Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words Day 8



Crazy old lady Frazier, that’s what they called her.  She sat at the window in that dark house rocking, rocking all day.  Nobody ever saw her outside, just by that window watching everyone.  Was she crazy? Everyone thought she was.  We all thought the house was haunted too.

My friend Harriet lived across the street from her and when I’d go over to play we’d see the old lady sitting there staring.  It creeped me out and I felt scared.  They say she lost her mind when her husband died but I never heard how many years ago it was.  I was a child then and time meant nothing to me. Everyone grown up felt old.
That day after Christmas Harriet had come over to play but mother told me I had to clean up my room before I could play. Harriet was allowed in though.  I was sitting on the floor in my room trying to put things away but I had so many toys I didn’t know where to put what.  I got everything I wanted for Christmas and even things I didn’t – like that perfumed soap set. 

“Harriet, let’s wrap this soap and toothbrush set up and you can take it over to old Mrs Frazier’s house, ok?”, I asked.  

Harriet eagerly bobbed her head up and down with excitement.  I don’t think anything scared her.  

“Let’s write a note and put it in the box,” Harriet suggested. 

“What should we say, Merry Christmas to the craziest lady in town?”

We hoo ha’d with laughter and agreed that wouldn’t be nice.
But the note we wrote was even worse.  We put it in the box and wrapped it up in pretty paper.  “Here, I said, you take it over and come back and let me know what happens.”
While I waited, I started to get this dark feeling in my stomach.  It hurt and I started crying and bent over in pain.  I guess it was one of my first feelings of sheer guilt, although I didn’t recognize it at the time. Then I started thinking what if this made the crazy lady even crazier and she chased Harriet with a knife? What if she killed my friend?  I was scaring myself so bad I started shaking and I peeked out the window to see if Harriet was running back.

“Sarah are you cleaning your room?” Mother yelled from the living room. 
“Yes Mommie” I answered as I moved some toys around making cleaning up sounds.  “You better be or else,” she threatened.
What was taking Harriet so long; I worried when I looked out again and didn’t see her.  What if she’s laying on the sidewalk bleeding?  I wanted to rush out and rescue her but Mother wouldn’t let me out and if I told her what we did, she’d ground me forever. 
Finally after what felt like an hour Harriet came back with the box of wrapped up soap and scents.

“Oh am I glad to see you, “I almost cried, “I thought maybe she was running after you with a knife or something.”

Harriet had this almost unreadable expression on her face as she told me how she walked up the dark steps, rang the doorbell and Mrs. Frazier opened the door. She thrust the box in her hand and said, “Merry Christmas.”

“Oh aren’t you the sweetest thing, thank you, “the old lady said smiling and started to open the package.

Harriet turned and walked away but when she got to the sidewalk suddenly the box sailed over her head and landed in front of her. “You’re a nasty little girl,” the old lady yelled, “don’t ever come near my house again!” And she slammed the door.  Harriet picked up the box and brought it back to me.  

I don’t know whatever happened to that box but I took out the note, tore it in little pieces and threw it away.  I didn’t want Mother finding it and asking questions. But it will forever haunt me.  I’d written “Here’s a box of soap and perfume for you because you stink”
This is a true story and every time I see a house like that I remember poor old Mrs. Frazier, who was grieving and lonely after her husband died. Is this what the kids in the neighborhood would think of me if my husband died – that I was a crazy old lady who never left her house?  

Karma's a bitch!

This blog was inspired by my writer friend Lori L Clark who posts a picture a day for anyone to use as a writing exercise.  Writing exercises bubbles up the creativity within me and I love it. Thanks Lori.