Blood Trails and Bamboo

The country road that stretched in front of us was beautiful. Dad and I sat on the front bench seat of our old Buick. He was driving. I was eleven.

We lived on a large bamboo farm, surrounded by forests, streams, and a pond that smelled of skunk cabbage and crab apples. We didn’t often have visitors.

Crossing the train tracks, I could see our odd shaped mailbox. Ten seconds away, we watched as an unknown car drove out of our driveway and turned onto the street. Though the car’s windows were murky, I was able to discern heads in the backseat. It was as if the unknown vehicle was caught in a slow motion sequence and we were caught with it. Heads turning as it turned.

Turn. Brake. Park. The car engine shut off and our feet hit the ground. We entered our house through the front door. Most times we used the back door near the kitchen, but today, the front door was the smarter choice. It was closer to us.

The screen door was still swaying back and forth on its worn hinges as we entered the house through the living room.

“Miriam?! Rachel!??”

Trailing behind my dad, I began to see what he saw. I heard myself yell out for my sisters as well, panic rising in my voice.

Blood carved itself a dotted path along the hardwood floor, winding all the way around the kitchen, down the hallway, and into Rachel’s room. The blood soaked carpet suggested that Rachel’s room was where it began. Oh yeah, and the broken glass. Her window was broken, glass pieces the size of triangular shaped post cards littered the floor beneath the window.

“Sarah, run to Joanna’s. See if she knows anything.” My dad raced to the phone as I barrelled out the back door, tripping over the bamboo shoot that was clawing its way up and out of the cement.

My mind was battling itself. Shock. Stunned silence. Question after question. We had only been gone for twenty minutes. Miriam was old enough to watch over Rachel. What could have happened? Why was there so much blood? Who was in the mysterious car?

Joanna wasn’t home. Neither was her massive white dog. But that’s not important.

In my mind, I ran like the wind. If scouts had been watching me, I could have been famous. So fast. So fast that I flew past the note taped to the back door. The note that explained everything.

Dad was smart. He hit redial and spoke to someone for a minute before joining me on my medal worthy sprint to the car.

Next thing I knew, we were at the hospital. Time travel could have been involved. I don’t know. All I know is that we found Rachel and Miriam in the hospital. Rachel’s wrist was a bloody mess, resembling a small animal’s brain. Miriam was white. She looked exhausted.

As the doctor stitched up Rachel’s wrist, Miriam told us a story.

It ended up being much less thrilling then dad and I had thought. My imagination had run wild. I think it took off with the unknown car. Who knows if it came back.

Miriam was in the bathroom. Rachel wanted in. Miriam said no. Everybody needs a little bathroom time. Rachel got frustrated. She went to the window and banged on it with her wrist. The thin glass shattered instantly. Blood started gushing. Rachel cried out. Miriam came running.

M mopped at R’s wrist with a handful of tea towels. The blood on the floor was inevitable. Miriam called her best friend’s mom and told her to come quick. She scribbled a note:

“Rachel is cut. Nicole’s mom is driving us to langley memorial hospital.”

The window got fixed. Rachel’s wrist healed nicely, with a few teeth-like marks to tell the story. And Miriam and Nicole became better friends.

I would never forget the blood trail on the floor though. Or the tiny thought in my brain that someone had kidnapped or killed my two sisters.

I freaking love my sisters. Luckily for me, neither of them follow my blog. So they can’t correct me if I got the details wrong, or try to tell me that I would never have been a famous track star. Only the bamboo knows how fast I ran that day.


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