Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 114

telling everything in the room time was passing.

"Is that you in the picture, Mrs. Sousa?" Mena wanted to know.

"No, child, I got her from the Goodwill. That place is filled with pictures no one cares about anymore. The people in some of those pictures have been dead so long no one remembers them. I call her "Anna" and spend my time imagining what kind of life she lived. She must have died years ago but sometimes late at night and half-asleep in my chair I wake up suddenly and think I see her running down the hallway."

"Is she a ghost like Mr. Sousa?" Mena asked.

"Yes, but different. Here, let's see your baby."

Mena handed the doll over and Mrs. Sousa maneuvered the arm back and forth into the shoulder socket till it snapped into place.

"There, she's as good as new!"

"Baby Carol can stay with you for awhile Mrs. Sousa," Mena heard herself saying. "Then you won't be alone."

"Oh, what a sweetheart you are! No, Mena, you are this baby's mama, not me. I am not so lonely with old dreams and memories that come and visit me, and now you are here. Besides I have Anna and Mr. Sousa. Now, how can I heal you today, Mena?”

“ I have a bad cough and can’t sleep at night.”

“I have just the medicine for you,” Mrs. Sousa said as she took a Wild Turkey bottle out of her cupboard and poured a little in a coffee mug. She then squeezed some lemons and boiled some water. She put honey in the mug with the Wild Turkey, lemon juice, and hot water. Mrs. Sousa made Mena sit down in the squeaky chair and drink the hot liquid slowly. Mena liked the taste of the mixture but only drank half the cup before she felt a little drowsy. Mrs. Sousa took Mena’s hand and walked her back across the street to the lawn chair in her own front yard.

Before long Mena’s mother came outside to call her for lunch.