Went to the market plaza today to see if I could find a pair of new shoes (old shoes). The ones I have are coming apart at the seams. I couldn’t find any I could fit my feet into. I guess I will wear these a little longer. While I was shopping I over heard some people discussing the Central Bobcats. They are causing trouble all over town. I am not usually afraid of anything but the leader of the Bobcats worry me. He is so evil. People say he is that way because his father was always beating on him, especially if he lost a tournament. I don’t know if this is true or if it is just a rumor kids spread around to explain his meanness. I do know that he never seems to have remorse about his actions. He actually enjoys hurting people.
Today, I sat beneath a tree at the park watching kids play. Watching the kids play brought back memories.
I was a few days shy of my 12 birthday, when both my parents died. Dragging their bodies to the backyard took most of the morning. I wanted to bury my mom and dad in a grave but the ground was too hard. I couldn’t push the shovel into the dirt more than a couple of inches no matter how hard I tried. By the end of the day, both of my hands were bloody with blisters, and my back hurt.
Determined to give my parents a proper burial, I placed a blue tarp from my dad’s tool shed over their bodies and then layered bricks my parents planned to use to build a fire pit over the tarp. With two pieces of wood and nails, I fashioned together a cross. On the cross, I wrote my parent’s names.
My family went to church twice a year. I had never been to a funeral. I relied on what I had seen in the movies to hold my little church service. I opened my mom’s bible and flipped to Psalms. I didn’t know what I should read so I read the first couple of lines on the page.
After I said goodbye to my parents, I walked back inside the house. My heart ached. I was alone and terrified. The world outside my front door was in turmoil. Sounds and smells of death were everywhere. The street gangs were running up and down the streets in my neighborhood fighting and destroying what was left of our beautiful neighborhood. I went to my room, hid beneath my blankets, covered my ears and prayed to God that he would let me die.
I climbed out of bed the following day and staggered into the kitchen for a bite to eat. There was nothing edible in the refrigerator. The pantry contained egg noodles, flour, sugar, sauerkraut and a single can of lima beans. I grabbed the can of beans. The electric can opener sat on the counter but was useless. My house had been without power for a couple of weeks, nothing electrical worked. The manual can opener was in a drawer, next to the stove on the other side of the room. The kitchen wasn’t very large but with wobbly legs, the walk seemed difficult. I had to stop midway to catch my breath and wait for a feeling of light-headedness to pass. It took all of my remaining strength to open the stubborn can. The effort made me cry.
I walked into the living room, wrapped my mom’s quilt around my shoulders and sat on the couch. I stared at the open can. I hated those beans. I didn’t want to eat them but my stomach hurt. The first bite of beans caused me to heave but I swallowed any way.
I Dreamt about being home again last night. I swear I could almost feel and smell the clean sheets. It felt like a weekend. One of those mornings when you had a great night’s sleep. A familiar smell wakes you. My mom was in the kitchen making her famous biscuits. I miss those biscuits. I miss the strawberry jam. I don’t know what woke me from my dream but it was a letdown when I realized it wasn’t real.
I take back the “I’m bored” thing. We held a meeting tonight to discuss what could be done about our missing fuel. The consensus was nothing. Asking for the fuel back wasn’t an option, taking the fuel back wasn’t an option, although two people who shall remain nameless thought we should storm central and take it back. Can you say Matt and Jonas. This was voted down because of the possibility of casualties, on our side. We decided to install a security detail during the night hours. Everyone over the age of 12 would be required to keep watch at two hour intervals. Our resources are few and we don’t need to be loosing anything else. We have strength in numbers and we can protect ourselves when necessary.
At the meeting we also discussed the up and coming festival. Like last year we plan to have a feast, music and games. The Journal club will be putting up fliers to announce the event to the community. Everyone is invited, except for central of course. With luck they won’t grace us with their presence at this year’s event.