??????? ?Quite some time had passed, he supposed, since the light had gone out in his mother's bedroom. He knew this, because when lit, it cast a soft glow against the hallway wall similar to the light of the coals of a campfire. He and his little sister, when she still lived there, snuck out nearly everynight and crept slowly on all fours to that spot directly in the middle of their bedroom doors where this bit of warm orange light shown. They made faces at eachother and tried to guess eachothers shadow puppets until the light shut off signifying bedtime for all, then the arduous journey back to the opposing doors in total darkness and trying as hard as possible to make no sound so as not to wake their parents. He had made his mind up, tonight, he thought, tonight everything changes. He fancied himself an expert in the ways of ancient Mohican law after he learned from a movie that the famous tribe had walked the very grounds he stood on himself. The young boy felt a powerful connection to the young warriors of the past. He felt it very possible, if not probable that he himself had decended from these great people and he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that tonight was the night. He packed and unpacked his small bookbag everynight for the past two weeks in case the time had been right but the nerve had not struck. Until tonight. Tonight, as the cool silver light of the full late-september moon trickled through his down-turned blinds and rested upon his closed young eyelids he heard it. Very soft at first, almost imperceptable if one had not been listening for it, the call had come. As he opened his mind more to the sound it grew into a rhythmic sound similar to an animal of some sort and yet still strangely human. He threw up his blinds and pushed the pane up an inch and pressed his ear hard against the opening. Yes, this was it, this was the sound of the ancient ones beckoning him to the eternal fire of the Mohican warriors, and at once he saw his destiny. He stood with the great chiefs in his minds eye and danced and hollared in the language of his brothers. He felt whole again. The time had come to leave his mother and join the spirit of the great mountains forever. Slowly, very slowly he pryed open the door a crack just large enough to see through and peered into the darkness of the hallway. He would need to pass his mother's room undetected in the blackness without making a sound. She may not wake up, but he could not afford the risk. On all fours, as he had done many nights past he made his way carefully down the corridor feeling at all times the left molding of the wall opposite her door so he would not accidentally bump the wall where her head lay and startle her awake. As he passed he heard a sound from her room that made him stop, and forget where he was. He edged to the door and leaned his sweating forhead there for a moment. She was crying, quietly, for what he could not be sure. Maybe she had known all along he would leave, maybe she had heard the call also and knew tonight was the night, that after tonight, for the rest of her life, she would sleep alone in this large hollow house. For a split second he remembered his sister's sullen face through the back windhield of his fathers car as he had drove off, she had cried in the same way then, perhaps that is what she thought of on this lonely autumn evening. He felt confusion as he lay there behind the door. Perhaps he should stay, maybe his mother needed him more than he thought. But no, if that were the truth than she should have shown him something earlier. A sign of some sort, a kind gesture, a word of consolation would have done, anything other than the cold stare he became so used to. There was nothing left for him here, he thought, and so he gathered himself and continued for the stairs and the door to freedom.
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Book / Literary Fiction
Short Story / Literary Fiction
Short Story / Action and Adventure
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