Home > shadyrest > Shady Rest, Chapter 1

Shady Rest, Chapter 1

I wanted to share something I have been working on. I am writing a memoir inspired novella about life on my grandparents’ farm. The novella is not complete, but I wanted to share and get some feedback from you whether you’d like to see more of this. Many Thanks for your comments.

Chapter 1

My eyes fly open as I awake with a jerk. On my back, I lay in the bed listening for the cause of my rousing. I hear nothing but my own breathing and the “bom, bom, bom” of my heart.. My eyes adjust to the dim light filtering in through the window next to the bed. As I peer outside, the moon has already set, so the only light is from the myriad of stars glittering in the clear dark sky.

I sit up and scan the room. The double bed is spacious when sleeping only one. Though the night is dark and clear, the air is warm to the point of being close. The window to my left is propped open by a two foot long piece of two-by-two. The window screen prevents the insects from entering the room but blocks none of the non-existent breeze. Sitting up in the bed, I let slip the single white sheet speckled in an ornate gold flower print and the air has a pleasant cool touch hinting at a time. It won’t be long until dawn brings morning to the sky. The dark paneled walls, white tiled ceiling, and white doors sporting black iron knobs and locks are plain but have a beauty born of utility. The chest and armoire flanking the door in front of the bed, dresser with mirror to my right, and headboard on which I am leaning are painted a pale shade of lime, matching the curtains.

At last, the sound that summoned me out of the land of dreams into the darkness of the bedroom drifts in through the window. The sound confirms my feeling about the time. I now know that it is about half past four in the morning, for that is the time the train comes through. Very faintly, if I concentrate, I can pick out the sounds of the wheels clattering on the tracks. The train’s whistle sounds again, the lonely call echoing off the mountain behind the house and off the ridge on the other side of the valley, sounding as if the night were answering in return its own lonely call. Feeling that all is right with the world, I slip back under the single sheet and drift back to sleep while the train calls and slips further away on its own journey through the clear dark night.

Birds chirping and the buzzing of a bee at the window rouse me. As my eyelids part to allow the morning sun’s glow to wake me, the bee gives up on buzzing at the window and zooms off to appealing destinations known only to bees. Yawning, I enjoy the luxurious pleasure of a full body stretch. There is no rush, so I allow my ears to soak up the sounds of activities unseen. I notice that a breeze, unfelt through the open window, has risen in the upper branches of trees outside and set the leaves to whisper softly to each other. As the breeze fades, I can hear a hinge in need of some oiling protesting with a prolonged squeak, immediately followed by a large wooden slat door banging closed.

My ears strain to pick out sounds. I notice someone else is moving in the house, the sounds of footsteps on the hardwood floor. Realizing what this must mean and what is happening at the other end of the house, I sit bolt upright and throw back the covers. I swing my legs to my right, sitting now on the edge of the bed. As my bare feet touch the shiny and smooth brown hardwood boards, the predawn chill having found a home in these boards’ rushes onto my skin causing me to shiver involuntarily. The unexpected chill bolts up through my legs as it draws a quick breath out of me. In the morning light, I see myself reflected in the dresser mirror to the right of the bed. I am in need of both food and sunshine.

Moving quickly, to avoid undue exposure to the chilly floor, I pull on a t-shirt, slip into my slightly worn and faded blue-jean cut-offs, and don socks and sneakers. For a moment I freeze, listening. The crunch of boots on gravel appears to emanate from both the open window and under the closed door. I tie my sneakers as I hear the boots mount the three concrete steps and cross the wooden porch. As I reach the closed door and turn the black iron knob, the familiar sound of a spring being stretched comes from just beyond. I pull open the door as the boots step up into the hall. Before me stands a man in his late 50’s, wearing a white shirt under blue denim overalls and clad in brown high-topped work boots. The man’s face is kindly and a bit serene; his hair is dark with a dusting of white as are the whiskers on his firm jaw and chin. As he steps into the short hallway from the porch, he spots me coming out of the bedroom. Lifting his right arm, I slip into a one-arm hug.

“Good morning. D’you sleep well?” GranDad, asks, his face breaking into a wide smile as he looks down at me.

Catching scents of hay, potatoes, tobacco, and the bleach from his shirt, I return the hug with two arms and reply, “Yes, sir.”

“You hungry?”

“Yes, sir!”

He says, “I reckon breakfast is about ready. Come on.”

With that, he releases me from the hug, turns to his left and opens another white wooden door like the one which I exited. Following him, we walk into the den.

Let me know what you think.

CA

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Categories: shadyrest
  1. No comments yet.
  1. 1 July 2009 at 20:39
    CA Copeland

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