Home for the Holidays

     Sam was licking the spoon from her ice cream sundae when she heard a ruckus on the street behind her.  Glancing over her shoulder she saw a tall blonde woman bending to help another woman to her feet – and froze. The Blonde was her sister Jenn and Sam had successfully been avoiding her for 3 days now.  How had she managed to find her down here at the farmers market of all places?

     Walking as quickly as possible, she zipped around the corner of the ice cream parlour, then plastered herself against the wall.  People around her were staring but she was oblivious. At least that’s what she told herself. She slid along the brick until she could see around the corner. Maybe Jenn wasn’t following?

     ‘Sam! Wait’

     Dammit!  She pushed past two women and hurried across the street to the other side. Breaking into a run, she headed down a side road towards the golf course.  Her panicked brain measured the height of the fence and determined that she could, probably, get over it.  Sliding into the ditch like a batter desperate for his base, her jeans were grass stained and wet when she hit the bottom. Bouncing up she grabbed the barbed wire fence and started climbing.  She wasn’t immediately successful – the fence was meant to keep people out, not for 54 year old women to climb – but with a little determination and only one tear in her jeans, she managed to lever herself over and land in an ungainly heap on the other side.  As she rested panting on her hands and knees she saw Jenn running down the street and their eyes met over the distance.

     ‘Wait!’

     Nope.  Sam turned and crashed through the trees and right into a branch. Her feet flew out from under her and she fell flat on her back, the air leaving her in a whoosh. As she lay struggling to regain her breath,  she heard another loud ‘Oooof’. It was satisfying to her that Jenn was no more skilled at this Indiana Jones stuff than she was.

     Crawling to her feet, Sam started off again, somewhat slower this time, with twigs and mud stuck to her back.  She broke out of the woods and onto a putting green. The two golfers on the green took a step back. Nonchalantly, Sam smiled and straightened her sweater, flicking twigs and grass out of her hair,

     ‘Lovely day is it not?’ She gave what she hoped was a stellar smile then spied the golf cart.

     ‘Excuse me gentlemen, I seem to have lost mine’ Running over she vaulted onto the cart.

     ‘What the hell?’ was all she heard from the confused men as she slammed the throttle down, the electric cart leaping to life. Well… that’s what she imagined would happen. In reality it rolled forward silently and at a sedate pace.  When she looked back, Jenn had emerged from the woods, knees wet, blouse askew, hair not at all looking good.

     She laughed and threw her head back ‘So long Sucker!’ she yelled. She pushed both of the mens’ golf bags off the cart, delighted with the sound the jangle of clubs made.

     ‘Step aside Thelma & Louise, I am on a tear!’

Jenn’s howl of frustration was music to her ears.

She was just out of their sight when her get away car started to slow down.

     ‘What?’ she gasped, ‘what is wrong you, stupid cart!’ she hit the steering wheel and the horn emitted a sad little honk. She had no time for this! She leapt off and ran like a crazy woman down the fairway. People were shouting and  panic started to beat it’s gossamer wings as the reality of her actions started to surface.

     ‘Reframe it!’ she admonished herself.  And just like that (and has her therapist taught her), she was channeling her inner James Bond.  She zigged, she zagged, dashing along the edge of a waterhole, trying to get Jenn to slip or fall. But it was no use. She slipped inelegantly on goose poop; executed a clumsy pirouette and started to fall.  Jenn’s hand grabbed her shoulder, but Sam wrenched out of her grasp causing them both to over balance and plunge into the water.

     ‘What… is… wrong…with… you’ Jenn sputtered as they bobbed to the surface. Sam was trying to stand but her feet were sinking into gooey mud at the bottom of the pond – she tried not to think about how many layers of goose poop were down there.  Sam shook her head and sloshed to the shore, sliding back into the water twice before she managed to flop on her side on the ground.  People were gathering, golf clubs forgotten, trying to decide if they should intervene.

Jenn flopped beside her, water and mud splattering Sam again as she lay gasping for air.

     ‘Sam.’ far too tired to even turn her head, Jenn pulled a soggy recipe card from her pocket and tried to give it to her. ‘Why do we have to do this every time?’

Sam flopped her hand at the proffered card in rejection.

     ‘It’s not my turn. I’m not doing it. I hate it. You can’t make me.’  and with this, she staggered to her feet and stumbled away, cackling maniacally.

     ‘You can run as much as you want’ Jenn yelled, ‘You’re still hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year so you better have something cooked!’

The only reply was a ‘HA!’ from the distance.  Jenn closed her eyes. Family was a bitch when it came to the holidays.

Published by

Sandy Kenyon

It has been a chaotic and heartbreaking year. But I'm climbing back out of this chaos, bent on carving a new path using all the things I have learned. Stay tuned for new stories :) I hope you enjoy what you read!

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