Chapter 33: 1947 • Sonora ~ “Shhh,” she whispered, filling a glass with water. As Larry came flying down the hall, she sloshed the glassful under the door. His soles hit the wet linoleum; sliding right past, he crashed feet first through the white balusters of the banister. Determined, he silently climbed through the window in our parents’ bedroom onto the sloped ledge of the porch roof and crept toward the bathroom.
Carleen heard the scrape of the double-hung window opening. Ready, she threw another glassful of water onto the roof, making the mossy shingles slick as snot. When he hit the wet moss he slid off the second story roof, sailed past the first story, and landed on the grass below. Because of the overhang they couldn’t see or hear him. Less concerned that Larry was dead and more terrified of what Dad would do to them if he were, they raced screeching through the hall, down the stairs and out the door, their dirty bare feet pounding over the painted front porch, the pockets on their cotton jumpers catching the wind.
“C’mon,” Carleen commanded her corps. Skidding to a halt in front of the old tree, they spied only lazy sow bugs. A lizard skittered away. The scrub jays took to the phone wires away from the disturbance. The girls shrieked bloody murder when Larry, resurrected, leaped from his hiding place. He was going to wring their necks before Dad had a chance, but couldn’t catch them with each headed in a different direction.
The mechanics at Kelley’s, raising their heads from under car hoods, looked on. “Little hellions,” they muttered through their cigarettes. They were used to the comings and goings of these kids with no parents at home, accustomed to the banging windows and slamming doors from the old wood house across the creek, thought nothing about kids falling off a roof. Lowering their heads, they disappeared back under their hoods.
To be continued…
Catherine Sevenau is a writer, humorist, and storyteller living in Sonoma. The stories in this series are excerpts from her book, Through Any Given Door, a Family Memoir, available at Sevenau.com. Catherine is an author of three books, several volumes of family genealogy, and a longtime Broker/Realtor at CENTURY 21 Epic Wine Country. [email protected]