Debb’s Story for Wednesday Stories 4/12/17
Kent Walters lived near the sea in the white house. Three stories high, the house had large windows that let in the glorious sunlight and salt breezes. When Kent’s wife Elaine was alive, they had enjoyed playing host and hostess to their friends who visited from out of town. The house was christened “Alison’s Asylum“, because it was a sort of asylum for people down on their luck or who just needed a safe place to recoup from life’s negative foibles. Alison was the Walters’ daughter, a joyful girl who drowned in the river a few years ago. When she was alive, Alison made their houseguests smile and forget their pain for a bit. She had barely learned how to make her very own loaf of bread when the accident happened.
Kent was the local high school’s principal who really loved the athletics department, and Elaine had always been busy adding her two cents’ worth to the library committee. (Her father was a famous author long ago.)
“Kite” was their fluffy white dog, so named to represent the way he used to gallup up the stairs at a moment’s notice, just like the March winds which suddenly blew kites and clouds in the sky toward the sea. But Kite was a sad dog since Alison died…he often hung out in the entry way by the front door, where Alison had come home from school and then would take him for a walk. Whenever the clock said 3:20 p.m., however, Kite positioned himself almost halfway up the stairs. From there he had always had a good view of the front door which used to open to bring him his dear Alison. He was a good little sentry for the house, like a welcome committee for the guests who arrived from the station. However, Kite still believed Alison would open the door again.
At the end of the school term, Kent found himself in denial, like Kite. The term had been very rough, it was hard to keep encouraging the hesitant athletes, and Alison’s Asylum felt very, very empty. Sad, like the sun forgot to shine. Elaine and Alison at least were together, somewhere.
Someone really needs an asylum now, and that person would be me, Kent thought. Pouring himself a cup of tea, and this time with some liquor poured into it, he whistled for Kite.
“Hey, boy, want to go for a walk?” Maybe some fresh air would help both of them.
Kite remained on the middle step. He wasn’t going anywhere, as long as he was keeping watch for Alison. Oh, that’s right, Kent reasoned. It’s 3:20.
Kent joined Kite on the step, put his cup down, and put his arms around Kite. God, this dog sure is fluffy, Kent thought as Kite whimpered a little and wagged his tail. Man and dog both needed a hug, and there they sat together for hours. There was no need for food.
Kent’s mother Madge rang the doorbell at 7:00 p.m.
“Mom! Well, it’s so nice to see you! And what did you bring us? Bread, hot from the oven?” Kent exclaimed.
“Why sure, Kent! I know I usually bake bread in the morning, but tonight I felt… Do you know that Alison used my recipe for her first loaf of bread?”
The aroma of fresh-baked bread brought both Alison and Elaine back, even if only in memory. Kite came down the stairs to the kitchen. Tomorrow, the sun would come out again.
Word count: 589