silent and filled with reflections of what could have been. Tazz is returned safely to his mother arms.

They say a Mother’s intuition is strong when pertaining to her children.

Author’s notes:

Even though this happened over thirty years ago, I still wake in cold sweats from time to time thinking about that night. It’s the what ifs that get to you I think, what if I were not alert, daydreaming as I normally do, what if I swerved to late.

Summer 1992

I Remember You

Young, vibrant exciting you were

 Shiny brunette hair with auburn highlights

What a delight you were

Boundless curls as men’s toes bowed

Those bedroom eyes made many sigh

I remember you

Early night comes as a gentle tap is heard

We talked while playing Asteroids and Chess

How I dreamt of your warm soft chest

Night’s air filled with perfumes of heaven

Gentle skin as ships sail in calm winds

Red ruby lips

Spin the bottle –kiss and tell

I silently fell –wishing, hoping that bottle point my way

Just one kiss

I remember you

University knocks as we prepare to rock

Full of desire and aspirations you were

One night your Father dims your light

His gambit ways as he ploys you to follow his university ways

Title waves bashing back and forth

As you plead your case, the gavel hammers down

Flood gate releases

Head on my shoulder

He starts to hither -I feel your body shiver

I hold you tighter

Exclamations fill the room

I feel the questions marks that pierce my soul

Awkward silence comes

Doom hovers, there is no cover

 I wish I were Doctor Strange –one twist of my ring

Verdict is in, judgment handed down


One swift kick with his steel boot

The sparkle that once was

Grand dreams of soaring is no more

You fought and clawed to pay for Chico State

To follow your dream of a School Psychologist

I remember you

A year has passed

I stand in the back

While you shook your ass

Legs wrapped around that shiny silver pole

Your hips -up and down you go as you licked your lips

Slowly removing thin pieces of cloth

Exposing flesh of desire

The color green fills the air

Invited to those private rich parties

I remember you

I awoke one morning, sun shining bright through the bedroom window

Sun’s rays tingling on my face

The way I felt each day when I saw your face

A bird sang its song in my ear that day during class

I in disbelieve

Bewildered from the songs that I have heard

The weight of a ton crushing my chest

I don’t believe as denial piles

Yet, there you laid upon that altar

Till my last breath

I shall always remember you

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Michael Rios

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