The Ghosts of Dedap Road – 3

25 03 2009

My bed was made and I was dressed in seconds. Sadie gave me a pleading look as I started for the door. I paused. “Two minutes, but hurry!” I said checking my watch. That watch had been my Christmas gift last year. I’d begged my parents and Santa for it all year. It made me feel grown-up so I took advantage of every excuse to check the time. Sadie was usually agonizingly slow in the mornings. But today neither of us wanted to be alone in our bedroom.
I was the youngest of three kids, but no one ever believed that. Sadie was a year older than me but sometimes acted like she was five years old and other times acted like the smartest person in the world. It was confusing when people saw us together because I treated her like she was my little sister. She needed me to take care of her at school. I knew that she was much smarter than I was, but she was a bit strange which made her a magnet for bullies.
My parents had spent a lot of time going to hospitals with Sadie since we moved to Singapore five years ago. Sometimes she would go on trips back to the states with mom while dad stayed and took care of Clem and me. When she came home she described the rooms in detail where they hooked machines up to her brain and watched her think about things. I didn’t know that was possible. Clem, my older brother, said they couldn’t see her thoughts, just the patterns her brain makes when she thinks. He said the brain gives off electricity when it thinks and that the machines read the electricity in waves. I wondered why Sadie’s electricity was more interesting than everyone else’s.
I always asked her about the snow when she came back from the United States. She told me once that it coated everything: the trees, the houses, the streets and even the cars making everything look like it was made of sparkling sugar candy. I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful. I knew she wasn’t lying because Sadie never made things up. I’d seen snow in pictures and movies and mom kept telling me I’d actually played in it in Colorado before we moved to Singapore, but I was too young to remember. I wanted to see it for myself though. I wanted to see real snow so badly, it was an ache in me.


Ghosts of Dedap Road – 2

23 03 2009

Every morning at 7:30 sharp she came into the room singing.

“Good morning to you! You look like a zoo! You act like a monkey and smell like one too!”

This morning was no exception and when I heard the familiar pitch of my mother’s voice, I swam out from under the covers giggling and thinking about how silly I had been the night before. Daylight has a way of making night-time fears seem distant and small. I sat up and as the fog of sleep cleared I stopped giggling abruptly. My mother stood in the middle of the room looking stricken. Her gaze fixed on a pile of shards in the far corner of the room. The lamp on the writing desk was lying in pieces on the floor. The clamp that held it to the desk was still firmly in place.

Ravia was right, they’re trying to get our attention. I must have said it out loud because my mother whirled around blazing with anger.

“That was not our lamp! Did you do this? Don’t lie to me Margaret, I know when you’re lying. Do you know how much it will cost us to replace that lamp? It’s an antique.”

I stammered and stuttered…looking more guilty by the second. I glanced at Sadie who was just coming awake. “It wasn’t me.” I squeaked. “I.. I think I heard it breaking..last night. I don’t know how it happened.”

But I did know.

“Get dressed.”  was all she said, her expression turned from anger to speculation. “Breakfast is ready downstairs, so don’t dawdle. And make your beds.” She left me standing there a question with no answer and mute as the lumps of broken lamp at my feet.