5
min

Beneath

10 readings

1

As I lay in my bed looking at the two dark wooden beams on the ceiling, I thought about stuff, our day, my new clothes, but mostly about Ty.  Ty is not my real brother, not exactly.  Ty is my little foster brother, and he just turned 7 last week.  I remember the first day he came to stay with the Stevens and me, about a year ago.  He was so excited and did not seem shy at all.  I could tell Ty really wanted a forever home.  I used to be the same way, always hoping, wishing for that final home and my very own family.  The Stevens have been good to me, no lie, but this is just another temporary home.  The sooner Ty realizes that, the easier things will be when he has to leave.  He is a sweet kid, but really naive.  Ty is the closest thing I have to family, so I look out for him.
Ty is cute in his own way.  All the little girls in the neighborhood seem to like him. 
No one seems to know anything about Ty’s real family.  He is mixed, Asian and white, I think.  His hair is almost black and his eyes are a dark brown, and he genuinely cares about people.  He is extremely “Extra.”  Like he does things that are totally goofy and quirky, but somehow, everyone is okay with it.

I am 13 and have been in foster care for about 10 years.  My momma couldn’t take care of me.  She had so many dreams for the future.  She would talk about making it big and being a successful singer, and us moving into a mansion someday, so she hooked up with, what she thought, was a manager who would open up doors and give her that big break.  Her “manager” was nothing more than a drug dealer and pimp. I don’t know where Momma is now.  Maybe not knowing is best.  Today was a good day, and the Stevens are nice people, better than most.  Mr. Jim and Ms. Amanda try really hard to make me and Ty feel like we are part of the family. 

Mr. Jim stands about 6 foot 5, and has brown hair and a goatee.  He has olive skin and is a husky man, not fat, but he loves to eat.  He works downtown for the local newspaper.  Ms. Amanda works as a literacy tutor with the school district.  Ms. Amanda is tall for a lady, 5’10 and athletic, with toned arms.  She looks like she could be a volleyball player.  She is black like me.  Her skin is a pretty caramel brown.  I have more of a milk chocolate skin tone. She keeps her hair natural, wearing braids or all down in a wavy, curly style.  I wear long braids most times.  I am not nearly as tall as Ms. Amanda. 

Like I said, today was literally a good day!  Mr. Jim and Ms. Amanda took us shopping for fall clothes.  Now it is time to listen to some music.  My favorite music has to be Hip Hop or Pop.  Mr. Jim and Ms. Amanda only let me listen to edited songs, but that’s okay.  Some foster parents are ten times stricter, so you won’t get any complaints from me.  It is settled.  “Girls Like You” will be the first song tonight!  I laid on my bed and faced the doorway.  I put on my headphones and turned the volume up really high, and closed my eyes.  After listening to a few songs, something told me to open my eyes.  Peering straight ahead, I could see Ty walking around in his room, staring at the floor.  He would look up and turn his head to the side, as if trying to hear someone talking from below.  With my headphones still on, and my music way up, I yelled.  “What are you doing?!”  Being “Extra,” I thought to myself.
“Come here!” Ty screamed.  “What is it?!” I called out.  He put his finger over his mouth, shushing me, and motioned for me to come here.  “Okay...okay.”  “There is something underneath the floor,” he said.  He tiptoed around the room.  “Aiesha, listen.”  Ty said, in a barely audible voice.  We both stopped and stood completely still.  The first thing I heard was my heart beat.  “This is stupid!” I exclaimed.  But there was something.  A scratching sound,  “Alright guys.  It is time for you both to get to bed.”  I was jarred awake by the scratching noise that had increased in intensity.  The sound was so loud that it felt like the scratching was not just coming from under the floor, but from all around.  The pounding shook the whole house.  Mr. Jim looked down, as the floor shook all around him.  Ms. Amanda backed up, and stood in the hall outside Ty’s room, staring at the floorboards.  Ty and I stuck our heads outside the door.  Mr. Jim stared at Ms. Amanda and us.  The floor under Mr. Jim rumbled and rumbled.  The floor crumbled and the creature reached its claws up and pulled Mr. Jim down, deep down, into the pit.  We could all hear his screams.  Ms. Amanda ran to the pit and started to look into it.  Ty cried out, “Don’t!”  Ms. Amanda turned her head around and yelled, “Run!!” As she did, the dark creature crawled up out of the pit and grabbed her legs.  She cried out in pain.  Ms. Amanda fell onto her stomach.  “Run!  Run! Run!”   Ty and I ran to the window in his room.  I pushed the window up and told Ty to go first.  Then I jumped down.  We ran to Ms. Candayce’s house, which was directly across the street.  We ran through her flowers, up her brick steps and onto the white porch, and banged on the door like the police.  “Help!”  We looked back at our house and could see the creature’s shadow through Ty’s window.  “Please!  Ms. Candace, open the door!”  We shouted and shouted.  “I’m coming.  Good Lord.  Keep your shirt on!”  She muttered.  Finally, Mrs. Candayce opened the wooden door and the screen door and let us both in.  “What’s going on over there, somebody sick?”  She questioned.  She could see the fear in our eyes.  “No ma’am.  The creature under the floor came and took Momma and Daddy away!” Ty began to cry.  “A creature, you mean a monster, child?” Mrs. Candayce looked puzzled.  “Well then, let’s get to work!”

Mrs. C. walked briskly into the kitchen and started pilfering through the cabinets and drawers for every useful weapon imaginable.  “How do you know about the monster?”  Ty said in almost a whisper.  “There is a lot you don’t know child.  That monster has been around longer than any of us.  I just thought we had imprisoned it for good.” 
She sat down at the kitchen table.  “Ty go over there and get the Knapsacks out of the pantry over there.”  Mrs. C requested.  Ty looked and found three dusty bags, more like sturdy satchel bags made of course material, similar to burlap, and laid those on the table.  “Aiesha and Ty, get food out of the fridge and the cabinets, get whatever we need and put it on the counter.”  She said with purpose.  You would never know this, but we would soon learn, Mrs. C. was not only a prayer warrior.  She was a soldier, a knight, a warrior, told of in stories of myth and lore.  Her grayish, white hair betrayed her unfathomable strength. 
“I know you’re scared.  I’m scared.  But we must track the monster down, kill it and save your parents.

The two of us nodded and looked at her.  “So how do we kill it?,” I asked.  “The monster has a tough leather hide, underneath its hairy exterior.  The head, neck, legs and under belly, are almost impenetrable.  But its back is especially vulnerable.  If you strike, it on its back, it becomes increasingly weak.”  We went down to the cellar.  I picked up a machete.  Ty chose a baseball bat.  Mrs. C. got a staff.  Thoroughly satisfied with our weapons, we stomped up the cellar steps, through the kitchen, out of the door and walked over to our house and entered Ty’s window. Mrs. C., was more agile than I thought.  The creature was nowhere in sight.  Suddenly it lunged forward. We, three, struck, cut, and hit the monster on its back.  The dark blood covered the floor and the walls.  We were also drenched in its blood.  After a short break, we resumed our attacks, until finally, finally, the beast breathed its last.

Mrs. C. led the way down into the pit.  Ty, and I followed close behind her.  Although we killed the monster, this nightmare was far from being over.  Ty and I must find our parents and bring them home. 



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