A place to write my 52 short stories for this challenge.
|Lisa heard her mother calling her from where she stood in the backyard of the house they were looking to buy. Lisa had wandered around back while the grownups were ooohing and ahhhing, or complaining over this feature and that.
"I'm right here, Mommy," said Lisa. Even at six years old, she knew not to stray far from her mommy's sight.
"Lisa Preston, have you lost your mind? You scared me to death!" Lisa's mother, Cathy, said in a shrill voice.
"I was just right here, Mommy. I wasn't doing anything wrong," Lisa said, pouting a bit. It seemed to Lisa that she couldn't do anything to please her mommy anymore.
"I don't care! Don't you EVER leave my sight again! Do you understand?" Cathy took the tiny girl and gave her a great shake.
"Yes Mommy," Lisa said sadly. Why was Mommy always mad at her now? Ever since Lacy went away, it seemed all Mommy did was cry or yell at her and Daddy.
Poor Daddy, he really caught the brunt of Mommy's anger. He was the one with Lacy the day she disappeared, and Mommy never let him forget that. Each and every day since, Lisa had heard her mommy scream at her daddy about not watching her more closely.
"Let's go, young lady. You had better start listening to me better or else."
Lisa knew what the "or else," meant. Never before the "incident," as Daddy called it, had Mommy ever spanked her, or even threatened to. But in the months following the incident, she had done so, with a vengeance, it seemed to Lisa. For such a little girl, Lisa had a very grown-up mind.
She knew that the grown-ups thought some bad man took Lacy, but Lisa, her twin, wasn't so sure. In her mind, Lacy was off on some grand adventure, and would come home any time now, filled with stories of amazing things. She had said this to Daddy, but he said she absolutely must not say this sort of thing to Mommy, so she stopped thinking about it anymore, until today.
And so they left the Realtor with high hopes of getting the new house. Later that night, Lisa asked her daddy why it was so important to Mommy that they move. She didn't want to leave her friends and her school. She would miss the tree house that Daddy and Uncle David had made for she and Lacy. She would miss her room, with the view of the garden from her window. Lisa loved to watch the hummingbirds hover over Mommy's rose bushes. Lisa was fascinated with anything to do with nature.
"Mommy just has too many memories here, Sweetheart. She just needs a place to make a fresh start."
"So she wants to forget about Lacy?" asked Lisa.
"No, honey, it's not that. It just hurts her, that's all. All of the memories of Lacy being in this house, laughing and playing. It just makes her miss Lacy even more."
"I miss her too," Lisa said, starting to cry.
"I do too, baby," her daddy said, tears streaming down his cheeks, his unspoken guilt tearing him apart inside.
The next day, they got the word that they could buy the new house. Cathy was so happy and excited. Lisa had not seen her mommy this way for a long time. Mark Preston, Cathy's husband and Lisa's dad, tried to hug his wife in his extreme happiness that maybe, just maybe, things would be better in the new house. Cathy jerked away from him and went to start packing. This interaction was not unnoticed by Lisa, who hung her head in sadness, much the same as her father did.
Finally it was moving day. Lisa was sad to see her old house, the only home she would ever known, though the backseat window as the pulled out of the driveway for the final time.
How would Lacy ever find them when she came back from her adventure? Lisa thought sadly.
When they got to the new house, Lisa once again went to play in the back yard. This was their home now, so her mommy didn't see it as a threat.
As the days turned to weeks in their new place, Lisa noticed her Mommy start to change. She wasn't as angry as she was before. She even hugged Lisa from time to time - something that Lisa had missed very badly.
One day, when Lisa went to play in the back yard, Lisa noticed something different. A pair of red doors stood at the back of their garden, just beneath the Juniper tree. Lisa had ran over to them and tried to pull them open, but it was no use, they were locked tight. Just then Lisa heard her Mommy calling her, so she ran inside for dinner, not mentioning the red doors to her mommy, lest she bring on another of her bad moods.
Later that night, after her bath, as Lisa lay in her bed, trying to fall asleep, she suddenly heard someone calling her name.
"Liiisssaaa," the voice said in a sing/song kind of way.
"Who's there?" Lisa asked, her voice trembling.
"Come to the gaaarrrdennn," the voice said. Suddenly Lisa realized who's voice it was.
"Lacy! I'm coming, Lacy!" Lisa said, as she slid on her bedroom slippers and ran down the stairs.
Lisa stopped to look in the utility drawer and grab a flashlight before slipping quietly out the back door.
As Lisa entered the garden, she saw that the big red doors were still there, but this time they were ajar. As Lisa walked toward them, she saw a figure step from behind them. It was her twin sister, Lacy.
"Lacy!" Lisa squealed with delight. "I knew you would come back, I KNEW it!" she said, hugging her sister tightly.
"Of course I would, I had to come back for you, didn't I?" Lacy said in a soft voice, smiling at her twin. "But hurry, we must go now."
"Go? Go where?" Lisa asked, cocking her head to the side and looking at her sister with mild amusement.
"I want you to come be with me," Lacy said, beckoning her with her hand to follow her through the now open doors. Lisa could see a bright light shining from the other side.
But what about Mommy and Daddy?" Lisa asked, pouting. "They will be so worried."
"They don't even know that you're here most of the time, now do they? They are so caught up in what happened to ME, that they sometimes forget your very existence, is that not true?"
"We were born together, so we should always BE together, isn't that so?" Lacy asked, pleading.
"Yes, you're right!" Lisa said, suddenly excited. "I want to see where your adventure has taken you!"
"Well then, let's go!" Lacy said, laughing happily.
So, hand in hand, the Preston twins walked through the big red doors, and into their new playground together.
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