Country Roads and NightmaresA Story by Poetic Beauty
a short chapter in my life. It is all real.
This is a chapter of my life that I call Country roads and Nightmares. I won’t drag out the boring details but only give you what you need to understand this part of my life.
When I was six years old, my mom got married, not to my biological dad. He was never in my life but to someone else. In order to keep this on a real level we will call him a*****e. He wasn’t in the beginning but I am jumping ahead of myself. We will get there in due time. My mom told me one day that we were moving out to the country a small rural town, an hour and half away. I had to leave my lifelong friends and my grandparents that I was extremely close to. I was excited and upset at the same time. My life was changing and I had no control over it.
The old farmhouse was a mess. It looked like one of those creepy houses that you stay away from with crooked windows. The front porch door had a torn screen and the white paint was chipped and peeling off the entire house. When you used the toilet inside you had to make sure the toilet didn’t keep running water otherwise you would run the well dry and would be out of water for a couple of days. I know because I did it once. The positive part was there was a tire swing. The house was dusty because we lived on a dirt lane. Right across from the house was a huge field that had an electric fence. I was warned repeatedly not to touch it even if I wanted to pet the cows. That it would electrocute me. I wanted so badly to touch those cows that were always staring at me. I would pout each time I saw them and grumble to myself. "Stupid fence, stupid farmer." Still I stayed about ten feet away from the metal death trap at all costs.
The yard was over an acre of land and surprise, in our back yard we had a functioning outhouse.. I had never seen an outhouse in person and let me tell you they are nothing special but as a kid, I had to investigate it. It was dark and dirt covered the wooden floor. The lack of light made me feel like I was in a horror movie. It smelled like mildew and creaked. Despite the chills that ran up and down my spine, I thought it was cool that we had a bathroom outside. It meant I didn’t have to come in the house to use the bathroom. I used it only a couple of time until I saw a huge spider in there and almost fell in. Luckily, I caught myself before that catastrophe happened.
When we first moved there my mom’s husband or rather, A*****e was there most of the time. I have tried to block thoughts of him out of my mind most of my life and some things I don’t remember simply because I was little. I will give you examples of what it was like living with him. You stayed out of his way. He was always yelling about something. We weren’t allowed to have a phone and him and my mom got in a huge argument of over why we needed electricity. Yep, that is right the idiot thought we didn’t need electricity. "People didn't use to have electricity and I don't know why the two of you do." My mom refused to live without electricity so he lost that battle but she lost many as well. We didn't have cable and good luck getting reception for local channels out in the middle of the boonies, but honestly I didn't miss it much.
I can remember very vividly the horror story he told me about coyotes. My room had a window; a rather large window. I hated that window. He told me to be careful for at night the coytees would come up to the house and look in the windows.
“Don’t got near the widow if you see one. It can break though the glass and attack you.”
Nice thing to tell a six-year-old right? I was frightened out of my mine. I would watch every night afraid that one would jump in and kill me. I had nightmares for weeks and would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I dreamt of a large wolf like creatures with red eyes crashing through the bedroom window and tearing me apart while I slept. I would wake up crying but was too afraid to get up to tell my mom. Sweat broke out across my brow and I tucked my knees up to my chest sobbing quietly, too afraid to go get my mom, afraid I would wake a*****e up. Paralyzed from fear I would sit there for hours staring at that terrorizing window shaking from head to toe. "Please God don't let the coyotes get in and eat me. I promise I will be good."
Then things changed. He would only come home on weekends and his days off work because his work was an hour away from the farm house. That thrilled me. I didn’t like it when he was around. He terrified me, not because he hit me, but because he would purposely try to scare me. His tactic were mental ones.
We had a calico farm cat and one time she has babies. Mom had told me we could keep some of the kittens and would find homes for the others. I was so happy to have a pet. Someone to keep me company because in the summer there was no one to hang out with. The nearest person lived a mile and half down the lane. The girl that lived down the lane was in junior so that left no kids my age close enough to go visit not to mention they had mean dogs that would bite you if they were out and you happened on their property. I had picked out a kitten and my stepbrother had picked out one too. My stepbrother only came out once a month but my mom still told him he could pick one out to be his. We loved our kittens and helped take care of them. They would follow us around the farm.
One time when Danny came out to visit, his dad brought friends with him. They were drinking and getting really loud. They started a bonfire, which was cool. We couldn’t do that in the city and we roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. In case you are wondering why that would be so exciting, well in our house, marshmallows were a rare treat. I will get more into that soon.
A*****e got out a gun and started shooting. It scared me. I hadn’t been around guns before. Where I lived before people didn’t run around their yards shooting off guns. Every time he shot the gun off I would jump and plug my ears. "Make him stop." This is when things get ugly. He shot his son’s cat through the tail on purpose. The kitten was screaming in pain. My mom took the kitten and patched it up and eventually the tail healed but it gets worse. He jumped off the porch onto my cats back. I saw it happen. The cat howled and scurried off into the woods, never to be seen again. I felt sick and cried. I wanted my kitten. I wanted to make sure it was okay. Tears streamed down my little face but my mom couldn’t find the kitten. "Mommy why did he do it?" My mom was pissed and it prompted a screaming match. Names were called and tears were shed. Another fun filled day on the farm when A*****e would be home.
When he wasn’t home I would go berry picking with my mom. I would hold her hand and we would sing or talk. Now my mom was pregnant. I don’t remember how far along. I was little. We would pick blackberries, raspberries and would dry out walnuts that we had picked off trees to eat. That was how we ate most of the time because A*****e was now staying away even more and he used my mom’s car for work because his van broke down. We had no way to get into town to get food and he would leave us with no money. Oh and lets not forget he was in the army reserves so we had dehydrated army rations that they eat in the field to, chow on as well. When we did get into town to get food, it was like once a month and my mom would stock up the best she could. She would hide pop tarts and other snack food for me. She put away what she could in hidden spaces so if we ran out of food I would have something. Instead of gaining weight like my mom should have been while pregnant she was losing weight.
Then there were good times. I would climb the tall pine trees in the front yard, sit there, and daydream. I would think of stories in my mind to pass the time and one time my mom used her income tax money to buy me a standard poodle. It took most of her money but she wanted me to have a companion. That dog was my best friend. He followed me everywhere. I remember one time on my way to the bus stop, which took ten minutes to walk to, he found a raw bloody bone in the middle of the dirt path. I was horrified. I thought it was a human bone. I went running and screaming all the way back to the house as the dog was chasing me with it. I so miss my dog Musket. I flew through the door yelling like a banshee about a human bone. My mom came out, looked at it, and told me it was a deer bone. I calmed down but missed my school bus. That day started a game. Musket would chase me around with that gross bone for hours. It was like a game of tag. One time when it was getting cold out, I threw the bone in the tire swing. "Eww its gross." The water froze and no more bone, until spring, when he got it out.
My mom’s husband would always show up to make things interesting. One time he caught a snake. I don’t know what kind of snake it was. Didn’t really care only knew it was the biggest one I had ever seen in my life. He nailed its head to the porch then got out a hug machete and chopped its head off while I stood there. "Why did he do that? What is wrong with him?" Then flashes of horror movies moved through my mind as my stomach began to quiver. The body flung in my direction squirting blood then flopped on the ground twisting and turning while the head was still glued to our porch with a nail. That whole scene shocked me. At first I stared in disbelieve at what he was doing. When the body came flying in my direction, I jumped and if I remember correctly started to heave.
The best part about living out there besides having tons of time with my mom, and swinging in the hammock, oh and let’s not forget my Musket, was school. It was my place to get away. It was my comfort. In that school, it didn’t matter how much money you had or what your house was like. One of my closest friends was a kid name Wes. His family owned the only ice cream place in town. Once in awhile they would give us free ice cream when we were able to go. There were others who were my friends and I loved Fridays. It was movie day. We got to have popcorn and soda and would go into the gym to watch a movie. I don’t remember what movies we watched. It more about hanging out with friends and for me, the soda and popcorn. It seemed my stomach was always grumbling. Many of my thoughts were about food and when I was going to eat. "Wonder if she will give me her popcorn? Should I ask her?" Those were some of the thoughts that went through my mind. We never had soda at home or popcorn for that matter. My teacher there was amazing. One time she taught all of us how to make homemade candles and we allowed to take them home. Another reason I loved school was lunch. There was always food at lunchtime and chocolate milk. We could get chocolate milk every day, at my old school we only got it on Wednesdays. Funny how some things stick in your mind. There were positive things in this not so perfect world.
I can remember my mom being eight months pregnant chopping wood because our furnace was a wood burning one but one time in the middle of winter, we ran out of wood. We had a kerosene heater and my mom closed off all the rooms but the living rooms so we would stay warm. My bed luckily was a waterbed with a heater in it so I turned it up and stayed warm at night that way. My mom wasn’t so lucky. She had a regular bed. On this particular night it was like 20 below outside and we ran out of kerosene. "Mom are we going to be okay?' She would would always snuggle with me and tell me things would be alright. She sang to me a lot back then. "Its you and me against the world" One of the lines from a song she sang. By the grace of God, my aunts boyfriend Chucky had seen my mom’s husband in the town where we use to live. He knew we were out on the farm and he drove out to get us. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if he hadn’t showed up. His family had been part of our family since before I was born. It's a good thing he never showed his face around the again. I really believe they would have done some serious damage to him. Chucky was a hero that night. I will never forget him. He has since passed away when I was twelve which devastated me. It was a freak accident, but that is a whole different chapter of my life. We left the farm and never went back. We moved in with my grandparents until we got our own place, in that neighborhood. It was good to be back home with my friend and family. I never got my dog. A*****e was suppose to go feed him and bring him to us and instead he let him starve to death. "My friend is dead. I miss that dog." Tears still well up in my eyes thinking about it. He didn't deserve that kind of end. I talked to that dog, told him my fears, and stories. He was a great listener. I still don’t understand how people can be so cruel and mentally abusive. There is more I could tell you about this time in my life but like I said I won’t bore you with needless details. I still have issues with making sure there is enough food in the house but other than that I have survived and carried on. If it wouldn't have been for that time in my life, I may not have started writing. Between the stories in my mind and my teacher encouraging us to to write, I would put simple ideas on paper. This is only a small part of where I come from and who I am.
© 2012 Poetic Beauty
Added on February 4, 2012
Last Updated on February 16, 2012
corn country, IL
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