Beach House – Theme Friday

beach-house

The beach house was Tanya’s dream and her escape. Whenever life got to be too much Tanya traveled there in her mind and sat in the sun, digging her feet into the warm sand. She reveled in the heat that soaked into her bones and made her glow with serenity.

But then a gunshot sounded and fear returned again. Sometimes Tanya sat on the floor, so she could duck in a hurry if she had to. Sometimes she had to. “When I grow up, I’m gonna to live at the beach. I’m gonna to live where it’s always summer,” she told herself and anyone who would listen.

“Oh hush, child,” her mama would say. “Ain’t no way you can afford to live at the beach.”

Tanya was not daunted by her mama’s doubts but rather emboldened by them. “Am too!” She stamped her little foot and crossed her arms tightly across her bony chest. “I’m gonna get a job and get lots of money and buy me a beach house.” Tanya pulled out one of her hundreds of drawings of the beach house that dwelled in her mind and waved it at her mama. “See here? This is my house.”

But her mama was too busy making dinner and worrying about grown up things. Too busy making that crease in her forehead deeper than it was the day before. Too busy sewing on buttons and patches to clothes that should have been sent to the ragbag long ago. Too busy to duck when the shot sounded.

Tanya waited a long minute before she stuck her head out to see if it was safe. “Mama?” But the house was too quiet for voices to intrude. “Mama?” Tanya’s own voice scared her a little and she felt a tremble start up her foot then race to her chest. She still held the crayon drawing in her hand and the fist she made destroyed it without Tanya’s notice. “Mama?”

A ragged sigh cut through the air like a scissors through construction paper and Tanya saw her mama then. On the floor. Her chest barely raised as she struggled to take in breath. “Ttttanyaaaa…” was all that came out. The blood that oozed was like a cardinal halo that circled her mama’s head and fanned out in surprising and beautiful patterns.

Tanya went to her mama and sat down on the floor beside her. She smoothed out the drawing that had crumpled in her clenched fist and showed it to her mama. “See here, this is the beach house. Our beach house. We live here, Mama. And the sun always shines and keeps you warm and safe. You go there now and rest, Mama. I made it for you. I made it for you so you could always be warm.”

Mama reached for the drawing and pulled it to her chest. She nodded to Tanya and smiled but tears were running down her face like rain on a window glass.

“Ssshhh,” Tanya whispered to her mama, ‘you sleep now. Can you hear the waves telling you to sleep?” Tanya pulled a blanket from the old brown couch and dragged it over to her mama and covered her with it. “Sssshhh,” she cooed.

Then a shot sounded and Tanya didn’t duck. Instead she slept too with her mama and together they went to their beach house and reveled in the eternal summer.

themefrilogo Go visit Christine’s beach house and don’t forget to see Jess’s beach house too.

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6 thoughts on “Beach House – Theme Friday

  1. Man.
    Awesome, Annie. Tough, but awesome. How painful and pretty at the same time. “Cardinal halo”…that line was so beautiful it’s stuck in my head.

    Another fabuous piece.

    Hey Jess,
    Cardinal halo was an image that really just came into my head, it seemed the way a young child would perceive that to me.

    I think we all done really good this week.

    Annie 🙂
    .-= blooot´s last blog ..Theme Friday: Beach House =-.

    Like

  2. Oh my god!

    Chica i am speechless-
    Well, almost.

    i loved the voice, was deeply moved by the story, horrified by the tragic end… This type of shit actually happens. The biggest prompt for us to leave SoCal was the murder of an eleven year old girl, who was making tacos in the kitchen with her mother when the stray bullet of some waste of skin ripped the life out of her.

    You did an amazing job, Annie. You took my breath away.

    Hey Chica,
    Thanks. Remember I said I don’t know where some of this stuff comes from? This is one of those. Although, yes, you hear of this sort of thing all the time out here and it saddens you, apparently more than you realize.

    Annie

    Like

  3. Hi Annie,

    The house is just perfect , love the little bridge. What a double wammer this story is. Aww !! Tragic but perfect. Thank you.
    Love Di.

    Its very different.

    I want a beach house ~ I think I have one. X

    Hey Di,
    Glad you liked the story and oh the picture of the beach house – it is my ideal one just like that.

    I think you may have a beach house too. 😉
    Annie

    Like

  4. Heartbreaking and Riveting at the same time, and I enjoyed every second of it. 🙂

    Hey Mrs V!
    Great to see you here. I’m glad you liked the story. We’re all excited about having Theme Fridays again.
    Annie

    PS: I’ll drop by your place soon.
    .-= Mrs. V´s last blog ..Vacation Headlines =-.

    Like

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