Monday, April 25, 2011

Abandon All Hope

I was feeling a bit bored and stir-crazy today. Early spring always does this to me--I seem to find the need to constantly be out and about. The day was sunny and moderately warm for this time of year, so I got behind the wheel and weighed my options. I took a few vacation days to enjoy the coming spring.

Why not go home, I thought, and visit Mom and Dad? Wouldn't they be surprised? I'm usually too busy to visit. Besides, Cullingville is only a two-hour drive, and I was craving some adventure.

I got adventure. I got a little more than what I bargained for.

I'm getting a little ahead of myself. So, I drove for awhile, and that was uneventful. The snow is starting to melt substantially, only really lingering in the big piles snow plows make. Really, everything up to my arrival in Cullingville was pretty normal. I noticed I was starting to get low on gas at about the same time I arrived at the Cullingville exit, so I decided to stop at Greenfields General Store to fill up.

The place was deserted! I know we're in a small community, but closing in the middle of the day with no notice or warning? Not acceptable! I knocked on the window a few times, and called out, but no one came by. There were no cars parked nearby, either; just an RV. I went over to the RV and knocked, too. Nothing.

Home was only about a ten minute walk from there, at least, so I took my bags out of the car and decided to set out on foot. Maybe Dad has a spare gas can in the garage. I passed the post office on the way by and noticed that it, too, was closed, with the empty mail delivery truck sitting in the driveway. I went to peek in the post office, but saw nothing. I tried the door. Locked. I stopped and backed up a few steps, then hollered up to the sky.

"Hello!" I shouted. "Hello, is anyone here?"

Only the crows responded with a dull, faint cawing. Panicking, I turned and ran down Academy Avenue, toward home. I passed nothing but empty houses and silence as I ran. Our rusty old mailbox with "THE HENRY FAMILY" painted in lopsided lettering waited at the bottom of our long drive, and I turned the corner to run up. Panting, I got to the top of the driveway, dropped my bags, and went to open the door.

It was locked. Of course it was. Both Mom's and Dad's cars were parked in the driveway.

Nonetheless, I remembered where the spare key was. Mom always left our spare key in the hanging hydrangea planter by the door. I successfully found it, pried it out, and unlocked the door.

"Hello?" I called. "Mom? Dad?" Nothing. Still nothing. I picked up the phone to see if there were any messages on the answering machine, but I was only greeted by silence on the other end.

Tonight I'm going to search the house to see if maybe Mom and Dad decided to go on vacation or something.

And if they took the entire town with them.