Red Dirt Alice


Red Dirt Alice

(NOTE: This is a submission for Finish That Thought 2-13)

The day it all began, the sky was gray. Rain danced across the shiny red surface of the car. The cell phone chirped awake and Clara glanced down to see the all too familiar area code 580. She edged to the side of the road and picked up the cell. Her sister’s voice crackled across the airwaves. “Clara? This is Kit. Have you heard?”

“I guess not. What’s up?”

“It’s Tracy…she’s…well, she’s gone.” Tracy rarely made a move without telling four other people of her plans. If travel was involved, there would be an itinerary, a map, or something that would provide some idea of her whereabouts.

“Have you checked her desk? She probably has something in her planner.”

“Of course I checked it,” Kit clipped out in irritation. “She disappeared, I’m telling you. It’s as if she was abducted by aliens.”

“Okay…so how long has she been missing?”

“72 hours.”

Clara sat up straight. “And you are just now calling me? Okay…I hear you. I’ll catch the next flight back home. Keep me in the loop.” Hanging up, she called her travel agent and soon found herself on a flight back home. By morning, she glided down the red dirt road in the rented Beamer.

The farm house stood out against the back drop of the hay fields. Her sister Katherine stepped out on the porch as she pulled to a stop. Soon, they hugged each other close and Kit filled her in on all of the news, or lack thereof. Ten years prior, their mother had vanished. Before that, their grandmother disappeared. It was happening again and no one seemed to know why. Her father sat at the kitchen table, looking through boxes of papers. More papers laid strewn about the floor.

“You know she is going to be pissed if she sees this mess,” Clara could not help but state.
Kit looked up sharply and echoed, “If…”

Clara pushed papers aside with her feet as she shuffled through the living room. A breeze blew through the window and lifted the corners and rustled a few more papers until one caught her eye. Reaching down to pick up the document, she was struck by the age of the leaf. It didn’t fit in this scene at all. Trying to make out the writing on the page, she read, “Crimista conlea amblia traversa…Kit, what is this?” Kit rustled through the piles and looked over Clara’s shoulder. “Hmmm…I saw her with something old…” Clara looked up as her sister’s words faded only to realize the entire room was fading around her.

When her feet found solid ground again, Clara looked around. The world around her was black and gray. It looked like the farm house but…different. The letters were backwards. It was as if she was in the back side of the mirror. Did her sister go through the looking glass like Alice?



About Denise Callaway

I started writing in the 5th grade and have folders of bits and pieces dating back nearly that far. Wonderful teachers encouraged me along the way, from allowing me to take my spelling word sentences and write a story instead to posting pictures for a free write on a regular basis. On those pictures, I often look for some obscure detail, sometimes imagined off the picture to develop into the story idea. As I grew into my teenage years, I continued to write and added poetry to my list. Throughout college and during my adult life, I've continued writing: short stories, poetry, and even a few articles for Yahoo! Voices before they shut down that venue. I do have longer works in process and I hope to one day unveil them to you all. Until that day comes, I hope you enjoy these tasty tidbits I delight in sharing with you.

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