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Cold Front

Cameron Walsh gripped the ship’s railing. The churning wake disappeared into the early morning haze. He felt himself pulled into the fog. The grey ocean blended as one with the fog’s grey mist. His mood matched perfectly, and a chill ran down his spine. Cameron pulled his pea coat tight around his body.

Christ, I wish I were drunk.

The new decade hadn’t started much better than the end of the previous one. Any joyful moments remembered were like stars in a stormy sky; enough to remind one that the darkness wasn’t total, but not enough to dispel it completely.

It could have been worse… I hope…

The previous summer, the Roadhouse Sons had intercepted a postcard containing a microdot, which bore a message between Soviet agents. The bandmates knew that the postcard and its secret passenger had been analyzed, but they had no way of knowing the full nature of the correspondence. Several offensives by the US and its NATO allies occurred simultaneously with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Cameron was left to wonder if that iota of microdot film had given them a glimpse into Soviet strategy. There was no way that he and the band would ever know.

I really don’t care… for now…

Cameron had other concerns, ones no less imperative than any in the world at large. The tight bond previously enjoyed with his band was strained. At times, conflagrations erupted, but none that weren’t quickly quelled. Now, however, he detected the unnerving smolder of permanent discontent. He knew that he likely contributed to the situation, but he currently lacked the enthusiasm to rectify the fallout. He was as burned out as everyone around him.

I’m not taking all of this on… it’s not all my responsibility.

He watched the ocean churn and drift, his thoughts along with it. He mused about Doreen, closing his eyes and reveling in the memory of her femininity, the aroma of her woodsy exotic perfume, and in the gentleness of her touch.
Enraptured by her memory, he didn’t hear the ominous sound of footsteps behind him.