From time to time at Incoming Bytes we are compelled to explore the unusual, the weird, and the downright strange world of fiction. I really like fiction. I have to admit, this is just plain weird, but it's spring, weather's weird anyway, so I hope you enjoy it.
Tales of the Supernatural: The Pearl Stickpin
It seemed to me that the woman was not a real woman at first, she looked kind of rough around the edges just a bit, but she wore a woolen coat and a grey pillbox hat with a nice white pearl stickpin in it.
A tantalizing bit of evidence, in retrospect, anyway.
Not appearing to be a real 'woman' or 'lady' --well, no matter. She appeared at the door on a Tuesday, and it was 7:00 o'clock on July 7th. My birthday, too. July 7th. I forget the year. I just go by what Sam told me. He's my older brother, dead of the pox too, just a bit of an idiot sometimes. He even drove the tractor in the creek when he was 8 and started crying. Pop had to get old Mose from down the 4th to pull it out. It cost two bits and he got whupped.
She squinted up at me. "It's about time you and your idiot brother answered the door. Do you care to tell me what you are still doing in my house? This is still my house, after all."
She looked at me kind of strangely. Like she knew me or something. How did she know I had an idiot brother? I wanted to keep that quiet so I could use his driver's license.
I said, "Lady, I don't have any idea where you're from, but I lived here for 77 years, my idiot brother died of the 'scootch 67 years ago. I'm just guessing but that wasn't even so far off of the truth, considering everything.
After all, I had stayed right there in the old farmhouse for 77 years. Born here, ain't leavin'. That's why the neigbours call me Old Gus, because I am old. Seventy-seven, so they say. I don't have a birth certificate -or a driver's license either, but they never asked me for one. Not in 67 years. I kept an old business card in the visor holder instead, It said "Lunatic Renovation Service" from down in Hansenville, and when it wore out I used my brother's license. It's got itself worn out too, now-- dog-eared. It was my father's license back when, too. No wonder he used it, no idiot boy can get a driver's license so ya' gotta get one from 'yer old man or somethin', somehow.
"Are you sure?" the woman asked. "You don't know me, do you, sonny?...How come you you're looking so old?"
"I got the scootch, like my idiot brother, he died of it already, 67 years ago, " I answered without thinking, it wasn't her business anyway, but I blabbed that to old Mose so often it didn't matter a whole lot, "so he's dead an' gone anyway".
Now she really had me nervous because I have to admit I didn't know who she was. I guess I forgot. She looked about thirty-five years old and had green eyes. Tantalizing green eyes. I got green eyes too, like a green-eyed shot-back ghost-colored dog.
"I'm 'yer maw, don'cha even know 'yer own maw?" She said. "It's 'yer birthday, boy".
"I don't got any maw or old lady, she died when I was born," I said, " that's what the old man told me and my idiot brother and that's the truth, I swear".
She sat down in the rocker, a brown maple one. It groaned.
"This was my chair when you was in my belly," she said, frowning. " and after you boys got the pox when you was six, an' no bigger'n a pup, you sat right here on my knee, and I rocked you right to sleep good, you was turned cold, too, now you can't remember your Maw. That figgers."
"I don't want to argue none, I just don't remember" I said.
"So you're my Maw, want some tea?"
"No," she said, "Tea gives me the shivers, just like visiting live folks."
She got up and walked through the closed door. I shook my head in wonderment. She kept the hat on but left the white pearl stick pin stuck in the wood door. I don't know why she does that.
I ain't never touching that stick-pin. It gives me the shivers too. Like visiting live folks.
Funny. I remember I wanted to live 'till I was old enough to get a real driving license.
Is that incoming I hear?