The Next Chapter

Brent met Tara Saunders during his last year in college.  She was the free spirited adventurer that Brent was not.  When she sailed in protest, off the coast of Japan with Greenpeace, Brent delivered groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly.  When she taught agriculture to Nigerian farmers, with the Peace Corps, he assistant-managed at the Piggly Wiggly.  When she was arrested at Brown's university, protesting CIA recruitment on campus, Brent was arrested for driving a pea combine through the front window at the Piggly Wiggly.

She was two years his junior, and he was her most troublesome project. She did everything for him. From buying his groceries, to finding him his first publisher.  But most notable of all, she spent every moment she could, by his bedside, a dozen years ago, while he lay comatose for nearly four months, from a bizarre reaction, after accidentally ingesting a  cleaning solvent under mysterious circumstances.  The police report declared it an attempted suicide.  Brent Madison declared it "his" greatest adventure.

He spent the next three months at home, alone, drifting in and out of reality. Tara was again out of the country, this time somewhere in the middle east. A trip she never spoke of details to anyone.  But at the end of the ninety days, Brent Madison had the final draft of "The Color of Hatred" in his hands.  Tara returned home, and the next day, seventy-five American hostages in Iran were returned safely home.

Tara was to be his next chapter in life. It was as clear as his words on paper.  As honored as the awards bestowed on him.  As surprising as an O.J. acquittal.  He had immediately delved into what was to be his second novel, his much pressured follow up to his debut success.  He had his first draft within one week. Seven short days. Done. This was Brent Madison's time. Everything seemed to be at his fingertips.  And the few things not at his fingertips were fairly close to his toes.


The End

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