Posted on August 17, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair8.17.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Elliott Erwitt August 17, 2014: She couldn’t stay mad. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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There was a wasps’ nest once, hanging just inside the door of the shed. A dull grey crepe paper ball and the wasps coming and going through a bit hole in the wall. Her daddy gave her a sack that smelled of winter leaves and smoke and he told her to stand underneath ready to catch the wasp byke in the sack and to close the sack quick as mice running when she had. Then her daddy climbed on a chair and with one smack of his woodsman’s axe the nest was freed and fell like a dropped stone into the dark and fusty of the sack. They was as angry as a thousand slammed doors, those wasps.
Sometimes Lil feels just like that, all fizz and spite and sting.
Didn’t she say to him to take care now? Didn’t she say Callum was to come back safe and sound, that he was to come back to her in one piece and that she’d give him no the sharp of her tongue in his grave if he didn’t?
And he promised. She has his words to heart. It was his last day and he’d stayed over – the first and only that he was allowed. He hadn’t known what to do and she hadn’t either. It was clumsy is what she remembers, his hands like two boxed ferrets running over her every inch in wonder, and her nipples pinched and sucked to hard and to hurt, and she was slippy-wet between her legs and her heart running so fast she was breathless in her bed. And Callum was hard and quick and his kisses could not be counted and pressing her into the bed, like her mammie putting the bedsheets under the heavy iron.
And after, when the wet between her legs was growing cold and Lil could find the air to speak again and Callum was holding her like he’d never let her go and it felt as though they could they’d spend all their days from then clasping each other in her bed – then she said he was to come back to her, and he promised. Through hell and high bloody water, he said.
Then, when the day was just beginning, the new day, the day for leaving, and he had to go, they dressed in the near dark, back to back like they was strangers again. And downstairs in the kitchen, it felt like he’d already gone, except he came to her once more and he took her in his arms and he sang a song in a small voice and they danced together – the last dance.
They sent a letter and they said he was brave and a credit to his uniform and there’d be a medal for what he did and she should be proud. And Lil is as mad as sack-suffocated wasps sometimes and she curses his name and his hands finding her breasts in the night and his kisses pressed to her every part and dancing afterwards in the gathering song-sung dark of her kitchen.
But sometimes, just sometimes, she holds her arms up in a one-sided embrace, and she thinks he comes to her then and she thinks she hears the song he sang before, small as whisper or breath, and she moves about the flag-stone kitchen floor as if they are dancing again, and like that she cannot stay mad for long, and she weeps and Lil’s tears are silver and hot and soft.