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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Uncle, Uncle

by Gracey (writer), Orillia, August 16, 2010

Credit: J. Gracey Stinson
Uncle, Uncle

A work of fiction...maybe, maybe not. "Hurry, her mind shouted silently, hurry uncle, hurry, they're coming, coming now..."

She was four. Dark hair pulled up tight in pony-tails, and skin baked brown by the sun. As she stood staring out the old wooden door with it it's summer screen, her feet bare with their chubby toes curling in and out, she felt a whispering in her mind. The summer air was hot, the sun burning overhead. The buzzing of insects wove itself into a siren song, and she hesitantly pushed open the door.

It squealed, the sound of iron hinges and old springs was familiar. Tightly clutched in her arms was a small white and gray bundle of fuzz. She didn't want to go out there. She was afraid, though she didn't know why. Passing through the porch to the sparse grass in front of the ancient farmhouse she paused and looked around. To the left behind her was the chicken coop, and a log swing her uncle had built for her. To the right, the big fields of growing things.

She moved forward heel to toe, and stepped out onto the dirt road, empty of traffic as it always was. On the road, there were no sounds. No voices, no buzzing insects or calling birds. Just dirt and small pebbles, the pretty flowers standing along the roadside like fairies waiting to play. But she was afraid. She squeezed the kitten to console herself.

One step, then two, then more. She moved forward still uncertain where she was going, or why. Further down the road the dirt puffed up in slow swirls, a few here, one there, moving steadily in her direction. She stopped for a moment crinkling her nose and lifting her brows as she tried to understand it. There was no breeze to dance with the flowers or ruffle her bangs, yet the dust cloud crawled along.

In no more than a single breath the trance was gone and she ran. Back to the house and the safety of her uncle. She was not very fast though, and her little legs and bare feet carried her back in slow motion. They were at her back before she reached the front yard, but she ran on, breathing hard and still clutching the tiny kitten. She ran back through the grass and jumped clumsily onto the porch with them licking her heels.

Her desperation grew as she remembered she couldn't reach the wire handle on the old screen door herself. With no voice willing to leave her throat she began kicking the door. They had stopped at the edge of the porch. Coiling upon each other, weaving in and out and together, silent tongues testing the hot air, eyes freezing her in mid motion.

From somewhere deep inside the dark coolness behind the door she heard the footsteps on the old wooden floors. He was coming, finally. She flattened herself back against the screen and felt it give, bending inwards with her weight. Hurry, her mind shouted silently, hurry uncle, hurry, they're coming, coming now...

The loud clanging bell of the Big Ben clock on her nightable woke her from the nightmare for perhaps the thousandth time and she crawled out of bed, wiping the sweat from her brow and shaking off the memories from the darkness.

At least, until tonight.



About the Writer

Gracey is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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