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The brave dog
by Katerina Charisi
2016-07-10 12:48:59
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I couldn’t believe what she had done to me. I couldn’t understand why. I wasn’t even sure if the Myers believed her. After all, I was the new one around.

For the rest of the week, I tried to avoid Marianne. So I spent most of the days in the room. The weather was turning bad. Winter was here already. Almost four months in the manor and couldn’t say that days made any difference one from another. My mind kept going back in my past. It seemed I was losing something of myself here. I didn’t know what. I didn’t know why. But it was a strong feeling, always there. The Myers were a whole different world. Living in their own way, isolated from the small town of Jacksonville, keeping a distance from everything and everyone, trying to keep some order in their life that only they could understand.

Mem01_400_01ichael was working hard. All day he was busy with something, either helping Bradford with his cars, or repairing something around the house. When he had nothing to do, he went out with his brother to shoot birds. They brought them home and then Frances would take their feathers off and cook them. I was bored. My days were going by all empty. Sometimes someone would visit the Myers. And then they would all sit in the kitchen downstairs, Frances making something for everyone to eat, and they had long conversations that had no meaning for me. They talked about people I never met, things that happened long ago, and while I tried hard to stay with them, I had nothing to say and so I went back in the room. No one seemed to notice, anyway.

I wouldn’t spend another second in there. I dressed and put the work boots Michael bought for me the other day. “You can’t walk around here without proper shoes. There’s mud everywhere and rocks. I don’t want you to brake an ankle or something or get stuck anywhere”, he said and laughed. I decided to go for a walk, hoping I wouldn’t see anyone. I wasn’t in the mood to explain every time where I was going and why.

I put on my coat and went down the stairs. I heard voices from the kitchen, but I couldn’t get out of the house without passing by the kitchen’s door. Maybe it was their low voices, but I stood right next to the door, pretending to tie my shoe lashes, in case someone would see me and tried to overhear. It was grandma Cornelia and Frances and they seemed to argue about something.

“I knew this would happen”.

“They should go”.

“They can’t go. Their home is here”.

“It’s her time.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. There is no one here”.

“She is always here and you know it”.

Nothing made any sense to me, so I walked in. Cornelia struck me with her look. Frances tried a little more to look surprised and this made me think that they might talked about me earlier, or hid something.

“Oh, good morning, dear. Come, take a seat. Grandma and I just had some coffee. Let me put some more for you”, she said and turned quickly her back to me.

I pulled a chair and sat down. Cornelia’s eyes wouldn’t get off me, making me feel weird.

“It’s getting colder, isn’t it?”

It was a stupid question, but I had to say something.

“Yes, indeed. Well, it’s winter. We might have no snow too often, but the cold can get you in the bones”. Frances poured coffee in a mug and gave it to me, then turned to Cornelia. “You should tell Jenny some day about the year it snowed so much. Do you remember? A helicopter was supposed to drop supplies in town’s square, but the snow was so deep that the pilot missed it and dropped it almost a mile away.”

Cornelia little bothered for the weather, or to say anything to me. 

“Supplies?” I took a sip, trying to ignore her. Frances sat on the chair and took a bite from a slice of bread.

“That year, she snow melted in June. Never happened before, hopefully won’t happen again. It reached the rooftops. My kids were just little. I think Michael was only 6 or 7. We always have stored food, but that was something else. We ran out of flour, coffee, rice... Jacob had to slaughter all of the chicken. Even Sam started to worry, and Sam never worries. We had a dog, oh what a dog was that, remember grandma?”

“It was like he sensed that snow wouldn’t stop, so when it was still low he started going from the front door to the each one of the sheds and back and didn’t stop until two days later that snow stopped falling and was over the ground floor. He had cleared the route. We wouldn’t even be able to step out if it wasn’t for him. What was his name? Oh, God, I am getting old”, she said and laughed with her chirpy way. “It was too bad that Jacob had to shoot him the year after. God knows why, he started gutting the lambs and then brought them to our door, like a gift. So... Well, that’s not such a pleasant story.”

Again, Cornelia didn’t say a word. It was like this woman refused to speak when I was around.

“I’m going for a walk. Thank you for the coffee. I’ll see you later”, I said and stood up, but Cornelia grabbed my arm. Her eyes reached deep inside me.

“Don’t go there”, she said and let go of my arm. I opened my mouth to say something, but somehow I didn’t want to say anything while Frances was there. Creepy old witch. She made my heart bouncing on my chest.

“Well, don’t get too far”, Frances said and looked Cornelia sideways. “The weather is tricky. Those clouds can spew rain in seconds. I wouldn’t want to be out with those clouds above my head.”

“I won’t”.

But I did.


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