Thank you for helping us celebrate the newest season of The Waking.
When the truck moved from a dirt road to the highway, the wind would pick up and roar so angrily and loudly into our ears that we would cup our hands to cover them and bury our heads. Tears would leak down our cheeks, wetting our lashes and tracking paths through dust. Our parents rode in the enclosed cabin of our classic white Ford truck. They were talking but we couldn’t hear them. They never looked back to see us and we knew there was no room for us up in that sweetly, quiet cab. My dad would shout at us if we opened the little sliding glass window between us and them when we were on the freeway. So, we lay down next to the blue and white igloo cooler and from that lower point, the teeth-rumbling roar turned soft and hypnotic. I would hold my little sister’s hand. Her hands were so tiny then, fitting within my palm, her little knuckles like hard pebbles above delightfully spongy little palms. I had the urge painful and pressing against my tummy to squeeze her hand too hard, to clutch her too tightly. Instead, I would pull her close to me, away from the wind and the punishing way it whipped our hair against our faces and stole all the moisture from our lips. My brother made his own little body nest, tucking his knees in and resting his head against the rippled, metal truck bed.
My mouth was lightly flavored with the caffeine-free sugar-free Pepsi we had poured richly from bronze cans as we jostled down the dirt road earlier that day. We spent almost every weekend lurching down the roads around Divide Creek, our teeth chattering as the tires vibrated across cattle guards. Several generations of our family had owned ranch land there. My dad would lead us, navigating around rocks and deep, dry gouges in the earth. He would stop the truck suddenly, hushing us to be quiet. He gazed out silently, scrutinizing the grassy pastures around us as though forever looking ahead for the lost land of his heritage.
We would be riding so long, new freckles seemed to appear like stars on our naturally pink skin, now turned the hot, angry red of all day in the sun. I could see my brother’s scalp, a radiant fuchsia under his white-blonde hair. We curled like weary puppies together with the wind wiping across the world and cleaning away all other sounds. I would press my free hand to my chest to feel my heartbeat thrumming into my fingertips, a confirmation that I still existed. I would squeeze open an eye to look up and see the blue of the sky, the changing cloud patterns, a promise that time still passed and relief of home lay ahead.
Melissa Savoie lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and her two awesome and messy kids. She moved to Texas from the mountains of Colorado to escape the winters. In addition to writing for parenting websites and her own blog, she also teaches baby massage classes to new parents. She is an impatient cook, a patient
quilter and now: a reluctant homeschool teacher.
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