Mr. Sire showed South about the house, ending at the bedroom at the end of the hall, furthest away from the others,
"This is Max and your bedroom, I believe that's your bed." he siad, pointing to one on the right. There were two beds in the middle of the room, pressed against the wall, the heads of the beds put ogether and thw feet facing away so the beds were sideways againgst the wall.
"Max, I told you to clean this up." Mr. Sire said under his breath, he grabbed the stuff of Mase's that Max had left out off the empty dresser and tossed them onto Max's bed. There was a large pituce window where the bed were. The roomw ans't very clean, Max's bed wasn't made and some jeans were thrown on the ground along wth a t-shirt or two and a set of sport shorts. Mr. Sire also took down anything that had to do with Mase on Mase's side of the room and put it on Max's bed, she could put it away later.
South quietly set his duffle bag on the empty bed, looking over at Mr. Sire. He peeked out through his hair, watching him cautiously. Watching his hands, keeping a safe distance from him.
"Thank you sir." He mumbled as he stood there quietly.
"OK, settle in, kiddo. Dinner is in half an hour, um I sorry if Max gave you a rude greeting...she'll warm up to you." Mr. Sire said, "Hopefully." he added quietly. He turned and left the room.
Max was hungry, that was the only reason she came in 25 minutes later to wash up. She entered her room and saw Mase's stuff on her bed. Max hadn't ben allowed to keep alot of Mase's stuff because they'd sold some of it to get money for the funeral and they'd given to their cousin or to other people. She'd manged to keep some things.
Max came froward and picke dthe stuff up, she took it and put in the lower drawer of her drsser. She didn't say anything to South as she moved her bed in the furthest corner of teh room, away from the strange boy, she didn't care if she didn't have a window.
Max left to wash her hands.
"Amos, Max, South, Uriah, Ramsey, Reagan, and Kiernan, clean up and come downstairs and inside to eat!" Mrs. Sire called, up stairs and outside. The boys came tumbling in and washe dup in the lower bathroom and Kiernan came in from seeing her lamp. Reagan came from her room and Mr. Sire came in form the barn with the horses.
Very quietly, South went to wash up. He went to the sink, waiting until the others had washed up before he stepped over.
Warm water came as a slight shock to him, making him jolt the slightest bit.
But he was quick to wash up then push his sleeves back down, hiding his skin.
Everyone sat down at the table, said a prayer and then Mrs. Sire served food to the younger kids. Max took a small portion of food,s he wa shungry but not that much, she hadn't eaten all day though becuase she hadn't packed her lunch for the trip and hadn't cosen to eat breakfast.
Max took a small piece of garlic bread an da little pasts, she put some butter and parmasean on her pasta and satrte dto eat slowly not looking at anyone,
Maxine, try and be polite." Mr. Sire said, he reached over and rubbed her back, Max glared at him and pushe dhis hand away, she went back to eating,
"Amos, just don't, not know." Mrs.Sire siad quietly. Mr. Sire sighed and went back to eating,
"So, South, what type of stuff do you like to do and such? Do you like animals?" he asked. The Sire farm was mostly an animal farm, there was one crop field they frew either corn or wheat and sometimes cotton.
"I...I never got out much." He mumbled. "I don't know what I like. Just...colors." He responded to Mr. Sire, not the others. Out of fear. Afraid of the other man.
Mr. Sire watched South quietly, he saw the boy feared him.
"South, I don't want you too fear me." he said quietly. He finished his pasta and standing up he took his plate to the sink,
"I want everyone up bright and early tomorrow. South you're going to help Max with the sheep, goats and pigs, Uriah and Ramsey I want you with me we're going get the watering system set up for the crops and we'll milk the cows and let them out. Kiernan, listen up sweetie, you and Reagan have the chickens and the gardens with Mommy's help. OK?" he said,
"And South and Max will help me with the horses and chopping wood later in the day. "And don't forget your household chores." he said. Mr. Sire went up to bed.
Max hated the thought of having to show this new boy the ropes on how to care for the sheep and goats...and the pigs, they had piglets they had to take care of. She got up and started to wash the dishes, one of her chores was cleaning up after dinner. Kiernan was carried off to bed my Mrs. Sire and Reagan went to get ready for bed leaving Max and South alone in the kitchen.
South started to quietly help cleaning up. His motions were quick and efficient, even though he had never been in this kitchen before.
He was used to cleaning all sorts of things up. He had gotten very good at cleaning over the years.
Having to clean up or be punished severly.
Max worked silently next to South, barely tolerating his presence becuase he cleaned well, much better then the other children cleaned. Max had learned her cleaning skills at her father's house and at the fast food place she used to work in.
Max put the food away, wiped the atble and satrted to sweep, allowing South to clean up the dishes. It was easy to figure out where the dishes went so Max stayed angrily silent as she swept adn wiped counters down, the young children were very messy.
South was quick to finish the dishes, then started to get on his knees to clean the floor. He glanced up at her, then quickly looked away again.
For once, he pushed his hair from his scarred face so he didn't miss anything he cleaned up on the floor.
Max looked over at him, she had finsihed sweeping, tehf loors were large so she grabbed a bucket of soap water and put it down near the sink, scrubbing with him to make sure everything shown. She glanced at the clock, clenaing had taken a while, it was almost 10:00 now. She dumped the dirty water out back and fisnihed the clenaing by shining up water faucets.
"We're done." she said, tehf irst words she'd said to the boy, taking the dish clothe sto the laundry and hanging them up to dry, she'd start the laundry early tomorrow before going out the sheep.
Max stood, watching South, her arms cross on her chest for a few moments, sinc etehw ork was done though she ha dto go up stairs and get ready for bed though,
"Bed time is 10:30." she siad. They were allowed up later if stuff neede dto get cleaned, but since South had helped the cleaning ahd gone much faster. Max turned and pounded up the stairs.
((I think this is my last post for now...need to get to bed. :-P))
South nodded quietly, keeping silent. He glanced around, just to mak sure everything was cleaned up before he slowly and quietly headed upstairs. He wouldn't sleep of course. He could never sleep well at night, not in the dark.
The dark was where things happened, things that left him bruised, burned, or bleeding.
Even though this was new place, with new people, new everything, his old memories of the way things used to be haunted him. Keeping him from relaxing or feeling safe.
((Alright. Me too. :) ))
Max changed into a set of cargo shorts and a white t-shirt. She went in her room and knelt down on her side, plugging something in, going over to South's side she pulgged another thing in. Light's came on, very soft dulled lights, like a softer version of Christmas lights.
Max had strung them in her room soon after Mase died becuase she hadn't been sleping well and had hoped light would help, when Max had been little she'd deathly afraid of the dark, which was put down to just something most young children were afraid of. . Mase had helped by being there when it was dark. Now that Mase was gone Max used the lights to help. But she couldn't stand keeping her room light on so she chose to get old Christmas lights and string them up.
The lights were mismatched, some were pale blue, others green red, the multicolor lights, soe dimmed white lights. Max didn't wait for South to come, she threw herself in her bed and pulled the covers up her chin, she stared at the wall now, waiting to go to sleep.
South slowly got to the room, shuffling very quietly so he didn't disturb anyone, so he didn't make anyone angry. He carefully opened the door just an inch and peeked in, checking the room cautiously before he set foot in it.
He gasped softly at the lights, blinking and looking through his hair.
Max heard South coem in, she turned over so she face the wall and didn't let him see she was crying. SHe wished Mase was back everynight, Max hated to feel alone, which sh e did now her brother was gone. And the bringing up of givining Mase's clothes in the car had made her upset, plus her stepfather moving Mase's things and just dumping them on her bed. She moved her hands up to cover her eyes as she trie dto make her breathing sound normal.
South stood in the doorway for a moment before he carefully moved over to the bed. He did his best not to disturb Max. She already seemed angry enough.
He shuffled over and sat on the bed and carefully took off his shoes, tucking them under the bed. He reached for his duffle bag, and carefully pulled an old mint container out of one of the flimsy pockets.
He started to carefully take out his earrings and his lip ring, folding them into the tissue paper he had placed in the tin.
Max heard the russling of tissue paper, but didn't move, she wished South would just go to sleep already so she could cry in peace and get herself calmed down.
Max kept her hands pressed her eyes like she was playing hide and seek, her breath was rather shkaey, but she was steadying it, tears now and then leaked form in between her fingers.
Just got to sleep already! she thought, wishing South would hear and obey her thought, thoughs he kenw that was impossible.
South glanced over to the other bed. Was it his imagination, or was her breathing different?
He decided it had to be his imagination, but he hurried a little, just in case. He pulled out his pajamas, or rather, the clothing that he didn't mind sleeping in.
There was an old, very faded pair of pants, worn thin enough at the knees that they were almost see through. And a pale, stained T-shirt.
He was very cautious with the shirt since it had short sleeves, but he wore it anyway.
Soon, he had himself dressed and curled in bed. The lights were quietly soothing, and he found himself sleeping a lot sooner than he thought.
But sleep gave way to dreams, and dreams gave way to nightmares that soon turned into night terrors.
He woke up violently with a scream, shaking harshly, a cold sweat down his back.