Friday, February 09, 2007

f . . . e . . . a . . . r

The biting wind added bone-chilling discomfort to the frigid Arctic evening. Darkness had settled in mid-afternoon, and by six o’clock the Northern Lights added an ethereal display as they danced eerily across the northern sky.

Returning from an afternoon of house calls, I stumbled up the steps and across the frosty deck of our trailer home. Thankfully the wood-fired heater still held live coals. A great night to be doors!

Home alone–only myself to care for. Feeling a sense of entitlement, I hurriedly prepared one of my favorite comfort foods. I would bathe and...and yes...I would settle into my favorite chair beside the wood heater. I smiled as I spotted the book I was dying to get into.

My heart smiled while I ran the first tub of water; it would warm the near-frozen tub. I drained it, then let it refill while I scurried to shed heavy clothing and slip into my fluffy robe. Evenings like this didn’t happen more than a few times a year!

Dropping the robe on the carpet, I slid into the steaming luxury. Aaahhh! Does life get better than this!!

I leaned back, allowing the cares and concerns of the day to slip away.

A slight movement caught my eye. I thought I saw my robe move. I watched it for a few seconds. Part of one sleeve seemed to have fallen beneath the two-inch space under the door. Funny the way my eyes play tricks on me when I’m tired. I really thought I saw it move.

I closed my eyes and contemplated how comfortable I was living here in the centre of an alcoholic community. I knew most of the folk. They came at any time of the day or night...for rides to the use the phone...for a borrow...and on and on. I was not afraid to be alone.

I glanced idly at the robe. It moved again! Half of one sleeve had now disappeared. I sat bolt upright and watched in terror, as it continued its slow, steady glide.

Who could be doing this? How could anyone have gotten in? I had been home for at least an hour–the doors were locked. My thoughts were in panic mode. Someone was in the trailer when I got home...hiding in the back bedroom! How come I didn’t hear him step on the squeaky spot in the hall? Maybe because I was running the bath water. Rational thought escaped me.

I tried to pray. I couldn’t focus. Frantically I quoted bits and pieces of my favorite Bible verses–God is a very present help in trouble; God is everywhere; God says to fear not; God gives His loved ones peace. My theology told me He was right there with me in the tub; my emotions felt otherwise. Silent screams and wild faxes bombarded heaven.

I vascillated between jumping from the tub and grabbing my robe before I had nothing to cover myself...or sitting still and pretending I wasn’t there. My efforts to see whether I had locked the bathroom door were futile.

The water was now tepid. I needed to make a decision. Oh, please, God, I desperately need your help!

My prayers were heard! A grey furry paw reached under the door and hooked another spot on the robe and dragged it out. Our daughter’s big tom cat wanted my attention.

(This will be one of the lighter-vein stories I tell in my latest book, City of Darkness/City of Gold. Its purpose is to provide balance for events recounted in the City of Darkness portion. The book is an autobiographical account of our eleven years in Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike.)

Ella Sailor

Author: A Time to Dance; Elusive Dream; Echo of a Dream

Story Teller, Speaker, Counselor.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

I laughed at the thought of "wild faxes" reaching heaven!

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