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The Telling – Strawberry Fields


This is the third in the series: The Telling

See also:

The Crust and The Rind


The Wheat Eaters Journal

follow the link below.

---The author

Strawberry Fields


The diary page was found in one of those silver metal cigar tubes with a screw cap. A little sign, next to the letter announced; the finder stated, he would rather have found a cigar.

Now housed under glass, the letter was part of the archives of a Civilian Wars archive in Mexico that chronicled the Second U.S. Civil War that brought down the former United States of America and much of the global economy.

The page is creased and there is some blood stained fingerprints in the margin.

The letter:

I reckon this is as accurate a story of how we was all kilt today to be recorded. A group of us Red Hats was sent out on a scouting party looking for food. We was more marauders than soldiers. Ten of us went out in two trucks. Not sure what State we are in. In a home with little or nothing to steal a woman told us strawberries were in season and there were wild patches just up the rode a-ways. ‘Just follow the dirt tracks, about a mile up the road.’

The boys that was with me climbed in the truck and off we went looking for the dirt tracks. The other truck followed. We turned off were the tracks lead us. A couple of miles in the road stopped and we got out and started looking for the strawberry fields.

One group went off to the East, our boys went North. Our luck, we found plump wild strawberries. Me and the boys picked our fill and sat and enjoyed the sweet nectar. We was relaxed and laughing. The shock hit us quick when three gray haired women stood up, out of Hidy-holes and leveled double-barrelled shotguns and fired killing the three closest to them.

Jim-boy and me rolled out over a brim, just as a volley came from our right. I spotted a woman at the end of one of them rifles, as I ducked for cover. We crawled about thirty yards into the undergrowth.

Jim-boy stood, his cheek stained with strawberry juice. He looked about cautious and angry. He checked the action of his rifle.

‘Let’s head back to where we parked the truck. The others heard those gunshots and will make their way back,’ I told Jim-boy.

I was right, and I was wrong. The boys made it back, but the trucks were gone. There were some horse tracks. They must a followed us in, and towed the trucks off behind their horse teams.

The seven of us checked the clips in our weapons. It was decided to go and see if we could find out who did the shooting. The group of five went to circle around. Jim-boy and me, thinking this was a bad idea went the same direction we went the first time.

When we got to the spot. Our three dead had been stripped and their tongues had been cut out.

‘It’s a message,’ said one of the boys. ‘Soup,’ said another, looking up into the trees, finger on the trigger.

I nudged Jim-boy and he and I stepped backwards. It occurred to me that, the goat of revenge had been staked to the ground on this spot. And we fell for it. I turned and ran. Jim-boy followed.


We heard a sneeze from a thicket and then multiple burst from long barreled hunting rifles. Jim-boy screamed. Something struck me hard, but I kept running. After a few more yards, I wanted to rest. I found a boulder near a tree and wedged between them. I dressed my wound. It would be sunset soon. The forest had gone quiet. Figuring it was just a matter time, I lit my last cigar and took to writing down the story of how they kilt us.


Ol' Pete

Strawberry Fields Forever

© 2017 mckbirdbks


mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 16, 2017:

Hello Genna - Thank you for that nice compliment. The stories of The Telling keep occurring to me. One right now is swirling around trying to find its way to paper. I hope you find time to relax as it is Sunday. Time for a day off.

Genna East on July 15, 2017:

Mike, this is a timeless, superb story and deserves accolades. And the Beatles song just fits it to a perfect T. I hope you are enjoying your weekend, my talented friend.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hello Gypsy – Thank you. I find I cannot go wrong selecting the Beatles to accompany one of my stories. Thanks for the visit.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hello Audrey – The Beatles are certainly the icons of our musical generation. Strawberry Fields Forever ranks high. Talk about your writers. Thanks for the generous compliment.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hello Martie - Speechless, wow what a statement. The pot of hatred is boiling up here as it is in South Africa. Seems no one is satisfied with their lot here on this earth. Thanks for the visit. Sorry for the delay, computer issues have me twisted up.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hello Ann - I appreciate the kind comment. I began writing dystopian leaning stories; I see I have returned to my roots.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 13, 2017:

Hello Shy – These stories of The Telling are just Ramblings. There have always been different types of people. Usually they are not so blatant. The world seems to go out of balance and then return to stability. It makes me more curious than ever how these ideologies pop up all over the western world at the same time. The puppet masters are losing their subtlety.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 13, 2017:

Great story from beginning to end and nice choice of song.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 12, 2017:

"Strawberry Fields Forever" is a favorite Beatle song of mine. Perfect music for this story by one of my favorite writers. The opening invited me in and of course I stayed to the finish. Magnificent Mike!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 12, 2017:

What a horrible experience!

I am speechless!

Ann Carr from SW England on July 12, 2017:

Great history and great story-telling rolled into one. Such a great idea to roll it all into a cigar box. This is fast-paced and gripping.


Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 11, 2017:

Mike, this is sad, is this what we can look forward to? What happens to those of us who do not have lots of money?

I am off to read the other two, but I think I read one.

Blessings Always

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 11, 2017:

Hello mar - Thank you. You can't go wrong with the Beatles. Maybe I can reverse engineer Beatles song titles, into The Telling stories, haha. Wonder how long before the copyright owners show up.

Speaking of Copyrights. It took the U.S. Copyright folks ten months to get me a certificate for TCD2.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 11, 2017:

I believe The Telling could have quite a following, dear Mike.

'Ol Pete touched my heart - as does this Beatles accompaniment.

Hope you have had a terrific Tuesday. Hugs, mar

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 11, 2017:

Hi Bill – Thanks. I am going to have to begin looking for a bright side. I appreciate the visit.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 11, 2017:

Hello Peg, Yes indeed. The golden rule is, ‘don’t cross’ the angry white haired ladies. The PeaceNiks and Love Generation seemed to have gone the way of good music, replaced by that metallic scraping noise, they pass for music these days.

Oh, how exciting, a new Peg Cole novel. I’ll start envisioning a cover.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 11, 2017:

The story was great, as I expected, but it was the opening that was a grabber. There was no way not to read the rest of the story after reading the first few sentences....bravo!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 11, 2017:

It goes to show that you have to watch out for those angry gray haired women. Wow, what a tale, Mike. It reminded me of the movie, Red Dawn, with Patrick Swayze. I hope it doesn't come down to this level of hatred and violence. What happened to the PeaceNiks and the Love Generation? All we need is love.

Your title surprised me. Once again our minds are on the same track with the Strawberries. I have a novel in progress, about five chapters, about the side of our family that raised strawberries commercially. No guns involved.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 11, 2017:

Hello John - It is all about the writing. So, thanks for the lind comment. A small piece of this story came to me. I had to pound out the rest. This will be a short lived series. Each of the stories runs in the 600-750 word range.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 11, 2017:

Hello Becky - You are on to something. There is a complete lack of listening going on. I go out of my way, not to listen to those that have a different opinion than my own. I have heard it all before, and did not agree with the opposition even then. That said, there is no good choices going forward. Luckily, I just write fiction.

I hope the temperatures have broken in your area. We are down twenty degrees.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 11, 2017:

This was amazing, Mike. Told by a master story-teller. It encaptured me from the start. Great job. How appropriate was the Beetles' song 'Strawberry Fields'?

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on July 11, 2017:

I read through this and then went to read the other one. I do not know how I missed it. I have been seeing so much of the hate being spewed from both sides and worry. The people have gone so far left and so far right, that they are like strangers. I look at both sides, refusing to even look to see what the other side is worrying and yelling about. They just call each other names and it is getting more and more hateful. What has happened to compromise and the need to meet in the middle to try and make things work. I am definitely in the middle and there is not an attempt to meet there. If I mention something that might work in the middle as a compromise, do not even mention it. If you do it will be pounced on and destroyed. If they will not even look at what the other side believes and why, how can anything ever get done? So many just pounce and yell, instead of learning why the other side believes differently, compromise can never be reached. Our country has been being torn apart for years now, and no one will see why. They just continue to push their agenda down the other's throats. WHY do they not even look at WHY others do not want something?

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