Wednesday September 30th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the visitor.

How the hell have I not used that as a prompt before? I was quite convinced that I had, to the point where when a search of the blog didn't turn one up I had to go check the prompt list directly. Ah well, no time like the present to change that.

Our midwife appointment went well. With the one Kat thought it would be. So, she wins this time.

Max quite liked the office, with all its Mr. Potato Head toys in the waiting room and its Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder toys in the room. He was also very excited to hear baby's heartbeat for the first time. It ended up being a rather big pain to get him out of there when our appointment was finished.

And as if all that wasn't enough excitement for one day...


We arrived back home just after one o'clock this afternoon. I was feeling pretty tired, despite Max letting me sleep in until 6:45. The drive to Penticton and back tires me out pretty good.

Anyway. I was tired. My brain was ready to get out from behind the wheel and do nothing for a little bit. We in a good frame of reference for what happens next? Good.

"Is that real?"

I'm not sure those words managed to get out of my head, but that was very definitely my first thought as I turned the corner onto our street. Turns out? Yeah, that bear on the telephone pole in front of our house was real.

It wasn't a particularly large bear, but I don't think it needed to be, really. As far as unexpected visitors in the middle of the day go, I'd say that was pretty close to the top of whatever kind of list that would be.

The bear climbed down when I came a bit closer and took off down the street. The neighbour's dog started barking at it, which sent it through the horse pasture across the street from us. I'm not sure the horses noticed it, and I suspect that's for the best.

Another neighbour came over on his quad as I was getting out of the car to have a look around to make sure there wasn't a bear family get together in our yard. He said he'd only seen the one and that he was going to drive over to see where this one was headed. I still decided to drive Max up to Kat's parents house instead of walking with him through the orchard as I'd originally planned.

Max, of course, was pretty pumped about seeing a bear for the first time. And wanted to know where it was going. And why we weren't walking through the orchard. And why he had to play inside at Kat's parents house for a little while.

I told him the bear had probably gone home to see his mommy and daddy, but just in case it was still lost and came back to visit the farm again it was best to stay out of its way for a bit. He seemed to more or less get it.

And he could still tell his Grandma all about it.


Greg said...

It sounds like the midwife appointment was a good one, except for the place being too attractive to Max! Next time you'll have to tell him all the toys belonged to dead children or something, and see if that deters him a little. Or maybe, given your main story, tell him that the bear will be coming back for them soon!
I know bears get pretty big but I've never actually seen one to know how large; I'm guessing this was a small one, maybe about half your height? Either way, not walking Max through the orchard was definitely the sensible option... I can quite picture the look on Kat's face when you're adding 'bear attack' to the whiteboard recording Max's bumps and scrapes :) That's probably worth a trophy of some kind.
I'm not sure who would win with horses vs bear. Horses are big and strong and when there's a couple of them I think the bear probably wouldn't chance it. It would have made a lot of noise though, and probably caused a lot of damage.

The visitor
The crackle and pop of the logs on the fire is comforting, and the warmth, the waves of hot air pushing out from the fireplace, is the perfect contrast to the icy weather outside. Sylvia sits at the fire, her eyes starting to close as she relaxes from the the jobs of the day. The wingbacked armchair is the ideal chair for this, as it catches the warm air and holds it, it's almost like having an invisble blanket wrapped around her. Her breathing thickens and deepens as sleep embraces her.
Something rattles at the window and her eyelids pop up, her breathing quickening. She doesn't move, but she's alert now. Something, she is sure, has changed in the room.
There's a skittering sound across the window pane, and then soft crunches; something heavier than a bird is walking across the thatched roof. She wonders if she left the bedroom window open now, from when she was airing the room earlier, and decides to go and check.
A hand presses on her chest as she starts to rise, pushing her back into the chair. It's a warm hand, hairless, bronze skin, but the fingers are barely there at all; stubs that terminate at the first knuckle. She looks up, along the arm to a hairless, naked chest that had two parallel rows of nipples running down it like an animal. Her breath catches in her throat. She looks up, but there seems to be a heavy shadow where the head is and she can't make out any details. Though something, she thinks, is wrong.
The crunching on the roof fades away, and for thirty seconds she and her visitor remain immobile, listening to see if it comes back.
"It's gone," she says, her mouth sticky with fear. Her visitor's chest splits down the middle and moves apart; lips unrolling vertically from the chest cavity and parting to reveal white, shark-like teeth in rows, and a red, hellish gullet.
"You are very lucky," says the impossible mouth.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, vertically on the telephone pole I'd say he was around half my height. Fairly stocky though, as opposed to a young cub still needing to fill out a bit.

Huh. This is an intriguing development. I was quite certain dear Sylvia was doomed the moment I read about the skittering on the window pane. Though I suppose, at this point, I don't know her apparent savior's intentions, so perhaps I should withhold any hopes for her surviving the night for now...