A Few Written Words

Chapter 1

January's Frozen Defeat

by: Lithda
January is my favorite month. It's a green-barren-month and the winds always bit you with their frosted fangs. It brings out the true side of people and encourages them to sit in their shelters and hide. At least, it lets me be alone, and for a while think. Apparently that's all I'm good for, I suppose with a few other benefits.

Where I live, no one person is exactly like me. They all shy away from my eyes. They all drop their meaningless conversations to whispers as I near, and stop the completely when I am too close for them. January is the only time people talk to me (or whenever it gets to cold for them) because I love the ice.

When it is too cold for them, it the only thing they actually ask me in person for, "Tempera, please, if you would be kind enough to go and fetch the paper (shovel my drive, pull my car closer, clean off the windows of my house, ect.) for me . . . Thank you so very much, here have some change for your trouble . . . Oh, you don't want money? Oh well, don't catch a cold, you should at least take this sweater. . . Good bye."

I always use what ever they give me to help my little brother, Daniel, aka Danny. He is a kind person, someone to be protective of. He is also has ADHD. We live in the trailer in the abandoned lot behind all the houses. Everyone in town thinks our mother is a slut out somewhere leaving us with our dirty father. In reality, our father was shot and our mother, well hell if I know. The government still probably thinks our father's still taking care of us, that's why we aren't wards. They sent checks in the mail for account of Danny being ADHD, and because he's a single parent another check. But the check only helps so much, so I can only buy food and a few pairs of clothes that I make sure he can fit when he's older if I get taller.

So one day, January 16th I believe. A letter comes in the mail for our father to meet with the teachers of Danny's school, so they can discuss his grades or something. Then I notice that at the bottom it says it is not acceptable to have his teenage daughter come in for her eight year old brother. This makes my heart sink, my fingers feel slightly sweaty and I go in to meet Danny's teachers anyway that following Friday.

I walk into his school and find the walls plastered with cheery greens and bright blue painted ceiling tiles. I sit down in a too small chair and say a polite "hello" to all the teachers they can fit in this overly cheeky, too small room. His math teacher say's hello back and asks where my father is, I tell her that he's coming and that we are waiting for him. We wait about fifteenth minutes before the language arts teacher asks if he had anything to do before he was supposed to come to the meeting, and I quietly say no. Soon it is thirty minutes into the meeting and I ask if we could just continue on because it seemed like he wasn't coming. This makes the social studies teacher explode "What makes him not able to come into his son's school and have his daughter do it instead!" he roared.

"Maybe, he got caught up in the middle of something," I say calmly to his demanding question. I keep my face like a mask, with only puzzlement and a slight smile on it. But my legs are shaking as are my hands. The guidance counselor looks me over again and asks me if Danny was all right. His voice matches mine and his face is the same. "He seems perfectly fine to me," is my reply. He asks if I have seen my mother in the past few weeks "Yes, a few days ago she came to say hello and gave him some money to care for us"

"That's a lie, isn't it?" his eyes are like reflective pools, and now I feel uncomfortable. I laugh to release a bit of the tension and tell him not to be silly. "Your hiding something aren't you?" and then I can't help it, and I look farther into his eyes and see someone trying to help me.

"Y-y-yes," I whisper, my vioce is really hoarse, but it felt good for once to see a person not avioding me, "I never see her anymore, Danny doesn't even know what she looks like." All the teachers are watching me as my head drops to my hands.

One stands up and quietly starts to walk out of the room. We can all hear as she walks in her loud high heels, and we all hear her stop. The next few sounds are like a crushing defeat for the two years I spent taking care of my brother, "Hello, is this social services, I would like to seek help for a troubled family . . ." and all I can do is scream.

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