On My Own Two Feet (A Knots Landing fanfic)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by whitelighter, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. whitelighter

    whitelighter Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
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    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado, USA
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    Setting: Fall, 1990, Knots Landing Community Center, Knots Landing, California

    Frank Williams sat and listened as, one by one, each of the room's occupants came to the front and told their story. It brought him some measure of comfort to know that he wasn't alone; others were going through the same thing as him. The lives of every one of these people had, in one way or another, been changed forever by the actions of a drunk driver. Telling his own story hadn't been easy, but he'd made it a point to say the name of the man who'd taken his wife from him loud and clear so everyone all the way to the back would hear: Danny Waleska.

    After a while, a man who Frank judged to be about thirty got up to speak. He had wavy brown hair and grey eyes. Because the man was on crutches, he didn't try to go the front of the room. He just spoke where he stood."Hi," he said. "My name is Mickey Trotter." He had a very subtle, but distinct, twang in his voice. "About seven and a half years ago I was living in Texas, and was paralyzed when I tried to stop a lady who'd had too much to drink from driving. I jumped into the passenger seat and tried to pull the keys out of the ignition, but she kept pushing me away. and just kept goin'.” He paused a moment to take a breath. Reliving this clearly wasn’t easy for him. “And then this other car hit us...we were flipping over and over… I don't remember any more until I woke up at Dallas Memorial Hospital. I couldn't feel anything below my neck. The docs told me I'd be a quadriplegic for the rest of my life. That was the most depressed I’ve ever been. I broke up with my girlfriend, even though she'd come every day to see me. She was angry and hurt, but I just couldn't stand the thought of her being tied down to me. It's all kind of a blur after that. I woke up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, musta been weeks later. I couldn’t even talk. I had to learn everything all over again. The doctors and nurses were good to me. I could tell they really cared. I finally told myself I was gonna beat this thing, and now here I am. I still got a ways to go. But hey, the docs never thought I'd get this far. My ma just moved out here to LA, and I came with her."
    "Thank you for telling us, Mickey" said the lady who ran the group. "Would you like to tell us the name of the driver?"
    Mickey hesitated. "Sue Ellen Ewing," he said slowly, obviously not comfortable sharing that information..

    The name Ewing caught Frank's attention.

    "But the accident wasn’t Mrs. Ewing’s fault," Mickey continued. The way I heard it, another fella rammed into us on purpose, thinkin' her husband was driving. Seems he'd been double-crossed in business deal by Mr Ewing. But Mr. Ewing did helped pay for my treatment at the Mayo Clinic. He even came to see me once. He was real good to me and my ma, but she didn't trust him. She said he was just trying to avoid a lawsuit.”

    Mickey had the attention of everyone in the room. This was not your typicle DUI story.


    As the meeting was breaking up, Frank stopped Mickey at the door.
    "It was nice meeting you Mickey," he said. Obviously Mickey couldn't shake hands, so Frank kinda slapped him on the shoulder.
    "Uh..yeah, same here. Frank, right?" replied Mickey.
    "Right."
    "I'm sorry about your wife," said Mickey.
    "Thank you," said Frank with effort, looking down at the floor and fighting the tears welling up inside. "Say
    Mickey," he tried to say in a lighter tone, though his voice was still shaky, "this lady who was driving the night you were injured... you say her name last name was Ewing?"
    "Yeah," Mickey answered hesitantly. “Sue Ellen Ewing.”
    "Do you know if she's any relation to Gary and Valene Ewing? They're good friends of mine, and I think they moved here from Texas."
    When Mickey heard those two names a change came over his face, as if old memories had been stirred up. "Yeah..I think Mrs. Ewing was Gary's sister-in-law." He suddenly looked alarmed. "You won't tell them you saw me here, will you?" he asked.
    "Hey listen man," Frank assured him, "whatever you say in here stays in here. But if you ever need anyone to talk to, I'm glad to listen." The truth was, Frank needed a friend to talk to as well, but he was also curious exactly what connection this Mickey Trotter guy had to Gary and Valene Ewing…
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. whitelighter

    whitelighter Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    12
    Trophy Points:
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    Location:
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    Ratings:
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    Chapter 2

    Mickey parked in the handicapped space in front of Northside Hospital. His pickup was specially equipped with hand-operated brakes and gas pedal.
    Being wheelchair bound for several years had changed his outlook on life. He would never forget those grueling exercises they made him perform at the Mayo Clinic, day after day, hour after hour. There was one small consolation – the nurse whose job it was to massage his muscles after every workout. had been rather pretty.
    Mickey remembered his sense of accomplishment the day when he was finally able to move one toe. After that, he swore he was going to live up to his full potential, no matter how challenging it might be.
    He got out of his truck, and was reaching for his crutches in the back of his pickup, when he slipped and fell. Momentarily, an attractive young lady with long dark hair came walking by.
    “Pardon me, ma’am,” he said, “but I was trying to get my crutches outta the back of this pickup and had a little accident. Think you could give me a hand?"
    The young lady looked hesitant, but then she saw the handicapped decal on Mickey's truck.
    "Uh...sure," she said, Slowly, she helped Mickey up.
    "Thank you, ma'am," he said.
    Mickey sensed the lady's discomfort. "It's all right," he said. "You don't have to be afraid."
    Just then he had a memory flash -

    Mickey sat reclined in the front seat of a car, groggy and hung over. He had a black eye. Lucy sat beside him wearing a tuxedo. She gently touched his bruise.
    "It's all right," he murmered. "You don't have to be afraid."

    His mind faded back to the present.
    "No," he heard the young lady say. "It's just you can never be too cautious."
    "I understand," he said. “I'm Mickey, by the way. Mickey Trotter."
    "Kate," she answered, glancing at her watch. "Kate Whitaker."

    Forty-five minutes later, Mickey and Kate were seated in the hospital cafe.
    "So, how’s your uncle doin’?" asked Mickey
    "Not, good," she replied. "He needs a liver transplant.
    "I’m sorry," said Mickey. "Well, I hope everything works out okay."
    "Thanks," said Kate. "So, how were you injured...if you don’t mind my asking?"
    "Car accident," said Mickey. "Drunk driver. Been seven years, now. Things’ve been pretty rough for me ever since."
    "I’ll bet, " replied Kate. "Well, I’m really sorry that happened to you."
    Mickey nodded. "Thanks. Definitely not the wildcat I was."
    Kate laughed slightly. "You don’t sound like you’re from around here," she said.
    "No. Kansas, originally. You?"
    "Philadelphia—up until just a couple months ago, actually. I moved out here with my mom when my uncle got sick.
    "Well…now there’s a coincidence.," Mickey began. "I came out here with my ma, too."
    Just then they heard a voice from the hospital corridor. "Kate!"
    Kate looked up and waved. A lovely young blond, maybe mid-twenties, was standing there.
    "Paige, hi", Kate answered. She hesitated, remembering that Mickey was still there. "Uh, Paige, this is...Mickey. Mickey, this is Paige"
    "Nice to meet you, " said Mickey.
    'Hello," Paige answered somewhat guardedly.
    It looked as though Paige and Kate had something personal 5o discusss. Sensing his cue, Mickey got up. "Well," if you two lovely young ladies will excuse me." He reached for his crutches. "It was nice talking to you, Kate."
    "Yeah," Kate answered a bit shyly, "it was nice talking to you too."
    Mickey headed out toward the main entrance.
    "Friend?" Paige asked Kate, after Mickey had left.
    "Not really," Kate answered. "I just met him out in the parking lot.

    Early-evening sunshine shined through windows of the bar and grill. Mickey was seated at the bar, flirting with a young lady dressed in tight jeans.
    "Kansas?" the girl asked with curiousity.
    "Yeah, this small town called Emporia. You've probably never heard of it."
    "No," the girl laughed.
    "Well it is a sort of hick town..." Mickey began, but just then he was distracted by a song coming from the jukebox:
    And I swear I see a little bit of every girl I've ever known
    in the loneliness of Lucy's eyes.

    For a moment, Mickey was quiet, off in his own world...

    Later that evening, Mickey sat in his bedroom holding a piece of paper. Written on it was a phone number which Frank Williams had given him. Above the number was written, ‘Gary Ewing’. Lying next to the phone on table was his wallet, open to a photo of a young who looked to be about twenty. She had long blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. Slowly, Mickey dialed the number. After about the third ring a man answered, Mickey could hear children’s voices in the background.
    “Hi, could I speak to Gary Ewing?” Mickey began.
    “This is Gary,” said the man, not trying very hard to hide his impatience. “Bobby,” he shouted to someone in the background , “not in the house. Take the ball outside.”
    “Are you there, Mr. Ewing?” asked Mickey.
    “Yeah, I’m here,” answered Gary. “Sorry”
    “No problem,” said Mickey. “Anyway, the reason I’m calling is…Mr. Ewing…you don’t know me…” Mickey began stammering, “but I know who you are. I’d really like to talk to you if you can spare a little time.”
    “Okay, talk,” answered Gary. He didn’t always come across as friendly.
    “In person,” said Mickey.
    Gary looked a bit puzzled. "I didn't , um...catch your name," he said .
    "Oh yeah...It's Mickey. Mickey Trotter."
     
  3. whitelighter

    whitelighter Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    12
    Trophy Points:
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    Location:
    Boulder, Colorado, USA
    Ratings:
    +8
    Chapter 3

    Driving his pickup truck with these special handicap controls was kind of a hassle, but Mickey was interested to see what Westfork Ranch looked like. Certainly nothing like Southfork, he thought as he drove down the winding road. That must be Gary now, standing out in front of the white-pillared house, wearing a tan leather jacket and blue jeans. Gary looked younger than Mickey'd envisioned – certainly no more than mid-forties. But then Mickey remembered Lucy telling him her parents were only teenagers when they had her.
    Two small children were playing in the yard nearby as Mickey got out of the truck: a boy and a girl. The boy was climbing an enormous live-oak. Mickey hoped the boy wouldn't fall - he knew all too well the consequences if the boy landed the wrong way.
    Gary stood at the gate with a somewhat guarded expression, but when he saw Mickey and sized him up, his face softened a bit.
    “Mickey?” he asked.
    "Yessir," answered Mickey. "Mickey Trotter."
    "Gary Ewing."
    Mickey put all his weight on one crutch, reached out, and shook Gary's hand. "Glad you got a chance to talk to Frank."
    “Yeah...well, I was curious," said Gary. "So what can I do for you?”
    “Well, sir,” said Mickey. “It’s like this... I’m a friend of your daughter, or used to be.”
    Gary said nothing; he just stood there looking a bit puzzled.
    “Lucy,” Mickey said after a moment. “You are her daddy, right?”
    Gary seemed to come out of a brief trance. “Oh, yeah," he said. "Right.”
    “I hope you didn’t think I meant your younger daughter,” laughed Mickey nervously.
    Gary laughed. "No," he answered. "I just haven't heard Lucy's name for a while."
    “Well, anyway,” said Mickey, “I called your folks' place in Texas but they told me doesn't live there anymore. Is she here?” Mickey looked hopeful.
    Gary sighed and looked down at his boots. His expression was hard for Mickey to read. Was Gary was feeling: guilt, regret, resentment? “No, she’s not here,” answered Gary at length. "We haven’t really kept in touch. She’s somewhere in Europe now, I think. It's been about a year since we spoke. "
    “How was she, last time you spoke ?” asked Mickey
    “Well, let me see,” began Gary, “she remarried Mitch Cooper, of course.” When Gary saw the look of disappointment in Mickey’s eyes, he quickly added, "But they split up again. I guess good marriages just don’t run in my family." He shook his head and laughed cynically. “But who am I to judge? " he continued. "I walked out on Valene when Lucy was just a baby.”
    “So, did you and Mrs. Ewing go to their second wedding?” Mickey asked, shifting the subject slightly.
    “No,” answered Gary, again with a slight look of guilt. “Of course, we only received wedding announcements. I think it was a spur of the moment thing, so Lucy probably figured we couldn't make it. Besides, Val was right in the middle of all that mess with the twins .” He looked up at Mickey. "See, right after the twins were born..."
    "Yeah, I heard about that," said Mickey. "My ma read to me from the newspaper when I was in the hospital. She also bought that book of Mrs. Ewing's, um..." He snapped his fingers.
    "Nashville Junction?"
    "Yeah, that's it."
    "Oh, and Valene and I aren't, uh, married anymore," Gary added.
    Just then, the boy jumped down from a lower branch and ran over to where Gary was standing.
    “What happened to you?” he asked Mickey, noticing Mickey was on crutches.
    “Bobby...” Gary said. He turned back to Mickey. “Sorry."
    "It's ok” said Mickey, seeming to sense something familiar about the boy. “I was in a car accident, champ," he told Bobby.
    "Oh," Bobby replied.
    "Come to think of it," Gary said, "I don't think I heard about the accident."
    "Well, it's a long story. Drunk driver. I jumped in the car and tried to stop them"
    "Was the driver anyone I know?"
    Mickey paused. "Mrs. Ewing - Sue Ellen, that is; your brother's wife."
    "Why doesn't that surprise me," Gary muttered.
    "So anyway, Mr. Ewing...." Mickey continued.
    “Gary.”
    “Gary, do you have a phone number for Lucy? Or even just an address I can write her at?”
    “No,” answered Gary, clearly not proud to admit it, “but tell you what I’ll do. My mama called me from Japan, or someplace like that, the other day. Seems my whole family’s got a case of wanderlust these days. She probably has Lucy’s number. She and Lucy are pretty close. I’ll ask her the next time I talk to her.”
    “Thank you, sir, that’d be great” said Mickey.
    Gary laughed. “Please don’t call me ‘sir’. It makes me feel old. Call me Gary”
    “Oh, well then thanks, Gary,” said Mickey. “So do you know when you'll get a chance to talk to her?”
    “If I don’t hear from her in the next week or so I’ll try to find out where she's staying."
    “Well...I won’t take up any more of your time," said Mickey. "Thanks again.” There was another awkward silence, then Mickey turned and walked back toward his pickup. Gary watched him for a moment, still looking a bit reflective, then turned to go back to the house.
    As Mickey was getting back into his truck, he saw Bobby still standing there, watching him with interest. He winked at Bobby.

    Driving home in his pickup, Mickey flipped on the radio. As fate would have it, the song that was playing eerily reflected how he was feeling.
    The lonesome Texas sun was setting slow…
    Mickey’s mind drifted back to memories of Southfork - all those times he'd tried to get Lucy's attention without success until that one night he got into a brawl at a bar. These memories made him a bit sad. He tried to push them out of his mind. The song was nearing its end.
    Did I wait too long, or can I make it right?
    The bluest eyes in Texas are haunting me tonight.

    And that’s exactly what Mickey was wondering. Had too much time passed, or could he still make things right between him and Lucy?

    To be continued…
     

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