In The Clouds – Somewhere

August 27, 2009

Mom watched from the shaded area on the veranda on that sweltering hot Saturday afternoon as Ambrose worked under the hood of my car. I lounged behind the wheel in the driver’s seat reacting to his occasional instruction. It was one of those hazy, lazy days for me.
Eventually straightened up from his position under the hood of the car, Ambrose, wiped his hands on a grey cotton cloth, and came to a stop adjacent to me. Leaning on the driver’s door he bent his head even with the opened window. “I’m going to pour a cleaner into the motor. Be sure you keep the motor running. Whatever you do don’t let it stall or we’ll have lots of trouble. Understand? Don’t let it stall.”
“O k” I answered. Sitting straighter in the seat I prepared to keep the motor idling at a reasonable rate. 1500 revs per minute I thought should do it.
His head appeared from under the hood just long enough for him to yell “Remember, don’t let the motor stall.”
Within seconds a cloud of white smoke rose up from the motor engulfing me and everything else within sight. Leaning across the seat I attempted to close the window. I have short legs and now found that to be a great disadvantage. It was impossible for me to keep one foot hard on the gas while stretching across the seat to roll up the window on the passenger side.
“Give it more gas. The motor is going to stall.” My brother yelled.
Coughing and choking I called out “I’m trying to close the windows.”
“It’s going to stall. Give it more gas.” His unsympathetic voice yelled back.
Unable to see anything, unable to breath, I sat. My thoughts cannot be written. I can only say I was not happy.
Within fifteen minutes the smoke began to slowly lift. It was with great respect for my brother, and knowledgement of his respect for me I addressed him as he stood at the far corner, a safe distance away. Even from there I could see the smile on his face. The every present glint I knew was in his eye could not be seen through the thin cloud of white smoke that still hung over me.
“Keep it running” he called.
“You start running” I called back.
At last coughing and rubbing my eyes I emerged from the car. Mom had long ago gone inside. The house was closed up tighter than a vault. The neighbours were no where to be seen.
“Thank you.” I said.
“Your welcome” he answered as we went inside to have a cup of tea.

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