Household God

I was eight, had a silver sixpence for my birthday. Hid in the cellar from my no-good cousins and my hands felt the hole in the wall. A slot, like my piggy bank. Thing is, it seemed to want somethin’. I didn’t even think, slipped my sixpence into it. The boys were on the stairs, clumpin’, but they lost interest, went off to annoy the dogs.

I plumb forgot about the hole. That bad winter was when I was twelve, we was out of food. Was in the cellar, hopin’ for a last jar of pickled beets. The hole was bigger, ’bout the size of my fist, and still wantin’. I thought ’bout it, went off and found my Aunt Aggie’s silver that she left us. Four forks, two knives, all the spoons, seemed to do it. I poked them in and they went away. Them beets was under my hand all the time.

I was in the cellar when that tornado came over, proper scared. Hole was bigger, so was the wantin’. I lay there and thought promises at it; when the wind was gone, went and found the big silver teapot. Pushed it in, it went away. When my folks was back, told them the storm took it.

I don’t want to talk ’bout when I was twenty-five. The hole was bigger, the wantin’ was bigger, but it shut right up when I gave it the ring. I dunno how it figures these things. Maybe it liked the diamond.  That boy was always no good, anyways.

Few years later my ma’s sickness was real bad. Pain wouldn’t stop. I gave the hole my ma’s wedding things – the sugar tongs, the cake stand. We never used them. It was real big now, ’bout a foot across, and needed more – took the silver from the thermometer to shut it up. Anyways, my ma died quiet soon after.

Now I’m sixty-two, sittin’ here in my rocker, and can feel the need clear through the house. Few months more, my hair will be all silver, and I figure the hole will be ’bout big enough for me. I’m lookin’ forward to it.

2 thoughts on “Household God”

  1. Quick explanation: I fought this theme particularly hard, and ended up with five possible stories based on it, none of which I really like, but two of which I didn’t actually hate when I’d wrangled them a lot. The healer one is my Official Micfic. This one is (a) too long, and (b) I’m not sure I really like the voice, but I fling it at you in the spirit of what the hell.

  2. On the other hand, I absolutely loved this. The voice is quirky but spot on, and the story is pure delight in its simplicity. I love the “wantin'”, it’s so clear how you would feel it and how it would feel. It’s perfect in that Stephen King folksy tale about something quite possibly sinister for most, but just-about-spanking-perfect for that old lady.

    I loved that the givin’ was never quite miraculous – simple things that might have happened anyway, sometimes you don’t even quite know what happened (like that young man, where did he go) but that’s just right as it’s told.

    I liked the cousins “clumpin'” on the stairs – I don’t know what “clumpin'” is but I can totally see them doing it.

    And the inevitable ending is bloody marvellous, and good luck to the old biddy with that – it’s gonna be some folks bleedin’ version of hell, but she’s gonna be happy as a pig in muck there, I can tell 😉

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