Tuesday, April 24, 2012

u is for ubiquitous

A-Z CHALLENGE (hosted by a variety of writers) : April's task is to write something, anything using the letters of the alphabet as an inspiration for each post. In honor of one of my favorite authors, I will use Sue Grafton's title set-up: U is for... V is for... W is for... (and so on.).

Drew peeked into his mom's room to check up on her. To make sure she was sleeping comfortably. He saw her chest rise, and then lower, slowly. She was breathing evenly. He took his own slow, deep breath. He felt better knowing she was finally resting.

Earlier that day, Bette's son had taken her to the hospital to have her leg checked out, to see why she was in such pain. After a variety of medicines were prescribed, they headed back home, so that she could get some much needed sleep.

As Drew sat in the living room watching TV, the volume loud enough to hear, but low enough so as not to disturb his mom, his cell phone rang.

"Hey, did I just see Mom in the car with Mary? I thought she was home, with you?" his brother asked.
"Must have been someone else. She's here. In bed. Sleeping," Drew answered.
"Oh. OK. That's weird. The women seriously looked like Mom and Mary. Mom was eating an ice cream cone, and she looked right at me. And smiled when I waved! I swear it was Mary driving. I'd know her red hair anywhere!"
"That is weird. But no, Mom is right here. She's resting," Drew said firmly.
"Okay, then. Just checking because you had mentioned she was getting her leg checked today."
"Yes, she did, but we've been back for a while now. She hasn't been anywhere else." Drew said.

Suddenly, Drew heard his mom mumbling. Talking to herself. He peered into her room, seeing that she was sitting up. And told his brother he'd talk with him later.

"I was there. In Arkansas. Visiting my cousin Maurice and his niece Donna. Attending Gertrude's funeral. And as we were walking down an old country dirt road I saw a band of adults marching a crowd of children down the road, as if sending them off to battle." Bette was saying, looking confused.

Drew assumed it was a dream. She must have dreamt about the funeral because his mom had recently received a sobering call from Maurice telling Bette his sister had passed away. And the kids fighting must be because of a recent trailer they watched of the upcoming movie The Hunger Games.

"Yet, here I am. In my home, sitting on my twin-sized bed." Bette continued. She was staring at the familiar oriental rug splayed across her tiled floor. In California.

Just then, Drew's cell phone rang again. This time it was his niece, Cecy. "Hey, Uncle Drew. Is my mom there?"
"No. I haven't seen her. Not today, anyway," he answered.
"Oh, I thought maybe she was back with Grandma. I saw them walking out of See's Candies, as I drove passed."
"Couldn't have been. I took Grandma to the hospital and now she's resting. Has been for the past several hours. In fact, she just woke up, and I think she's had some kind of confusing dream."
"So weird. I swear I saw them. Grandma in her favorite blue dressing gown, and my mom holding her hand, Cecy admonished. "Oh, well, I guess I'm seeing things. Tell Grandma hello for me." 

Drew's brow knit and his eyes squinted, as he cocked his head slightly to the left. "Weird, indeed," he said to himself.

Again, he heard his mom talking.

"I was there. I know I was," she was so determined to get her point across. "I saw those children walking. And I was worried about them. I was told they had to fight to their death. That the last one standing would win. I saw them. I did. I was with Maurice and Donna."
"What do you mean? You're here, in California. You haven't been to Arkansas." Drew looked at her, looked into her eyes. "I don't see how that's possible. How could you be there, when you are here? You never went anywhere?" he seemed to question her.

"That's what I am confused about. It was so real. I was there. But now I'm here." Suddenly, she pulled a piece of chocolate out of the pocket of her blue nightgown, shoving it toward Drew. "Chocolate?" she offered.

He didn't know what to say. He had no idea how that chewy nougat got there. And just as he was reaching for the chocolate, Drew noticed a smudge of what seemed to be ice cream on the front of her cotton gown. Before he could say anything, Bette yanked something hard digging into her backside out from under her covers. "I told you I was there," his mom exclaimed. "I knew I wasn't dreaming!"

Drew's jaw dropped and his eyes grew as wide as saucers, as he stared at the bow and arrow in his mom's grasp.

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