Fiction Friday #3 ~ Crystal Lake Bit 2

June 15, 2007 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Fiction Friday, Writing | Leave a comment

Fiction Friday is a challenge my good friend Mark made to himself to remind him of how much he enjoys writing.  Dreal joined him in this challenge and so have I.  I jumped in two weeks ago.  If you would like a fun way to keep yourself writing, just let Mark, Dreal, or I know.  We’ll link to you so we can all be inspired by each other’s work.  Otherwise, please read what we’ve been writing.  We’d love to hear what you think.

This is the second bit of what I’m entitling Crystal Lake.  It does not pick up where my first entry left off and it’s in a completely different voice.  It will eventually lead up to the first bit.  I hope that the change in voice will not be confusing.  I’m not sure which voice, if either, will change once the story lines meet.  Once again, we’ll see.  Here goes:

The wind was furious, even for October, and it howled against the weather worn frame of our farmhouse. You might suspect that this worn old place is spooked, but those noises and shakes are as familiar to me as my dog Schroeder’s nose. I was brought to this house before I was a week old so I know that it can rattle and jar like it’s riding a tornado, but it’s perfectly safe. It wasn’t until I heard something unfamiliar and faint that I looked up from my studies.

Rubber soled shoes pounded across the scalloped roof. Their destination was my brother’s room in the attic, so I decided to climb the stairs. Sure enough, I crouched down on the shadowy landing just in time to find him opening the window.  I just about finished planning my lecture to him about using the door when someone grabbed Kurt’s shoulder and used it to ease into the room. It seemed to take Amber forever to catch her footing, but as soon as she did, she stroked the front of his jeans.  He grabbed a hunk of her blue-black hair in his hand and yanked her head back so that she was looking up to him.

“I’ll thank ya later for what ya did, Babe.  Anyway you’d like.  Everyway you’d like.” They’ve taken to sleepovers up here, supposedly on the sly.  I’m not sure if Dad knows how often or not.  I backed against the wall and held my breath in fear of being discovered, but most to avoid the foul stench of a cloud I imagined floating across the attic toward me, not unlike the great fog of death as it made its way through Egypt.  Before, Kurt would have known what I was thinking. He would have puffed up his chest and yelled, “Pharaoh, let my people go!”

Kurt sneered down at her and pulled her hair just a little more.  “It’s a good thing we’ve got all night.  You’re gonna need every last second.”

Dad should have bolted the window shut after the first time he fought with Kurt about pulling these kinds of stunts. On top of that, I can’t fathom why I can’t have the room myself. Right inside the west slope would be the perfect cradle for my bed.  In the middle, where the ceiling was high, I could make enough bookshelves to harbor my entire collection. The huge window faced east so it would be a necessity for my reading bench to sit right underneath it. I wouldn’t need lamps to read until supper and I’d keep it just as pretty as Momma has kept the living room. For pity’s sake, Kurt has everything flopped all over the place and his decorating job, if you could call it that, is unsatisfactory. What was so attractive about bloody rock bands and gothic creatures? As it is, my room is too small for my needs.  Just think of all the used library posters I could frame and mount to the walls! I know Mrs. Holston would give them to me. Then you could barely tell that the attic wasn’t finished.  I don’t think that Kurt’s friends even know how to read.

Kurt didn’t even look away from her when he yelled, “Hey Drew… Jase… All’s clear!” Still, his eyes were glazed, not twinkling the way they were when he first told me about her.  He curled his lips and sucked on her face while haphazardly trying to clear his old hunting equipment and girlie magazines away from the window.  He probably hoped his two stooges wouldn’t trample them.

Amber didn’t seem too concerned about his divided attention, but I was.  I wanted to jump out from the darkness and make him look at me. I wanted to slap him, make my brother come back to me.  When we were kids he never lost at hide and seek because he had this uncanny ability to feel me when I was around. He even could tell when I was walking the halls at school instead of sitting in the classroom. Now, I could be standing right in front of him and he wouldn’t see me there any better than Helen Keller could.

I miss our wonderful talks. Fall used to be the best. We would set the Franklin stove to fire and cook marshmallows and watch cheesy late night movies. We could share everything. To this day he is the only one who knows that Chucky reached under my shirt and pinched my titties when I was twelve. Kurt beat him up pretty badly after that. I still haven’t found anyone brave enough to be my boyfriend.

Kurt was thoughtful, too. It wasn’t even that long ago.  On my birthday last September, he jumped up on the picnic table at Blain Park, pointed at me, started to dance dramatically, and started singing “You are fifteen going on sixteen…” If he weren’t my brother, I don’t know how I would have reacted.  I just beamed and looked back and forth between him and Daddy.  I think I even saw a tear in Daddy’s eye when he applauded Kurt’s performance.

Everything changed that Halloween when Amber, that wicked leech, took an interest in Kurt.  It wasn’t long before he quit school and started making money. I’ve never figured out how. If it weren’t for her, he never would have demanded that Dad clean out all of Momma and Granny’s treasures so that he could make the attic “his palace.” He figured that since he had to start paying rent to live in his own home, he was entitled to as much. It’s a good thing Schroeder’s mine.  She’d have gotten rid of him if he was Kurt’s dog.  She’s ruined the rest of our happiness.

Dad should have kicked him out.  I’ll never forget how he and Gramps kept sniffling as they moved all of those memories out of the dust and into the barn. I kept the special trinkets, like their wedding shoes, correspondences, and books in my room. Kurt couldn’t have concerned himself less. In fact, he took Amber to an all day horror film festival in Alma and didn’t lift a finger. The next day Dad told him to start looking for a place of his own; but, Kurt said that he had to be saving his money to order a ring for Amber out of the JC Penney catalog.

Things really got rough in November when Kurt first brought Jason and Drew home. It didn’t take Dad long to decide that those two meant trouble. They’d both seen jail before and I don’t mean juvenile detention either. Frankly, they made the hair on my arms pimple up faster than a spider would. Jason’s more than chubby but he’d at least look better if he had more than razor sharp stubble on the top of his head. I suppose he figures that gargantuan tattoos make up for hair. And he doesn’t dress any better than old Mr. Martin, the bum who used to be Dad’s football coach. Drew’s no better. They couldn’t find a tower tall enough to keep him away from Rapunzel. He’s 6’11” or close to it. Stupid, though. Kurt kept telling him not to stand up straight but the fool went on beaning his head against the solid attic beams, one right after the other.

After Jason and Drew finally thudded into the room, Kurt’s kisses left Amber’s lips and started exploring Mexican territory, if you know what I mean. I knew well enough where this was headed. My room was unfortunately situated right under the usual location of his bed; but, I had no idea that he grabbed her like that in front of other people. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum stuffed their hands in their pockets and just stood there with grins on their faces.  Amber peeled herself away and tripped over to the stereo.  When she turn it on it nearly blew the speakers.  The hair in my ears started to tickle and the floors were nearly vibrating.

I scampered down the stairs.  It wasn’t until I got back into the kitchen that I was far enough away to distinguish the singer’s voice from the drumbeat.  I shook my head and let my brown hair cover my entire head.  It was too fine to block anything out.  I wish I could stay at Gramps’ place tonight, but I don’t want to leave Kurt alone when Dad got home from work.  It didn’t appear as though Kurt’s little party was going to be over by then.  I think he’s finally going to lose it tonight and someone’s got to keep reasonable.

It wasn’t until then that I realized this was Friday night. Bowling night. Kurt’s smart, you see, but not as clever as me. Dad is always out late Friday night.  However, I not only have the number for the alley but I know something my brother doesn’t. Gramps is coming over tonight so that he and Dad can get an early start to see Granny tomorrow. He wasn’t going to be any happier about what was going on than Dad and he’s no where near as soft.  He won’t hesitate to take all of those boys down a peg or two. I had a feeling I would remember this night for a long time to come.

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