The cellar was dark and cold. In the summer. Whenever mother asked my sister to go to the cellar to get something, she’d come looking for me. It might have taken her five minutes to fetch a Mason jar of pickles, but she’d rather spend twenty hunting around the house, the yard, the barn for me. The cellar was my birthright. My special place in our family.

In the winter, the cellar felt surprisingly warm. So that was why when I heard my mother’s voice booming, “Abigail Jane!” I decided to put one over on my sister. I bolted out the front door, raced around the house, lifted the door, and ran down in the cellar. And, guffawed until tears rolled down my face. The very last place she’d look for me. Here I sat in the cellar. Like one of her imaginary bogeymen. I killed myself.

I knew it would probably take a while. Abigail would be running all over the house, shouting my name. My mother would be busy in the kitchen, dressing the turkey. Muttering under her breath. Wiping her hands on her apron. A nervous habit she denied.

But eventually, things would come to a head. Mother would blow up at Abigail’s shrill voice, my name, and a lack of pickles forthcoming. She’d blow up. Abigail would get grounded. And, I’d have sweet revenge.

Which reminded me of the canned pears on the shelf behind me. I found the little three-legged stool—it was green once judging by the few flakes of paint clinging to the worn, bare wood—and got a jar down. I pried it open with my pocket knife, sitting on the same stool under the bare light bulb in the middle of the cellar.

Drinking the juice out of the jar has always been my favorite part. Delicious and sweet. Fantastic. I smacked my lips. A dribble ran down my chin. I wiped it on the back of my hand. Started fishing out the slippery slightly yellowed prizes from the jar with my first two fingers.

Before I knew it, I’d eaten the whole jar.

I was beginning to wonder what had happened. My plan seemed to not be working. Where was mother? Where was Abigail? Was no one even going to bother looking for me? Perhaps Abigail had whatever mother needed hidden in her bedroom closet. Perhaps she had figured out my plan somehow. But how? Abigail was dumb. Now, mother on the other hand.

Standing up, I put the empty jar on the shelf. It was a mistake. Now I had a desperate urge to go to the bathroom.

Dang and blast. I went back up the stairs and opened the cellar door. My questions were answered. While I had sat hiding in the cellar, a blizzard had come. Snow flew thick and furious. I shivered in the cold air. “Abigail!” I shouted, racing towards the house and the kitchen door. “Abigail!”


Picture linked via Writing My Legacy.

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