“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” - Hans Christian Andersen
The morning rain pitter patters against the windowsill above my head. I can hear the coffee kettle sputtering in the kitchen. It should be whistling at any moment.
There’s a rustling at my feet and a golden head pops up. Sandy’s ears perk up as she listens to the morning routine. I bury my head deeper into the pillow and drift back to sleep.
The whistling of the kettle rings in my ears, jarring me awake. Someone mutters loudly as they stub their toe. My toes are cold as Sandy greets me with morning kisses. I stare out the window at the steadily beating rain and wonder what the day has in store.
In the kitchen, I find Grandma Lilly sitting at the kitchen table with a coffee mug in her hands. She is dressed in her Sunday best, waiting patiently on the rest of the house. I pretend to mirror her enthusiasm as I place two slices of bread in the toaster. I pour cold juice into a cup and watch the droplets racing down the window.
The toaster pops, interrupting my thoughts. My toast comes up browned and ready for buttering. I butter my toast and join my grandma at the table. She smiles across the top of her cup as I bite into my first piece of toast.
My mother is the last one to the kitchen as usual. She pours herself a cup of coffee and joins us at the table. We sit in silence – them with their coffee and me with my toast.
The clock ticks above the door as the minutes pass slowly. I watch the second hand inch its way around the circle. The numbers blur together as I lose my focus and drift into a daydream.
I am shaken back to reality by my mother’s clipped tone and my grandmother’s hurried feet. We are out the door and on our way to church in a matter of minutes. My mother mutters something about the seats filling up and the need to arrive early.
Sunday service is the only one we attend because it’s expected of us. I’m not a church-goer by nature, even though I’ve been attending since I was a toddler.
The seats are filling up quickly as we step into the crowded church which is too small for the needs of the town. No one is willing to part with the past, so we continue to squish our way into the room we outgrew years before I was born.
Babies cry and mothers scold children as the congregation waits for the sermon to begin. I pull a notebook and pen from my purse, ignoring the loud sighs of my mother. I turn to a blank page and let my mind drift to the window and further still to the graveyard that surrounds the back half of the church. I know that stories and adventures await my pen.
Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.