STORIES FROM HOME - Chapter Six
When the sun came up over the mountain the next morning, the few tiny chips of white paint left on the house turned a lovely shade of pink.
And the hopeful little house waited.
The sun rose higher in a sky filled with horse-tail clouds and edged the cool, lovely summer leaves in lemony-yellow light.
And the hopeful little house waited.
The sadness inside the little house from being lonely for so long grew into worry as the minutes ticked by. And as time continued to pass, the little house agonized even more. “What if the children don’t want to stay? What if the children don’t like me?” the little house wondered.
But, just when the hopeful little house thought it could not bear to wait any longer, it heard the chatter of children!
Listening very carefully, the little house realized that was actually only the sweet murmur of a single child.
Everyone who has ever been around small children knows, there is nothing quite as tender as a child with tousled, morning hair and bright, shining eyes, chattering and planning adventures for a late spring morning .
“Julia! Riley! Wake up!” Morgan stood on the mattress with her hands fisted on her hips and a determined look on her face. “Julia! Riley! Come on! Get up!”
With a giant yawn, Julia poked her head out from under the quilt and opened one big, blue eye.
“Morgan, lay down!” she grumbled.
“Julia! Riley! Let’s go!”
With a colossal stretch, Riley reluctantly opened both gray-blue eyes and looked around. Remembering where they were, she sat up quickly and pulled her little sister down beside her.
Both girls looked curiously around the small room they had slept in. The white sheets pulled from the bed the night before lay crumpled by a small door that looked like it might be a closet. The sunlight could hardly find its way inside the two grimy windows, but in the faint light the two girls could still see wallpaper covered in faded pink roses decorating the walls. The bed and three other pieces of furniture covered in old sheets filled the remaining space in the bedroom. A quilt in washed out colors of pink, purple and green covered the tall, old bed and their sleeping sister, Julia.
As Riley and Morgan whispered excitedly about their discoveries, Julia finally opened her eyes. Rubbing the sleep from them, she suddenly remembered where she was and sat up quickly. Climbing down from the tall mattress, she stumbled over to one of the windows to look outside. Her sisters jumped down and joined her.
The girls saw the blue-mirrored water they had splashed in yesterday. And from this high perch, they could also see that the little pond was at the edge of a woods, at the edge of a mountain.
No matter the circumstances, children have a strong sense of adventure and these three little girls were no exception.
And no matter the circumstances, big sisters will be big sisters, and Julia was no exception either!
“Morgan, Riley, pull the dust sheets off the furniture,” she ordered. The small door in the corner of the room was, indeed, an empty closet and Julia rolled up the discarded sheets and put them inside as her sisters began their assigned task. The first cloud of dust revealed a small dresser with a marble top now gleaming in the light from the windows. Uncovering the small rocking chair and table, more dust filled the room making the girls cough and sputter. As soon as the remaining sheets were shoved into the closet, the girls escaped the dust and continued their exploration.
The other two doors at the top of the steps opened into bedrooms as well. Both were filled with furnitured covered in sheets. One cozy rooms was decorated with faded yellow roses and the other with pale purple violets.
But since it wasn’t bedtime, and since the three little girls weren’t tired, and since there was a whole bunch of things to still explore, the girls just closed the doors and headed down the stairs.
With a thud and a thump they all jumped from the second step into the little hallway they had been in last night.
Two doorways opened from the hallway. Julia peered through the doorway on the right to see a small living room. Riley glanced in the doorway on the left to see an ancient kitchen.
Julia took Morgan’s hand and pulled her into the living room with Riley following close behind. The room was filled with dust-sheeted furniture and a gray, stone fireplace. A single, large window drew the girls like a magnet. Rubbing peepholes into the grime with their fists, the little girls peered outside to see a weed-filled yard stretching away beyond a weathered and worn front porch.
An open doorway in the corner of the living room led into the kitchen. Chipped white cupboards lined one wall. A white metal table surrounded by four red chairs was the only furniture in the room, but a giant, black stove took up most of the remaining space. The girls were puzzled to see a dark red hand pump bolted to the counter beside a chipped, white enamel sink. Red and white checkered fabric hung in tatters from the small window behind it.
Morgan peeked through another open doorway in the room and let out a squeak when she saw it led back to the hallway. She took off running from the kitchen to the hallway to the living room to the kitchen again. She was on her second time around when she saw her sisters had opened a back door in the kitchen and were heading outside.
To be continued on Tuesday, June 1.
(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
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