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Eudora By AaronDennis Characters: 10558

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Things have a funny way of working out. The irony is that no matter what one does, how hard someone tries to become something, to make something of oneself, those forces at large have a way of putting things back the way they were, the way they were meant to be. Eudora was no exception.

It was a balmy day. The sun was setting. Eudora, with her abnormally large teeth, thick rimmed black glasses, pasty white skin, stringy, black hair pulled back tightly—save the bangs; they hung loosely to either side of her face—she was not the image of beauty. Her big, blue braces moved up and down as she spoke. Maybe it was the braces, or the big, fake teeth in the front, but she spoke like her tongue was too big for her mouth.

They sat on the hood of the old, gray Cadillac, Eudora and her friends. They weren't her friends of course, but she didn't understand the difference. They were Charlie's friends. He was her younger brother. They were quite a few years apart.

"You should just go ask him, Eudora", Patty said. She was a tall, strawberry blonde with a light tan. "He's been giving you the eye all day."

"I can't do that. I never even said hello to him before. He'll just laugh at me."

Eudora's response was more out of knowledge and certainty than sadness. Sadness held no real meaning for her.

"Well, whatever, it's not like he's got anyone anyway. Larry ain't exactly prince charmin', is he?" Joe sniped.

He was Patty's boyfriend, but not in the traditional way of family values. This time it was the 70's, but before it was the 70's it was just a dark basement with nothing to do, but scratch at the walls. People in the 70's were a concept Eudora was unable to grasp—Eudora isn't from this time; she isn't from anytime, really....

Charlie was coming home from work. He was trying to make enough money over the summer to apply at the local, community college come winter. His grandfather helped him get a job at the mill, and Charlie was learning all sorts of things; how to work the lathe, the planer; he smoothed boards like it was no one's business, but these things didn't interest him. He, like his sister, was born in one life, but was learning to become someone else.

College was his ticket. He'd turn from a sweet, country boy to a calculating businessman, or that was the goal anyway. Unlike his sister, he was dark and fair haired. Most people never guessed they were family, except they shared their grandfather's features; slim nose, big eyes, blue, all three of them.

Charlie pulled up in his Ford pick-up alongside the Cadillac. Dust kicked up. Joe and Patty covered their eyes and patted themselves off. Not Eudora, maybe it was her glasses, maybe it was something else; she never made an effort to dust herself off either. She just looked at her brother. Her oversized pearly whites and blue braces showed as she grinned.

"Hello Charlie, " she spoke with that chunky tongue.

"Heya', Dora, " he replied and smiled back. "I saw Larry leaving. Did you say hello?"

"No, Charlie, maybe I see him tomorrow."

"Well, " he was pensive. "Maybe we should have him over for dinner tomorrow. You and Gramps can whip up something nice."

They all ate in silence that evening, much like every evening. Night came quickly and they all went to bed. Charlie remained awake, staring at the ceiling. It must have been a full moon as he saw inside quite well—the dresser in the corner, the old chair and desk. He relaxed and closed his eyes. He let that old country road take him away.

That's how it was for Charlie; life was a beaten country road, always bright and sunny gold. The grass in the center worn and browning, and high walls of thick, verdant grass beside it. He felt as though he was slowly drifting along, all the while thinking back about his life.

Charlie didn't remember his parents. There weren't any pictures of them either. Come to think of it, there were no pictures of Eudora as a little girl or a baby. All Charlie knew was there had been some kind of accident, and his grandparents took him and his sister and moved a few towns away. He had asked his grandfather, but Richard never said a word. He had asked his grandmother, Evelyn, when she was still alive, but she didn't say either.

Would she say something now? Charlie wondered. He had asked Eudora, but she said didn't remember. How could that be? She was eight years older than him.

Eudora was awake, too. For her, sleeping in a bed was still foreign. Most nights, she rolled onto the floor, but the old wood wasn't hard enough, and it was too dry. It didn't scratch the same either, but she had to scratch something, not as often as she used too, but it

helped her sleep.

Scratch-Scritch-Scratch-Scritch.

It was rhythmical, melodic, to her. Sometimes she'd grunt along to it. Not tonight, though, the bed was okay. She let her mind drift off, not to remember her life, but because there was no alternative.

Hers was not a golden country road. It was the basement wall, gray and colorless. It was probably why she liked the old Cadillac.

It was intact now, the wall, but as she drifted back, it crumbled. The scratches were nearly invisible at first, but they, like the cracks, soon became apparent. She drifted along, parts of the wall were broken often now, the scratches more evident. It was always after that, that she heard it.

She was back in school. Little Eudora, much like she was now with her big, fake, front teeth with the big, blue braces, she sat there smiling. She saw them dancing around her. Eudora never understood what they meant. These were small people like herself. They called them classmates. She almost enjoyed herself, but these classmates were not meaning to entertain her. It didn't matter. She liked the chanting; it was rhythmical, melodic.

"Dora-Eudora-You-Dufus. Dora-Eudora-You-Dufus."

She just smiled. It was all brand new to her. Her name was Eudora, they told her; the tall older people. They were her grandparents. The baby was a boy. His name was Charlie. He was her brother. They were going to raise him to take care of her one day. Every day, she was going to go to a place that was full of people her age. She could make friends and forget all about who she was. She was going to learn to be somebody new. She was learning to be Eudora.

"Dora-Eudora-You-Dufus. Dora-Eudora-You-Dufus."

She just smiled, but the kids got angry. They bared their teeth and chanted with a malevolent slant.

"She's just stupid."

"Look at her, she doesn't get it."

"We don't like you, Eudora, You Dufus."

Eventually sleep came.

****

Everyone rose when the roosters cackled. Their grandfather made breakfast. Charlie went off to work for the day. Patty and Joe usually came around during lunch. They didn't mind helping out old man Rick, he always had some sandwiches ready for them, and they did a little farm work; Patty and Joe from well-to-do families. Eudora wasn't sure what that meant, but they didn't have to work summer jobs to pay for college.

Soon, those two and Charlie were going off to school to learn how to be what they were supposed to be. Eudora was not going to college. She already learned how to be Eudora after all. Besides, Charlie is raised now. He will take care of her.

"So, Charlie says Larry's comin over for dinner tonight. You gonna' say hello to him now?" Joe was not smiling when he spoke.

He was indifferent towards Eudora. She was like a shaggy mutt. You don't kick them of course, but you don't feed and pet them, either.

"Be nice, Joe, " Patty was smiling.

She liked Eudora. Eudora was like a stray that was taken in, cleaned, fed, refined. It wasn't quite pity, more like intrigue. There was always something off about the girl, though Patty never quite put her finger on what it may have been.

"I will say hello. Gramps and I cook him dinner tonight. For him and Charlie...and us, too, " Eudora said.

The day progressed. As normal, Patty and Joe cleaned the horse stalls, the chicken coops, and checked the crops. There hadn't been much rain lately, but it was normal for the time of year. The day dragged on, and they found themselves by the Cadillac again. Larry was on his way. He was a bit of an under achiever and liked mischief, too; nothing too serious, though, just staying out late, having a few beers.

He was two years older than Charlie, Patty, and Joe, but they all graduated last year together. Larry lived just two houses over, so it was natural for him to be a friend of the family. He wasn't much to look at, a bit pudgy, already losing some of his long, curly, brown hair. He didn't care much about Eudora, but Patty was taken, and there weren't many other girls around to give him a second look, so while the three of them—Patty, Joe, and Eudora—waited, they spoke, and they joked about how it was going to play out.

"See, in your case, you just gotta' talk to him, you know, let him know he's interesting" Patty encouraged.

"He's not" Joe retorted.

Patty sighed, "Don't listen to Joe, just be yourself. Larry said he's coming, so you'll be fine."

"And then you can show him your mouse, " Joe said.

"My mouse?"

"Ew, Joe. Eudora isn't like that, right?" Patty giggled.

"What do you mean?"

"He means that after tonight, Larry will be your boyfriend, and, you know...soon you two will...well? Come on, do I have to spell it out?"

Eudora still didn't get it. "Spell what?"

Joe laughed and Patty sighed. "Goodness, Eudora, sometimes I think you don't get anything. I mean once you two are together, you'll have sex."

Joe nearly lost it. He fell off the Cadillac's hood and held his sides as he laughed and choked. Eudora wasn't sure about having sex. She learned about it when she was learning how to be Eudora, and just being herself didn't make much since either. After all, she learned to be Eudora, not herself; that was the whole point of going to school.

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