Allow me to pick up where I left off….
At the back corner of Delaney’s property, the ground sloped in a gradual hill down to a very old truss bridge (probably a couple hundred yards from the corner of the yard). I’m sure you are familiar with the type of bridge that I’m talking about. However, in case you aren’t, stop for a minute and envision what one of these bridges looks like to an eight-year-old kid. This isn’t the exact bridge, but here’s what it probably looked like:
Here’s what I saw in my eight-year-old mind:
That was one spooky bridge for me to look at, let me tell you. We could get to their house two different ways and that bridge was one of them. I believe Dad drove it only once (maybe he had the same epiphany as I did about what that bridge really was).
They eventually moved into a newer house that wasn’t anywhere near that truss bridge. But long before they did that, my brother and I were invited to spend the night during one of our trips out there as a family–somewhere around ages nine or ten for me. As it happened, that invitation spawned an event with Delaney’s Dad that was….well, memorable, to say the least.
What had seemed to be such a great idea at first was quickly turning into a foreboding sense of abandonment the closer the time came for my parents to leave. Once they were gone, my senses were on high alert. We got ready for bed and made our way to the bedroom. Delaney and Aaron shared a bedroom upstairs, so my brother and I bedded down on the floor of their room, which happened to be directly in front of the staircase to the livingroom below. As the room got darker with night setting in, Delaney thought it would be a great idea to tell a story about wasps and hornets. I don’t remember what the story was that he told, but I distinctly remember the mental picture it left in my brain. Now, we all know what a normal hornet looks like, right? But that’s not what I saw as Delaney unfolded his tale of terror. Here’s what I saw:
Do you see the stingers on those things?? And they were all coming after me! I just knew it! So I started crying. Light child-like sobs to start, but then it turned into vehement, gut-wrenching wails (at least in my innocent eight-year-old mind). The problem was, as soon as I had started this retaliated response to Delaney’s story, his Dad had yelled up from the livingroom below that whatever shenanigans were going on had better come to a stop pronto. Which meant that there was even more reason for me to cry harder (and also fueled the fire for Delaney to press on with his story). Which brought another boisterous boom from the nether regions below us to stop whatever was making one of us cry. Which made me cry even more, which then brought Delaney’s Dad to the foot of the stairs to yell up with finality that one more time would mean at least one someone is getting a beating on the behind.
I’ve never been one to be able to talk and cry at the same time, but it was eventually made known what was going on, with an extremely urgent request at the end of it all by yours truly that Mom & Dad need to come get me–now. My brother wasn’t really bothered by this (that I can remember), but since they were coming for me, he said that he’d go back too (nice of him to do that).
I don’t remember anything after that. Probably blocked it out, along with a request that any further efforts to spend more time with them be heretofore and forthwith nipped in the bud.
I guess it worked….