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THE MiSERY OF AGE

©  WRiTER oN THe MoON

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4

Mending Ourselves

 "Wow! That's some temper your mother has!"

It must have been the darkest night in years. No moon, it was dead or had been murdered by the skies of Bristol or Sara's screams, left abandoned in a puddle of blood. Ignored by the stars. Very terrifying for two young boys discovering the art of cleaning and weaving the dead!

And through all of this, Alan and Javier remained hiding, sitting on the dirty carpet under the stairwell, shrouded in perplexity. They kept listening and freaking out.

"One way or the other, like it or not, we have to unravel and weave Mr. Harris' soul. I will weave and then you will wash."

"I know, I know," said Sara, giving in. "But it would be a fantastic chance to stand up and speak out. If I don't wash this bastard and you don't weave him then what?" she said, defeatedly.

"I agree. But we have no choice. It's not up to us to judge who we wash and who we don't. We do our job, period." he said.

"Ok, good. Whatever you say. You're always right. So, shall we go down to the basement and begin?"

Alan nudged Javier in the ribs and whispered, "See? Do you believe me now?"

Jack stopped in his tracks. "Wait a minute. The loom broke down this morning. I have to fix it first. I'm waiting for a part to come that I ordered from the carpenter. Until then it's not possible."

"This one has to be done now." said Sara thoughtfully. "You have your mother's old loom. Only problem is that it is up in Alan's room. It works doesn't it?"

"Yeah, if I remember correctly and the kids haven't broken it from stacking so much junk on top of it."

"We should go up and get it then." Sara said.

"What will we say if they wake up?"

"We'll just improvise. Besides, sometime soon we will have to tell them just what their family business consists of, don't you think? I think they already suspect something. Maybe we should just get it over with once and for all."

In the darkness of the stairwell all that could be seen was the whites of their eyes, revealing the fright they felt in their guts.

Get it over with???

They could feel hostility in the atmosphere. Like two foxes they crept up the stairs towards Alan's room on all fours and silently climbed into their beds. They pulled up their blankets and pretended to be asleep.

Alan was used to handling these kind of situations but Javier was a mess. He felt as though his heart was going to explode in his chest.

"Alan...................Aaaaaaaalan!" he feverishly whispered, biting the corner of his sheet.

"Whaaaaaaaaaat?" Alan answered.

"I'm scared, man. I don't want to die."

"What do you think, I do?"

After all, they were just two kids trying to act like two mature adults. Their age became even more obvious with the sound of a squeak on the stairs. Alan's parents were actually only coming up for the loom.

"Act like you're asleep!"

More than acting like he was asleep, Javier acted like he was dead. Alan's parents probably didn't notice anything because they didn't turn the lights on. If they had they would have seen a very white face with an expression of pain, looking as though he had died of a heart attack.

They entered the bedroom. They shuffled things around in complete silence and left again. Upon hearing the squeaks on the stairs Javier opened his eyes halfway and looked at the place where the loom should have been. Just like two professional thieves, they had taken it and in its place they had left the board and all of the junk that was on it on the floor, along with the screen.

"Alan, they're gone."

"I know."

"I was really scared. At least they didn't kill us, I was sure this was the end. Wait, am I really alive?"

"Unfortunately for those of us in this room that want to get some sleep, yes." said Alan.

"Do you believe in the devil?" asked Javier.

"The one with the horns?"

"Yeah."

"No. What's this all about, talking about the devil?"

Sometimes understanding the unexpected twists and turns of Javier's thinking process was as difficult for Alan as doing origami but he made an effort to try and follow him.

"This is ridiculous but ok, I admit I believe that evil exists. There are bad people who have poisoned hearts and make life for others hell." Alan said abstractedly.

The footsteps died as the door to the basement closed.