Shiny black hair

by | Nov 23, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 8 comments

Shiny Black Hair
By Laura McHale Holland

My niece Emma’s a little different. She’s never been the same since a family rafting trip turned tragic when she was twelve. Her mom, dad and brother all drowned when the raft overturned. Emma was found downstream badly bruised but very much alive hours later.

When she came to live with me right after that, all Emma could talk about was how one of those Bigfoot creatures had plunged into the rapids and saved her. I did my best to bring her down gently to the reality that it’s fun to tell stories about Bigfoot sightings around campfires, but only crackpots believe they actually exist.

Emma never did accept my point of view on that, though, or on much of anything else either. And when she finished high school she went off to live in the woods way up north in Humboldt County instead of going to college. Like I said, she’s a little different.

Last week I got phone call from her. She asked if she could come for Thanksgiving. I said yes, of course. Then she said she’d just had a baby girl, Caroline, with her boyfriend and she was bringing the baby, too. She said her boyfriend wasn’t coming because he hates to travel. Well, I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend, let alone a baby. But that doesn’t matter. I was thrilled to see her and the baby when they arrived this morning. Little Caroline was all wrapped up and sleeping, though, and Emma was tired, too, so they went to take a nap in Emma’s old room.

A little while ago I thought I heard Caroline cry and decided I should take her so Emma could get more rest. So I tiptoed into the room and saw the baby had kicked off her blanket, and where there should be soft baby skin on her face and hands (the only parts of her that aren’t covered by her jammies), I saw shiny black hair, just like in those Bigfoot pictures Emma used to have plastered all over the walls in her room. I ran out pronto, and my heart is still racing at the sight.

Now, I know Emma’s different. I accept that. But what kind of mother would glue hair to her little girl’s skin like that? I mean, that must be what she did, right?

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8 Comments

  1. Jerry Kohut

    is there a monkey missing at the zoo lol

  2. Robin Leigh Morgan

    Hi Laura,

    I think you’re going to love this one.

    Quite an interesting story. An entire family drowns during a rafting trip, save one little girl. Of course she’s a little different, and tells of her being saved by BIGFOOT. Kids do have a lot of imagination, however, most of the time there’s some truth behind what they’re saying if we would only stop and listen.

    The incident seemed to have made a lasting impression on Emma, so much so, she had to return to the same place; a place where she must have experienced a kind of love she had never experienced before or after it had occurred. Graduating high school allowed her the first opportunity to return; she became free, and no longer had anything else holding her back. Once back there, she fell in love again with someone she had first met after the incident which had changed her life. They eventually had a child together, whether or not they had married is not an issue.

    Emma, remembering Thanksgiving, felt a need to return to her family. She phoned to say she’s coming home to celebrate the holiday, and would be bringing her child with her and her husband would be staying home.

    Of course she kept her child wrapped up; of course her husband hates to travel, which leaves only one possibility, her child and husband are BIGFOOTS.

    Moral = love has no boundaries.

  3. admin

    That’s an interesting and humorous twist, Jerry. Thanks for sharing it. Theft of a monkey hadn’t occurred to me.

  4. admin

    You’re right, Robin Leigh. I do love your interpretation. It is much like what I had in mind when writing the story, although I hadn’t thought about a moral, but “love has no boundaries” fits.

  5. Ann Philipp

    Great story Laura,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Ann

  6. admin

    Thanks for your kind words about my story, Ann. Much appreciated.

  7. Vijai K Sharma

    Like the girl is different, the story is also different. I found the story emotional & interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. admin

    Thank you, Vijai, for stopping by and leaving a supportive comment. I hope you continue to enjoy my stories.

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