The retro theme continues here on RRSAHM… reblogging, this week only, the best of the Before.
At the age of six, Hannah knew a good deal about a lot of things. One of the things she knew for sure was that sometimes, adults lied. She knew her father lied when he said he was going to church at night, because her mum got all cranky. She knew her mother lied about Santa Claus, because Santa used the same wrapping paper that mum bought at the grocery store just the week before Christmas.
So, sometimes, adults lied. But this time, the adults really weren’t lieing, and that was what worried Hannah the most.
She had tried to tell them, many times, about the Something that was hiding in the field. When they refused to listen, refused to believe, and eventually began to get angry and told her to Leave Them Alone, she enlisted the help of her sister Kate, two years older than Hannah and therefore infinitely more believable. But the adults weren’t lieing. They really had no idea.
Kate knew about the Something in the field. She had seen it too. Just a flash of it, every now and then. A sparkly something, pushing out from the top of the long grass. It bought with it the smell of chocolate and sugar cooking, floating on the wind to tantalize small noses and unsettle young desires. The Something in the field sang to them, calling them, daring them to enter and see what lay beyond.
The Something felt bad, and the two young girls had used all their willpower to resist it, to ignore it’s song. They discussed it between themselves, at night, deep under the covers, when the lights went out, and decided the only course of action was to ignore the Something in the field, and stay as far away as they could.
But that wasn’t always possible.
One sunny autumn day, Hannah and Kate were sent out to play, in the yard that backed onto the field. Kate wasn’t quite sure how it happened. One moment Hannah was there, right next to her… the next she was drifting toward the long grass, where the peak of the sparkly Something could just be seen. Kate called out her sister’s name, over and over, but Hannah didn’t seem to hear…
The whole town looked for Hannah. For a week, they scoured every inch of every paddock, evry trail, every stream.
It took Kate two full days to tell them that Hannah had disappeared into the field. No one listened, no one believed. Why would they? The field had been searched, there was no sign of Hannah there.
Kate never mentioned the Something.
Not then, and certainly not later. Not to her husband, and never a word to her little girl. It never occurred to Kate, after so many years, to whisper a warning to her daughter, visiting the house of her grandparents for the very first time, a place Kate herself had moved far, far away from just as soon as she was able.
Kate’s daughter was five, and a headstrong, curious child.
The Something found she was not nearly as difficult to lure into the field as her Aunt Hannah had been.