The Adventures of Chartan is a weekly fast fiction serial I started 18 months ago at my site, Twivelist. com . I shut that site down last week and will now post Chartan episodes on this site on Sundays. Today’s post got lost in the shuffle, so it is appearing one day late.
Eventually, I will post all the Chartans, but for now here is a quick summary. Chartan Chartan is a self-ascribed guru and limo driver who has a nasty habit of getting grazed by bullets. He is struggling to understand the meaning of life, but in his haste, he often parcels out wisdom before it is fully formed. Other characters are Elisa, a troubled nurse; Minerva, a rich elderly woman; Skyler Brazil, a Vietnam combat vet trying to heal himself; and Gina, an affable waitress who has just married Chartan. Today’s episode introduces Aunt Julie, a mile-a-minute fun-loving talker.
Brazil teared up as the city official read the wedding vows. Chartan and Gina didn’t notice him. He’d become lost in thought over the failures in his life: divorced, estranged from his two sons and incessant nightmares over pulling a trigger 40 years ago. These were the weights of his life. The tears were for simple happiness that never came. He sensed the joy between Chartan and Gina and wished he could share in it –at least he was the witness.
“Skyler, do you have the ring?”
Brazil nodded slowly at Chartan. He fumbled in his pocket and pulled out the ring Chartan had given him yesterday.
The ceremony lasted 10 minutes. No photos. Afterwards the trio walked across the street to a pizza parlor.
They ordered an extra-large with the works and a pitcher of tap beer.
They were the only customers—it was 3 p.m. The chose a wood picnic table by the window that gave them a unobstructed view of City Hall with its four gray columns with poorly sculpted nudes at the top, indicative of god rush architecture.
“Well, do you feel different?” asked Brazil.
Chartan and Gina looked at each other, then kissed. They both replied “yes” followed by a laugh.
“You’re in sync,” said Brazil, stopping himself from adding, “for now.”
“Thanks for being here,” said Chartan.
“I wouldn’t have missed it.”
“Oh, my god, there’s Aunt Julie,” shouted Gina. “I’ll get her.”
Walking slowly up the hall steps was a woman in a bright blue sun dress. She appeared to be looking up at the nudes.
A few minutes later Gina returned with her aunt in tow.
“Sorry I’m late as always,” said Julie, smiling at the two seated men she’d never met.
She sat down next to Brazil and raised her hand.
“Hopefully, Gina hasn’t said much about me. I’m a talker, one, and two, I have opinions and three, I bake a mean apple pie—won the blue ribbon three years in a row at the county fair. I don’t smoke, but like my booze. I’m independently broke and laugh too much.”
Gina put a hand by Julie’s mouth. “This is my husband of 30 minutes, Chartan.” She pointed to her spouse. “And this is our friend and witness, Skyler Brazil.”
Brazil smiled, as much as the use of “our” by Gina as for the vibrant woman seated next to him—her arm touched his side–it was electric!
To be continued next Sunday…