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by Richard L. Provencher  
6/13/2008 / Short Stories

"Hey, wake up! Come on. Wake up. Please George!"
"What's your problem, Ryan?"
"Wake up."
"I am awake. How come you took all them blankets last night, Ryan?"
"I did not."
"Did too, Ryan."
"Did not!"
"Watch your mouth. You'll wake up Mr. and Mrs. Archibald."
"Maybe they already woke up, George."
"Nah. Look, it's still dark out."
"You sure?"
"Grown-ups like to sleep in. How come you woke me up so early?"
"I'm real hungry, George."
"You're still hungry?"
"After pigging out on Kentucky Fried Chicken last night?"
"I'm still hungry."
"Well...what do you want me to do about it?"
"A cookie. I'd love to have a great big peanut butter cookie."
"Yah. I remember all them cookies Mrs. Archibald baked yesterday. Want some?"
"Let's go, if you're not a scared-cat. Quietly...I said quietly."
"Your feet ever cold last night, George."
"Wha-do-you expect? You tried to steal all them blankets."
"Did not."
"Did too, Ryan."
"Did not, George."
"Sssh! Not so loud. It's not my fault these folks are so poor. They can't even afford a bed for each of us."
"Can we get our cookies now George?"
"Yah. But we have to be real quiet."
"George, you already said that."
"Sshhh. If we wake them they might boot us out for taking the cookies, Ryan. Let's be quiet as mice, OK? I'm tired of having to move all the time."
"What did you say?"
"Only a couple each, alright Ryan?"
"Yup. Do you like peanut butter cookies too, George?"
"Sssh! Don't step on the cat, OK? Hey, only two each. And please don't knock the cookie can on the floor, OK?"
"Now let's skidaddle back to bed."
"Quick, before Mrs. Archibald comes. I think I hear her coming."
"Hey, give me some covers too, Ryan. Move over."
How come these cookies are so good, George?"
"I dunno. Why don't you eat them so I can get some sleep?"
"Do you think we're going to be adopted, George?"
"Nah. This is just a foster home. We have to go somewhere else to get adopted. Besides, who wants two big kids like us?"
"But, I really like Mrs. Archibald, George."
"Remember what happened last time we were bad? We got moved. I hope they don't get too mad about these cookies."
"They're only a few peanut butter cookies, George."
"Whatever. Get some sleep now. OK, Ryan?"
"Ryan, Is that all you can say, yup?"
"Well what can you expect from a seven year old kid, anyways?"
"Kid brother, George. Besides, you're only two years older than me. George?"
"What? Can't you see I'm tired?"
"George, I love you."
"Don't give me any of that mush, Ryan."
"You're all I got left, George."
"Get some sleep, OK? Please?"
"How come momma let the Children's Aid take us away George?"
"I dunno."
"Maybe she didn't want us. You think so, George?"
"Don't say that. It's not true. Mom just can't look after us right now."
"I got no friends. No family. Just you, George."
"Yah...yah. Ryan? I know Mom still loves us."
"George? You crying or something?"
"Quiet. I'm just thinking. Maybe if we be good, Mrs. Archibald might let us stay here. No more moving around. Maybe even get bunk beds. Sound Okay?"
"Yah. It might work out. Then when mom feels better, maybe we can go home again."
What now, Ryan?"
"Let's get some more cookies."

* * *

Richard & Esther Provencher 1999

Richard enjoys writing poems; many of which have been published in Print and Online. He and his wife, Esther are also co-authors of stories and a print novel. They are "born again" Christians and very busy in their church, Abundant Life Victory International, in Bible Hill, Nova Scotia.

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