Friday, April 18, 2008

WAITING:Continuation of a Short Story

so here we are, as I have time the story develops. not sure where we are going, but hopefully getting there will be fun, and we all won't have to sit around, waiting...

Warm, lazy days like this called the memories to her; colorful siren songs painting her thoughts. She remembered.

Blade thin, pale legs slicing the air, a stream of blond hair flowing behind, waves of grass undulating ahead of her in the breeze. The black tire swing bit warmly into the bare underside of her thighs, just below her shorts. Amelia knew what would happen if rubber marks smeared her clothes. If the faded jean material rubbed between her soft skin and the tire’s rim marking her with black punishment was inevitable. As it was she was taking a chance; but those worries were for later, for now she enjoyed the freedom that came from the endless twirling.

“Spin me, spin me again Tilde”, she giggled.

Her sister stretched forward grasping Amelia’s ankles. As Tilde propelled her round and round Amelia threw back her head.

Budding leaves from the branches above blurred against the blue sky, swirled, eddied into green ribbons like brook moss dancing in the current. Soon the swirling became almost unbearable. Struggling against the centrifugal force Amelia heaved herself back upright tucking her legs under her and the tire’s circular movement became faster, tighter.

Amelia laughed out loud in happy desperation. Tilde giggled from the ground where she had fallen, their laughter twining together, tinkling wind chimes singing in the breeze. She watched her sister spin, enjoying the luxury of their laughter. A flash of color caught her eye. A blue jay sat silently in the boughs above, head cocked to one side staring down at the girls.

The twinkle in Tilde’s eyes dimmed. Even the watch dog of the woods knew what a curious situation it was for her and Amelia to be laughing out loud. Usually the jays chattered and scolded, alerting everyone of curious goings on, but even the purple-hued sentinel seemed to know enough to keep quiet and not draw attention to the sisters.

Suddenly the jay cocked his head again, to the right, to the left, and then quickly flew off. Tilde, too, heard the faint chug of the old tractor as it paced steadily up the far hill. She leapt to her feet, grabbing Amelia’s ankles, halting the twirling and causing a look of alarm to flash across her sister’s face.

“Get down, now”, she hissed, before running north through the meadow, back toward the dilapidated farmhouse on the hill.

Amelia scrambled off the swing and followed her sister. Grass whipped their bare feet and ankles, leaving red lashes across white skin, but that pain was slight in their experience. Their singular intent was to reach the front door and escape into the house before the tractor reached the crest of the hill.

Crashing through the front door they ran to the front room diving to the floor underneath the window.

“You look, look and see where she’s at,” whispered Tilde.

“I can’t. I can’t”, said Amelia shaking her head.

Taking a breath Tilde grasped the edge of the window sill raising her eyes to the edge. Lace curtains wafted slowly in the breeze; a bumblebee buzzed angrily against the screen; the tractor chugged in the distance. She could hear but still not see the source of her anxiety. Wide-eyed she watched and she waited.


I’m not sure what I’m waiting for but I’ll know when I see it. A solitary street lamp illuminates the dingy parking lot I watch over, a faded pool of swirling yellow lapping at the darkness. Shadows from the convenience store hide my presence.

From where I sit the view is clear and I can see the light undulating like the sea, its mesmerizing. I don’t think many kids think about the light rolling like waves. There are lots of things I think that are different from the other kids, lots of things that only I see; it’s always been that way.

I have thick glasses and problems with dry eyes, so I blink a lot and I always blink slowly. And I’m big for my age, 5’ 6” and 150 pounds at 12-years-old makes me, well, noticeable. So I sit and I blink and I think while watching the occasional person swim back and forth through the dirty pool of light.

One of the guys at my new school, Rory Johnson, he looked at my blinking eyes and my freakish body and started calling me “Hooey”, something about Baby Huey, some fat duck cartoon that used to be on television ages ago, and the an owl ‘cuz of my blinking. Of course it caught on. So I sit alone, my quilt gathered around me. I blink and suck my thumb – thank fuckin’ god Rory doesn’t know about that.

This quilt is the only thing that belongs just to me. I can’t quite remember where it came from, although I have vague memories of a soft-spoken woman with a twisted smile underneath the quilt with me, the quilt held up by her arms like a tent before it slowly descends enveloping us in a soft, warm darkness, she laughs in my ear, gravelly, like pebbles in a cement mixer, holding me close and wrapping the quilt around us. I remember being happy then. That’s all I can recall.

It’s actually quite large, my quilt; perfectly square when you open it up. The pattern, identical on both sides, held together by an infinite amount of perfectly matched black stitches. The quilt’s pattern is crazy; riotous blues crash into shimmering greens, slim bands of silver shoot throughout everything and the edging is silky, crimson red.

So I sit in the shadows, sucking my thumb, my quilt wrapped around me, comforting me as I watch and wait.

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