Editor at Large
Joined: March 01, 2014, 05:11:50 PM
Location: Just look under your bed
Blame last month's contest and this month's as well.
Tessa woke though she could not recall going to sleep. She was dressed in day clothes and not pajamas. Sunlight streamed through her window. Motes of dust spun in the light like dancers to a song only they knew.
It must be a nap that was ending. It was easy to ignore that she had no sense of when or how she got to her room. That happened sometimes when she napped. Her mother said she was a sleepy head from a long line of sleepy heads. Blinking momentarily she drew her bearings. She reached around down by her leg patting around, on the brink of growing frantic. Then her hand landed on her prize, Mr. Bun-bun.
She pulled him up next to her face and hugged him. His knitted face pressed close to hers while she closed her eyes again if only for a moment. An exhalation that was half breath and half sigh escaped her. There was and odd hum going through the house which was just barely hearable.
A scent that was familiar and intoxicating to her drifted into her room and made her raise her head.
“Sugar cookies, yum.”
Rolling off the bed and contorting as only a six year old can to get her feet under her, she hit the ground running. She jumped right over the small two stair platform which separated her room from the rest of the upstairs and landed almost silently. Mr. Bun-bun slapped against her leg as she made her way to the stairs.
Mom was making cookies. Tess considered this a stroke of luck and it eclipsed all other concerns she had previously had just moments ago. The stairs fell to her enthusiasm two at a time. The noise of her descent was growing along with her exuberance. When she got to the bottom she fully expected that Delta, her Jack Russell terrier, would greet her. He was no where to be seen.
The house smelled like the windows were open. A scent permeated the air, Daddy must have mowed the lawn. Or maybe it had rained recently. She couldn’t place it. Then the smell of cookies again grabbed her attention.
The kitchen was empty except for a plate of cookies in the middle of the table. Her first inclination was to be inhibited till she knew where her parents were. Taking without asking had long since been trained out of her.
“Hello. Hello...may I have a cookie?”
No answer came. She stared at them for half a minute.
“I said I would like a cookie.”
She raised her voice. “Is anyone going to let me have a cookie?”
After another brief pause she started slowly forward in the way that children have of being fictitiously covert. Looking all around as her hand creeped slowly to the plate on the table she saw no sign of any observer.
Grabbing a cookie she climbed into a chair sans the use of her hands which were now both full, one with desert and the other with Bun-bun. Upon attaining her new perch she plopped her bottom down into the chair and considered her new prize. The cookie was shaped like a star, frosted pink, with rainbow sprinkles. It was her utmost favorite combination. She took a bite and closed her eyes to savor it.
Along the leg of the chair a filament thin root climbed toward her. It had originated in a crack in the old wooden floor. Spiraling upward in jerky, spastic motions it sped up once it reached the point that it was in contact with her. It spun around her several times in just a moment. Upon reaching her shoulder it leapt up and entered her ear canal pushing with nefarious force. Its goal was penetration and that was achieved quickly before little Tess even had time to scream.
For a brief second the burst of pain cleared her thoughts and she saw things as they truly were. Her mother, father, and little brother all sat one next to another in a row on the kitchen floor in front of the sink cupboard. They all had a root in their ear, a distant look in their eye, and a sugar cookie in their hand.
Her eyes rolled back in her head. She forgot all about it. All she had now was the smell of sugar cookies. Mr. Bun-bun dropped from her limp grip as the filament root lifted her to place her small form next to the rest of her family.