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Heaven Help Me
Robin Renee Ray
Robin Renee Ray
“Timmy, come look at what I found,” Lynn called out, holding on to an antique, round, wooden framed photo of two adults and four small children. While looking into the face of the man, her brows came together and she took in a sharp breath
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Timothy asked as he rushed into the room.
“Oh, yeah babe, I’m fine. I was just a little taken back when I saw the man in this old picture. Babe...you look just like him, well, you would if you had facial hair.”
“That must be Great Grandpa Allen. Wendy use to say I looked just like him before she passed away. My dad said the same thing. But…” he paused taking the picture frame from her, “they never said anything about them having more kids. I thought my dad and aunt were it.”
“Those kids in the picture sure do favor each other. You think they are your dad’s siblings?”
“No way to find out now. Aunt Wendy was the last one that we could have asked.”
“Maybe some of the people around here might know?”
“I doubt it, this old house has been empty for years and most of the people that I’ve seen are closer to our age.”
“What about the lawyer that got a hold of us?”
“We can ask him, but he only showed up after Aunt Wendy passed. Weird how she and dad were left the house and all the land, but never came out here, not that I know of anyway, and they sure never talked about it.”
“There’s a lot of stuff down in that basement. Maybe we can find out a few things just by going through some of it.” Lynn yawned, then stood up from the couch, putting both hands on her hips and arching her back.
“You have no business in that dirty old basement. I won’t even be going down there until I set off a few bug bombs. There’s no telling what kind of creepy crawlers are down there.”
Lynn shivered, “I didn’t even think of that.”
“You look tired, Lynn. Why don’t you go on to bed, I’ll turn everything off and join you in a few minutes.”
“I think I will, but you will have to help me in the morning. It’s going to be hell getting up off of a mattress on the floor with this bun in my oven. I can’t wait for our newly ordered, rent to own, bed to show up.” She laughed, leaning down to kiss Timothy on the top of the head.
As Lynn stood straight, Timothy wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed his cheek to her stomach. “I love you both so damn much it almost hurts.”
Lynn ran her fingers through his thick black wavy hair. “We love you too, very much. But you really shouldn’t curse so close to Jr., they say the baby can hear a lot more than one would think.”
“Sorry little man.” Timothy kissed the left side of the swollen stomach then kissed the other right as Jr. decided to get active. “Oh wow, did you feel that too?”
“Well, of course,” she giggled, lovingly touching the top of her abdomen with one hand as she rubbed the back of Timothy’s head. “If you boys are through playing, I think I will go to the potty before I get our bed ready.”
“You go take care of the bathroom needs and I will have our slightly better than a pallet bed, ready when you’re done.”
With the door ajar, Timothy could hear Lynn humming as she took care of the necessities that seemed to come a lot more often the further along she got into the pregnancy. His smile broadened when she started singing, ‘This Little Light of Mine’ as if she was holding the baby in her arms. Then he heard her say, “Oh shit…I peed on my panties. Timmy!” he grabbed his mouth to hold in the snort of laughter and ran down the hall.
“I’m coming babe…you okay?” he asked as he turned and came back toward the bathroom.
“Oh ah, yeah. I just need my overnight bag, please.”
“I’ll grab it.” Timothy knew she would be embarrassed if she knew that he knew, so he pretended he heard nothing. He walked in to find her putting a towel across her lap and she jumped.
“I think I will wash up before bed, so you can just leave my bag on the counter by the sink.”
Timothy glanced down as he set the bag down and saw two scorpions in the rusted porcelain sink. He looked back at Lynn who was now kicking off her shoes. “Babe, you may want to clean up in the kitchen tonight. This sink doesn’t seem to be working, so I’ll take your bag in there.”
“I need a few things out of it before you take it in there. If you will just leave it there I will call you when I’m finished.”
“Well, I don’t really want to leave it here and I don’t want to freak you out…but, it seems we have a few friends in here with us,” Timothy half smiled, half frowned as he lowered the bag by the Lynn.
“What? What did you see, Timmy. Was it another spider?” Panic filled her tone due to the fact that she feared anything with more than two legs, other than the friendly household pets. And anything with more than four legs scared her beyond measure.
“Promise you won’t scream again?”
“Timothy McCormick, you better not be messing around.” Lynn grabbed the top of her maternity shorts and got ready to run at whatever it was that Timothy wasn’t telling her.
“There are a few scorpions in the sink, but…”
His statement was cut short by the blood curdling scream that was coming from his wife, who was now out the door with her backside in full view, and shorts hanging at her knees. Timothy couldn’t call out to see if she was alright or to assure her that he would take care of the arachnoids, because she was already out the front door of the ranch home and also due to the fact that he was laughing so hard he couldn’t speak. He took off his shirt to kill the scorpions, then picked up Lynn’s bag and followed her out.
“Honey, why are you in the car?” Timothy shook his head as he walked to the car, trying his best not the laugh in front of her. He had seen her cry many times over the smallest of God’s creatures.
“I told you there would be horrible things in that house. That’s why I have never wanted to live in the country. Everyone in the country has bugs and those…those…”
“You can’t even say the word scorpion. Heaven help me if we see anything bigger.”
“Bigger, are you kidding me? There are bugs bigger than a scorpion out here,” she paused, “in there?”
“Maw, what happened to Billy? Where’s Paw?”
“Hush Allen Jr. and go help your sister.”
“What happened to Bill?”
“Allen!” Emma yelled then closed her eyes as they filled with tears. “I didn’t mean to yell, son. Billy is in Heaven with your brother’s and sister. Once they take Billy into town and away from this cursed land, we will be heading out the other way. And we ain’t ever comin’ back.”
Emma turned back to put more items in the handmade wooden chest that her mother had given her when she married Allen Senor. She could hear her son stomp out, but let him go to do his own grieving. “Wendy, gather a few of your things.” Emma knew the twelve year old would be confused with her actions. She would explain things after her husband and the authorities removed Billy’s mangled body.
“I wanna see Billy, Maw.”
“Wendy, please, just do as you’re told. I will send for the rest of our stuff when we settle.”
“Little Allen said we was gonna die when we turned sixteen, is that true Momma, am I gonna die too?”
Emma turned around and found Wendy leaning up against the doorway. “Come here, baby.” Wendy ran into her mother’s open arms and Emma lost her composure. “If we don’t get away from here we may all die, honey. Now, you go get your best clothes and a few dolls.”
Wendy pulled back and stared at her mother.
“It’s okay sweetie, I promise.”
Emma had taken her two bags out to the wagon as Allen Jr. was hooking up the horse. She told him to get the large wagon cover out and then told him to grab the bed rolls from the barn. Her heart sank a little when she turned and looked at the home that she once loved as much as she did her new husband, thinking on how much she had grown to hate them both. Glancing over at the field, she could see the sheriff and the doctor squatting down by what she knew was the remains of her fourth deceased child. Allen Sr. was leaning on the front of the tractor talking to one of the sheriff’s deputies. She turned back as soon as she saw Allen look her way.
“Emma!” Allen Sr. called out. “Please excuse me, I have to talk to my wife.”
Allen Sr. started walking her way and she disappeared through the front door of the house. He stopped by the tractor as Allen Jr. came out of the barn with the wagon cover draped over his shoulder and two bed rolls in his arms. “You don’t have to go if’in ya don’t want to.”
“They need a man on the open road Paw, I can’t let them go alone.”
“You’ve turned into a fine young man, son. I’m proud of you.”
Allen Jr. felt his heart leap into his throat and the lump choked off any form of a reply, had he had one. His father had never said anything close to the word ‘proud’ and all that Allen Jr. wanted to do was run and wrap his arms around his father. He never made that move. Instead he tossed the bed rolls in the back of the wagon and began unrolling the cover. He didn’t look up as his father walked toward the house, the pain of everything that had happen left him as cold as his father had been for the better part of his life. At the mere age of fourteen, Allen Jr. had already become a man.
To Be Continued…