'GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE!'
my father - a monster - a bull, a bear -
blowing up at me again after a small fight.
a normal fight between a daughter and her dad.
'GET OUT, I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU FOR THE REST OF THE DAY!'
[[so i leave the door]] \\ [[what was the fight for?]]
walking out towards the driveway i feel
an old pang gnawing
away at me again. i spin to the right,
head towards the large woods
i live near. faintly, in the air,
i can smell the scent of fresh cut grass
mixed with the mint, that grows near the path.
what <i>wouldn't</i> it be for/about?
he doesn't listen to me.
he doesn't underst-
he doesn't get me.
[[so i leave the door]]
our property rests snuggled in between 40 acres of
deeply green woods. a forest
of soft wet silence. i go there
when i need to clear my head
and i need to clear
my head a lot....lately.
[[the path]] \\ [[why?]]
the path leads you on a
whirling wild way,
through [[conifers]] and [[deciduous]]
leafy scruff, through weeds and
water, all the way through and
down until it opens up a bit,
flattens out, and it ends up next to a long,
bubbling, rippling, cold
<img src="https://schoolgirlgames.com/5172020144137.png">i need clarity,
lately, because i am
unhappy. i feel like i am
constantly scratching at the walls
with my nails
doing nothing, life has become
very <i>rote</i> - my father and i
do not see eye to eye,
i don't know. i feel......
i move to [[the path]]
the stream is more than a
babbling brook - it is
a neatly formed creek, filled
with rapids, sandbars, islands, and long low banks
that butt up against its fast moving
waters. it has some slow spots, too.
in one of these slow spots,
is a small narrow island with a tall pole in the center.
[[go to the island]]
old pines, and
hemlocks mix with a set of
blue spruce that my father and i
planted when i was much younger,
some of which line
sugar maple, all soft and brilliantly green,
palmate flaps of verdant life, whisper and
whip in the breeze from the creek nearby
and the mayapples and wild ginseng sprout
from the damp ground
along [[the path]]
i move on down -
continuing along the path through the woods.
to my right is the [[stream]], but
i feel a strong pull,
an achey yearning feeling,
to go [[back towards home]].
i walk towards the island.
at the banks, right off this part of the path, there
are steps made from planks of wood that lead down the
low bluff into the water.
walking into the water i
feel how cold it is. it bites me, at first.
then numbs me.
i wish i could be numbed like this
[[wade through the water]] \\ [[pause and look in the water]]
walking through the thick,
it slows my legs down until
i feel like i am walking in place.
i smell faintly the fertilizer that must have
run-off into the creek nearby.
i step onto the island.
[[the pole]] \\ [[small fire pit]]
bending over, looking
into the slow pooling part of the creek,
i see old shells from freshwater clams.
some small raccoon must have made
a nice meal. [[one shell in particular catches my attention]].
purplish, marbled, flecked with gold, it looks like
a gem in the brown water.
[[go to the island]]
i stoop over and put
my hand into the cold water.
i grab the shell,
feel the rough outside of it with my thumb and
with my other hand trace the smooth softness
of the interior.
[[go to the island]]
the pole is not
much of a pole. it is a long, dry, dead sapling that
has had its branches torn off. attached to the top of the pole,
around 7 feet up, is a white handkerchief,
dyed red, whatever [[symbol]] there was on it has faded,
now it is just circular.
[[small fire pit]] \\ [[the rest of the island]]
there is a little ring of stones here,
in the center a few burned medium-sized logs,
and some blackened paper. wet bits
of old phone books. there has been a small fire
[[the rest of the island]]
besides the pole and the fire pit, the
rest of the island is fairly unremarkable.
but it is relaxing. there is some soft
grass here, i think my dad calls it [[buffalo grass]]
[[sit and rest]]
sitting down i brush my hand
along the edge of the buffalo grass. there is a
small false pile of leaves here. multiple
leaves woven with strips of bark, they
make a sort of trap door on the top of the ground.
[[open trap door]]leaving the island i wade back through the
ice cold water,
my legs stiffening as
it rushes up behind my calves,
the liquid tickling the insides of the back of
i return, and decide to [[keep moving on the path]]lifting up the
leafy door, i see the hole that has been
dug into the island. inside is a square metal box.
[[open box]] \\ [[leave the island]]inside the small metal box is [[a notebook]],
a [[small pencil]],
and an [[envelope]].
i take all of these things.
i can look through them,
or i could [[go back to the path]]i stop what i am doing,
not wanting to open the box,
and stand up. walking to the edge of the island i
step off the edge into the cold water.
slipping on a mossy rock under the water,
i tip forward and hit my head on a
large piece of stone sticking out near
the pooling stream.
my body floats down the creek towards
the wild rapids, before the bridge.
i am dreaming,
remembering what happened a few months ago,
and why my father and i
have been so angry lately.
i don't realize i am inhaling water slowly.
i begin to drown.
and i die,
in the stream.
[[the end]]my journey has ended.
if only i could go back to [[the fight]].
turning the corner of the path through the woods
i walk by an area of [[tiger lilies]] and [[daffodills]]
that were planted in my youth.
i remember my mother, when i was very young,
hanging the laundry on the clothes line in the side yard.
i would hide down in here,
peeking and sneaking, trying to spy on her.
i remember how beautiful she looked.
the smell of the sheets drying in the wind.
a whipping, slick sound, as the breeze would lift them up,
she would giggle and laugh like a little girl as they rose,
like wet flags hovering in the air.
looking up, i see [[the house]]soft and worn,
a spiral bound notebook with a pink cover.
my mothers handwriting across the front,
i look back at the [[open box]].
a small yellow golf pencil,
it has teeth marks on it,
someone chewed on it anxiously.
back to the [[open box]]in the envelope is a small lock
of brown hair, with tape around the end,
so that the hair never blew away,
or was lost.
like a small little swatch of someone's dna,
back to the [[open box]]my mother was known as Cookie.
when I was a child, I thought it was her real name,
it was all that people ever called her.
when she was a small child,
a little soft one, a baby,
some man had asked her what she was named,
'cookie' she said.
i always thought it was a very comforting name.
now, back to the [[open box]]
the house, my home,
when i was very young it was painted a light green -
my mother hated it. she would bother my
father every weekend to paint.
one day while she was at a doctor's appointment
he repainted the entire house a soft blue,
her favorite color. he painted the shutters
a ruddy orange, a perfect contrast, and the color
of the sandstone in Upper Michigan, where
they first fell in love.
i shake myself from my daydreaming, and walk towards
[[the sidewalk]].soft, dense grass that seems to grow
wild around the property i live on.
in the summer i love to run,
wet from the sprinkler or the pool,
out into the yard and feel it tickle the bottoms of
my tender feet.
i stand up after looking at it, and check out
[[the rest of the island]]the symbol is probably hard to make out.
feathered from bleeding into the cloth,
it is an Ankh
dyed into the fabric with red watercolor paint.
a powdered version I got for christmas one year.
at the time things became rough for me,
i became very interested in egyptology.
the handkerchief with the symbol is tied tightly to [[the pole]]the little orange and black
lilies grown wild, around the property
i grew up on. but my mother transported some,
planted them like a good Green Thumb
in this little spot near the woods.
as a child i had an old cat,
she would follow me around all day. making
sure I was safe, protected, happy.
when she died my mother buried her here, and moved the
lilies overtop of her grave.
this way, even when the grass is tall, and it is
quite green everywhere, i can still see
i look away from the lilies, and [[back towards home]].daffodills,
my mother's favorite flower.
she originally planted dozens here, hoping they would spread
but they did not.
she would come back here,
sing gospel songs and let her
fingers brush through
all of the flowers.
i look up and [[back towards home]] the sidewalk, left to grow over in the last year,
is covered with weeds popping out of each crack.
grey, stained with the oxidized black and brown
burn marks from [[old firecrackers]], it
leads up to [[the front door]].in the summer,
my father - a lover of all things loud -
will crowd us out onto the front porch.
with a lot of show, and speeches about
our <i>American Greatness</I>...sigh...
he lights aflame many firecrackers,
sprinklers, big loud flaming ball-shooting monstrosities
that he has purchased at the native American reservation
twenty minutes up the road.
I make my way to [[the front door]]i begin to open the door and my father pulls it
open before I can do it myself.
[[his face]].my father, in his
mid-40s, he looks older than his years.
he is tired.
right now i see tears in [[his eyes]].
he looks into mine.
"[[my baby]]," he says.the one thing my father and i always had in common,
we have the same color eyes.
an icy, glass-blue. its the color of the old bottles
that Edward Gorey would keep in the windows
of his home.
we always would joke,
"it is the one place we are twins, [[my baby]]"he puts his arms around me.
he pulls me in,
i begin to hug him.
he is all I have in the world now,
besides myself. sometimes i feel like
i don't even have myself anymore.
my father and I fight, a lot.
but always, I have him. he is here.
he exists. for now.
"do you have it? [[the notebook]]?" he asks.
i pull the worn notebook out,
'lets bring it to the table' he says.
we walk to the kitchen table and sit down.
with a heavy sigh, my father opens the notebook.
inside, my mother's handwriting, beautiful cursive
whisps across each page, sometimes tight,
but always elegant.
after a couple pages of [[her writing]], the
penmanship erodes. it is here where my father and I write,
after [[her instructions]].'My little girl,' she wrote,
'When you and Daddy are alone, and I am gone,
I want you to write down every time you quarrel.
Whether it is his fault, or yours,
if you write it in this book, I will promise you,
[[my ghost]] will come, and see what you have fought about.
I will help you get over it, and get back to loving each other."
my father begins to [[cry]]
big floppy tears,
my father, often a prick,
i love him. i know he has a good heart.
he breathes in deep. begins to write,
'she reminded me of you, today.
the same angry face you would make,
im an asshole. it made feelings build up,
of how much i miss you. i took it out on her,
i yelled at her about her room.
its my fault. all of this is my fault.'
he wipes his eyes and [[hands it to me]].My mother, always an optimist, would joke that
once cancer took her, she would force herself
to become a ghost, so she could haunt us,
and we would never be rid of her.
i see tears well up in my father's eyes as he begins to [[cry]].she was a wonbderful cataloguer,
she wrote down everything that happened to her,
no matter how good, bad, problematic, or brutal.
i remember the first diary entry of hers I read after
she died. in it she talks about how much they fought in
the car on the way home from the hospital after I was born.
my father, an asshole, commented on her weight.
later, she wrote,
"he felt so bad, i found a note in his coat jacket,
'be better to her' he had written."
i look back to the [[the notebook]]"He screamed at me this time.
It reminded me of the only time I ever
saw you two fight. It made me hate him for a minute.
I'm sorry, Mommy."
"i'm sorry." he says.
He puts his hand out,
"i'm sorry." I say.
"Should we go together?" he says.
"Yes. I think so."
[[I hug my father.]]he grabs his hat, his jacket.
a pocket knife. i put my shoes back on,
we walk to the door.
"On the way I will cut a daffodill for her."
we open the door,
off to take the notebook back, to the island,
my mother's favorite place.
where she had her ashes spread.
where my father put a lock of my hair,
so I would always be with her.
<b>The End.</b><img src="https://schoolgirlgames.com/haywood.png" alt="Text Game" Title="A Haywood Wander"><br>
This is a small text game pseudo-based on my life as a young girl.
Please be kind.
we enter [[the fight]].