Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chapter 28


" He had had much experience of physicians, and said "the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not." – Mark Twain

I woke in a bed.  There was someone beside me.  “Easy Elizabella, I just got that thing reset properly.”

I peeled my eyes open in the overly bright room and groaned.  Where ever I was, it wasn’t my cave.  “Easy there.”

Then there was nothing for a while until I heard the pounding of running fee above me.  I then heard an old woman’s voice mutter, “I’m gonna skin those boys.”  I heard the creak of a chair and then felt the silence of an empty room.  I opened my eyes to find myself in a small, old-fashioned bedroom.  The curtains were closed on the lone window but I could still tell it was day time.  My mouth felt and tasted like the inside of a used Brillo pad.  My head had a nine-pound hammer going off inside it.  My leg thumped even worse.

The door gently pushed open and a doggie head came through followed by the rest of him.  He delicately walked over to the bed with his tail drooping until he saw me watching him.  His tail went from nearly dragging the floor to going ninety to nothing and then he started danging around.  Suddenly he plunked down, put his nose to the ceiling and aroooo’d in a great long call.

Feet pounded across the floor and then the door flew open angrily.  The man made a grab for Beau but he tripped and fell as Beau danced away.  “Doggone you mutt,” he muttered fiercely.

I tried to say, “Leave my dog alone.”  But all that came out was a nasty sounding croak.

The man shot up to his knees and crawled to the bed and nothing he said made sense.  He was gobbling so fast all I caught was a few words here and there.

“Never …”

"How could you ever …”

“ … dead!”

He was so annoying and right there in my face so I put my hand over his mouth and tried to push him away.

I realized the old woman was back when she said, “Stop pestering her Son.”

“She’s not listening!  I gotta make her understand.  It's like she can’t hear me.” 

“They can hear you all the way to Tent City.  But I doubt she is up to understanding anything yet.  That was a bad concussion and she’s been unconscious for quite some days.”

“But Gram …”

“Hush Boy.  Go send for June and tell your momma and one of your sisters to come give me a hand.  I haven’t wanted to bathe her again until I as sure she wasn’t gonna catch her death but I’m thinking she’ll feel better after a wash.  Now stop standing there with your mouth hanging open and git.”

“But … but I should be the one … and … and I need to explain …”

“You’re about hard headed and if you think being a grown man is gonna stop me from getting a switch after your legs you run and have a bit of speech with your uncles.”

I heard angry muttering but it tapered off after the man left the room.  The old woman gently began to undress me and though I knew it should have bothered me I couldn’t seem to drum up the energy to pretend it did.

“This ain’t like you at all Child.  I done put your info in the family Bible.  It surely would grieve me to have to add a funeral for one so young.  Not to mention it’d likely kill my grandson to lose you.  Now you stop worrying him to pieces and get yourself all the way back to the land of the living.  Not that I blame you for tarrying where you are at with all the pain you’ve been in.”

And as the old woman and the other two women finished undressing and bathing me, the pain was such that I was out like a light again though I suspect it was more by choice than previous times.

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