4057 Chapter 57 Yellow jacket

Chapter 57 Missing the Boat

It was a pretty tree all decorated with colored chain paper and Popcorn strings around it, Little flicking candles on the larger branches not like home a string of lights plugged in hoping they all worked not having to track down every bulb looking for that one and only that one just got lose or blow out, and than those other colored balls always falling off breaking on the floor.

This was different more warm feeling a few little ornaments placed carefully in the front Red apples and three little pine cones with flowers tied with small twin string to the branch above it, a tall old looking Saint Nicklaus on the mantel glowing from the flickers below from ambers in the fireplace, making the whole room warm and just giving off enough light to see everything around, Jeff laid his head down on my lap watching the fire.

“Hey Shawn you with us” Mike asking looking down and over at me


“You feel asleep with the kid”

“Where are they” Looking around the room just Mike standing looking at me.

“Waiting at the table”

“Table for what”


“Food we just ate”

“It’s late already”

“What time is it”

“Somewhere around eight”

“How long was I out?”

“Too long, you sleep good”


“Right let’s eat before they eat it all”

Sitting down everyone already passing the plates around the table, Sitting down Jeff scooted over next to me pointing to the plates grinning, with a half smile back not all that hungry, trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes looking around at everyone so cheerful, it might have been snowing outside but it was like eighty degrees in here, heat off that stove could warm a whole house in no time, Taking a plate of some sort of green leafy things only putting one on my plate handing in on to Mike.

“You make funny sounds when you sleep” Jeff said smiling.

“No I don’t”

“Yes you do you snor’ed so load it woke me up”

“Great I snore”

“You keep me up plenty of nights too”

“Thank’s Mike’ Why didn’t you tell me before”

“Why it’s was more fun watching the raccoons running”

“Raccoons” Jeff looking back and forth at us

“Every time we went camping he’d scare them”

“What’s a ray-coon?”

“A small night critter that roams during night looking for food”

“I’m not a small critter”

“No they live in the woods”

“Like the mice and rats live in the city”

“Something like that eat”

“Here try some it’s good” Mike handing a plate over to me

“What is it”

“Smoked Ham”

Smoked ham was huge must have been half a pig, sitting in the middle of the table already sliced almost one inch thick and just making it on the plate, everyone else already had plates in front of them filled now, looking down white steaming meat far cry from the chicken leaving just room for mash potatoes and a few leafy green things they made, looking around the table at everyone eating; Sue face seem to be more cheerful and please just watching everyone eating, the Girls all sitting across from us hair all combed even Mat and Jeff’s were comb down.

Pa sitting at the end showing Mat how to use a sharp knife without it scraping the plate descending it lightly thru the meat; Brian along with Mike just digging right in like it was their last meal, looking down to Jeff by my side mixing his mashed with white melting butter pushing the spoon down to watch it run on the plate, having to nudge him to eat and stop playing with it, he stopped and look up with that little smile scooping it up his eyes just filled with excitement enjoying each new bite of good old country food.

“You all are welcome to come to church with us” Looking back over to Pa

“Church this late” Brain surprised

“It’s only a small revival not like the stuffy church”


“Night service Revival”

“Mat’ Can we Go’ ant been to one” Jeff asking getting excited

Mat looked over at him everything seem to stop around the table, Mat looked over to Mike just tilting his head sideways gustier then back, it was up to Mat “No we should stay here” everyone looked at Mat keeping his head low trying to take another bite looking above his eyebrows around at the girls staring at him, Jeff holding his empty spoon lowering his head down.

“Ok you can go only”

“Only what’ Mat!” Mike right back

“I can’t go ok” Mat grabbed his milk looking at Mike over it as he drank, moving his eyes around again at everyone.

“We can stay tonight with all of you’ we don’t have to go to any revival”

“No Pa we can go if you want us to”

“Of course you all can go to the revival”

“What’s a revival anyway”

“Jeff you want to go’ and don’t know even what it is” Mat said looking up at Jeff scrunch face before looking up at me, Mike turn his head away looking to the sink not even wanting to get into it.

“Is that bad this revival place”

“Jeffery it a large tent that everyone get together inside and prays”

“Why they do that, pray like prayers for food we did here”

“Here we go again I’ll get the dishes” Lisa said with Faye getting up helping take the dirty dishes over to the counter.

Mat looked over finishing off his plate tilting his head at Jeff, Faye took his empty plate and glass  “Jeff you want to go you go then”

“Why won’t you go”

“Not praying type”

“We have to pray for food there?”

“Ma The boy has no religion”

“That’s ok Pa” Sue’s said having a big smile turning her cheeks all red as they rose upward. Pa wiped his chin off looking at Jeff then to Mat

“Want me to get the Buck board ready Pa” Brian asking standing up

“No we can take the Autocar”

“All of us?’

“Plenty of room in it for three calf’s so you won’t have any problem”

“You had Calf’s in the back”

“Needed to get them to the Train before it left”

“OK’ you say so”

“Soon as everyone’s ready will go”

“Mat you’re not going, I’ll stay here with you” Mat just looked up at me avoiding Jeff with a nod trying to get up from the table.

“Shawn’ you’ll stay here keep the stove warm, might get nippy later”

“Ok Pa we can do that”

Sue and Pa went into the other room leaving the girls to finish up, Brian took Chris to get her ready with Lisa, Jeff lean into me looking up and back to Mat standing with Mike looking out the window, lowering his head over his folded arms on the table. Faye brought over a cup of warm coffee setting it down rubbing Jeff’s back.

“I’ll see you outside’ I’ll go with them”

“Ok thanks’ for the coffee”

Jeff look up at her walking out, turning looking at Mat standing at the end of the table holding the back of chair, Mike wanting to go hoping to change his mind, We all heard the Autocar pull up to the steps, Mike looked down the hallway seeing everyone looking it over staying with Mat, Jeff stayed seated.

“Jeff they’re getting ready to leave”

“Maybe it’s be better if well”

“What Jeff spit it out will you?”

“Just maybe I shouldn’t go to that revival”

“You just said you wanted to go”

“But it not like the city is it’ Mat I don’t want to go”

“City what are you talking about”

“Jeff you don’t want to go now”

“No want to stay here”


“Mat’s not going, we always went together under the alley stairs listening to music having a few joints and even had beers with other kids till early morning, sometimes we both got sick”

“Beer’s you two drank Beer’s”

“Tell them Mat”

“We had beers and smoke a few”

“But you’re only nine who..”

“All of us alley kids stayed together on weekends”

“Maybe You better just sit down Mat!”

Mat sat down almost ducking from Mike pulling the chair back for him, Jeff looked up at Mike afraid leaning into me again, rubbing his arm, looking up to Mike biting his lip looking down at Mat.

“We’re staying here us four be right back’ Don’t move!”

Mike was upset not sure if it was Mat or not getting a ride in the Fuller Car, Mike lit up just hearing we were taking the Autocar not so much going to a church revival just as long as he could ride in that old car, hearing his stomping down the hallway and out the door made even me jump, Mat tried to hid under the table sitting back up looking down the hallway, we just sat at the table waiting for him to return what seem like only seconds; before we heard the Fuller pulling away, looking down to the door Mike came back inside closing the door standing watching as the Fuller drove off.

“A Fuller nineteen ten and I miss a ride in it”

“Why didn’t you go with them” asking as he walk by me

“I was in it already and we need to find out more about these two”

“But’ But Mi..k..”

“Mat I want some truth now what’s going on you’ on Drugs”

“Mike I don’t think he meant it like that”

Drug’s and Mike had no place in his world he seen a few friends that used and ended up in the morgue, this always one touchy subject I needed to get him cool down before he blow his cool on Mat and Jeff.

“Mike cool it relax let’s find out first before you go off on him”

“Drug’s no way I’ll have any brother on Drugs”

“You don’t want me then” Mat closed his eyes scooting in the chair

“I want to know about you”

“Why’ You don’t care anymore”

“Mat’ Mikes concern that doesn’t mean we don’t care about you”

“Yea if I didn’t care about you I’d left you back in the street”

“You should have then”

“You want to go back the ship ready will take you right now”

Jeff perk up looking at him and up to me wide eyed, Mat raised his head to Mike tears started flowing down his chin, Mike handed him a towel, he jerk aside before taking the towel for his nose running over his lip, wiping it off.

“It’s ready and we can go now” Jeff grinning looking at Mat waiting on him.

“We can’t go right now Jeff we told them we leave after Christmas”

“Why can’t we go now”

“Faye’s with them”

“Why she have to come with us”

“Same reason you came with us”

“Yea Mat ring a bell?” Mike with one hand on Mat shoulder

Mat blow his nose looking up to Mike, Mike took the towel wiping his face off, then bent down next to the chair giving him a hug, Mat about curled in his lap hold him around the neck, Mike stood up holding him sitting back down on the chair placing him on his lap again wiping his tears.

“Shawn I don’t know how you deal with your brother now”

“What’ Mike my brother”

“Yea Joey the pain in the ass brother”

“That’s Joey”

“Now it’s my turn guess I have a pain in the ass brother now”

Mat lean back smiled at him and hugged him again.

“Can I get a hug”

“Come on Jeff any time you want one”

“Shawn were big brothers all right”

“Ok tell us about the alley kids”

“Mat I’d like to hear about it, it’s just us four”

Mat pulled himself together wiping his tears away letting it out after taking a deep breath his head lowered.

“You won’t get mad at me again promise”

“No spit it out let’s hear about the smokes and beers”

“It started when I found the alley kids in the park when I was younger”

“Go on don’t stop now”

“When I first left home that first night a few big kids found me and I was thirsty asking them if I could have something to drink and they gave me beer, next thing I knew I was waking up without anything on in the alley, they took everything I owned”

“They took your clothes”

“All of them left me bare naked”

“What you do”

“I hid in the alley behind a dumpster and found and old apron to wrap around in, and went looking for my clothes hoping they were just tossed aside, but they were nowhere to be found, then finding a house with kids my age and the lady was hanging out clothes on the line; I waited till she went inside and stole a few to wear, later that day I found the kids and asked them for my clothes back, They told me to go home but after I started swinging at them, they gave all my stuff back and said it was all in fun hoping I would run home, then we talked  about me leaving and everything change and we all became good friends, that’s when it started, the beer and smoking”

“Was it just cigarettes or something else”

“The weed a few times but only once in a great while, it made you fuzzy and doing all kinds of things you just didn’t do”

“So you didn’t smoke it all the time what about now?”

“No a few months ago but Jeff was off the wall”

“No I wasn’t”

“Jeff you were so far gone, running around I had to jump you just to hold you down till you past out”

“You both did it”

“We both got high and drunk’ drunken kids”

“See Mat that wasn’t so bad now was it”

“No we always got sick after having to many beers”

“Bet you were”

“Mat got so drunk once he pissed on the cop”

“Oh now cops’ and what happen to him“

“The cop grabbed him”

“What did he do with him Jeff”

“He took him over to the bench cuss he was throwing up”

“I remember that night that cop was going to hall me away when that George you know the photo guy, he said I was his nephew and the cop chewed him out, leaving him with me, that’s when I meet him Gorge, he did good by us keeping us out of trouble”

“Want some milk or something to drink”


“Coffee still hot Mike”

“Got it you two think about what else you did so we know too”

Mike stood by the stove looking at the pot, I could only wonder what he might be thinking about Mat and Jeff now, he found out what he wanted to know maybe a little more than he bargain for, but a lest they were talking freely and openly about what they went thru, Mike pour them Milk sitting down with the coffee; Mat scoop two sugars in his cup stirring it for him smiling and sitting back down next to Jeff giggling now.


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