December 18, 2012 – Prompt—In the Shed

It wasn’t really in the shed. Although there were enough outbuildings on my home’s property that one could have qualified as a shed.

There was our house, it wasn’t a shed. But there was a barn which had at one time held a cow but now only a few cats hung out there. There was a chicken coop it once served as a shelter for chickens, which I despised. They always got out and left there nasty crap and I went barefoot from May 1st until school started. There’s nothing more repulsive then chicken shit oozing between your toes. The hen house not stood empty and only the horseradish growing next to it offered anything of use.

Then there was my father’s garage. He built it and the rest of the buildings mentioned. He had used the boards from the boxcar that served as our dwelling for nearly two years. On cold mornings I saw my breath while lying huddled next to my little brother in that Great Northern railcar.

However, it was in the garage no in a shed or in the shed, that I looked one day early in December. What made me peer in through its window I can’t explain. I usually avoided contact with the garage not wanting to disturb something and invite my father’s wrath.

Maybe because I was only ten and Christmas was coming that caused me to peek in the window. When I did I saw it a beautiful, bright blue bike. I knew it was for me. Two other items waited as well a red peddle tractor and a blue and white car. The tractor had to be for my brother, Frank and the car for Gloria. What would my baby brother Mike get? I didn’t see the highchair hiding in the shadows.

Now even though I saw our presents I never mentioned them to anybody especially my little brother Frank and my little sister Gloria.

Christine Joy Howard


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