The lights flickered. Weird; it’s not raining or storming. Hearing the sound of Jeopardy coming from the kitchen was reassuring. It’s Thursday. That means our housekeeper Mrs. Chaney is making roast and potatoes because both mom and dad would be home for dinner.
The school counselors told my parents they think I’m slightly autistic. What does slightly mean anyway? I’m not autistic. I have nothing in common with the other kids. They think I’m different because I talk to the shiny people and they can’t see them.
Lucy Jane is shiny. She’s been with me all my life. I don’t remember a time when she wasn’t with me. My parents fought about what the counselors said. Why does it have to be somebody’s fault? The silence between them now is almost worse than the arguments.
I guess a family dinner is too optimistic. Dad’s eating in his study. Mom doesn’t eat and goes straight to bed. It just doesn’t feel like home anymore despite the warm smell of fresh baked apple pie that fills the house. I stay in the kitchen watching Mrs. Chaney put everything away before she leaves for the evening. I know mom’s crying in her room and dad’s staring at nothing in his study. I don’t know what to do.
“Lissa we need to do something about that room. Those paintings need to go, it’s time.” I stand outside my parent’s bedroom. The door is cracked. My dad sounds tired.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Lissa, they belong in an art gallery. We’re moving next month.”
“Their Lindsay’s.” My mom starts to cry again.
There is a long pause. “Just think about it.” Dad goes into their bathroom. “We can’t keep on this way.”
I sit on the crate that holds all my things staring at the blue and green mural on my wall. Stacks of canvas lean against it ready to be removed; my mother has kept every piece I ever created since I was little. I poured out all my emotions, frustrations, and joy in those pictures. My ideas of life played out in still life and motion using light and shadow as my medium. All the things I couldn’t say found form in my art. My favorite is the family portrait, which includes Lucy Jane. Mom and Dad come into my room. They don’t look at me.
My Dad picks up the portrait. “Angels are in all her paintings.”
“She likes to call them shiny people. She said not all of them are angels.”
“She always did have a great imagination.” Dad pulls mom close. “I’m sorry I pushed so hard, Lissa.”
“I know.” She pats his chest. “You’re right. They belong in a gallery. It’s obvious she’s gifted.”
The room grows bright causing shadows to dance across the walls. I turn.
Lucy Jane stands behind me with two others. She held out her hand. “It’s time to go.”
“What about mom and dad?” I hop off the crate. “They blame each other.”
“They are healing.” The taller shiny said his aura pulsing and ebbing. “We’ll be here.”
I stand a moment watching them and then take Lucy Jane’s hand feeling a little lighter.
Dad kisses the top of mom’s head.
Mom and dad won’t be alone, even if I do live with the shiny people now. They have their own shinies.
Storytime Blog Hop October 27th, 2016
Welcome to another chapter in Storytime Blog Hop. Trick or Treat? We have 17 new short speculative fiction tales from authors around the world. My contribution below. Follow the links to all the other stories and participating authors in the blog hop. Leave us comments. We love hearing from you.
**The story I planned for the blog hop “All Hallows Eve” had a kink that I could not work out in time for the hop, so I am substituting another story I had previously written in its place. Story has been revised in some areas. My Story for the HOP above. The Shinies.
C. Lee McKenzie Beautiful
Erica Damon Penance’
J. Q. Rose Sorry
Elise VanCise Lady In The Woods
Barbara Lund Spooky Space
Angela Wooldridge Quiet Neighbours
Katharina Gerlach Australian Dream
Karen Lynn The Waves at Midnight
Sherri Conway Ants
Elizabeth McCleary Over James Henry Wilcox Dead Body
Canis Lupus The Picture
Peg Fisher All In the Fall, a Fractured Fairytale
Bill Bush Trapped
Crystal Collier Emily’s Ghost
Viola Fury 911
- Benjamin Thomas Autumn Cascade
Storytime Blog Hop founded 2015 by students of the Holly Lisle’s writing course: How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writer’s.
OUR NEXT STORY BLOG HOP JANUARY 26TH, 2017
The Last Wednesday of the Month!