Written for OLWG#102
Matilda woke to the sound of breaking glass. She bolted up in bed and saw the curtains billowing inwards. The window was shattered and a large rock lay on the floor. Leaving the lights off she slid into her slippers and crept across the room, staying below the window sill and slowly raised her head to peek clear. She needed to determine what had happened.
It was dark out, there was a new moon and she couldn’t discern much, but as the cobwebs of sleep slowly swept out of the corners of her mind she thought she could see a figure crouching beneath the Mulberry tree.
“I’ve got a bead on you,” she shouted, “and I’ve called 911. Move a muscle and I’ll blow you away.”
“Mattie, is that you?” The dark figure straightened up. “I wasn’t sure I had the right house.”
“I told you not to move, sucker. Freeze… NOW.”
“Matilda, it’s me. Dad… You don’t have a gun. You don’t like guns.”
“Dad? Is that really you?” she asked. It sorta sounded like her father but she had to be sure. “Step to the porch, Dad. I need to see you.”
The dark figure, who was claiming to be her dad, raised his hands and began crab walking towards the front porch. His left leg wasn’t working quite right, but it didn’t seem to slow him down any. When he got close to the steps the motion activated lights blinked on. The man turned his head and raised his hand to shield his eyes from the sudden glare. Mattie could see his long grey hair and whiskers. He wore tattered clothes but she knew it was him. The peg leg gave him away.
“I’ll be right there, Dad.” She said as she turned away from the busted window and headed to the front door.
As she opened it he muttered, “Christ, Mattie turn out the light.”
She did as he asked, pushed open the aluminium framed screen door, to run out into his open arms. They embraced for a while and then he pushed her back, “Lemme get a look at you, girl. It’s been a long time.”
She smiled and led him inside and back to the kitchen, at the rear of the house.
“You want some coffee,” she asked, “or, I’ve got whisky if you’d rather.”
“I’d rather,” he said; so she opened the cupboard and pulled out a fifth, about half full, and a couple of double ‘old fashion’ glasses. She poured two fingers into each one and slid one to her Dad.
They both took a drink and Matilda narrowed her eyes to stare at her father, “Where have you been for so long, Dad?” she started, “Do the cops know where you are? Do they know you’re here?”
“They don’t, girl and I cain’t be here fer long neither. I’m on m’ way to Kansas City to meet up with Razor Ray ‘n Dickie. Ray says there’s a fat bank there – a fat bank that’s just beggin’ to get knocked over.” He picked up the bottle and poured himself another bracer; downed it. “Whatcha doin’ these days, Mattie?”
“Working a long con with a new crew.” she grinned, “It’s just starting to get interesting. You want in?”
“Thanks, but I can’t, girl. I could use a little seed money though? Can ye spare a little fer yer old man?”
“What do you need, Dad?”
“What I need is five large, if ya got it. What I’d like is for you to come to Kansas City with me. Whadda ya say, Mattie? I’d be just like old times.”
“I can’t go with you, Dad, I’ve got work to do here and besides… you’re on the lam. If you get caught on this job with Ray and Dickie they’ll never let you out of jail. What good is a fat bankroll if the only place you can spend it is the prison commissary?”
“I’m not gonna get caught darlin’ so don’t worry yer pretty little head about that. After this job, I’m thinking about retiring. Go somewhere where no one knows me. Wanna come along? The mountains or the beach, huh, which ye prefer?”
Matilda pushed her chair back, stood and walked out of the kitchen. She was gone for about five minutes and when she returned she had a handful of hundred dollar bills. She sat back down and poured another shot for them both. She laid the hundreds out on the table in stacks of ten till there were five stacks. Then she took two of the bills and tucked them under her glass.
“There’s your five grand, Dad, I’m keeping two hundred back, to pay for the window you broke.” She held up her drink, “Cheers,” she said.
“Ching Ching,” her dad said and they clicked the rims of their glasses together. He stood and took one step back.
“Thanks, Mattie. I’m good fer it. You know I am. I should be back through this way in a month or so. I’ll stop in. Take you to dinner.” He turned and headed towards the front door, his peg leg tapping on the hardwood floor.
This week’s prompts were:
- Do the authorities know you’re here?
- as you slept
- what became of forever?