Dust danced in the beams of light that shone down through the holes in the ceiling. Beau walked straight to the wall that held the library. While Jane rummaged through the other things, Beau looked across the old books. Ripped, aged, and now even water damaged from the recent storms, his favorite memories were of sitting in front of this wall, asking one of his parents or the other what certain words meant, learning of the world around him. It seemed so small now, both the world he thought he knew and the library itself. Beau stared a moment longer, linger on those memories, but Jane moving around and tossing stuff aside looking for… whatever she was looking for… woke him up to what he was doing here.
He knelt down, felt for the loose board, and moving it aside, reaching into the small cubby below and pulling out the old leather sack. He flipped it open, drew out the worn old book inside, and hesitantly opened it. His mother’s handwriting was there on the page, and as he read it, he heard her voice in the words. His eyes watered up quickly, and he shut the book and tucked it back into the bag. He then went around the house, picking up a few things that they’d left behind. They had decided not to bring most of the things with them, but now that they had somewhere new to call home, they could collect a few of them and setup in Quarry Creek.
Beau quickly had a small bag full of things that he would be returning with. While Jane kept rummaging, Beau turned to go outside. He heard his mom call him, and turned back into the room before realizing that of course that wasn’t her voice; Jane asked him again where he was going.
“Headin to the still to see what parts we can move with us. I think the old wheelbarrow is out there, so I might see if I can fix up the wheel real quick and we can get it back with us.”
She nodded and turned back to the stuff she was tossin around. Beau looked back through the inside of the shack one last time before heading out into the woods. He could still see his parents in places, ma cooking or reading or whittling, or pa skeeving a piece of leather or setting together wooden handles to the old metal bits of tools. He shook his head again to clear his vision, smiled briefly, and wandered out to find the still.
It didn’t take long to break it down into parts that could be moved, emptying the last few shots into a bottle, and not much longer to set the wheel back on the barrow and replace the old work pins. He quickly piled the still parts that he couldn’t quickly replace in the barrow and wheeled it back towards the house.
Jane was standing by the graves. Beau watched her, hearing the sounds of his sister playing and laughing, his parents talking and laughing, yelling and explaining, years of the sounds of family swirling around him. He knew those sounds would fade soon; the rest of the world they’d found was so loud, there wasn’t room for these kinds of sounds. He lingered a moment before stepping up beside his sister and quietly setting his hand on her shoulder, lightly squeezing. She smiled at him, a strange look on her face. As they turned to leave, Beau said a quiet farewell, and almost could hear his parents wishing them luck.
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