Literary Corner: Long Winter Nap

Blue and red lights illuminated the underbellies of snow-filled clouds. Fat flakes streaked from sky to pavement, lining Clyde’s ears and nose with cold and wet. He sneezed grouchily from his hiding place beneath the hedge.

People rushed in and out of the blue house. He was pleased he’d managed to escape before they’d arrived, but it was luck really. Something had stirred him and he’d left. But as moments passed and he continued watching, the people rushed less, moved with quiet purpose instead. For one thing, the woman was gone, which was odd, now that Clyde came to think of it. She hadn’t walked as the others had. She had been rolled out on a bed instead.

Sounds carried on the wind with turkey smells. Wailing and chattering. More people came and more people left. This time, a man walked with his hands behind his back to the car with the red and blue lights. The car left as Clyde waited for his chance to sneak back in.

After everyone left, he crept back through the hole in the screen and into the room where the woman had slept. Her bed lay empty, blankets still warm from when he’d padded carefully onto her chest for a nap. His black fur hadn’t been wet then, just cold, and the woman had barely moved when he’d settled in. He noticed when her chest stopped rising under him. Maybe that had caused him to stir.34 MES4_8-12-13_hires

As the birds began to sing, Clyde’s hunger rose. He escaped through the screen to find breakfast, wondering in passing why the woman had gone away in the car with the red and blue lights.

Mary Elizabeth Summer is the author of the young-adult Trust Me mystery series. She lives in Beaverton with her wife, their daughter, their dog, and their evil overlor—er, cats.