To Grandmother’s House We Go!

“Follow me,” she said before she turned and began to follow the trail that lie ahead of her.  I glanced around nervously but kept as close to her as possible never removing my eyes from her tail.  We zigzagged along the trail for about fifteen minutes.

There was a rustling noise behind me.  I jerked my head over my shoulder to see what caused it.  The brush on the edge of the trail was swaying as if recently disturbed.  I stopped and glanced around, expecting to see a chipmunk or a deer, but there were no signs of life.  I also noted that there wasn’t a breeze either that could have moved the shrubs. 

“What do you think it was,” I whispered to Daisy.  I waited for a few second but there was no answer.  Curious to find out why she wasn’t answering me, I turned to face her.  The trail was empty.  No Daisy.  She must have kept moving.  I started to scamper up the trail in hopes of catching up to her.  The path turned sharply to the left.  I was at a full out sprint now; the trees and scrub of the woods flew past me as I ran.  I skidded to a stop a hundred feet later.  My butt plopped to the ground and I sat there panting.  Directly in front of me the trail split, forking into two different directions. 

“Daisy,” I called out as loud as I could.

“Daisy!”

I wish we hadn’t come on this stupid trip, I thought silently. 

Tears formed at the corners of my eyes.  Memories of that fateful night before I met Mommy and Daddy careened headlong into my mind.  I was alone.  All alone.

Kerploooey

The overstuffed suitcase sprung open spewing clothes all over the room.  Mommy flopped down on the bed and covered her face with her hands.  I hopped up on the bed next to her and gave her a big sloppy kiss for support.

“Oh Cindee, what would I do without you,” she said in a sing song voice that was really her accent.

“Um dunno,” I barked back at her, then turned to run.

“I’m gonna get you,” she called as she chased me through the house.  We raced down the stairs through the living room and into the dining room. I almost knocked Daddy over when he opened the sliding door that lead to the back yard.  Mommy came speeding behind me and through the doors into the yard beyond.  Boom.  She collided right into Daddy.  Both fell to the ground.  Mommy lay in a heap on the ground giggling and Daddy just looked around confused. 

I couldn’t resist.  I jumped on Daddy’s chest and started to plant kisses all over his face.

“Oh no! Not the tongue! Not the tongue,” he cried out in fake horror.  He can be such a nerd.  It was a game we played my first night in my forever home with Mommy and Daddy and even though I am no baby anymore, I still love to play it with him.  Does that make me a nerd too?

After five minutes of kissies I got up and left him with a bad case of gooey face. 

“Let’s finish packing so we can get on the road at a decent hour,” Daddy said to Mommy as he helped her to her feet.

“Okay you party pooper,” she replied with a swat on Daddys butt.  Just like that Daddy was chasing Mommy through the house.  To think, we are the ones always getting in trouble for “raising heck”!

While my two goofy humans were upstairs packing, I went to the spare bedroom and opened the closet door a crack and stuck my head inside.  Two green eyes peered out at me from under a pile of empty cardboard boxes.

“Everything okay in there,” I whispered so as not to startle anyone.

“Wha wha what’s happening out there?” a deep voice with a thick Cuban accent asked.

“Relax Rapi, we are just going to Grandma’s house for a visit.  Mommy and Daddy are just packing for the weekend,” I said reassuringly, but he was having none of it.  I loved him dearly, but boy oh boy was that cat stubborn.

“It’s not a trick? We aren’t going to the vet?” he asked.

“Grandma’s house,” I said tersely.

“Who is going?” he asked skeptically. 

“Just Mommy, Daddy and me.  Robin and Daisy are coming too!  Aunt Mary will stay with you guys,” I said bringing him up to date on the plan in hopes that this would reassure him and calm him down. 

“Humpf! I will just stay here until I am sure, thank you very much!”  With that proclamation Rapi shifted around in his tight space so that his back side faced me.  I took that to mean our conversation was over. So, I backed up, nudged the door shut and plopped down on the bed.

Ding dong

The front doorbell sounded.  I jumped to my feet and sprinted down the stairs.

“the door, the door, someone is at the door!” I cried out.

Sqeeeeeek! The door opened a crack and a nose poked in through the opening.  Then a face.  It was Aunt Mary! I jumped up and down all happy, but only for a minute.  A commotion broke out behind her.

“Look what I found outside,” she said to Mommy and Daddy who were descending the stairs.  In jumped Daisy!

Now friends, Daisy is a big girl.  She is part Rottweiler and several parts other breeds.  She has black fur with a beautiful tan face, but then again, I think everybody has a beautiful face. 

“Cindee,” she cried out happily in her gentle feminine voice.

“Daisy,” I barked back to her, doing a dance around Aunt Mary as I did.  We rushed to embrace each other. We were off and involved in a game of tag in a shot, scarcely aware of Daisy’s mom Robin as she entered through the door.  We were just about to crash into her when she stepped aside at the last second. Without so much as an excuse me from either of us we made our way to the dining room.

Daisy and I sat at the big glass doors and watched the sky as the sun began to go down for the evening.

“Where do you think the sun goes at night,” Daisy asked

“I always wonder about that,” I answered.

“I asked my Daddy one time.  He gave me some stupid answer about the sun being a giant ball of gas.”

“Really,” Daisy asked in disbelief.

“No!  I think it was just another one of his fart jokes,” I giggled.  We both sat quietly for a few minutes taking in the evening sky as it changed colors.  It was beautiful.

“I think the sun is just going to bed.  Those red clouds in the sky, those are the blankies it covers up with,” I said.  Inside I hoped Daisy didn’t think I was stupid.

“Wow Cindee, you could be right!  That makes a lot of sense,” she replied with a look of wonder in her eyes.

“C’mon girls, time to go,” Daddy called us.  Our thoughts rapidly shifted back to the weekend ahead.

Heavy, so very heavy

That is how my eyelids felt.  We had been on the road for forty-five minutes and the hum of the tires on the road was having an effect on me.  It didn’t help that it was pitch black outside so there was nothing to look at either.  Earlier in the ride Daisy told me we were going to the southern tier, which was about a ninety-minute drive.  She had gone to camp down there with her mommy all the time and Daisy loved it.

“I haven’t been to Grandmas house since I was little,” Robin said putting an end to the silence.

“It’s been awhile for me too,” Daddy said as he looked at us through the mirror.

“She would always fly out and visit us,” Mommy added.

“It sure is nice to live close enough that we can drive there whenever we want.  I have so many good memories of growing up in that house,” Daddy said.  My ears perked up and my eyeballies flew open.  Daddy had that nostalgic look on his face.

“Wasn’t there talk of the house being haunted,” Robin asked.

“It is haunted,” Daddy said, with the emphasis on the `is’.

“Wait! What?”  Mommy’s eyes grew big.  Daisy and I looked at each other, surprised by this turn of events.  Daddy looked at Mommy.

“Okay, I will tell you about it!”  Both Mommy and Robin smiled.  Daisy and I shifted in our seats to get more comfortable.  Suddenly the car ride in the dark wasn’t so boring anymore.

The full moon hung in the summer sky

Daddy said in a spooky voice.

“From my spot on the bed the moon was perfectly framed by the window.  Silver rays of moonlight rained down on the treetops at the edge of the back yard.  I pulled the sheet up and snuggled in for the night.  The house was calm and peaceful, only the sounds of the creatures of the night echoed through the darkness.  I let my eyes fall shut and felt my muscles relax.  My ears focused on the song of the crickets outside the bedroom window and the deep throated croaks of the frogs in the pond across the lane.  Deeper and deeper I descended into sleep. 

Teetering on the edge of wakefulness and dreaming I heard it.  It was barely perceptible at first.  Something that only exists in the realm of unconsciousness.  Once the noise had captured me, I was subjugated to it.  Every fiber of my being was being pulled to it.  It was constant.  I didn’t need to open my eyes to know what it was.

A steady ragged breath in, followed by an exhale.  Another labored inhale, then an exhale.  Someone was in the room with me.  My eyes snapped open.  The faint outline of the white ceiling that had been there before I closed my eyes was gone, in its place was only impenetrable darkness. 

I quickly sat up and reached for the light, but accidentally knocked it off the night table, sending it to the ground with a crash. I glanced up in time to have my eyes lock on it.  Silhouetted by the moonlight that filtered in through the window stood a tall dark figure.  In one rapid movement I was on my knees on the bed, my hand extended up and clutching the metal chain from the ceiling light. With my eyes still focused on the shadowy figure I pulled the chain as hard as I could.  The lights flashed on.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Daddy’s voice carried through the silent car as it rocketed down the empty country highway.

What did you see tell us!

“Nothing,” Daddy said with a smile.

“That’s not fair, we wanna know, please tell us,” Mommy pleaded with him.

“Tell us,” Daisy and I barked in unison.

“I did tell you, there was nothing at all there.  No person, no figure, nothing but empty space,” Daddy said.

“Humpf, I don’t believe it,” Mommy protested

“Believe it or not, that’s what happened,” he said matter of factly.

Daisy and I glanced at each other as everyone sat in silence.  In the not too far distance, I could see a big wrought iron fence on the right hand side of the road.  Daddy slowed the car down, rolling to a stop right in front of a large closed gate. 

“I got it,” Robin said.  She jumped from the car and jogged over to the entrance.  In one fluid motion she flipped the latch and the large iron doors squeaked open.  Daddy put the car in gear and it slowly crept into the driveway.  I let out a yelp.

In front of us sat two dobermanss each with a cold glare in their eyes.  I could feel my heart begin to race and my tail try to curl under me.  Instinctively, a low growl formed in my throat.  The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention. The dogs didn’t flinch.  Robin opened the door but stopped short of climbing into the car at the sight of me.  I was about to unleash a barrage of barks, but Mommy broke my concentration. 

“Cindee! Cindee!  Those dogs are just statues!”

The snarl died in my throat.  I could feel the blood rush to my cheeks.  I kept my gaze focused on the ground just hoping everyone would stop staring at me.  Robin jumped into the car and closed the door behind her before she reached over and began to gently scratch the top of my head. 

It was a long driveway with an arc in it that led to the front steps.  Daddy pulled the car to a stop and we all piled out.  I looked up at the house and got the boomies in my chest again.  Daddy called it a Victorian, whatever that meant.  I just know it was big and scary looking.  The door creaked open and yellow light spilled out into the darkness. I didn’t see anything, but I heard It!

Why hello there!

The voice came from a small lady with puffy white hair and glasses. 

“Grandma!” Daisy barked and ran off for pets.  It was Grandma.  I remember Grandma from when she visited us in Miami.  She was too good to me, feeding me yummy food under the dinner table.  She hugged everyone then came over and gave me love scratches on my cheeks.  I adore having my cheeks scratched!

We were invited inside were Grandma had a yummy apple pie waiting.  Daisy and I sat under the table and listened to people catch up.  All the while Grandma would sneak us delicious tasting pieces of pie crust.  It was heaven.  Once all the pies were safely tucked away in everybody’s bellies the conversations began to die down.  First Mommy yawned.  Then Daddy.  Soon everyone had caught the sleepy bug.  Daddy was the first to rise from the table.  Everyone else followed suit and soon goodnight hugs were passed around to all.

“Mommy, can I sleep in Daisy’s room tonight?”

“Okay, but you be a good girl.  Don’t give Robin any trouble.” She leaned over and kissed me on the top of my head.

“Night night Cindee,” Daddy said, topping it off with a kiss on the nose.  With that I trotted behind Robin and Daisy into the back bedroom.  The room had two twin beds in it, so Daisy and I shared one and Robin got the other.

No sooner had I plopped down on my bed, when I heard the troubling sound of Robin snoring.  I lay there tossing and turning for awhile, but it was no use, I couldn’t fall asleep with the buzz saw going full blast in the other bed.  Wide awake and with slim prospects of slumber anytime soon I sat up and gazed out the window. 

The moon was full and playing a game of peek a boo with me, darting behind a cloud only to pop out again after it passed by.  Shafts of silver moonlight spilled out on the lawn behind the house.  The open space was hemmed in on three sides by an ancient forest that climbed up the sides of a mountain range.  In the middle of the open space sat an old well. 

The moon ducked behind the clouds.  I saw something moving in the yard below me.  I hope it wasn’t those dogs.  After all, Mommy could have been mistaken.  The moon emerged from his hiding place illuminating the back yard.  Right next to the well stood a bright white figure.  But something wasn’t right.  It didn’t have any feet.  It was just floating there. 

“Oh my gosh, Daisy!” I whispered. She grumbled and rolled over.

“Daisy!” I quietly hissed at her.  Her eyes popped open.

“What is it,” she whispered, her voice seething.

“Come look at this. Hurry!” I cried out almost waking Robin.  Daisy climbed to her feet and stood next to me.  I watched as her mouth dropped open and her eyes grew big.

“What the heck?” she muttered quietly.

Another cloud rolled past the moon obscuring everything on the earth below.  We sat in silence, waiting breathlessly for the cloud to move out of the way.  Seconds turned into a minute, then two.  It seemed like an eternity before the shadows finally parted, and when they did Daisy and I watched in enchantment as the glowing white shape disappeared into the woods.

Tweet tweet chirp tweet …

Was the song the birds where singing when I opened my eyes.  The sun’s golden rays filtered in through the window.  I glanced to my left where I found Daisy sitting at attention.  Her eyes bored into me.

“Good morning sleepy head,” she said, her stoic face melted into a smile.

“Morning Daisy,” I grumbled still a little hungover from the unexpected late-night activity of the previous day. 

“Did you…”

“I saw it,” she broke in with an answer before I could get the question out.

“What was …”

“Dunno what it was,” She said cutting me off again.  I was a little agitated by it.

“Do you wanna…”

“Get breakfast?  I sure do,” I said returning the favor with a giggle.

“Humpf, I hate when you do that,” Daisy mumbled before bursting out in laughter.

Daddy and Robin where waiting for us downstairs.  They snapped our leashes on so they wouldn’t get lost and we were off to do our business.  We sniffed around the backyard but paid special attention to the well.  There was a strange, yet vaguely familiar odor there.  Unfortunately, neither Daisy nor I was able to place it.  Other than the smell, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Back inside, Mommy had prepared breakfast for us.  The two of us plopped down in the kitchen and attacked the food.  All the two-legged people went to the living room to sit down and talk some more.  The food was okay, but I was hoping for something a little tastier like pancakes or hash browns. 

“I got a plan,” Daisy whispered.  I listened with intent as Daisy explained everything.  

Friends, let me tell you about Daisy.  This beautiful girl has a special skill that she discovered when she was a little puppy.  It didn’t take Daisy long to learn about the usefulness of her ability, and she spent her whole life honing her craft.  You see, Daisy was a master escape artist.  No cage or lock has been made that can contain her.

I watched in awe as she went to work on the back door.  In just a matter of seconds the lock clicked, and the entryway sprung open.  We quickly dashed into the backyard and met at the well.  We gave it a once over with our sniffers.

“Weird,” I said.

“I know, right?” Daisy replied, a puzzled look played across her face.

“We better get going before we get caught,” Daisy said, looking over at me.  This girl had years of clandestine operations under her belt, so I though it best to defer to her judgment. Swiftly, we began to jog towards the tree line with our noses to the ground.  The strange scent led us to an opening in the trees but the scent seemed to end just inside the woods.  Daisy turned to look over her shoulder at me.

“Follow me,” she said before she turned and began down the trail that lie ahead of her.  I glanced around nervously but kept as close to her as possible never removing my eyes from her tail.  We zigzagged along the trail for about fifteen minutes.

There was a rustling noise behind me.  I jerked my head over my shoulder to see what caused it.  The brush on the edge of the trail was swaying as if recently disturbed.  I stopped and glanced around, expecting to see a chipmunk or a deer, but there were no signs of life.  I also noted that there wasn’t a breeze either that could have moved the shrubs. 

“What do you think it was,” I whispered to Daisy.  I waited for a few second but there was no answer.  Curious to find out why she wasn’t answering me, I turned to face her.  The trail was empty.  No Daisy.  She must have kept moving.  I started to scamper up the trail in hopes of catching up to her.  The path turned sharply to the left.  I was at a full out sprint now; the trees and scrub of the woods flew past me as I ran.  I skidded to a stop a hundred feet later.  My butt plopped to the ground and I sat there panting.  Directly in front of me the trail split, forking into two different directions. 

“Daisy,” I called out as loud as I could.

“Daisy!”

Tears formed at the corners of my eyes.  Memories of that fateful night before I met Mommy and Daddy careened headlong into my mind.  I was alone.  All alone.

What to Do?

I wondered to myself.  My heart was thumping in my chest and my mouth was dry.  I needed to make some sort of decision.  I spun slowly in circles checking each path.  I decided that the best option was to turn around and go back the way I came.  Only, now I wasn’t sure which path was the one that led back to the house.  Out of options I chose one and set off down the trail, praying I had chosen wisely.

The small dirt lane weaved its way between and around the trees.  I glanced up at the sky, but all I could see was the canopy of green leaves.  Eventually, I came to a sort of clearing in the woods. My cheeks were soaked with tears and my breathing was becoming labored.  I couldn’t tell if it was because of the heat of the day or the fear that was gripping at me.  I sat down to rest for a minute. 

In my minds eye I was back in that cardboard box in the parking lot reliving that moment from my puppyhood all over again.  It seemed to play like an old record spinning on a vicious cycle. 

“Who is going to take care of you?” The voice in my head kept reminding me.

“You are all alone in this world,” my inner voice mocked me.

The bushes ahead of me shook for a moment, then went quiet.  I rose to my feet and went over to investigate.  Nothing.  I was just about to go back to the clearing and lie down.  I was ready to surrender when I caught something out of the corner of my eye.  My head quickly snapped in the direction of the movement.  Branches of scrub shifted and swayed as if freshly disturbed.  I scurried to the spot, but it was nothing more than empty woodlands. 

“Who is there?” I called out, unable to disguise the tremble in my voice.  Silence.  Even the birds had stopped singing.

More movement, maybe a hundred yards down the trail caught my attention.  Something strange was going on. I quickly chased it down and once more found no cause for it.  It was then that I became aware of the shadows growing.  It must be getting late I thought. 

I decided to sit where I was and wait for another sign, but no sign came.  The darkness continued to take over the forest until the sun had called it a day and descended below the horizon. 

I sat in the darkness; emotions of hopelessness had taken over.  Even if Mommy and Daddy where out there looking for me they would have given up now that the sun had set.  I was going to die alone.

I heard the bushes being moved around.  I squinted and looked around so intently my forehead was starting to hurt.  Not too far away I saw a light.  Mommy and Daddy didn’t forget about me.  I jumped to me feet and began to run towards the light.

“Here I am! I am over here,” I howled.

The light kept moving away from me.  It was as if they didn’t hear me.  I summoned all the energy I had and chased after the glowing ball.  It kept just out of reach, speeding up when I went faster and stopping when I needed to rest and catch my breath.  I followed the luminescence as it guided me along the twisting and turning path through the woods. 

Then, strangely, the golden light began to dim until in burned out.  In its place was a peaceful silver light illuminating everything in front of me.  I walked cautiously forward.  My breath became even, and level and my heart had stopped pounding so hard. 

I had come to a wall of brush.  Gently, I pushed my way through.  My head popped out the other side and I saw the most beautiful sight.  Laid out in front of me was Grandma’s back yard complete with the well and the house at the other side.

Sparks flew up into the sky

From the bonfire Daddy had made.  The smell of smores being cooked over the open flame was so wonderful, but I was too tired to even beg for one.  I could still see the happiness and relief on Mommy and Daddy’s faces when they came out of the woods and saw me with Grandma.  Thank goodness Grandma was able to reach them on the cell phone and I didn’t have to wait very long.

Even now, as I sit safely at Daddy’s feet, I am nervous and anxious.  I am afraid of many things in this life, but being alone?  That is for sure the scariest. 

They were all talking and telling stories now.  Grandma calls it reminiscing.  I like it when she does this because I like the way her eyes smile when she talks about those old days.  It makes me wish that I could have been there to experience them.  Slowly my eyes closed, and my mind faded away as I listened until the tales became part of my dreams.

I heard a creak and my eyes popped open.  I looked at the room around me.  My brain was still a little groggy, but slowly things came back to me.  I was in Mommy and Daddy’s room.  A quick glance at the bed revealed they were sleeping.  How did I get here I wondered silently?  I remembered the distinct smell of Daddy and him saying I needed to go on a diet.  Oh yes, right, he carried me to bed.

A flash of light came into the dark room from under the doorway.  I know I should have felt scared, but I didn’t.  A golden light was moving around in the hallway.  I quietly climbed to my feet and crept over to the door.  It sprang open all on its own.  I slid my nose in the thin opening and pushed the door open a crack more. 

The floor in the corridor cracked and moaned as if someone were pacing on the other side of the door.  I slipped through the opening and into the narrow walkway.  A golden light hovered at the top of the stairs at the far end of the hallway.  I silently tip toed towards the light.

It moved down the staircase and I stealthily followed it.  I should have had a million thoughts and fears running through my mind, but my brain was clear and calm.  I followed the light until it floated to a stop in the living room.  I felt completely safe in the presence of the glowing orb. It began to slowly turn and transform into a glob, then it shifted some more until a glowing image of A doberman took shape.  I stood unable to move.  A second glowing doberman walked past me into the room and stood next to the first.  In unison, they both sat.  They looked majestic. 

“I am Kali,” the one on the left announced.

“And I am Bruno,” said the other.

They looked like exact replicas of the two statues that stood guard at the gate, only, I wasn’t afraid or intimidated by them.  I knew they did not intend to harm me.  The one named Kali smiled at me and began to talk.

“We have been here for many years,” she began.

“In the beginning, The Master of the House was with us.  He gave us a job to do back when we walked the earth, which he tasked us to carry on in death until our mission is complete,” Bruno continued.

“It is a job that we are happy to do,” Kali explained.

“It is a task that we begged The Master of the House to let us do,” Bruno stated proudly.

“When he was in the in between, before he passed to the beyond, he asked us to watch over the Lady of the House,” Kali smiled

“And to show her love so that she is never alone.  We are her watchers and her guardian spirits” Bruno continued.

Friends, I never claimed to be the smartest doggy in the world, and these two ghost dogs were really beating around the bush.  I just wished they would come out and say what they mean in plain old words.  All these fancy words are hurting my head.  Suddenly, the lightbulb went off in my head.

“You mean Grandpa asked you to keep an eye on Grandma so she would never be alone?”  I blurted the question out.

“That’s right,” they said together.

“Why tell me?” I asked.

“Because your Daddy worries about Grandma.  We need you to tell him she will be okay, she is in good hands and she will never be alone,” Kali explained.

“I will,” I promised.

“Thank you, friend,” Bruno said graciously.

With that they both stood and walked side by side out of the living room

“Wait,” I cried out.  Kali turned to look at me.

“Was that you that helped me when I was lost and alone in the woods?”  I asked.

“My dear Cindee, nobody is ever alone,” she said with a smile, then turned and together they vanished into the night.

Whomp!

Daddy slammed the trunk closed.  Everyone gathered around Grandma to get hugs and kisses goodbye.  When it was my turn, I gave her a big sloppy kiss on the cheek and she kissed me on the nose, just like Daddy does.

“Come back soon,” she called out to us as Daddy turned the engine over.  He put the car in gear and drove down the driveway rolling past the two dog statues and stopping at the gate.  Robin jumped out to open the wrought iron doors.  I looked out the back window at the stone dogs.  Etched into the stone on the base where the names Kali and Bruno.  Robin jumped in the car.  As we started to roll forward, I cast one more glance over my shoulder at the two statues. 

Friends, to this day I swear … Bruno winked, and Kali smiled.

Author: Cindee

Just a brown eyed girl trekking through life with my friends!

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