I live outside of town for a reason. I’m old now and don’t have time for small town gossip, I wanted peace and quiet. I’d lived here all my life, so when I moved, I didn’t go far.
The problem with my new house on the edge of town was the position. A crossroads sat a hundred yards from it. One direction was the freeway to the West and the other, the East. Finally, the gravel track that wound its way through the forest ended at my little cabin.
When children decided to run away from home, they invariably end up on my doorstep. Begrudgingly, I’d let them in. When the warmth of the fireplace hit them, and I gave them cookies and milk, they’d usually break down and ask for their Mommy. They’d tell me her number, and I’d phone them. An hour later, sometimes longer, and in one case, the day after, the parents would arrive and thank me. They were so grateful that I’ve found their child and took care of them so well. In the coming days, most would send me a gift basket and a letter written by the child, thanking me for the hospitality.
While it’s nice, it doesn’t stop the resentment I harbour towards those little brats, those who put their parents through hell.
It was Halloween yesterday and some of those little ingrates decided to pay a visit to my little cabin in the woods.
“Trick or treat,” the little ones said, holding out a container for me to fill with sugary treats.
“Do your parents know you’ve come out this far?” I asked.
They shook their heads.
“Can we have some of those lovely cookies that you gave us last time?” they plead.
I stifled a grin, I am good at cooking, if I’m good at anything.
“Why don’t you come in,” I offered.
Excitedly they entered.
Today, I drive the small trip into town and park up next to the annual All Soul’s Day festival that takes place.
The parents smile as they see me get out of the car. I open the trunk and take out the freshly baked pies I made this morning.
“They smell good,” one of the adults says.
“Thank you, it’s my own recipe.”
“You wouldn’t have happened to see my daughter last night?” she asks, “She didn’t come home, nor did Eric’s son.”
“Why no, I’m sorry,” I say, “you know I’d be the first to tell you.”
“Yes, I do, you have always been so good to us.”
“Would you like to try a piece?” I offer.
“Sure,” she says, taking the small pie.
“Wow, this is good,” she says happily.
“I’m sure they are just over at a friend’s house,” she manages through mouthfuls.
“I’m sure they are,” I say, “would you help me hand these out?”
“Hey Eric, you have to try this pie, it has the most tender meat.”
I always make sure the children return home.