Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Theme Thursday: Vacation

Congealed blood hung in heavy pools on the surface of the kitchen table. Crimson hand prints adorned the doorpost, leading into the maelstrom of broken glass that was the living room. The knife lay where it was discarded, on the rack in the oven. Vacation was soon to be over, how did it ever get to this point...

_________

Tile squares, turning yellow between the flecks of brown, capture my attention while hour glass sands pour. Distraction. In line at the grocery, when the guys in front awoke me with a question..."Are you going to the party this weekend?"

As they describe the location of the hedonist festivities, I realise I have been to this place before that they are talking about. It's where I live, my parent's home. Interesting....

A coming of age moment in our family was getting a job when you turned sixteen, which also allowed you to stay home from the family vacation to work. After pulling tires off the hot press at the plant, all  week, I wanted nothing more than to scrub the rubber from my pores and rest. Now it seemed, expressing her new found freedom for the first time, my sister was having a party...

Hearing two strangers talking about the enormous crowd that would be there, friends invited, inviting friends, inviting relatives from other states, I did what any older sibling would do. I called a buddy to go camping, an impromptu vacation of our own, to get as far away from the train wreck as possible.

Sunday afternoon, after a weekend in the wilds around the lake, we curiously rounded the bend to my parents house, unsure what to expect. Beer cans glittered, flashing S-O-S in Morse code, to passing planes. As we came to a stop in front of the house, my aunt ran across the street crying, "You don't want to go in there! John (her husband) tried to stop it, but they threw the kitchen table at him."

Unable to enter the front door, I crawled through a window, greeted by the sticky sweet smell. My sister's bed a stack of kindling, splintered and broken. Windows with holes, oddly head shaped, drizzled in red. Walking slowly, as not to wake the spectres of the night before, surveying the carnage, glass crunched under sole. Knife and pistol in the stove, crimson swipes and darkening puddles painted the kitchen. Rifle amongst the ocean of aluminum in the yard. No sister. No bodies of any sort, we checked.

Fear. First for my sister, then for my hide. Mike and I scrambled...stuffing cans in bags, pulling glass from panes, sanitizing, scrubbing...finishing just as my parents pulled up the driveway. I don't remember when my sister came home. Periodically through the years I have met people that were there, heard stories of how things came to be.

Why did I run to the mountains? Why didn't I try to stop it before it ever began, especially after over hearing the two strangers at the grocery? Some inner desire for self preservation, while my heart for my fellow man (or young woman in this case) went on vacation. When you try to avoid the issues you see in someone's life, or even your own, sometimes you end up picking up the pieces. Wisdom learned much later in life, sorry sis.

30 comments:

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,
Yes, my daughters would throw parties when we left on vacations and they were adults. They would deny it, but I learned to tell them that this Uncle or this Auntie would be stopping by to check on them or that they were going to spend the night. Then when the girls asked where they were I always lied and said they would be there pretty soon or that they had changed what day they were coming and would then be there that night. This put a stop to the partying and the girls never found out, my brothers and sisters always played along. Now with the oldest having teenagers, the revenge is oh so sweet. She gets so mad at me when I say to her, "Wasn't that something you did to us?". But at the same time I wish that the grandkids would behave. So revenge is not always so sweet.

Glad your sister is still alive. I hope your parents also forgive you when they read this and see that you could have stopped it all. But it is true that might not have been the wise thing to do. It was a no win situation for you.

God bless.

PS...I am not really getting better, but I am trying to. I am trying to visit as many TT's as I can though.

Brian Miller said...

@mrsu - sorry to hear you are not feeling better. was just over at your site catching up on your status. sending warm thoughts your way.

Squirrel said...

Self preservation --I understand you're running off to the mountains, I would have done the same. Your sister survived and learned from it that in life it isn't always possible for someone else to be watching your back or saving you.

subtorp77 said...

Picking up the pieces left over from some-one else's mess...'tis happened too often in our family. This here sounded bad, real bad. I probably would've stayed in the mountains!

The Clever Pup said...

Holy Cow this sounds bad. Parties are just a bad idea these days with cells and twitter, it just gets out of control.

Heard several horror stories from parents whose heads have been in the sand, so to speak.

Poetikat said...

Yikes! I didn't know from the start whether you were into vampires or what!
I must say as I continued to read I was mentally praying that this was a fiction, but at least I'm glad to learn that your sister was okay. Wow!

Kat

P.S. I notice you stopped by early - I didn't get my post up until later, but it's there now!

Daniel said...

This entry reads like the plot of a bad T.V. cop show, "Life on the Streets". Glad everyone lived to tell the tale.

Holly said...

I agree with the clever pup....so glad cell phones a twitter wasn't around when I was a kid having parties...I would still be in jail although I never went as far as to damage property....just myself (she says with a smile)!

Marianna said...

Oh dear that was...scary! I'm glad that all was OK in the end! It gives you something to think about that's for sure.

xoxo

Brian Miller said...

@daniel - note to self, this experiment in writing style goes back on the shelf...bad TV cop show....lol.

@holly - you and me both...smiles!

@poetikat - stop back by next...i played around with my style today a bit...figurd I would try and Tarantino it a bit...not fiction, real story...and in the end, all were well.

@subtorp - is being there to help pick them up that makes us family? we all have our moments and it is good to know some one is there...as long ass we don't make the same mistake again. ha. we all need someone...

@squirrel - why is it that we have to learn these lessons the hard way. can someone just write and owner's manual for life?

Brian Miller said...

@marianna - maybe i think too much...lol.

note: my sis is a pretty good kid. (and i am glad she is my sister, but shhh, don't tell her. lol.) I can still say that because i am older. i have definitely made my share of poor decisions along the way. i would say we all have, some more dramatic than the next. what we do in the messes we create say a lot about our character and who we are as people.

DineometerDeb said...

Never had a party that lead to blood loss and total distruction. Theft yes, but blood no.

Great essay, but your sister isn't giving you anything for Christmas this year, I suspect.

Candie Bracci said...

Hi Brian!OMG!I've never experienced a thing like that!Hopefully,nothing really bad happened.
Have a nice day!

tony said...

Usually If You Expect The Very Worse.It doesnt usually Happen.Unfortuately...This Was The Exception To The Rule!

Wings said...

Wow. That is quite a post! It is tough enough to deal with siblings when we are adults, but cut yourself some slack for how you dealt with it when you were just a kid yourself. Not easy, at all.

Sandra Leigh said...

One bloodbath can ruin your whole day, eh, Brian? Glad to hear you were experimenting with your style.

Leah said...

This is a great post--definitely more Tarantino than bad tv cop show! Quite frightening actually...the metaphor/reality thing is all mixed up and incredibly effective. I dug it.

Ronda Laveen said...

Your instincts told you to get the heck out of there...you listened. Apparently, you already learned your lessons, it was your sister's turn. You can't always save people, even those you love,from themselves. GREAT post!

Nicole said...

I am not se if this is a hypothetical situation or a true situation. Either wy, I'm feeling bad for you. Feel better!

Baino said...

Some party. I was gatecrashed once and a similar fracas ensued. Same deal, the folks went away . .just for the night. My first foray into adulthood went horribly wrong. I hope nobody was seriously hurt. Hindsight is a fine thing but would she have listened to you? Probably not.

Lola said...

Very well written, Brian. Love the analogy, and the descriptions too. You have a very flowing prose, which has the ability to suck the reader right in.

Are you imagining the horror stories when our respective kids will be in their teens, and we're away for the weekend? Our deadpan expressions upon returning home, and finding one single shard of glass in the kitchen...

(eery clap of thunder, howling wolf, Vincent Price-style laugh)

otin said...

Wow, that was very heavy! I loved it!

A.Decker said...

I was expecting attribution to some famous author at the end of this. Seriously, Brian, I was unaware of just how good a writer you are. What a vacation...

Brian Miller said...

@dineometer - i got her permission before posting, so think i am safe. lol.

@candi - think everyone eventually recovered. Hope you have a great day as well!

@tony - always the exception, gets you every time...

@wings - ty. the harder the work the greater the reward, right?

@sandra - yeah, lol. and ty.

@leah - ty for the kind words.

@ronda - too true, sad yet true.

@nicole - all true and time has healed all wounds.

@baino - i imagine we all have our own stories of where we pushed our first forays of freedom to the brink. and as a teen listening seems over rated. lol.

@lola - not looking forward to those days...i hear the ominous laughter already...ha. wonderful comment.

@odin - ty. try to go lighter in the next couple days. (smiles)

@a.decker - that large thing blocking the sun, it's not a eclipse, it's my head swelling. lol. ty.

Kris said...

Sounds like a Saturday night.

The Silver Fox said...

Amazingly told. Had me going from word one. Didn't help that "Lucretia MacEvil" by Blood, Sweat, and Tears was playing on my PC.

I would like to know exactly what happened, of course... But that's just like me.

Kitty said...

In high school I always managed to miss out on the parties where true destruction reigned. I think I'm better for it. And I liked my own things way too much ever to invite anyone to my house whom I didn't already know. Glad no one got hurt, did your parents find out?

dopey1 said...

The sister is going to chime in. Yes, I learned my lessons the hard way, seemed to be my method of choice for my teenage years. What really happened was a fight broke out towards the end of the night, obviously, over a guest that none of my friends knew who had a gun in his possession. So, it was my friends defending their territory, kinda?? Regardless, it was a very stupid adolescent mistake and I don't blame Brian for running. The good thing is I learned from my mistakes. And thanks for the compliment earlier Brian, you're a pretty great big brother too!!

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Brian Miller,
You had me at "hello!"...Wow! what a intro(duction!)...I really liked the way, that you "tied" the story together!...and it ended
with a life lesson learned too!...
Great!
P.S. I'am also glad that everything seemed to have turned out alright in the end too!
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Kathryn said...

But the parents Brian, what about the parents?? What did they end up seeing? What did they end up doing? How did the parent child relationship get fixed? I SOOO feel for your parents! ~Parent of 2 teens here! :-)