“I will see you back in school tomorrow, we need to talk about your train wreck life.” Celeste whispers out, “Yes sir,” and watches Mr. Hicks gets into his car and drive away.

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The minute Celeste arrives home, and steps into the log cabin house the next day, her life was a train wreck with countless of mishaps. Staying with Doris was murder on the little cowgirl; since the lazy heifer didn’t do a dang thing to help out.  She often wonders why her father would pick a bitch to bed when Doris was rude and crude to her. School was no better, it seemed the bullying escalated upon the cowgirl.  Mr. Hick the school Librarian smooths the hardship for little Celeste, but never enough to end the torment of the cruel children of middle school.  Celeste started to fail her classroom studies once again, and this time lost the desire to keep up. 

Day in and out, the tired little girl withdrew inside herself preferring the solitude of life then being with another human beings. Finally one day when life was at it’s worse for her, she decides to escape into the woods skipping school altogether, and stumbles upon a place in the woods she had not seen before while out hunting for Doris and her dinner.   She was freezing in the last of the winter months, and hated to return home to Doris since no one knew she didn’t go to school during the day.  So she builds her a small fort to shelter her from the cold by a small frozen stream. The tepee style of her fort came from her memory of a book she read a while back about how Native Indians lived. Instead of using an animal hide to cover the A frame dwelling, she uses pine tree branches and weaves the dense green branches to fashion a clever wind barrier throughout the logs, and left a small opening for her to crawl into the cozy setting.

After the second day with Doris, Celeste changed her mind about not killing another animal, she finds it’s easier to leave her worries behind to the solitude of hunting in the woods then deal with the wrath of crazy Doris. Not only did the twelve year old begin to hunt, she knew Doris hated the sight of her skinning and killing the critter’s for their dinner.  In discuss her father’s girlfriend eventually bands her from bringing the dead animals in the house, and sent Celeste to the cold shed to strip their hides off their bodies. Never once did Doris turn down a good meal when Celeste fixed dinner, she ate until there was no more food to devour, and then picked up her cigarettes, and poured her a hefty amount of straight up vodka with ice in a tall glass.

One evening Celeste was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, when a soft knock at the door was heard.  Celeste looks into the living room and sees Doris as usual drinking and smoking while watching her loud TV program.  She heads to the door wiping her wet hands on a dish towel and opens the door to Mr. Hick the Librarian.  “Celeste where have you been for the past few weeks.  I have come to check on you to see if you’re ill, may I come in?”  Celeste turned fifty shades of red, and didn’t know what to say. She opens the door innocently and lets Mr. Hick enter.  She could see immediately the wrinkle of a sour puss look upon his face from smelling Doris’s wonderful intoxicating scent of second hand smoke. “Is there a place we can sit down and talk little?” Mr Hick’s requested in a light tone.  She nods a yes and leads him to the kitchen where the stench of smoke wasn’t bad.

On her last footstep before entering the kitchen she realizes her folly allowing her school teacher to enter her domain.  Unable to do anything about it, she begins to fret having Doris overhear their conversation.  “Is your parents home Celeste I would like to talk to them?” She immediately answers back, no.  “Do you smoke Celeste?” he softly spoke out.  “No sir I don’t,” she replied not giving more information.  He scans the cozy warm kitchen and decides not to sit down, he could feel the embarrassed energy of Celeste. “I would like to know why you have chosen not to return too school?” She gives her favorite teacher a shrug with her shoulders keeping quiet while he interrogates her.  His eyes spots smoke in the living room, and sees a person on the couch watching TV.  

“Celeste who is sitting in you’re living room if your parents aren’t home?” She was about to tell him when Doris herself gets up to head to the kitchen to fill her glass with more fire liquid. Lovely Doris steps into the kitchen and is surprised to see a stranger in her home and bellows out loud.  “Who the hell are you?” Mr. Hick’s was dumbfounded how ugly the woman was the minute she opened her mouth.  He looks at Celeste in confusion and then returns his attention to Doris.  “Sorry Mrs. my name is Mr. Hick’s, I’m the school Librarian at Celeste’s school.” Doris becomes personal and greets the visitor, “Hello, my name is Doris Hutchinson, nice to meet you.  What brings you here Mr. Hick?” Celeste was in a pickle and needed to think of something quick before the Librarian spilled the beans. She failed to miss the odd face that was made by Mr. Hick’s when Doris introduced herself. 

With speed Celeste turns on her heels and enters her bedroom to get a library book she hadn’t returned and quickly shoves the book into Mr. Hick’s hands.  “Sorry sir, I should have known better to return the book I promise I won’t make that mistake again.” Mr. Hick’s knew something was wrong with the family picture, especially upon hearing the woman’s name since it did not match Celeste’s last name.  The story of Celeste was revealing itself before his eyes, he looked at Celeste and didn’t blink an eye to go into details about his visit, instead he smiled and winked at his little student keeping her truancy a secret. Celeste breathes a sign of relief and is thankful to have a friend like Mr. Hick’s who didn’t exploit her skipping school to Doris. 

The Librarian didn’t want to stay long, he quickly said his goodbyes, but not before witnessing Doris opening up the freezer and pouring her glass up to the rim with Vodka.  He was escorted by Celeste to the door, and before he steps out he gives Celeste a stern gaze and states, “I will see you back in school tomorrow, we need to talk about your train wreck life.” Celeste whispers out, “Yes sir,” and watches Mr. Hicks gets into his car and drive away. The cowgirl shuts the door with a heavy heart, and heads straight to her bedroom locking the door so Doris doesn’t pester her.  She sits on her bed in fear of what is to come of her when she returns to school.  At three in the morning, Celeste finally falls asleep and is bothered by bad nightmares.

 

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