Uncle James

As the sunshine kissed my face, I knew I was never going back inside. If I did, my uncle would make sure I never saw the sun again. I knew he meant well, but I couldn’t stay inside forever. I had heard the stories of my mother too many times to be scared anymore. If she was going to kidnap me, she would find a way. But that was if she was as ‘diabolical’ as everyone made her out to be. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. 

But I had very few memories of my mother as I had last seen her when I was only five years old. I had been staying with my Uncle James since then and it had almost been eight years since I had seen any other part of my extended family. It was just as well, after all the stories Uncle James had told me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see them anyway. I was happy to live on his farm in rural New Mexico where I had few chores and could ride horses at any time I wanted. Well, any time Uncle James wasn’t home and on me to stay inside. He was always harping on me to stay safe and hidden, but as we only really saw the postman at our house, I didn’t think too much on it. 

I needed the sun and the wind almost more than I needed a soft bed. If I wasn’t on the move or riding a horse, I wasn’t happy. I knew Uncle James was a veteran and that he liked his peace and quiet, but I also knew I would never enjoy the hustle and bustle of life in the city. What I didn’t realize was that my ideal life of peace and quiet was crashing down around me as I let the sun settle into my heart. As the police cars pulled up into the dirt road leading to our house (for whatever reason, Uncle James was careful to never call it a driveway), Uncle James came rushing out wildly waving his arms. In a few frantic minutes while I watched dumbly as my uncle was handcuffed and led to the back of the police car, I finally came to my senses and really had no idea why the police were here. Or how they had found us. 

By the time the sun was setting, I found out Uncle James was not actually my uncle after all. And the stories he had told me about my family weren’t true. My name was not Ellen like I had been going by for exactly eight years, but Mykala. My ‘Uncle James’ was my kidnapper, but I still wept when I realized I could no longer stay on the farm. Wept until I saw my mother again. Wept until she folded me gently into her arms and cried with me. 


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