The Creek | Teen Ink

The Creek

December 5, 2019
By lucyeckhardt7 BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
lucyeckhardt7 BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I woke up to the sound of my brother running up the stairs. Christmas day was hours away and time was ticking by the second. “Kate, c’mon! Lets go set the tray of cookies for Santa.” said my brother Tristan. I wanted to punch him in the face, but my mom still says if we misbehave that Santa won’t give us any presents. “Alright,” I say. “Let me just take a shower really quick.” “You don’t need to impress anyone!” Tristan yelled. “Be quiet,” I whispered. “If mom and dad catch us awake, they might take away Christmas.” That really scares him. The fact of getting his favorite holiday taken away, was a nightmare to Tristan. It was ten o’clock at night, and on Christmas Eve, nine thirty was our bed time. He ran downstairs and I jumped in the shower. I was so tired I almost fell asleep in the shower, and then Tristan came and banged on my door which woke me up. “Coming!” I shouted. And then the next moment, I was asleep. 

“Hello?” I whisper. Nobody answered as I slowly rise off my bathroom floor. I walked outside into the hallway and there was a box with a red ribbon on the floor. I examined the box, and it wasn’t addressed to anybody. I ran to Tristan’s room to see if he knew what to do, but his door was locked. “Tristan!” I yell, not caring about my parents rule of sleep. I look at my phone and it’s one in the morning. I look outside the window and our house is right next to a rushing creek. We live in Arizona, and I’ve never seen this much water in my life. Then I heard a knock on the door, and everything just went black. 

“Kate, wake up.” I hear a strange but familiar voice. I slowly opened my eyes, and it was Tristan. “Hey, you passed out on your bathroom floor.” he said. I didn’t realize that happened. I thought I just fell asleep, but I guess it was way more serious than I thought. “I tried to get mom, but she wouldn’t budge. She also threatened to call Santa and tell him not to come.” he said.

“Wow, oh no. We better get to bed I guess.” I could barely talk. “What time is it?” Tristan asked. I checked my phone, and the time was three in the morning. “Late.” I said. “We should probably go back to sleep.” “Yeah, agreed. Mom said that we should get some sleep because we leave tomorrow to go to Mama and Papa’s house on the creek.” He said, and then ran off into his room. I stuttered for a second. A creek, just like the one in my dream. I never even knew my grandparents had a house on the creek, and my grandparents are dead. 

I couldn’t go back to bed, so I tried to waste time by trying to find pictures of Mama and Papa. I looked through all the albums of photos and finally found one. It was a picture of my dad when he was younger. He and Papa had gone fishing and in the back round was the rushing water of the creek. I didn’t remember my dad telling me a story about his parents. The only thing he told me about his parents was that they died in a car crash twenty years ago. Then a few seconds later, my mom opened the door. “How long have you been awake?” she asked. “I just woke up.” I lied, but I didn’t remember getting any sleep. “Alright, go wake up Tristan so we can open presents.” my mom said. As she walked out the door I stopped her. “Mom wait!” she stopped. “Are we going to Mama and Papa’s creek house today?” She gave me her disgusted face, which always gives me the chills. 

“How did you know Kate? I don’t remember telling you. It was supposed to be a surprise.” 

“Oh, Tristan told me. He said that we had to wake up early.”

“I never told Tristan anything. Your father must have spilled the tea.” She giggles.

She always laughs at her own jokes. 

“Mom, I thought Mama and Papa were dead.” Then the room went silent.

Opening presents this Christmas was not as exciting as every other year. My mom and I never spoke a word to each other the whole time. “Alright guys, time for the big surprise of the year.” my mom said. “You guys are going to love it.” Those were the first words I heard my dad say all morning. “We are going to Mama and Papa’s!” he said. After hearing the announcement, I just got up and went to pack for the trip.

After the three hour car ride, I saw an old lady sitting on the front porch. She looked exactly like the lady from the photo. Then near the creek was an old man on a lawn chair. “Oh, Kate. I haven’t seen you since you were born!”, the lady who I think is mama yelled. Then my mom pulled me over and acted like the conversation was about to get real.

“The truth about Mama and Papa is that you have never met them before,” She said.

“Then why did dad tell me they were dead.” My voice was shaking.

“They never came to see you at the hospital so your dad and them got into a huge fight.”

“Wow, the thing is I had Deja Vu about living on a creek.”

I walked over to the porch and sat down next to Mama. “Hey girl, how was Christmas?” she asked.

“It was fine.” I paused.

“Well, what did you get from Santa Clause?”

I know I barely know the lady, but I was going to tell her that I don’t believe in such things. 

The evening went by slow. It ended off by Tristan going fishing with Papa and my dad. The car ride was the most awkward thing ever. Nobody spoke a word so the road was all we heard. When we got home, I decided to speak up and say something. “Why does visiting Mama and Papa have to be so awkward?” My mom was the first to respond in some sort of way. She 

just gave me her awkward face and I rolled with it. A few seconds later, there was a knock on the door. “Tristan will you go get that sweetie?” My mom asked, and by the time she asked he was already at the door. Then there was a long period of silence until I heard a very loud scream. “Mom, dad, did you hear that?” I asked.

“Hear what? You’re probably just using that big imagination of yours.” My dad said. 

I looked over to the wide open door and Tristan was gone. There was a white van in front of our house which looked familiar. Then it hit me, it was Papa’s van. I wanted to scream at my parents for bringing me to a house of such creeps. I then turned around and mom and dad were gone. “Mom, Dad! Where are you guys? Tristan?” I was so scared. I ran upstairs to my room and locked all doors and windows and hid under my bed. A few seconds later, I saw black boots walking across my floors. It was Papa’s boots. “Come here my sweet. Come fishing with us, it won’t be long.” Then my window cracked and shattered into pieces. It was Mama with her nice Sunday flats. “No Kate, come knit with me. We’ll make sweaters and have so much fun.” I literally had to scream but I didn’t because I know if I did I would die. I hadn’t made any noise and my bed had just been lifted. There they were, Mama and Papa. Mama had her needles and Papa had a fishing rod. “Come Kate, it won’t be long.” Then everything went silent. I saw nothing but darkness until I heard another familiar voice. 

“Kate, Kate, Kate. Wake up. Mama and Papa came to give us our presents.” It was Tristan. When I woke up there was Mama and Papa with a box with a red ribbon, just like the one from my dream. “Open it. I hope you like it.” Mama said. I opened it up and there was a picture of my family and my grandparents by the creek. I didn’t remember taking this picture, but I just rolled with it. “Merry Christmas everyone!” I screamed. And then right after that, I fell back asleep. 

The author's comments:

This piece is about a girl and her family on Christmas who go to visit her grandparents. Kate, the protagonist, thought her grandparents were dead. 

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