Bed of Leaves
by Solar Zorra and John Braxton Sparks
He should have felt more comfortable. The wind rattled through the limbs of the barren tree like a casket full of bones. Branden pitched the stakes in a geyser full of dirt. The boundaries of rope would hold, just like they had every year before. The sound of leaves crunched beneath the heels of his boots as he made his way back to his family. His family sat nestled around a blazing campfire like moths in the beauty of a flame.
“Rachel, stop throwing sticks into the fire, you’re going to create an inferno,” Laura stated.
The scolding left lines of apprehension on Rachael’s face.
“Honey, where is Davey? He should have been back by now. You know how much he likes listening to your stories. Go find him, before all the marshmallows are gone.”
Branden hated being told what to do by his wife. For ten years he took her orders in her classroom like an honor-student in a front-row desk.
“Honey, I’m sure Davey’s fine. He’s probably skipping rocks in the creek. Don’t worry.”
The spider web of wrinkles around the orbs of Laura’s eyes glistened like the blade of sharp daggers.
“Honey, I don’t care if he’s fine. I want you to go find him. Now would be nice.”
Branden sighed through the valley of his parched lips and made his way into the woods.
The further he walked the echos of her continual nagging grew fainter until finially he could once again breathe. Davey wasn’t happily skipping rocks like his Dad had imagined, he was slumped on a rock, the epitome of depression.
“Hey big guy, what’s the matter?”
“I can’t stand her Dad, I’m fourteen now and she treats us like we’re little kids.” “She is not our Mom, seriously, I don’t know how you do it,…she’s a bitch.”
“Stop! I won’t tolerate that kind of language, Davey….she is your stepmother after all.”
“Every year we go on this excruciatingly boring camping trip and the whole time she can’t stop drilling us about how lucky we are to have a camper and how we could be sleeping in an old tent on a bed of leaves.………Damn, I’m so sick of that story.
“Davey, that’s enough! Now get back to the campsite and behave yourself.”
“I’ll be back in a while Dad, I’m going for a walk around the trail, and I know, I’ll be careful, the bog is thick.”
It was dark when Branden made it back; Rachel was sitting alone, crying by the fire.
“Where’s your Mother”?
“She left right after you, and I’ve been here all alone in the dark,……I’m scared, Daddy”
“You’re Okay Baby, she probably went to get some kindling for the fire.”
Branden called out for her. Taking the flashlight he frantically headed back out into the woods….Honey………where are you? Laura?
Davey quickly ran back to the campfire. “soo?”
“Our plan worked perfectly, I laid her out with the shovel. She’s behind that tree over there with marshmallows still stuffed in her annoying mouth.”
“Excellent….Don’t worry little Sis, I’m going to bury her so deep in the bog, no one will ever find her ……in her bed of leaves
A Family goes camping in the woods.
A story by Solar Zorra and John Braxton Sparks
copyright2009by Solar Zorra and John Braxton Sparks