Tracings in Snow
“When Matthew was sixteen years old, he ran away from home. He did not return until Christmas Eve fourteen years later. He showed up on the lawn late at night, while the family was gathered around the tree.”
Hope your year is off to a wonderful start. Here is the 3rd installment of Tracings in Snow. If you like the story, why not email a link to a friend? Also, a huge congratulations to my baby brother, who just got engaged, and my future sister-in-law!
Tracings in the Snow
The hobo on the lawn was not moving. They stared at him through the frosty window, expecting him to come closer, but he just stood and gazed at them, like a deer in the headlights.
“He looks like he’s about to bolt,” said the cousin. “Someone better go out and fetch him, or he might run away again for another fourteen years.”
“I’m telling you, that’s not Matthew,” said the brother. “Matthew was thin.”
“You were thin,” snapped the sister.
“Yeah,” said the brother, astonished. He turned sideways and examined his gut in the mirror over the fireplace.
“What we need in this situation,” said the uncle, “is a plausible type of bait, and a trip cord. We lure him in, real gentle and easy with the bait, and then we trip him with the trip cord.”
“Matthew is not a rabbit,” said the aunt. “This is not a hunting scenario.”
“What Matthew used to like is a really good looking girl,” mused the cousin. “I bet if we sent a really hot girl out on the porch, she could convince him to come in.”
“Perfect,” said the sister. “That’s a brilliant idea. We’ll just call up the nearest escort agency, ask them to send over their hottest hooker on Christmas Eve, and hope that Matthew stays standing there in the snow while we wait for her to drive over.”
“Also, Matthew didn’t have a beard,” the brother pointed out. “I really don’t think that’s Matthew.”
While they stood there arguing, they heard the familiar click-creak-bump of the side door opening, and Matthew’s mother walked out into the snow.
“Matthew,” she said quietly. They could hear her voice echo in the icy stillness; see the chimera her breath made shimmering faintly in the air. “Come on in the house now.”
The hobo on the lawn hung his head so that the long, soft hair, fluttering down from the edges of his bald spot, swung in front of his face like curtains. Meekly, he shuffled into the house. ♦
(To be continued…)