The Hogan Zone: The Key of Time
Welcome! First, I want to thank everyone who reviewed my last story, The Guest. Your kind (or otherwise) thoughts are always appreciated! I kind of took a break from everything - even email - but now I'm back to writing again! And trying to look through two month's worth of stories!
This story is a little bit different. I've always wondered about James Kinchloe. How did he, a black man, end up at a Luftwaffe POW camp as Hogan's right-hand man? This story is set in 1986 from his POV, with lots of angst on his part and a little backstory here and there. Rated 'T' for occasional lauguage; the parts in italics are his inner thoughts. I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Never! Ever! Unless I'm sued...
God, I miss her.
James Kinchloe looked at the framed photograph of his wife and shook his head. Two years, he thought sadly. Where does it all go?
He shuffled his way into the living room before gratefully dropping his aching body into the worn leather recliner. The dull evening glow coming through the front window gave off just enough light for his hand to find the television remote. Fortunately, his fingers weren't too stiff today; some days not even Tylenol would help. For a while, he watched a football game before his mind and body dozed off into slumber. By the time he awoke, the evening news was on. Not that anything really interesting happened in the world.
Just another damned day.
He looked over at a nearby cabinet and idly wondered about opening up the bottle of bourbon he kept there. After a moment, he decided against it. What would be the point? a part of his mind wondered, somewhat sarcastically. They didn't even call today. None of them did. Happy Birthday, James! A smiling image of his late spouse drifted through his mind. With effort, he banished the painful memories that followed it. And Maddie…
Maybe I should just go ahead and get plastered. What else did I expect?
He glanced around the room. Framed photographs and papers lined the walls. Images of his children and grandchildren. Friends from the service, then afterwards with the post office. His honorable discharge…
None of it means a damn when you get old, does it? Just a bunch of memories and no one to share them with. Stuff for people to clear out after you're gone.
James pushed himself up from the recliner and slowly walked out of the room. As he moved down the hallway, his mind absently noted a few chores that needed to be done here and there. A loose baseboard, for instance. A stained ceiling tile…
Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow.
He walked into the bedroom, took his red bathrobe off, and then sat down on the edge of the bed. James stretched out his bony and scarred right hand to the bedside table and flicked a metal switch. The harsh white light that suddenly illuminated the room made his eyes blink several times even as his fingers pulled open a nearby drawer. Inside, shining dully from the reflected glow, lay his old .45. The former Sergeant lifted the weapon out of the drawer and felt the comforting weight settle into his palm.
With a practiced motion, James released the clip from the pistol and checked the rounds inside the metal shaft. Satisfied, he pushed it back into place until he heard a heavy click. He looked inside the muzzle, the interior as dark as his skin…
Maybe I should just do it.
For a long moment James sat alone in silence, his mind at war with itself. Finally, he came to a decision.
He shook his head slightly before putting the pistol away. The former POW eyed the drawer longingly.
Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow.
James turned the lamp off and lay down on the bed. He lay awake, staring into the darkness, before he finally closed his eyes and fell off to sleep. Then the nightmares began.
Meet James Kinchloe, a lonely man condemned to relive the mistakes of the past. Now in his golden years, James wonders what the point of his life was, and is. He will soon find out that every life has a purpose…courtesy of the Hogan Zone.
A/N: For those of you who may be wondering, I did *not* rip off that well known show ending in the word 'Zone'. Instead, I merely borrowed several aspects of it for the enjoyment of HH fans!
All credit for the original source of the story title / format idea goes to the Twilight Zone. The original series, not that awful version of it they made in the 80's ::shiver::