Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 3

I couldn’t help but admit surprise at her courage. For as long as I could remember, she talked about picking up and leaving Granville. But it was certainly one thing to talk about it and another to actually do it. Despite Grandpa’s monthly rent and his ranting and raving about saving our souls, we had a home. Grandma cooked our meals, and even though Mother darling and I were supposed to do our share of the household chores, Grandma usually did them for us. She had them to baby-sit for me when I was younger so she could pursue her music career, even though Grandpa thought it was “coddling the devil” to perform “half-naked” in “slime pits.” He talked so much about the devil and hell that I used to believe he had been there and back. One of these days, I thought, he will bring out some pictures to show me tortured souls.

When the farm was active, he tried to get Mother darling to work, feeding and caring for the variety of sheep he raised, as well as miniature Hereford cattle. On purpose or not, she was more trouble than value to him, always wasteful when she was shearing. He finally gave up on her, which couldn’t have pleased her more. By the time I was old enough to be of any use, he was retreating from the business and there wasn’t much to do. He let all his help go.

Anyway, after she had awoken me, I splashed some cold water on my face and finished packing. Of course, she had promised to buy me a whole new wardrobe when we got to Nashville and she had earned big money in the music business. I couldn’t deny she had a nice voice and looked pretty up on a stage, but it just seemed so unreal to think of her as actually making records and being on television or singing in front of thousands of people. I didn’t tell her that. Nothing would set her off as much as being told she didn’t have what it takes. Actually, I envied her for having some sort of dream at least. The only thing I looked forward to when we left was a cup of strong coffee.

She was at the door fifteen minutes later.

“Ready?” she asked.

I had the suitcase packed and closed and I was sitting on my bed with my eyes closed. I was falling asleep again, hoping it was just a dream.

“I’ve already got all my things in the car,” she whispered. “C’mon, wake up, Robin.”

Impatient, she picked up my suitcase. It was obviously heavier than she expected.

“What did you take?”

“Just what I needed,” I said.

She grimaced and led the way. Grandpa always kept his hallway lights low to save on electricity. The weak illumination, the heavy thick shadows following along the wall, all made me feel it was still a dream. It was mid-July, but nights and mornings were cold to me. I shuddered, wrapped my arms around myself, and followed Mother darling down the fieldstone walkway to the car. A partially overcast night sky provided minimum starlight. The whole world looked asleep. I felt like I was sneaking into a painting.

The car doors complained when we opened them, metal shrieking. Mother darling started the engine without putting on the lights and drove slowly down the long driveway. I was still in a state of disbelief, groggy, my eyes half closed.

“Good riddance to this,” she muttered. “I’m gettin‘ out. I’m gettin’ away, finally.”

I turned and cuddled up as best I could with my head against the window and the top of the seat. I couldn’t crawl into the rear because she had her guitar there resting on a pillow she wouldn’t let me use. Nevertheless, despite the bumps and turns, I fell asleep.

I woke up to the screaming shrill sound of a tractor trailer as it passed us by on the highway. We were already on I-71 South heading toward Louisville. The driver in the tractor trailer sounded his horn again.

“Donkey,” Mother darling called him. I groaned and sat up straighter, stretching my arms.

Suddenly, it all came back to me.

“I thought I was dreaming,” I told her.

She laughed.

“No more, Robin. Dreams turn into reality now,” she vowed.

I saw the road signs.

“I don’t see why we have to go to a place where people call people Bubba and Sissy,” I complained. Mother darling knew how much I disliked country music. I told her it was soapy and full of tears.

“I told you—it’s where you have to go to make it in country music,” she said.

“Country music. You’ve

got to chew on straw and be barefoot most of the time to like it.”

She practically pulled off the highway, jerking herself around to yell at me.

“You’d better keep that stupid opinion to yourself when we get there, Robin. People in Nashville have been known to hang rock-and-rollers like you by their ears for less.”

“Yeah, yeah, right,” I said.

“I don’t see how you can afford to make fun of anyone anyway, Robin. You’re sixteen and you’ve already got a criminal record. You should be happy I’m takin‘ you to a place no one knows you. You’ll have a chance to start new, make new friends.”

“Friends. You never liked any of my friends and probably never will, no matter where we live. In fact, you never liked anything I’ve done.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Broken Wings Horror
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