••• The International Writers Magazine:Dreamscapes Life Stories
The Little men
- Bravejames - Victor J. Castleton
The story takes place in South Hampton, Long Island, New York. The main character was an 11 years old boy named Jimmy. It all started at the beginning of a winter season on the east end of the Island.
It was about 4 p.m. on a chilly afternoon.
||I was pensive, facing my homework by the stove. My attention was drawn to a small weather house on top of the mantel. It was part of the school subject at the science class. Agh! The shadowy little girl watched me from the inside unperturbed, as her little brother struggled to become visible. I could see his yellowish blue eyed face, and shiny black lacquered hair forcing his way towards the minute door frame.
My cat, in the meantime, was acting up, running in and out from under my bed, chasing after his own tail, in a futile pursuing and useless turning and turning.
I couldn’t help glancing at the outdoors, where a temperamental grey-blue sky dissembled the coming of winter.
For the sake of my school duties, I fought my tiredness, but the weather seemed to be an omen luring me in by the minute. I did not want to miss the possible coming of the snow; the first one of the season. The thought of being a bit behind my responsibilities, prodded me again. I reckoned that.
“I must finish my school work first” I said with a slurred moaning. Mrs. Bradford has cautioned me already!
“Why anyone in their right mind would pay any heed to a couple of stiff wooden dolls anyway?” I reassured myself. To make matters worse, now I have an irritating cat forecasting the weather changes too. Perhaps, I myself, was affected by the season’s changes, and did not want to admit to it.
“I give up…” I murmured, while turning and lowering the back of the chair to better studying my book.
I found out quickly that this was not of any help; I just couldn’t focus. The thought of these two Lilliputian siblings doing ‘their thing’ without me, was inconceivable, let alone the looming homework; a major distraction about me.
I closed the book in one clap trying to release my frustration, voicing a very vexed “I won’t let them change the weather without my consent!” I said while pointing at my own image reflected on the closet’s mirror. “You are the greatest weather prognosticator ever! Do you know that?” I added, and decisively picked up my book again to read what have turned into a blur. I quickly fell asleep in the middle of a halfhearted attempt.
I woke up book in hand, in the same position that I drifted in. The curtains were drawn back, then by the corner of my eyes, and looking over my shoulder I saw something just like little people scurrying away, tiptoeing behind the mantel’s nick-knacks. I was still blurred eyed, but I noticed that one of them looked like the German boy from the weather house. “Whatever it was, it was giggling devilishly” I calmly thought to myself
I rubbed off my eyes with the back of my indexes for an instant, but all I could see was a distorted tiny figure quickly vanishing away behind the clock’s glass dome, to disappear without a sound.
“The spinning golden balls distracted me enough to miss it!” I said a bit irritated, blaming the clock.
“It must have been a dream!” I hollered to myself looking around for clues. “Maybe, yes, I am still dreaming. This cannot be happening!”
I vacillated for a moment, and it dawned on me, that I had the little culprit right in view; he was now completely out of the house! Past the door’s frame, full bodied with his arms pressed on to his side. I could also see his black shoes still glued to the base. I gazed at him, kind of, in a devious way. I admit.
You little one; how could he? I murmured.
“He couldn’t have been him! No-No- No!” I grumbled, and paused for a second, and then I said “ I don’t know what is really happening! But regardless, I’ll keep an eye on you!” I yelled at the miniscule boy, while pulling the blanket off my legs.
“Oh wow!” I said incredulously, as I look out the window, restraining my thoughts in an instant “This must have been done by them!” I voiced aloud “If not who did it?”
I propped up myself against the window, arms stretched out, captivated by the wonderland of snow, but also feeling disappointed for having missed it all. I was beside myself. “I shouldn’t have fallen asleep while the world changed behind my back! What am I going to do now?” I let go through my gritted teeth.
Knock – Knock “Jimmy may I come in?” My mother said from the other side of the door.
“Is that you mom? Come on in” I said trying to hide my mood.
She walked in, and after taken a swift look around, she sidestepped me. Did she notice that something was up? I thought. I guess it was all over my face; mothers are known for this gift.
“Lucky you, my little man, it snowed last night, so no school today” She quipped, showing a smile and leaving a buttered scone and milk.
I stood up and I rushed across the room to the weather house. I stared at the little boy with his trousers’ suspenders and beady eyes, now fully out of his borrow, and after a few seconds I said to him - “You are not bigger than my thumb,” and walking backwards to my chair without taking my eyes off of him, I bit a chunk off the scone taking a mouthful of milk, as I heard the door bell and my mother walking to the front to find out.
-Is Jimmy up yet?
-Yes c’mon in, he is in his room.
I recognized Willy’s voice; my next door friend. Before he rushed in, I heard a clunking noise as something being dropped on the front porch’s deck.
Seconds later he showed up all bundled up and rosy cheeked hollering…
-Jimmy you won’t believe what I saw last night by my window!
I held up my breath while he was catching his own.
-You won’t believe this… what I saw last night!
-My mom said that it was all a dream!
-Jimmy, why are you looking at me like that, huh?
-You don’t believe me, do yah?
-Well, that’s OK if you don’t, it must have been a dream any way!
-I have my sled on the front… c’mon let’s go!
-Willy stop! I saw it too!!!
-Really? Do you mean the little men? Did you see them running up and down spreading mounds of snow all over?
-Yeah, Willy, now I believe it too! But who’s going to believe us? Let’s keep it a secret then!
The park and the slopes saw twenty two years gone by.
I finished school, went to college, and after that I married a girl that I met in my senior year.
My job moved us out of state, and one day my mother asked us to come and spend Christmas with them. My parents were getting up in age. They always came to visit with us. I flew in with my wife and my ten years old son Jeremy.
We arrived into town, and I asked the taxi cab driver to drop us off by the park. Jeremy wanted to see the snow covered slopes. As we walked through it, I spotted what I thought it was a familiar face coming towards us. I wasn’t sure at first because time has a way of changing people’s appearance while their souls remain the same. It was Willy with a woman and two boys. He recognized me first, and when we got to a few yards distance we ran to each other to greet in an embrace; I noticed in his eyes the same old Willy of way back when.
After we introduced our wives we started walking to our parent’s homes while our kids needed no help to get acquainted. Soon we got to the slopes where Willy and I spent so many winters playing with our sleds.
Then as we continued walking one of Willy’s kids covering his mouth with his hand whispered to Jeremy “…and this is where we see the little men play in the snow”
Our wives oblivious to the children’s comments continued chatting. Willy slowed down a bit and turning to me, wide-eyed like the child I remembered, he said.
-Jimmy…this is still a secret right?
-You bet! I answered. –It will be among us kids forever.
© Victor Castleton July 2016
vcastleton at outlook.com
With a mild screeching halt, I was back where I was twenty two years ago.
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