01 Feb Grandpa’s Journal from the Great Depression: Part 2
I have a confession to make.
I hate my brother.
Don’t get me wrong Mark is not a bad guy by any means.
He always had a way with the ladies, even when we were kids, he could always con girls into playing “doctor” with him.
He is also the family favorite.
I remember the day he told me he was going to school to be a nurse, I damn near pissed myself laughing.
A murse I called him.
But hey, he does good for himself. He made mom proud.
Myself on the other hand, I’m the black sheep of the family.
Left foot Lewis they called me.
After high school I took off, made money anyway that I could. Even if it wasn’t exactly “legal”.
Mark and I have drifted apart over the years, and I been thinking I want to change that, so I recommended we work together to translate grandpa’s old journals in hopes that it would bring us closer together.
Or at least we could find out what the old man was really like.
The summer our grandpa died, I had been staying with a friend only a few blocks from his house, as mom wouldn’t let me come home after my last stunt.
He was a reserved man, but he always shared stories of running moonshine with his brothers and how much money they made doing it.
His eyes would get brighter than any thump keg when he talked about the good old days.
So naturally after he passed, I wanted to find his mash recipe, and instructions for making the thump keg and pot. Maybe make a little money myself.
Anyway we split the journals up so we could keep them coming out, due to* Mark’s schedule.
I never expected to learn the things I have read about him.
The man I thought I knew, I’m not sure he even existed at all.
June 10th and 11th 1928
By the time I was thirteen I had already killed three men. One you already know about.
The others found their way to the grave thanks to a girl I hardly knew.
A girl that by all accounts, shouldn’t have even been there that Sunday afternoon I started my life as a sinner.
“Hey where’d you come from girl?” I asked as I looked at the odd newcomer.
Her hair was a mess, it had twigs and leaves tangled in her long dark locks.
Scratches covered her legs and arms.
She wore a tan colored dress that looked like it might have been an old tater sack.
She couldn’t possibly be older than eight or nine.
She seemed to be smiling at me, which was completely different from the other two girls. They were both still red cheeked and sobbing.
They acted like they didn’t know who she was at all.
The look that the third girl gave me, sent chills down my spine. It was almost as if she was looking right through me.
“I come from here and there, wherever I’m needed,” she replied, her voice was different from any other little girl’s of her age that I had ever heard.
It was long and drawn out, with a deeper rasp to it.
Nathan was standing on my right, his facial expression was that of someone who had just seen their whole life disappear in one quick instant.
“Nathan!” I hollered. “Quit gawking at her, tie her up with the others, we will figure out what to do with her later.”
“Watch out she might bite you Nate,” I heard Tim say jokingly, but Nathan just stood there, that same look glued to his face.
“God damn it, do I have to do everything around here?” i said as I moved closer to the girl.
Surprisingly, she didn’t put up a fight, just allowing me to tie her hands and feet up like the other two.
She didn’t say a word, just kept staring at me.
“If you younguns are good, I’ll bring you out a bowl of beans later,” I added as I made sure the rope was extra tight.
With that Nathan, Tim and I walked back up to the house. It was hotter than hell as we walked and I thought over our recent turn of events.
“Where you think she wandered from?” Tim asked.
I didn’t say a word, too frustrated with Nathan to think.
Once inside I grabbed the collar of my middle brother’s shirt and slammed him up against the wall, pinning him to it.
“What the hell was that? Are you losing it on me? We have to keep our shit together for this to work!” I said loudly.
Nathan just stared back at me, incoherent. “Let him go Jake. He’s just a bit rattled is all. He’ll be fine after a nights sleep,” I could hear Tim saying behind me.
I hated to admit it but I was rattled too.
I couldn’t believe what we had just done.
But there was no turning back now.
Still holding onto Nathan, I followed his gaze down, he was staring at Ma’s lifeless body on the floor.
“They’ll be by to pick her up tomorrow big brother,” I said softly, letting go of Nathan’s shirt. He didn’t say anything, just walked past me and Tim, into his room and shut the door.
“Let’s call it a night too.”
“What about feeding the girls?” Tim asked with a look of concern on his face. “Hell they’re rich kids, won’t hurt em to miss a meal once in their lives,” I said dismissively.
The next morning, I awoke to the sound of my Pa’s voice.
“Boys get your asses out to the barn now!!”
I knew what he found before my feet even touched the ground.
I cussed to myself as we ran toward the door, my brothers following behind me.
“Which one of you wants to tell me why there little girls tied up in my barn?” he asked, very angry.
He was holding a horse whip in his right hand as Tim and Nathan tried to justify what we had done.
I could see blood vessels in his head sticking out from the skin.
I looked past my infuriated father to see that the third girl was nowhere in sight.
“Pa we caught the two of them stealing turnips from our garden,” I lied, not wanting to tell him about blowing their father’s head off right in front of them.
His eyes only filled up with more rage.
“Pull your britches down Jake,” he growled yanking me across one of the troughs.
I obeyed as he raised the whip up and began to use it against my backside.
I closed my eyes, trying not to whimper as he finished giving me ten licks. Each one was worse than the last.
Once Pa was satisfied that he had turned my ass red he muttered, “We don’t turn hungry children away. What the hell is the matter with you Jacob??”
He walking toward the girls in the barn, about to untie them.
I looked over at Tim and Nathan. I noticed Nathan was staring at something in the barn really hard.
“What are you looking at Nate?” I whispered as I pulled my pants up.
Nathan didn’t say a word, eyes wide with fear, he just raised his arm and pointed into the stalls behind where Pa now stood about to remove the two girls ropes.
Then I saw her, the third little girl was crouched in the dark behind the saddle rack. Her eyes were shining, a look of sheer happiness on her face. It unnerved me.
She looked like she was possessed of a devil.
She charged at Pa, inhumanly fast.
He looked up and saw her, about to react when she grabbed at his face and started clawing at it like a cat.
Pa scrambled to get her away, cussing like a sailor and then she used bare hand to punch straight through his chest and out his back.
I remember hearing him make a sound like a soft moan.
Blood was pouring out everywhere.
The sound it made as her bare hand ripped through his body is one I’ll never forget.
It was like the noise a watermelon makes when you smash it with a big rock.
Standing there in horror with my two brothers unable to move, watching as Pa choked and gurgled on his own blood before falling forward onto the two girls we had kidnapped.
The girls screamed, covered in blood but unable to move because of the ropes that still bound them.
I looked back at the third girl, she was holding Pa’s heart in her hand, blood covered her arm all the way to her shoulder.
She was looking at the organ, her eyes twinkling; as we watched. She then turned to the other two, heart still in her hand.
“Don’t be scared little children.”
She then knelt down in front of them, and took a bite out of the heart. She was offering it to them as well, but all the girls did was cry.
“You bitch!! You little bitch!!” Nathan yelled as he ran toward her.
The girl turned her eyes blacker than night, and raised a hand toward him.
My brother lifted up from the air and slammed down like he was just a rag doll.
I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing.
“Get to the house! RUN!” I yelled.
Nathan scrambled to his feet as the girl started laughing with Tim still shocked by what we had just seen but bolting to the house anyway.
I was right on his heels. We made it to the door, not looking back. Once inside, we locked the door and pushed Ma’s solid oak china cabinet in front of it.
The thing weighed a ton but our fear alone allowed us to finish the task.
Horrified I said in a voice I didn’t even recognize as my own, “Get the guns and make sure all of the windows are closed and locked.”
“What….what about the other two girls?” Tim said in an almost inaudible voice.
“They’re good as dead,” I said curtly as I went to close the window over the sink.
We sat in the kitchen for what seemed like days, before the sun started to get lower in the sky.
All of us scared and not talking. What does one even say after seeing something like that?
I closed my eyes and started saying a prayer to god. The air got quiet in the house.
My brothers huddled next to me and we tried to not cry as we waited to see what would happen.
“I think… I think she’s gone,” I said as I looked out the window again.
I wiped sweat from my brow and walked toward the kitchen to get a drink.
When I got there I froze.
The girl was standing there, naked from head to toe covered in my father’s blood. Most of his heart was still in her hand as she turned to me with that same twinkle.
She smiled at me and cocked her head to one side. It bent farther than I knew could be possible.
I couldn’t believe she knew my name. How long had she listened to us?
“I can see your heart, Jake,” she swooned. She was moving slowly toward me.
“What do you want with us?” I asked in a hushed voice. I was trying not to shake like a leaf.
She took one last bite and finished what was left of my Pa’s ticker before answering.
“To help you. To help you see your full potential.”