our village (5)

Let’s take a look for ourselves, shall we? Between your house and mine, if you take the little path behind the houses rather than the road, you pass under the Breckendales’ grape vine. That thing makes me think of an old scaly sea creature — I must have seen a painting somewhere — a big ancient fish that’s been lured onto a hook and yanked out of the water, its thrashing body coiled and torqued as it fights for its life. I always wonder if one of the visiting fishermen to our lake won’t some day carry a beast like that out of our lake waters, right out of our village, and claim the creature as his own. But anyway, this sea creature, this grape vine at the Breckendales’, it’s clear to me that it ain’t giving up the ghost on the fishing line that reels it into the trees. That’s not its story at all. It just gets stronger in its struggle. Every year as it’s hauled farther up into the trees away from its roots, it grows in girth and sheds its scaly bark to litter the path and tell the tale of it conquering its would-be captor. I can’t imagine that the grape vine won’t eventually swallow the very line that reels it into the trees, swallow the trees themselves, swallow this village.

That’s what I see, I want to tell Jerry Randy, and I think he ought to walk around with pruners and a garbage bag and start cleaning up this village, rather than just walking around being a peeping Tom who thinks he’s a guru.

“The village has soul” my ass. Is that what you see? But I rarely see you walking the village, road or paths, so maybe you think differently than I do. Did you even know the Breckendales’ grape was growing out of control?

You know what else is growing out of control? Lilly-Anne Smarmouth. Hear me out: I swear to you that she missed two weeks of school — sat in her room with the door closed and the shades drawn, as far as I could tell. And I didn’t hear of anyone else being sick during that period, so it wasn’t a flu bug that kept her home alone in the village those two or three weeks, except when her mom bundled her up and took her in the car somewhere, just once. Now I’m just guessing, but I’ve seen her since then, and I think she’s growing a little bulge in the belly — got a bun in the oven, as they say. You mark my words: little Lilly-Anne ain’t so little anymore.

Jerry Randy says Lilly-Anne is a dreamer who believes in magic. I wonder if he thinks she’s dreaming now.


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