Sweet Thyme Baby – 31

 

Copyright © 2012 by Drusilla Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

31

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Hamish Whitby sat up in bed. His room was full of light, bright almost as day. He pushed the covers back and slipped out of bed and ran to the window. He knelt on the window seat and looked out. If he lifted the sash and screen he could almost touch the trunk of the great oak beside the house. Someday, when he was big, he was going to climb down the tree in the middle of the night and visit with the people who lived in the garden. Some nights when the moon was bright he saw them walking together over there. Tall thin sparkly ladies and men in shimmery old-fashioned clothes. Hamish told his mother about the ladies and men and she said they were poor people who camped in the garden because they had nowhere else to go. She told his father and his father made a telephone call.

The moonlight was so white it looked like snow on the ground. In the garden strip beside the driveway, the white flowers with lots of pointy petals said, “Howdy-do.” And “Have a cup of tea,” said the rose with a voice like a princess.

 

Daddy said he had too much ’magination.

 

Hamish yawned and wondered if his Mommy was awake. Maybe she was making breakfast. Thinking of bacon and of cocoa with about a hundred marshmallows melting on top, he slipped off the window seat and scampered across his bedroom. He opened the door and looked down the hall. Mommy and Daddy’s bedroom door was open a little. They had a clock with green numbers, and at night their room glowed like an aquarium.

 

He pushed their door open all the way. Mommy lay on her side, facing the edge of the bed. Her hands were together like praying, her cheek rested on them. If he kissed her would she wake up and smile at him? Where Daddy should have been the covers were pulled back.

 

Hamish padded down the hall and passed the room at the top of the stairs where Uncle Sam slept. He stood a moment with his hand resting on the banister. From far away, across the other side of Cabrillo Point he heard a dog bark. He wanted a dog too, a big yellow dog. He put his hand down at his side and imagined he was patting his yellow dog’s head. Hamish stood on his toes and peered over the banister. A bar of light glowed beneath the closed kitchen door. He slipped his hand inside his yellow dog’s collar and descended the stairs. He waited a moment at their foot and then crossed the entry, feeling the cold burn of the floor on the bottom of his feet. At the kitchen door he stopped. He heard the sound of a cupboard door being closed. Hamish imagined Daddy getting cookies out of the cupboard over the stove. In the morning Mommy would put her hands on her hips and say, “There’s been a mouse in my cookie jar.” Daddy liked to sit on one chair and put his feet up on another. Hamish knew his Bible book was open on the table. The Good Book, Daddy called it. The Best Book.

 

The yellow dog licked Hamish’s wrist and stared up at him. Hamish pushed against the door with his shoulder and stepped into the kitchen. A man stood by the mirror on the wall, his face surprised and wide open.

 

It was Daddy. But it wasn’t Daddy.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Drusilla Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

 

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