Read Seeing Things Online

Authors: Patti Hill

Seeing Things (41 page)

BOOK: Seeing Things
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“Hey there, Grandpa, it's time to go to work,” I whispered.
Emory looked up from a pharmacological journal. “Huh?”
I loaded the brush with fuchsia and dipped it into a puddle on the paper. A firework of color exploded on the page. “You can't smell that?”
“What?”
“Evangeline's been busy, and as I remember, our agreement was Suzanne rests, I paint, you change.”
“Already? When are Andy and Fletcher back from the river?” He lifted the baby from her seat. “Oh my, you have been busy. Wow. I say it's bath time.” And off they went, a bundle of pink over Emory's shoulder.
Painting with watercolors required too much patience, and yet I loved the movement of color the technique brought to my work. I rinsed the paint out of the brush, tapped it dry on a paper towel, and considered my options. Cadmium yellow with red? Cobalt violet? Ultramarine with Indian yellow? I lifted my eyes to the far horizon to catch the dance of the dragonfly sky. I loaded the brush with ultramarine and cadmium yellow. Yellow and red. Violet. And then I stood to stretch my back and to wait, wait, wait for the paper to dry.
A coyote yipped nearby, so I closed the door. Sure enough, Bee barked to be released within a heartbeat. “Don't go sassing me, you old hound,” I whispered through the glass.
Woof!
I slipped into my painting smock against the seeping chill and covered Suzanne with a blanket. The sky turned soft, and the first star twinkled over Amphitheater Ridge. The crickets chirruped. A breeze lifted the curls from my forehead.
Home.
Epilogue
Had I the slightest inkling how troublesome writing a book would be, I never would have started. Once the folks at Elsie's Diner found out what I was about, they asked me every single day, “What page are you on, Birdie?” It got so that I wondered if a piece of pie was worth the haranguing they dished out—but only for a minute or two.
Although I learned how to make shu mai, I've never seen Huck again—not that I haven't looked for him, maybe even hoped that I'd see him. I can't explain his showing up like he did, except that he may have been nothing more than a Charles Bonnet hallucination, at least to start with. What gave him words is something I find myself wondering about whenever I get dirt under my fingernails or come across a fine bolt of calico fabric, something Huck would throw in a ditch but I would use to make a tablecloth, the brighter the better.
I'd like to tell you everything's hunky-dory with my family, but then I wouldn't be talking about a family now, would I? Fletcher stayed at home until he graduated from high school, just as he'd planned, then he headed for college in Nebraska of all places. That had something to do with a girl he met in youth group. While at home he butted heads with his father, as sons do, but I never once heard him recite another baseball statistic. I took this as a good sign.
My editor insisted on a touch of romance in my story. Please forgive me for all the tickling tummies and flushed faces, especially for a woman my age, but Emory is almost as good as I portrayed him. Maybe better. Anyhow, I married him when I could walk down the aisle without limping, although the aisle was in a meadow at Carpenter Reservoir. We waited until July for all the snow to melt from under the trees and the wildflowers to bloom.
I'm at least that romantic.
BOOK: Seeing Things
4.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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