Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Snippet 39

Apparition of the Face of Aphrodite
by Salvador Dali
print for sale at

OK Part 5 is now inserted into the empty shell I posted last night. Thanks for your patience.

For the forth time, this is hot off the keyboard and this time I've done much less than the usual editing so I hope I've not made any of the glaring errors I discovered in last weeks snippet.

Home Is Where the Horror Is
by Joy Renee

(part one; part two; part three; part four;)

Crystal stopped by the fridge on her way upstairs to shower off the pool water. She wanted to see the menu so she could start planning the meal preparation. Ah, it was spaghetti and cheese bread and tossed salad. One of the easiest of the possibilities actually. The sauce for the spaghetti was pre-made by her mother several gallons at a time once a season or so and then frozen down in meal sized portions. The cheese bread was easy. A matter of slicing a couple loaves of French bread in half the long way and grating cheese over them and sticking them under the broiler to melt the cheese and then slicing them into kid-friendly chunks.

The mystery though was what she was supposed to put on the tray Father had instructed her to prepare for Mama before his return with Jasper, Jade and her friend. It wasn't possible to have the spaghetti ready by then even if she skipped a shower. And besides he had said she wasn't feeling well. That was too vague to be able to guess what she might need on that tray. If it was one of her frequent migraines she wouldn't want anything but ginger tea and dry toast, if that. Guess I'll have to check on Mama and ask her she decided as she headed for the stairs.

On her way past Winston's room she peeked in and saw he was still sleeping. But that couldn't last much longer. Nor should it if they hoped to get him to sleep again before midnight. It was almost four. But she was going to risk leaving him be until after her shower.

Crystal ducked into her room and dropped the school books she was still clutching to her chest to hold the beach towel in place onto her desk. She grabbed up a clean T and black sweats and headed for the shower. It was while her head was under the water that she first heard the sounds that sent chills up her spine and goosebumps sprouting on her arms and legs. They came from the other side of the wall where the Master Bath was and were unmistakable. Violent retching.

Not even the migraines made Mama that sick. There was only one thing that did. There was going to be another jewel in the Garnett family. At least if both mother and baby survived the four to five months of dehydration and malnutrition. Last time Baby Pearl had not made it past 16 weeks. Tiny pearl-colored Pearl had fit in the palm of twelve-year-old Crystal's hand. The memory of the encounter still made her shiver with goosebumps. She had not wanted to hold the alien-looking thing her father was calling her sister. Mama had seen her terror and disgust and said 'Don't make her Stan.' But Father had grabbed the hand she was pulling back and held it fast as he lowered the cold, naked amphibious thing into it saying, 'Can you think of a better object lesson for a twelve year old?'

Later that week they had held a private service for the immediate family at the mausoleum which Mama had attended in a wheelchair holding little Winston on her lap. The tears Crystal had shed that day as she watched the shoebox sized coffin slid into the wall slot had not been grief but rather a regurgitation of the emotions she'd felt as Father had gripped her wrist that day--fear, disgust, anger, and shame mixed with gratitude that Father had not insisted on a open casket ceremony. But her tears must have mimicked grief well enough for Father had relented of his coolness towards her that he'd imposed since that moment beside Mama's hospital bed when she had blubbered and squeezed her eyes shut refusing to open them until he'd taken that T H I N G out of her hand.

A few minutes later, dry and dressed with a wet braid down the middle of her back, she entered her baby brother's room and gently shook him awake. As he stretched and opened his almond-shaped eyes and grinned wide around his protruding tongue saying 'Wristal' and holding out his arms, she wished for him that something as simple as tears shed at the appropriate moment could earn him a reprieve of Father's coolness toward him. But, she thought as she checked his naptime diaper, Winston is never going to do the appropriate things at the appropriate times and Father is going to continue to show his disappointment by looking anywhere but at him and witholding all show of emotion toward him.

1 tell me a story:

Anonymous,  4/17/2008 7:10 PM  

Yowser. That is one messed up father. Object lesson, my ass. Which someone needed to kick, btw. Imagine subjecting a twelve year old to the kind of thing that makes adults turn white and visit the bathroom.

So, you engaged my feelings, in case you were wondering. :p

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