Saved by An Angel!

Y’all seem to be ignoring me lately, and you should know better! That’ll just make me pester you more! Kind of like my little brother Billy use to aggravate our youngest brother Ken. Sometimes all Billy had to do was look at Ken with this patented, one-sided grin he had, and Ken would go ballistic: “Mom! Billy’s lookin at me!” Ah, yes, precious childhood memories.

Did you ever have to hold the flashlight for your dad while he worked on something? Man, I hated that! I’m not kidding, flashlights seem to have a mind of their own; they won’t stay still, and seem to want to point everywhere except whereyour dad wants you to point them.

I remember one time when I was about twelve, and my dad’s truck broke down. He had a friend tow it to the house, and he was determined to have it fixed before morning,so he wouldn’t need somebody to give him a ride to work.

So there we are, the old man cussing and twisting bolts, while I tried hard as I could to keep the flashlight aimed where he was working. It was like the darn thing would get heavy, and just start drifting downward away from his hands. Naturally, he always noticed before I did, and his bark, which sounded sort of like my name, would cause me to come off the ground about a foot and a half. It also made it even harder to keep the flashlight still, since at that point I was trembling like a leaf in a wind storm.

Now he had two things to cuss about—the broken-down truck and my inability to hold the light still. Like I said, I hated flashlight duty!

Then the moth showed up. Without giving it a thought, I began to chase the fluttering creature with the beam of the flashlight, failing to notice my dad had stopped twisting on the bolt, and was no longer muttering to himself. I was entranced by the moth. Round and round, zigging and zagging, gone for a second then back; me, grinning like a possum, as I chased it with the beam of light.

“BOY!” the old man bellowed. I think my heart stopped, and I know for a fact my brain ceased to function, because what I did next will live in the annals of boyhood blunders for eternity.

“What!” I screeched as my feet came back to earth, and I pointed the flashlight right at my dad’s eyes. The look of sheer rage on his face almost made me wet my pants! I dropped the flashlight beam quickly to his hand, and watched it move slowly toward me. I deduced I was about to be strangled, but an angel saved me from my certain demise.

“Roy,” mom sang in a voice as sweet as any I’d ever heard. “Supper’s ready.”

I shot the beam back up to the old man’s face, and watched as he blinked rapidly then raised his trembling hand to shield his eyes. I dropped the beam to his mouth where one side of his lips began to curl into what could have been either a grin or a vicious snarl. I clicked the flashlight off, dropped it in the grass, and bolted for the house.

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

8 Comments »

  1. Gary said

    Now Charlie he was only a little ole guy!

    • Actually, Gary, you’re right. He was 6′ tall and weighed about 175 (solid muscle back then). BUT! At the time I was about 5’2″ tall and weighed about 90 pounds, so to me he was a GIANT! A mean GIANT!

      • Gary said

        Was that your senior year?

      • Hahahahaha! You are TOO funny, Gary! (I was a junior!)

  2. Sherry Mashburn said

    Even under the best of circumstances, holding a flashlight for someone is nerve wracking (just can’t keep the stupid thing steady!!)

  3. elizena said

    My dear sweet friend you are not forgotten! How could I forget one of the best story tellers in the universe!!?
    By the way, I think you knew my grand daddy, cuz your old man sure sounded like him. My abuelo would line us all up; my brothers, sisters and the cousins and we’d all get smacked around with a switch from the tree. Why you ask? Because he swore we’d gone something wrong and we were hiding it, so to be on the safe side we’d all get it so that way he was sure he’d gotten the perpetrator. LOL!!
    My hind end still smarts when I think about it. My grandmama tried soap once, but I got sick and that was because when she called me, instead of responding with, “Yes, ma’am?” I shouted, “What?” I learned to never answer her like that again.
    I’m going back to bed and taking more painkillers! Blessings brother.

    http://elizena-lovingmycreator.blogspot.com/

    PS Once I can see straight I’ll be back to read more. ;-D

    • Yes, they sound very much alike. We never got the soap treatment, but the switch and belt were very familiar. The times I hated was when we were whipped for something we didn’t do. If, as with your abuelo, he couldn’t find out who the perpetrator was, he’d get us all. Dang!

      I hope you feel better!

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