Sunday, April 15, 2012

Home

The highway whispers beneath the tires, the countryside slips by on either side, and I wonder at my dad’s ability to find his way along the twisting cloverleaf pathways that connect Grandma’s house to our own.

The car is stuffy.  My parents don’t talk much but they do smoke a lot.  I ask them to crack the window open and my sister chimes in with a well-timed cough.  Dad grunts and gives me an inch.  The air whistling by his ear gives him a headache, he says.  But it stays open, and I’m glad for it.

The setting sun is behind us, we hurtle towards home and our beds.  In the twilight, my sister and I play “I Spy” until it grows too dim to tell red from orange, blue from green, and everything turns to grey.

We sing songs with endless verses in order to pass the time.  “Found a Peanut” and “There’s a Hole in my Bucket” and our favourite, “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”.  I have to finish the last one on my own; my sister is still small enough to be lulled to sleep in the darkness of a moving car.

We leave the highway behind, and the pattern of left turns and right, stop signs and streetlights, lets me know we’re almost home.  I look over at my sister, her head lolling against the window, and remember the way it feels to have dad carry me in from the car. 

As we pull into the driveway, I slump in my seat.  Mom unbuckles my sister while dad tends to me.  I let my body go limp, become a floppy ragdoll in his arms.  He carries me up to bed and tucks me in, wishes me sweet dreams.

One journey is over, now the next begins.

I sleep.

***
Welcome to this week's edition of Mostly Fiction Monday. What's that, you ask? It's a little something Stranger and I cooked up, you can find the story here, however you've probably realized that I've gotten a little lax about the word count requirement.  Whoops.

Today's post was inspired by the prompt Long Distance.

Don't forget to swing by Stranger Upstairs to read another take on the prompt, and come back next Monday, when we'll be writing something inspired by Childhood.   

Maybe you'd like to play too?  We'd love it if you joined in.  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so we can come see, if you do.


6 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i love those carry to bed from the car moments...i remember a few and i have lived a few with my boys...and the smoking in the car...mine never smoked but i remember plenty a day growing up my dad had a bear in the car and no one ever thought anything of it back then...

Stranger said...

I hated growing up and being told I was too big to be carried while no one thought anything of carrying my sleeping sister in from the car. You've captured that place between too young to stay up and being almost too old to be carried in from the car. I love it! And your writing is beautiful.

Stranger said...

I hated growing up and being told I was too big to be carried while no one thought anything of carrying my sleeping sister in from the car. You've captured that place between too young to stay up and being almost too old to be carried in from the car. I love it! And your writing is beautiful.

Mijayami said...

Beautiful! As Stranger said, you captured that age well. A perfect glimpse into the moment.

Cheryl said...

This is stunning, C. The rhythm is spot on. You've captured something special here. Your words are pitch-perfect.

Steve Isaak said...

Enjoyed this muchly, my friend. Engaging, as your work generally is, and effective - perfect, in a natural feel way.

Quick (possibility) opportunity for you - or somebody you may know: I'm guest-editor at the Leodegraunce for their next issue, whose theme is cinema.

I thought of you and Brian, having read some of your evocative, natural-flow/effective prose.

The deadline is April 30, 2012, and could prove to be an easy $5 (with additional, resultant publishing opportunities to follow), if you - or anybody you know can stir up a 200-words-or-less story about, again, cinema.

Here's the guidelines.

BTW, I would have emailed this to you, but I don't have your email address - I've enjoyed the work that I've read from you. Feel free to pass this on to anybody you know who might rock this microfiction/cinema/Leodegraunce gig. =)

#

Also, as more things wind down, I'll be able to play with you and other on the MFM gig. (Been busy spring-cleaning, project-wise, my daily schedule.)