25 | 31
Prompt: What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why?
Today is day 25 of the WordPress #Bloganuary challenge.
The Christmas tree was covered in tensile, the model train circled beneath running full steam ahead, and the glow of blue lights shined bright. The overgrown evergreen at the corner of the small, white, two-bedroom home was strung with matching blue mini lights while the big C9 screw-in bulbs hung perfectly along the gutters. Worn with time and the blue less ends -white light leaked and mixed with the blue that filled the valley of Sunrise road.
Ted and Lou Ann had exhausted themselves to ensure there wasn’t a thing out of place. It was magically perfect as a light snow started drifting beyond the sapphire-saturated picture window. The silver strands of tensile mixed with those worn blue lights shined in that little home nearly like a diamond.
Pack Up Your Bags
Ted sat on the floor playing with Matt while Lou Ann shared stories of excitement with their oldest child Debbie. The laughter from a mom and daughter sharing a tender moment filled the little space. Christmas was right around the corner which meant Debbie would be celebrating her twelfth birthday.
The laughter from Lou Ann and Debbies side of the living room went silent. Ted looked up from Matt and into the eyes of his wife where Lou Ann whispered “it’s time to go.” Ted looked back down at Matt -who seemed to be paying no attention to anything other than the C&O locomotive circling that tree loaded down with tensile. Ted placed his hand upon Matt’s head, gave a couple of hard rubs, and said: “I’ll see you in a little bit.” Pushing himself up from the floor and using the top of Matt’s head to steady his polio-eaten limbs, he stood upright and made his way toward the kitchen.
Lou Ann pulled Debbie into her protruding belly and clung as tightly as she could. The laughter they shared was now silence with not even an echo of happiness. Ted stood leaning on the open arched doorway with Lou Ann’s overnight bag in his left hand. Lou Ann scooted herself and her baby to the edge of the couch and stood with the strength of an Oak. Ted and Lou Ann wrapped arms around each other’s waist and made their way to the door.
Phyllis Is Here
Matt came to life when he heard Phyllis’ voice coming from the doorway. The caboose was still chasing the locomotive when he bolted to his feet and ran straight to the woman who cared for him every day. Bob and Phyllis who lived just up the road, were Matt and Debbie’s second set of parents -while Ted and Lou Ann worked throughout the day. Matt quickly realized his mom and dad were in the car and backing out of the drive. He asked Phyllis where they were going and just as she started to share -he asked if he could go play in the snow.
“Not tonight Matt -it’s dark, cold, and late.” Matt let out a sigh and headed back to the tree where the train continued to circle. He was off in a distant land never hearing the conversation that Phyllis and Debbie were having.
When Ted made the right-hand turn at the Weeping Willow, the glow of blue lights wrapping that little white house was cutting through the fog. Lou Ann drew a breath that broke the silence in the car and heartache dropped from her eye and onto her cheek as she asked Ted to never decorate with blue lighting at Christmas again. He reached across the console of the Oldsmobile, tapped her leg, then held it and promised that he would.
Headlights on the Olds cut right through the fog and into the picture window that seemed to glow bluer than Lou Ann had ever remembered. Holding her empty belly and Ted leaning across the console they sat in the warmth of the car, snow collecting on the windshield, and cried together as they said goodbye without ever saying hello.
Debbie and Matt -full of excitement to see their parents they hadn’t seen for two days, met at the door and welcomed them home with all four of them hugging. Phyllis was standing at the kitchen sink as the welcoming chaos took place. When she turned -she and Lou Ann caught a stare. Neither woman flinched or made a sound. Phyllis clinging to the dish towel and Lou Ann clinging to her family shared a moment with silence and tears rolling down their cheeks.
Ted took the suitcase to the room and Matt was right under his dad’s feet headed in the same direction. Debbie said goodbye to Phyllis and found her way to her diary in her bedroom. Phyllis and Lou Ann clung to one another not wanting to let go of their best friend. Phyllis knew it would be the hardest night Lou Ann would ever face wondering in and out of that empty nursery.
I’ve always wanted to pen an actual story and this is my first attempt at a short historical fictional piece. It’s fiction in the fact -I’m that little boy Matt and remember nothing about that night or nights that followed. Now that I’m an adult with children of my own, I can not imagine the heartbreak my parents endured. I’m very hopeful my parents will appreciate and cling to this story that is dedicated to them and my brother Adam who never made it home.
When I heard Chicamacomico for the first time this summer -I cried uncontrollably thinking of the story I just shared. It isn’t my mom and dad’s kind of music and the fact of the matter is they will probably frown on the first part of the second verse. They’ve only given praise to the Good Lord above all my life for all that they’ve had and I guess in some way didn’t have. American Aquarium is hands down my favorite band and I’m hopeful their music touches you just as it has me.
Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to that second chapter that shares how I was raised by heaven-sent angels and the Christmas lights glow in red and white.
Volume knob to the right 🤘🏼