Sam lifted the heavy creaking garage door, and a plume of dust billowed out causing us both to cough, waving our hands in front of our faces.
“Ugh! How long has it been since any one has been in here?”, I looked at him skeptically, thinking of all sorts of nasty critters that could have made a home in here over the years. Spiders, snakes, rats, raccoons, and opossum were common to the Appalachians and I knew they would love to carve out a home in the dank seclusion of this forgotten shed.
“I don’t know, probably way before Pawpaw passed away. He was the only one who knew what all was in here.”
Sam moved a couple of boxes out of the way so that we could make our way into the dim space, light streaming through the open door caught the dust particles floating like smoke through the air.
“It smells like rat piss in here!”, I wrinkled my nose at the acrid smell invading my senses, and wrapped my arms around my chest to protect myself from whatever I might encounter. “What are you looking for anyway?”
Sam turned towards me, his eyebrows lowered in a sinister smile, like a predator about to rip its dinner to shreds.
“Its a rubber ball, pink, about three inches in diameter”, he held his hand up to indicate the exact size and then turned away, digging through a pile of junk, tossing things about the room. At least the loud clattering would rouse any hidden vermin. I came up close behind him, not wanting to venture too far and began to gingerly sift through a nearby open box with my finger tips.
We’d been digging through the old dirty rubble for about a half hour and my curiosity had made me braver, I was now elbow deep in an old trunk filled with rusty tools, a rotted baseball glove, some yellowed instruction manuals, the edges chewed by some nesting rodent, among other bits and pieces of a past life. My hands were covered in a splotchy brown grime and I could feel dust caked on the inside of my nostrils.
“Here it is!”, Sam yelled from across the room, clutching the faded pink ball in his fist, punching it into the air like a champion.
I quickly made my way towards him, excited, winding through the piles of stuff, running right into a huge spider web draped from the rafters to an old rocking chair. I screamed and batted at my face, blowing air out of my mouth, stomping my feet on the ground desperately trying to rid my body of the invasion. Sam was at my side in an instant, wiping the sticky mess off of me. He smiled down at me and grabbed my chin with his filthy hand, kissing me softly.
“What are you going to use that thing for anyway?” I huffed, suddenly irritated because of the spiderweb.
“I’m going to attach it to the end of a fiberglass rod, make a handle out of this old broom stick, and beat your sweet ass with it!”, he looked triumphant. I was flabbergasted. How does he come up with this stuff?