Good evening again journal. Wow, it’s been a long day. I guess I’ll just start at the beginning, well almost, more like afternoon but it was the beginning of the action. You see we were trying to organize . . .
“How’s this?” I wondered, bending farther down and trying to meet my mom’s prestigious wishes.
“A little lower!” She announced and I ‘oofed’, groaned, and managed to get myself lower.
“Perfect!” She cheered. “I’ll hand you the hammer.”
It was almost 2:30 and I had been hired (a.k.a. forced) to assist Mom in decorating. She was determined to have a nice house. That was ok with me except when it required that I bend in acrobatic ways that no human being should be able to bend in.
At that present time we were in the kitchen. I was perched on the white counter top of a little desk, a perfectly positioned pennant in my hands. The little counter squeaked a bit under my weight and the wall watched me warily. (Walls do not like people hanging things on them.)
Mom had gone to grab our hammer and the nails, which were perched on the kitchen table. She trotted over, climbed up on a chair, and took one of the pennants strings from me and held it where I’d had it. Then I took the hammer and nails.
Standing on top of the tiny counter, I began to sway. The light blue wall glared at me angrily as if to say, “Don’t even think about whamming that nail into me!” The counter swayed again as if to knock me of course! I swallowed my breath and took up the nail. Then I lined it up where Mom told me too and breathed out. I took up the hammer and ‘Wham!’ The wall creaked, the counter swayed, and the tiny nail was pounded into and inch of wood panel and ply wood.
“There!” I stood back and admired the wall, which glared back at me. I just grinned. The little desk area did look much better, even if my back did hurt because of it! Taking the other nail I hammered in the other side and Mom and I stepped back to observe our satisfying work.
“Alright!” Mom announced. “Now, to the clock!”
The clock was a giant, two foot long by two foot wide, rounded clock. My grandpa had made it out of his old, barn wood and gave it to Mom as a wedding gift. She had grown up in the barn (Well not literally she just played in it.) and so she loved the clock. At our old house we had the clock in the living room but Mom had decided to put it in our new kitchen.
Above our stove was an empty space in the cupboard for a microwave. But we did not have a microwave because some crazy teenager had backed over ours with a minivan! (What I learned from that driving experience was look behind you before you back up! So far it has worked; I haven’t hit any more microwaves!)
Because of our lack of microwave material Mom decided to be creative and hang our clock above the stove! Wonderful idea right!? I totally agreed with her so Dad left it up to us. The old clock was pretty thick, rather bulky, and quite heavy. I loved it, Mom adored it, but Dad disliked it. I had never understood his disliking, until that day.
After I dragged the solid chunk of wood up from where it had been left in the basement, we set about hanging it. Much, much, much easier said than done.
“Alright.” Mom announced. As I held the clock up, my arms groaned. “That’s good but go to the left.”
I leaned to the right and moved the clock across the wall.
“Stop. Stop. Stop!” Mom declared. “The other left.”
I moved left.
“Go higher, please.”
“No, go lower.”
I inched the clock down the the wall.
“Lower . . . . Ok to the left again! . . . Yes, a little more.”
May I mention at this point that my position was uncomfortable. You see first of all I was standing over the stove. A chair was too low so, not wanting to stand on the stove for fear of breaking the glass top, I stood with one foot on the right counter and one foot on the left. Therefore not only was I moving up and down, back and forth, and left to right, I was also standing with my legs in a perfect ‘v’. Besides, I was holding a five pound clock in my outstretched arms. Needless to say I was exercising!
“Go left and a tinge lower . . . There! Stop! Perfect!” Mom stepped back and smiled. (I’ll add here that she had no idea the heaviness of the clock.) “That’s great! Ok I’ll get a nail and hammer and we can get it hung.” I heard her turn around to look at the island in search for the hammer.
“Ok, oh! . . . I don’t have another nail! Emily, I’ll have to go get one! Stay right there. I’ll go see if I can find some.”
“Wait! Mom! NOooooo . . . !” I cried but it was too late. She had already disappeared down the basement stairs in search of the needed parts. But I knew it was hopeless. We could never find things on normal circumstances but right after moving? Impossible. With baby clothes, piles of ripsticks, sardine sauce, unpacked suitcases, and Dad’s collection of gun relics all piled about, I was positive that our basement was a hopeless wreck. And we’d only owned it one week!
But, by order of Mom, I stayed put. Even when the skies are grim a good soldier stays put. And so did I. My arms had just reached the wobbly stage of tired when I heard the screen door swing open and clang shut. I expected to hear Dad say something about my odd position but not a word came.
“Dad?” I called.
“Remington? Era?” I called thinking it could be a sibling.
No one said anything but just then I heard the pad of footsteps softly heading toward me.
“Remington? Era? Don’t you dare scare me!” I tried to yell but I was in such an odd position that it sounded more like a strangled cry for help.
The footsteps stopped.
“I’m serious!” I was quite sure it was Remington. “Cut it out.” The steps began again and headed straight for me. “Remy! If you tickle me I’m not responsible for anything broken!” I tried to sound menacing but only sounded squeaky.
The footsteps stopped right behind me but of course I couldn’t see a thing. I craned my neck around but only got a pain in my neck and no more insight.
“Remington.” I challenged one more time.
Just then I heard a movement. Suddenly a large someone or something threw it’s weight against me! Two hands or ‘paws?’ slammed into my back and suddenly ten sharp claws sunk into me! With a howl I tottered backward! I fell in an instant and landed flatly on the stove. My head whacked onto the counter top! But I wasn’t done falling! I was slipping to the floor! At once in a stunning moved I impressed myself and zipped my legs around under me! Then I slid with a thump onto the floor.
And there I stood, face to face with Ami, the cheetah. She purred and looked at me with a disdainful smile as if to say,
“Emily, calm down. I still like you even if you did almost step on me!”
“Ami!” I exclaimed and in my anger forgot to hold the clock tightly. At that moment I felt it move. I watched in horror as the clock slipped from my hands. Time sped down and in the slow motion moment I noticed the clock slipping from my grasp, Ami calmly liking herself, and my terribly unmatched socks.
And then it hit the floor with what to me was a terrible, thundering crack! I covered my eyes and squealed. I slowly peeked a look and then starred at the terrible catastrophe. The clock lay, perfectly split in half, the 12 was a ‘1’ on one side and a ‘2’ on the other. The 6 was simply a terrible mess of unreadable symbols. And the hands were a jumble of wires on top of the old, special wood.
“Oh no!” I breathed. “Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!” But no matter the ‘oh nos’ I uttered it was still ruined and I could do nothing to fix it!
“Ami.” I whispered bitterly. “It’s ruined and it’s all your fault!”
Ami looked at me and purred!