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.