Three Babes in the Woods by Yawatta Hosby

Three Babes in the Woods

by Yawatta Hosby

Copyright 2016

Three Babes in the Woods

If I shut my eyes, maybe Mommy will forget about me. I only need her to forget about me for about ten seconds. Well, I’m not very good with math, maybe it’s an hour. I squeeze my eyes tighter and tighter. And, I hug my red fuzzy Elmo tighter and tighter.

Elmo. Yikes! I throw him away from me in the back seat. He hits the side of the door with a thud. Oh no, the thud may get Mommy’s attention. I can’t open my eyes, so I can’t tell if she sees me or not.

“Honey, what are you doing?”

“You can see me?”

“Of course, honey, are you playing a game?”

I wish it was a game, but I’m scared to dea—Wait I don’t want to say death. Oh no, I said it by mistake. I don’t want to die. Maybe if I don’t answer Mommy she’ll forget about me.

“Honey?”

I open a eyeball. Mommy’s looking at me through the rearview mirror. I can’t hide anymore. I may die.

“…I throwed Elmo.”

“Why? He’s your favorite toy.”

“He’s scary.”

Mommy laughs. She stops when she sees I’m not laughing too. “Why is he scary?”

I hide under my coat by pulling it up over my head. Then I point out the window, afraid to see the scary sign. We go on this road every day to get home, and I didn’t know it was scary until yesterday. Bennie, my older cousin, warned me about Elmo leaving his three daughters in the woods to die. That the scary blue and yellow–I mean gold, is it gold or is it yellow? I haven’t learned all my colors yet in school–sign near the road is proof that it happened. Bennie says if I become a burden on Mommy and Daddy, then they may leave me in the woods to die too.

“What are you pointing at? The woods? You love the woods, sweetheart. Tell me what’s going on.”

“Did we passed the sign?”

“The sign? You know what the sign means?”

I stop hiding under my coat. Mommy needs to see me shake my head yes.

“Oh, Samantha, you’re too young to understand. How in the world did you hear about what that sign means?”

“I know-I know that Elmo killed his three daughters because they were a burden. Mommy, how does Elmo have daughters? Did he get married?” I reach out for Elmo. The seat belt cuts into my chest, but I manage to get him. Mommy needs to see who I’m talking about. No more lies, Mommy.

“You don’t have to be afraid of Elmo. He’s just a toy.” Mommy frowns. Oh no, is she lying?  “I wish I could’ve explained things when you’re older, but let me try to now. I don’t want you afraid. Nothing bad will happen to you, honey.”

“But-but something bad happened to those girls. They died in the woods. Can I die in the woods too?”

“I’ll do everything in my power to protect you. Me and your daddy.”

“If Elmo’s just a toy, then who killed those girls?”

“Elmo Noakes was a man from California. He took a road trip with his three daughters and girlfriend. They ended up here in Pennsylvania.”

“Why did he kill them, Mommy?”

“In 1934, I want to say it was the Great Depression, but I’m not sure. I was never good in History class. I think… Mr. Noakes was a desperate man. He couldn’t afford to support his family…it was a tragedy, but you have to know me and your daddy love you very much. You never have to worry about us abandoning you.”

“Even if I’m a burden?”

“You’ll never be a burden to us, honey. Never.”

Did Elmo ever tell his daughters that? What if Mommy changes her mind? Bennie said it could happen at anytime. I never want to go camping again. I never want to drive on this road again. I never want any fur coats either.

And, I hate the color green. Green used to be my favorite color, but not anymore. Those three girls were found by a green blanket. Why couldn’t it have been a blue blanket? The awful scary color blue. Scary blue and scary yellow or scary gold. I really need to learn my colors.

My best friend in pre-school is scared of frogs. My cousin is scared of dogs. My little sister is scared of the boogeyman. I’m scared of Mommy and Daddy, thanks to my cousin Bennie. I’m scared to die. What if I become a burden and they decide to leave me in the woods to die? What if Mommy is lying about Elmo? I look at my red fuzzy toy. Is he going to kill me? Is he going to leave me in the woods to die if I become a burden?

What does burden even mean? I’m scared to ask Mommy. She may lie. Shutting my eyes tight doesn’t help me disappear. I’ll have to come up with something else. Only when we take this scary road that passes that scary blue and yellow—or is it gold?—sign. The sign that says On This Spot Were Found Three Babes in the Woods. Nov.-24-1934. The only reason I remember is because last night my cousin Bennie made me say it out loud a billion times until it stuck in my head.

How can I disappear? And what does burden mean? I’ll ask Bennie the next time I see him.

THE END

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Free Books for the Holidays!!!

How is it already mid-December? Geez Louise! I hope everyone is staying warm and reading an entertaining book.

To celebrate the holidays, I’m offering three of my ebooks for free on Amazon until December 17th! It’ll give readers a chance to try my stuff or give their friends a free gift.

Happy Reading!!!

Just click on the book titles to download free books:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

10 Minute Novelist

Hi. I’m proud to say that I’m a 10 minute novelist.

One day I was looking for inspiration. Believe it or not, no matter how many times I told myself I’d write every day, it didn’t happen! I came across this wonderful website called 10 Minute Novelists right before NaNo. How is it already December?

The founder, Katharine Grubb, says “I decided that my dreams were worth fighting for. I decided that doing something was better than doing nothing. And I decided that if I waited until I had the perfect conditions, I would never get that novel written.”

Besides finding the 10 Minute Novelists website, I also joined their Facebook group. Their three goals–tips, encouragement, and community.

So far, I’ve found motivation to write every day. Not necessarily always fiction, but writing nonetheless. I have to keep a steady blog schedule somehow. 🙂

I discovered that just finding 10 minutes out of my day to focus on writing has really, really helped. I’m writing about 400 words each session block. Hopefully, I can keep up this momentum.

Thinking in terms of 10 minutes has improved my goals in so many ways:

  • It takes the pressure off of me, not feeling guilty for not writing in long sessions
  • I get bursts of energy, feeling productive in these quick sessions
  • I found my balancing act with novellas, short stories, comics, reading, scripts, and editing/revising

For any inspiring writers out there, please know your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. Just focus on getting your words down on paper; you can always edit later. And, you don’t have to commit hours upon hours a day to consider yourself a real writer. No siree. Everyone has their own schedule, their own pace. If you can commit to 10 minutes a day, then you’re good to go. At the end of the day, writers write. 🙂

Good luck!

For any writers out there, how do you find motivation to keep working on your fiction or other writing projects?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby