The Mountain

I remember that day more clearly than my times tables.  We were in the attic bedroom of a foreigners' farmhouse and all I wanted to do was go home.  Home.   The word was a picture of a house in a book I'd read and we weren't going there.  Her hands were heavy on my chest moving in slow circles, pushing the warmth down.  The smell of Vapo-Rub and strange blankets terrified me.  She had that look in her eyes again and I felt  small and lost.  Her voice quiet, firm.  Dry heat from a dusty vent muffled her words. I could barely hear what she was saying but the tone made my body go cold.

She stood wiping her hands on a towel blocking the late winter light as she paused by the window.  "Mommy's going up the mountain for awhile.