Linus And Lucy
Brother and sister spent the night in the back yard under the light of the brightest North Star. Although the ground was hard, there was plenty of newspaper or other bits of refuse they could use to make a softer bed. It wasn’t bad. They played as much as they wanted and, when they got hungry or thirsty, they had food and water. More importantly, they didn’t have anyone yelling at them to get out of the way or stay away from this or that. In the morning, they would rejoin the rest of the family inside and their daily routine would resume.
The sounds of slamming doors and children crying awoke Sister first. She yawned, stretched, and looked at her brother who had curled up beside her in the night. He always slept later than she did. She walked to the back door, ducked her head, pushed on it. She smacked her head. She tried again, but it wouldn’t budge. On the other side of the fence, a car door opened and the engine started. Then came the wailing.
“No, we can’t! They’re family! I don’t wanna go, I wanna stay. If they’re staying, I’m staying.”
The car door slammed shut and that awakened her brother. Confused, he looked at her and their gaze went to the fence gate. The car engine revved and then quieted as it moved away. Brother and sister looked at each other again. This wasn’t new. Their family often left, but always returned. Except this time.
One day turned into many. The food and water were gone and they frantically searched for a way out. As Sister watched, Brother discovered how to clamber over the crisscrossed boards on the fence. He was clever for a ten month old. She followed. They spent hours searching for food, often checking to see if their family had returned. The house remained dark. Venturing to the neighbor’s houses, they tried getting someone’s attention. No one noticed them even when they knocked over every garbage can hoping to find food scraps. They moved on through neighboring blocks.
Weeks passed and food was scarce. The heavy, wet, falling snow wasn’t making things any easier. Sister was hurt, starving, and shivering uncontrollably. Brother wasn’t much better. Their skin was cracked and their blood oozed and froze. They made their way to someone’s front porch and collapsed beside each other to keep warm. Their eyes shut. Brother awoke to find a yellow-haired lady approaching them. She slipped on the snow in front of them. As she stood, she fell again and cursed. Crawling on all fours, she made her way to the two figures and cooed.
“What’s the matter you two?”
When she saw little reaction, she sped to open the front door and carried each one inside. Covering them with a blanket, she ran to the kitchen for food and water. That night, the yellow-haired lady didn’t sleep as she tended their wounds and continued to coax Brother and Sister to eat or drink. Convinced neither’s health was in danger, she slid her hand to their collars and found the name tags. Linus and Lucy.
Inspired by The Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus and Lucy
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