Carrie Allen – “Sadie”
Ever since I can remember I’ve dreamed about being a writer. Over the years, visions danced in my head of creating novels, poems and short stories. Yet, somehow something inside me always stopped me from taking that first step – even though I know I have much to say and write about – and I thought I’ll get to that later.
I love to read, especially fiction, getting lost inside a good story. This is from where my inspiration for writing comes. One of my favorite books has always been Catcher in the Rye, and to this very day my well worn copy still sits next to my bedside table, filled with underlined passages, notes and dog-eared pages, as I relished every moment at each read. With this inspiration in mind, I’ve decided to start writing now and share my stories here. I welcome contributions from those of you who also want to share your voice. Just contact me!
Below is the first part of a set of serial short stories about a young girl named Sadie. Comments and feedback are welcome.
SADIE – It’s hot
Sadie sat and stared up through the branches looking at the faded blue sky peeking through patchy white clouds. She heard a fly buzzing somewhere behind her. Flicking a twig off her leg, she slid down a little farther into the barrel of water. It was hot. So incredibly hot. She thought she would melt. This is why she filled the metal barrel with water from the hose and plopped down in it. The water felt cool on her hot skin. Even so, sweat dripped from her limbs that didn’t fit in the barrel and the heat was suffocating. The tree gave her a little bit of shade.
She could hear her grandmother in the kitchen chopping vegetables, prepping for tonight’s dinner. Her brother was down by the docks, trying to catch a crab. He’d been at it for a while and was not interested in entertaining Sadie, he said. Caleb was four years older and not much fun; he never wanted to play. Sadie and Caleb had been at their grandmother’s house for a month and a half. Their mother needed a break they were told. She was weak and couldn’t handle their noise and demands. What did they know? Sadie could’ve helped her mom even if she was only eight. She knew how to make sandwiches and clean up the kitchen and she took real good care of her mama. Still, they were sent away.
“Sadie!” she heard her grandmother yell. “What are you doing now? Look at that mess you’ve made!”
“It’s hot,” she yelled back. “What did you expect me to do?” she muttered. Sadie looked at the mud puddle around the barrel and the sludge that was slipping down the hill towards the back door to the kitchen. She had left the hose running so that the water would stay cool. Her feet were covered in mud and it was smudged on her hands and legs, drying and cracking in the heat. Her threadbare yellow dress floated up around her in the barrel and she pushed it back down into the dirty water.
Humming now, she closed her eyes and tilted her head up towards the sky. One hand swirled the water and lapped it up towards her neck. She was trying to remember as far back as she could when her mama was not sick. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t. She wondered what her mama was doing at that moment. A sadness enveloped her. She longed for her mama’s arms and warm embrace and happier days.
Last year, try as she did, she couldn’t stay out of trouble. She was real helpful and always trying to fix things. She had good ideas – she knew that for sure. Didn’t matter that not everyone understood them, like the time she collected the neighbors’ cats and brought them home to the apartment. She thought the cats would be thirsty in the heat. She found three but didn’t know they wouldn’t get along – that it would be hard to get them out before mama got home from work. What a mess that was.
Her mama had been so mad she locked her in the closet for hours and said she couldn’t control her so that’s where she needed to be. She said Sadie gave her a headache. The dark had scared Sadie at first, but then she realized it was nice and peaceful. She could see her mama’s shadows on the floor where the light shown in under the door. Sadie loved those shadows, her mama dancing by every time she passed the door. They comforted her while she softly hummed and rocked back and forth in the dark.
A bird screeched and pulled Sadie back to her barrel of water and the heat. The water from the hose kept rushing down the hill and the mud puddle was getting bigger. She thought she should probably get up and turn off the hose, but the heat made her feel heavy. She didn’t feel like it. She’d get to it before her grandmother looked outside again.
As her eyes scanned the yard, she caught a glimpse of something small and purple across the stretch of patchy grass and gray hardened dirt. She wondered what it could be so she pushed herself up out of the barrel, leaving the dirty water and deluge behind her, forgetting to turn off the hose. She made her way over, tripping ever so slightly on a tree root, to see what caught her eye. As she approached she realized it was a small, blooming violet.
She lay down on her stomach to look closer. The violet had only one flower on a drooping stem with two small yellowish leaves. Popping up out of a crack in the dirt and leaning over, the flower was straining to grow, and yet despite the conditions unsuitable for it to survive, it was still growing with determination. “Look at you, so pretty and small. Where is your mama to take care of you?” she asked in a quiet whisper.
Carrie Allen created this site as a way for people to share stories about things they love. Read more about her inspiration here.
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Keep writing my love. Want more of Sadie. Your loving “mom”.
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