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The Sun Never Rises: Chapter Two

Thank You so Much

Your response to the first chapter prompted this one. I am always so encouraged when I read of the compassion and empathy so many of you have for your fellow man. You are my kind of people!

So let’s continue with my tale of the “little people,” the unseen, the unwashed, and in many cases, the forgotten. They comprise a growing number in our society and hopefully these stories will raise at least a little awareness.

The gray of the city

The gray of the city

The first chapter

  • The Sun Never Rises: Chapter One
    Will you join me for a practice novella? I can tell you it's not terribly pleasant but then hey, writing reflects reality, right, and there are times life just isn't pleasant.

Déjà Vu All over Again

Do you want to know the exact moment when hope begins to exit the scene of one’s life? It’s when you realize that, no matter what you do, life will never improve.

I’m there now!

Princess Kate and I have been doing the survival shuffle together now for a couple weeks. It’s all about protection on the streets. Two is a safer number than one, safer from the yard bulls, the pimps, the drug-soaked ex-jocks, the pipe-heads, the over-zealous cops, the frat kids on crystal meth, and the other street jockeys just looking to rise in stature by stealing a bed roll or an overcoat. Death rarely arrives with a whisper on the streets. It arrives with a full orchestra, each means of death its own sound, the shootings, stabbings, bludgeoning, pummeling, all hitting a distinct note of pain.

Like Three Dog Night once said, one is the loneliest number, and Kate and I are avoiding it with a passion. Nah, not that kind of passion. The libido is gone for now. There’s nothing sexy about living the streets. The stench, decay, filth, they all guarantee that sex will remain on the back burner, if you get my drift. Kate’s a good-lookin’ woman, or she could be with a little work, that flaming red hair a sight to see, but her and me, we just want to be safe for now. We’ve boiled it all down to being safe. Step two in the reclamation project will happen when we figure out what the hell it is.

The good thing about winter: murders decline when the temps fall and the snow hinders movement, making it inconvenient to go on a killing spree.

For the most part we’re left alone. I’m six-two, two-thirty, so I usually get the wide berth on the streets. It doesn’t hurt none to act a little crazy from time to time, mutter to yourself, occasionally scream at a parked car, that sort of thing goes far towards keeping the knives out of your back. It also doesn’t hurt being an ex-soldier, old enough to earn respect for my past service, but young enough I can still kick ass if needed.

So Kate’s pleased with the partnership and truth be told, I like having the company.

“You don’t talk like a street rat, Max,” she observed one day as we were walking down Central.

“We all had another life, Kate. You know that. I was educated in good schools, then again with Uncle Sam. A man doesn’t forget that shit with a change of scenery.”

“Where was home, soldier?”

“Seattle, Washington, Kate. Mom, Dad, and a little sister Jeannie. For all I know, they're al still alive. I haven't been in touch in ten years so I really don't know. When I finally said screw it to the Army, I got off the plane in New York, discharge papers in hand, and decided to just start walking. Pittsburgh’s where I ended up, but I aim to move on any time now. There’s a lot of road out there I haven’t seen yet.”

“Why take to the road?” she asks. “You had skills in the military, right?”

“I was special forces, Kate. I was a door-banger, a room-clearer, elite tactical squad. Not much call for that in a civilized world.”

She thought that over some.

“How about the police, something like those SWAT teams?”

“I’ve seen enough death. Don’t plan on looking for it ever again.”

No snow that day but five above was enough to keep us walking until we came on a convenience store. I had a few bucks in my pocket so I treated Kate to a coffee, hot, black for me, five packets of sugar for her. Small table by the window, seemed like the Waldorf to both of us until the young clerk came over and told us we couldn’t stay there. I could feel my blood pounding.

“We’re not hurting anyone. We paid our money, bought your product, now we’re sitting quietly at this table drinking that product. What’s the problem?”

He was barely out of diapers, barely twenty-one, still had pimples, scrawny neck hardly big enough to hold up that head, arms like pipe cleaners. Chances were excellent if I rolled up his sleeves I’d find tracks up and down those arms, his sniffling a sure tell of his after-hours activity.

Dwarfed by the city

Dwarfed by the city

Never Cause Trouble

He sniffled again, starting to look a bit nervous, things not going the way he hoped, my questioning him not in his script.

“The manager doesn’t want you people hanging around. Bad for business, you know? You need to take your coffees and hit the road before I call the cops.”

I started to stand up, my six-two making his five-eight look damned inadequate for his situation.

“Us kind of people, junior? How about you…..”

Kate’s hand grasped my arm. I looked at her. She shook her head.

“It’s not worth it, Max. You know how the cards are dealt, soldier. No way we win this game. Let’s head over to the Mission and find Jesus for a bowl of soup. Come on now, Max, it’s for the best.”

She was right. As much as it pissed me off, she was right. Mister pimple-ass would live another day.

Back out into the icebox.

That part of town was all pawn shops, bail bonds, and quick loans, one small store front after another, apartments on the second floor, an alleyway on each block, piss-stained, blood-stained, littered with all that’s wrong with the human race, a part of town the Chamber of Commerce will bulldoze down and pave over just as fast as the next levy can be passed. Pittsburgh is all about gentrification these days, out with the old, in with the new, getting rid of the visual proof that industrialization has a dark side. The city fathers like to say crime is down in Pittsburgh, but truth be told “reported crime” is down, and that’s a big difference in the reality of the situation. Take our current location for example.

This was the Hilltop Neighborhood, home to the ballers with their Guccis, the bustas with their Chucks, the crab bitches and the fly girls, fifty shades of dangerous crammed into a ten square block slice of heaven. Crime was a way of life in the Hilltop, but it was crime that didn’t exist in City Hall. Now you see it, now you don’t, no cops, no crime reports, no crime, simple as that. Plenty of victims but no crime. Go figure! Plenty of knife wounds, bullet wounds, head trauma and sexual assault, plenty of dead babies, mutilated crime bosses, and gutted stoolies, but no crime statistics to make it real.

If a tree falls in the forest but…..

We were one block from the Mission when a super fly stepped out in front of us.

“Yo, bitch, I’m thinking that fine ass needs to work with me. Say goodbye to gramps, Red, and let’s you and me make some presidents.”

Time to hit the road

Time to hit the road

Good Lunch

While Kate and I had some chicken noodle soup, super fly slept off his transgressions. I hate rudeness. Just because you live in the gutter doesn’t give you a reason to act gutter, get my drift? Kate was worried I hit him too hard, but I could tell she was relieved as well.

“Is it always going to be like this, Max?

The same question I’d been asking myself.

“Bad day to ask that, Princess. I’m all out of the commodity you’re looking for today. I know this for sure, though: if we don’t change something then the madness continues. I’ve been out here too long to remember, and I’m not sure how much longer I can live on Zoloft and no dreams. I’m fixin’ to leave this sewer, Kate, and you’re welcome to join me.”

“Where would we go, soldier boy? How would we get there?”

“Does it really matter?”

I watched as she tossed that question around underneath her crown. I watched as she thought back, to the beauty queen days, the days of hope, the days when she was looked upon as special, then the days of being raped, being rejected, discarded, ignored, and finally forgotten, just one more future statistic in the city ledger, one more body in an unmarked grave.

"What's in it for you, Max?"

"Not what you're thinking, Princess. I could use the company. Keeps the voices inside my head at bay."

"Some think I'm crazy, me with this crown on my head."

"Hell, Kate, they think we're all crazy."

She gave it some more thought.

“I guess none of it matters, Max. I’d be happy to join you. When do we leave?”

“Seems to me now’s as good a time as any. Let’s head southwest and see if we can find some sunshine and fewer people.”

A Great Adventure Ahead?

We’ll leave the couple as they take their first tentative steps into their future. Will you join me next week to find out where they’re headed? I hope so.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on March 29, 2020:

Sad indeed, Peggy. It is a jungle out there. Always has been, always will be.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 29, 2020:

I am glad that they found one another for the company and added safety. The dangers to homeless people are real. Most of the danger comes from other people, sad to say!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 13, 2017:

Thank you so much, Jo! Any day I'm compared, in any way, to Dickens, is a good day.

Jo Miller on January 13, 2017:

Good story, Bill. Reading these in serial form like this must be a little like reading Charles Dickens' stories when they were originally published.

I like your orchestra metaphor.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 08, 2017:

Indeed, Peg, Midnight Cowboy is the perfect movie to think of. I can hear Harry Nillson singing in the background. :)

Thank you and Happy Sunday to you!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 07, 2017:

The second chapter is equally intriguing as the first one, Bill. I look forward to learning where Kate and the soldier boy are going. Meanwhile, the theme from Midnight Cowboy is playing in my head and I'm mentally watching Dustin Hoffman get on board a bus. Looking forward to Chapter three.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 25, 2016:

I'm very happy to hear that, Marlene. Thanks for stopping by between gigs. Blessings to you always.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on October 24, 2016:

I'm between gigs and catching up on my reading. I absolutely enjoy this story.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2016:

You are too funny, Shannon! It was, at the very least, entertaining. LOL

Shannon Henry from Texas on October 12, 2016:

Oh my gosh! Just realized what I thought I typed turned to mice somehow! LOL. I meant they play in my mind as I read like mini television series episodes. Now I need to re-read and make sure there are no typos or autocorrect. . .

But don't mind me. I called the pink champagne pink shampoo and I can't blame that on autocorrect because I was speaking!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2016:

Well you look nice, Shannon!

Shannon Henry from Texas on October 12, 2016:

Thanks! I was in a wedding this past weekend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2016:

I can live with that simile, Shannon. LOL Love your new profile picture, by the way.

Shannon Henry from Texas on October 12, 2016:

Here's to hoping they are able to start a better life. I'll soon find out as I read more. Your stories here are like mice.I television series playing in my mind.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2016:

I'll tell them you said so, Maria. I know they will be happy to hear that. Thank you my dear.



Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on October 12, 2016:

I'm officially hooked - thoroughly appreciating the universality of how us gals can level impulsive guy-type behavior.

Max and Kate - one of my favorite couples now... :) Love, Maria

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 29, 2016:

Lawrence, that is my hope as well. Thanks for tagging along on their journey.

Lawrence Hebb on September 29, 2016:

This was a great 'follow-up' and I'm intrigued to see where it's going to lead, my hope is 'to a better life' for Max and Kate.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2016:

You have not used that word lately, Ann, and it brought a smile to my face. Thank you dear friend. I hope your weekend is fantabulous!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2016:

I do feel, Missy, and I thank you for seeing that. I feel deeply, and I scream silently at the injustices in this world, and I want to reach out and help, but I'm only one man, so my words will have to travel when I, physically, cannot. It is a reflection of you, these words. You recognized something few of my readers have....my wife knows this about me.....my characters are very real to me. They are people I've known over the years, people who have died, who have suffered, but who, remarkably, have always had hope, and the dignity that comes from love.

Thank you my friend. Your hugs and welcome!

Ann Carr from SW England on September 24, 2016:

You are a master at weaving stories, bill. You choose the colours well, you mix and match the brights and dulls to fit the mood and you 'show' us the people, we feel the scenery. In other words...

brilliant! (I have't used that word for a while.)

A fantastic Friday to you and yours, bill!


Missy Smith from Florida on September 23, 2016:

While I was reading this, I couldn't help but think about your comment on my last article, and how you said you couldn't really relate. However, your story here, though fiction, says different. Well, at least in my eyes, and I can explain.

My personal story I just told, though different in context, are similar to your characters in the ways of how depression affects someone. It isn't always about imbalances. It can be life circumstances. Your characters here has had lives of tremendous unlucky circumstances. Therefore, the sadness of that has put them in the type of life that never lets them forget the past. Depression.

You feel, Bill. You have to in order to write these types of stories. I would assume that it comes from stories you've read, or people you have observed living on the streets that have made you feel the pain of what they go through. Writers are natural feelers. They are totally observant and not on purpose. They can relate to every injustice this world we live in pushes on someone.

As I read this story, I could feel these characters struggle and their constant pain. I would be willing to bet that it becomes so real to you as you are writing that tears form in your eyes sometimes. Your stories are depicted by fictional characters, but they are based on real-life situations. It takes someone who can relate to this world and the people who live in it in order to write such heart-wrenching identifiable stories.

You sent me hugs from Olympia earlier, and now I want to return the favor and send you hugs and thanks from Florida. :) I shall return to read the next chapter soon.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 23, 2016:

True words, Michael my friend. True words. In all of my stories, love will surface eventually. You have a keen eye.

Pax Vobiscum

Michael Milec on September 22, 2016:

You wouldn't want persuade me otherwise, if I say this a truest life story unfolding. Thanks professor.

Might be me only, however I can see and taste 'love' from the practical engle among these abandoned people who not only need it, but have it to share supporting each other's utmost existence. What a moral lesson behing their "guilt" created by the evil leaders...

May you be blessed.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 22, 2016:

Bill, they are going to be on the road for quite some time, so they'll be waiting for you. Thanks my friend.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 21, 2016:

Hi Bill. I am weeks behind in my reading but determined to get caught up. Read the first two chapters and I'm now hooked. Great story you have started here and I look forward to the next few chapters.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 19, 2016:

Or ten-thousand times, right, Deb? :) Thanks my friend.

Deb Hirt on September 18, 2016:

I sure like it...sounds like some people that I walked by once...or twice.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 14, 2016:

Rodric, I'm a storyteller, and my job is to pull you in, so thank you for that affirmation. Now on to the next chapter.

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on September 13, 2016:

Pulled me in. The convention started to be a bit predictable, which I like. You are following storytelling protocol for our culture. You have the beauty queen and the leading man. He may be old, but all the characteristics are there, size, height, hero personality, etc. I am on to three!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 13, 2016:

Joy, I'll toss that into the Mailbag for next week. Great question...thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 13, 2016:

Thank you very much, Larry!

Joyce A Fischer from Thailand on September 12, 2016:

Here's another Hub question. I understand what Hub Networks are and I can see I might get more hits on a network. But what's the real advantage? And who do these networks belong to?

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 12, 2016:

Another great installment.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 09, 2016:

Dee, as soon as my muse speaks to me I'll let you know. There's a good chance there is hope on the horizon.

Dianna Mendez on September 08, 2016:

Your stories always lead to the next adventure and readers can hardly wait for it! The town seems dismal. You must have something planned to awake hope.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 07, 2016:

VA be damned, MizB! LOL The destination shall be revealed when my characters tell me. Until then, we both wonder where they are going.

Thanks for tagging along on the journey.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on September 07, 2016:

OK, I'll bite. Where are we going? Caution, he may lose his VA benefits and Zoloft if he moves on.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 07, 2016:

Today's chapter answers those questions, Joyce. Thanks for enjoying this dark tale.

Joyce A Fischer from Thailand on September 06, 2016:

Holding off on the characters' back story makes me want to keep reading. "How did they get here and what will happen next?" I say. Keep writing.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 06, 2016:

Aw, thanks Audrey! I always want my characters to be people my readers can relate to and find some connection with.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 05, 2016:

My heart hurts for Kate and Max. I want to rescue them. Kate is a good match for keeping Max calmed down. He's a man with anger and rightfully so. This is an exciting story with lovable characters. Kinda' like the lovable author!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2016:

Good morning Sha and Happy Labor Day to you! Yes, hope....I suspect it's going to be a tough rode. Me and my muse will discuss it today.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 05, 2016:

Yes, I'll join you next week to see where Max and Princess Kate are headed. I'm hoping someone along their travels reaches out and changes their life course. We can only hope.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2016:

Valuable things to remember, Mel, and I thank you for saying them. The day I look down on the homeless is the day I've lost my humanity.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 05, 2016:

Very nice words, Dora, and I thank you for it. Telling me my characters seems real is high praise.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on September 04, 2016:

I'm sitting in a Starbucks now writing this comment. This particular Starbucks reeks of bum sweat every time I come in here. This particular Starbucks is located on the portal of Point Loma, a very exclusive neighborhood where the real players in San Diego live. Point being, you don't have to sink down into the ghetto to find homelessness, it is everywhere.

My Mother has a favorite expression that she uses on me when I am trying to assert my superiority over people down on their luck. "But for the grace of God, there go I," she says.

Which leads me to your description of your character being Six foot two, 230 pounds. Add one more inch to the man's height and "there go I," as Mom says.

Fantastic work as usual, my friend.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 04, 2016:

Glad to join in another series. Your stories expand my community. You characters are like real people moving in.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2016:

Thank you Flourish! I'll be curious as well to see where my muse takes these two.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2016:

I really, really appreciate that, Zulma. I needed a boost, so thank you so much.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 03, 2016:

Good character development as always. I'm looking forward to the next chapters to see where the plot takes them.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on September 03, 2016:

Good characters, engaging story and social commentary all seamlessly woven together. Magic.

Do you even know what a good teacher you are? You lead by example, set the bar and challenge us to rise to it. I didn't realise that till this very moment. Thought I should let you know.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 02, 2016:

High praise, Eric, and I thank you! It looks like fall here, so I'm afraid warmer weather is a ways off. Have a great weekend, buddy!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 02, 2016:

Thank you Rasma! I am too!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 02, 2016:

Far out dude. This is great. A funny thing happens to me when I read this series. That stink that resides in alleys and on the unwashed comes to me as real as if I were there. That grime on grime on grime odor that develops. I do look forward to warmer weather.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 01, 2016:

Looking forward to joining them in their journey.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 01, 2016:

Sis, you just made a profound observation...homelessness is not contagious and should net be treated as such. And I'll add it is not incurable. It can be treated. There can be recovery.

All it takes is a willingness to recognize it and a commitment to combat it.

Amen, Sis!


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 01, 2016:

LOL....we'll save some baked beans for you, Pop!

Suzie from Carson City on September 01, 2016:

Very glad I chose to follow along. These are the kind of people we learn from, when it comes to delving into the human spirit. For one thing, we can stand a lesson or two in exactly how we view the homeless!

In most cases, we couldn't be more off the mark! To learn, we may have to get close. Lesson #1...while anything is possible, as far as we know, homelessness is not contagious.

Looking forward to pick up where we just left off!

breakfastpop on September 01, 2016:

Dear billy,

My shoes are on and I'm ready to walk.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 01, 2016:

Well put on your walking shoes, Pop. You've got some distance to travel with these two. :) Thanks my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 01, 2016:

Thank you Alicia. I really am glad you are enjoying this series.

breakfastpop on September 01, 2016:

I will definitely join you next time. Actually, billy, I can't wait to join these two on their journey.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 31, 2016:

I'm glad you decided to write a Chapter Two, Bill. I'll be reading this series with interest.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thanks so much, Eldon. Coming from you that is high praise, my friend. As for the HP problems, I remain, as always, clueless. :)


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you for sharing your experience, Joyce. I do not know of Sherman Alexie but now you have me curious. I hope you share some of your stuff here....I would love to read it.

Joyce A Fischer from Thailand on August 31, 2016:

I've enjoyed the first two chapters. This story hits me from a different direction. I lived in San Francisco on Market Street near 6th for seven years and it was always hard to deal with all the homelessness. It didn't help that crack alley was just around the corner and I was often only a thread away from joining them.

I like how Kate and Max are just two human beings who landed there for their own reasons. The people they are trying to avoid are so much more present and it's important to remember everyone deserves some dignity. In a snooty town like SF it's not hard to get a taste of what it's like. If you are poor, one trip to a neighborhood clinic will give you a taste of it. You expect the people there to be all compassionate and caring, but it's not like that.

I've got some stories of my own from the female point of view. Not about homelessness, but on the edge. We all have challenges in our lives, but it is a little different for the ladies. Maybe I'll try some out here.

Hey, do you like Sherman Alexie? This brings a story of his to mind. He deals with the dark stuff, too. How he makes it funny amazes me.

Eldon on August 31, 2016:

Hey Bill! This series is superb. For some reason, Hubpages and my internet do not agree, especially when I log in. (What the ?). The terms of their coexistence are scrambled as of late. But this, this is the sunny side up. I dig the characters. Kate is great. It's time someone brought literary quality to the story of homeless persons. Not levity. It's often easy to disregard people of the streets face-to-face, or diminish their plight as merely a series of personal choices. Instead of societal ones.

Anyway, I'll be back for the next installment (if my internet allows it),


Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Manatita, I have it on goo authority that they will both do well eventually. Thanks for the compliment, my friend.

manatita44 from london on August 31, 2016:

Nice! You're pretty good at these gruffy ones. Let's all hope that Max and Kate do well.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thanks Meg! Superfly is a name from days gone by, meaning street-wise hustler.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you so much, Vellur!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Buildreps, there are times I don't think there is any hope for us at all...and then some kind-hearted human being will shock the hell out of me with kindness.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on August 31, 2016:

Great second chapter. Just not sure what a superfly is. The urban dictionary says it's cool, great. Is that what you meant?

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 31, 2016:

A great story, eagerly waiting to read how things are going to unfold in the next.

Buildreps from Europe on August 31, 2016:

Great story, Bill. Like I said last week; keep on rollin'. To be honest, I was shocked seeing that second video, about that kid asking for food. My God, people don't care! I feel there's not much more hope for humanity than an all out nuclear war...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Sorry about that, Mike.....once a week is the best I can do. LOL Thanks my friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you PS....for sure, treated differently when living on the edge.

All is well here. I wish the same for you and I'm sending hugs and prayers your way.

Old Poolman on August 31, 2016:

My only disappointment is that I have to wait a whole week for the next chapter. Job well done my friend.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 31, 2016:

Been homeless...it was not this bad but it was bad enough.Definitelty treated much different when living on the edge....I will be back Hope all is well in your world. Angels are on the way. ps

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you Ruby! Hopefully they will meet some caring folks at some point. Cross your fingers and I'll see you next week.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 31, 2016:

I'm glad Kate and Max are getting the H out of Pittsburgh. I wonder how many uncaring people they will meet on their way south? This is my kind of story, and I'll be back with bells on...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you so very much, John! Coming from you that is high praise.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Been there, done that, Linda! That's how I do it. Thank you and I'll see you this afternoon. Looking forward to it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Thank you Norlawrence. I really appreciate it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on August 31, 2016:

Same time same place, Janine, and I know I can always count on you. Happy Wednesday to you.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 31, 2016:

Chapter two did not disappoint. I think you are on another winner with this series, Bill.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 31, 2016:

Ohmygoodness Bill. I felt I was right there with them. I don't know how the heck you do this...you really seem to "get" the darker side of the human race. And, you have all of us hooked on another story.

Same time next week?

Norma Lawrence from California on August 31, 2016:

Very good article. I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on August 31, 2016:

Great new installment and of course I will join next week - same time, same place. Have a wonderful Wednesday now, Bill!! ;)

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