T.D. Thompson, Author

Interested in reading a portion of Flight of the Wild Geese? This is part of the first chapter.....

Flight of the Wild Geese – Chapter One

There’s a place where the foothills are a rolling gold-brown, the colour of the well-worn deer-hide Dad tosses on my bed for warmth in winter. The hills rise in slow gentle swells to cradle the Rocky Mountains to the west.

It isn’t unusual in our area for temperatures to sink to -40 in January and soar to the +30 range in summer, but this was only mid-November and already it was so cold school had been cancelled for two days in a row.

On the day my life swerved off-course the thermometer had settled in at around -34, our high for the day here in White Plains, and the world outside the kitchen window was a ghostly snow-white. It was pretty, all that hoarfrost hanging on the trees like white icing – pretty as long as you didn’t have to be out in it. The frost in the air magnified every brittle sound in a creepy way that made it awful satisfying to stay in a nice warm kitchen and doodle in the margins of my chemistry notebook. Our house felt more alone than ever though, situated as it is a half-mile from town on a dead-end road, and now it was like an island in a white sea.

White Plains is one of those little dots on the map.  It sits on a forgotten stretch of old pitted highway where the prairie meets the foothills, and nobody comes here unless they’re lost looking for a cutline to go hunting in the fall. People live here either because they have relatives on the reserve or because they just couldn’t handle living in the city for one reason or another.  And a lot of us don’t welcome strangers very easily.

 A few years back a stranger, an older guy, a white man, came to town thinking he’d open a little grocery and fit right in. He brought his nephew with him.  The kid came from Toronto, and to prove a point he tried to start something after school at the baseball diamond. He called me ‘Gandhi’. Got Indians and Indians mixed up, I guess. When everyone stopped laughing he went home. They moved away one night.

In the frozen netherworld that afternoon I could hear the footsteps thudding and squeaking their way through the packed snow on the road long before I realized they were heading for our place.

“Hey! Hey, c’mon!”

The school boxing coach believes in lots of long-distance running to keep in shape, and I’d heard that little quaver of Jamie’s often enough in training to recognize it now even from a distance. His lungs are in terrible condition.

“Hey, you guys, open up!” Jamie’s mittened fists were pounding on the door before I could get up from the table.

“Mr. Beaton! Hey, Dave! C’mon man, open the door.”

Dad came out of the back bedroom and we both reached for the knob at the same time. In the split-second it took to before we got the door open there was his expression of startled confusion, mixed with something else, something sinister and a little scary, a look I still see some nights when the dreams turn bad. It was like he already knew something, and for whatever reason, he was keeping it to himself.



If you are interested in Dave, his friends and his dad and want to find out who's at the the door and what happens next, contact Pemmican Publications at


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"Flight of the Wild Geese"

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