“Never have I seen anything like that,” Netta said.
“Neither have I,” said Eva. She stooped down and reached out her hand to touch it.
Netta slapped her arm back and yelled, “Don’t do that! What if it sucks you up like in The Blob?”
Eva looked up at Netta, her braids sliding across her forehead, almost getting into her eyes. “It’s not alive, Netta.” Eva got on her knees, causing dust to rise under the skirt of her pink dress and land on her dark brown thighs.
“Eva, don’t,” Netta whispered, her matching blue dress blowing softly in the wind.
Eva said nothing. She reached out her hand toward the hole.
Netta said, “I’m telling you Eva, I’ve never seen anything like that…” She let her voice trail off, wanting to see what would happen. Soon she said in a low voice, “Momma’s gonna be mad at me if something happens to you.”
Eva’s hand slowly went inside the hole’s opening, her index and middle fingers slightly twitching. “Nothing’s going to happen, Netta,” her voice sounding far away. “You see? It’s not moving.” Eva’s hand went fully inside the hole, her two fingers touching it. “It’s smooth and soft, not warm like something living.”
“Is it cold?” Netta moved a little closer to see Eva’s hand inside the hole.
“Well, if it’s not warm and it’s not cold, what is it? Hot?” Netta asked, getting impatient.
After a moment, Eva said, “It’s like butter that’s been out the fridge.”
Netta looked closer at it. “Any get on your fingers?”
“It’s not like butter that gets soft and melts. What I'm saying is, it’s not warm or cold, but like the butter in the morning that mom leaves out for our toast.”
“Oh,” Netta said. “Do you think it’s worth a lot?”
“We’re not selling it!”
“Not even for two new bicycles since ours broke?” Netta asked. She quieted when Eva began digging it out of the dirt. “It still feels like butter? It doesn’t look nothing like butter. It looks like a cheek that got banged up and swollen, like when Dwayne Williams beat up Harpo Jones.”
“Shush, Netta. It’s not butter!”
“Then what is it?” Netta huffed out, her identical braids bouncing in rhythm to the restless shake of her head.
Eva stood up, dusted the dirt from her knees, and stared at it resting in the palm of her hand. “It’s beautiful!”
Netta walked close to Eva, facing her, and looked down at it. Her right hand rose to touch it, paused, then continued on.
Eva closed her fingers around it and pulled away. “It’s not yours and you can’t touch it! I got it out, so it’s mine.” Eva turned and ran away.
Surprised, Netta called after her, “Where are you going, Eva?” Eva kept running. Before she got too far away, Netta saw something move up Eva’s arm, the one holding it, and spread around to her shoulder and back. Netta shrieked and cried out, “Eva! What’s that on you?”
~ To Be Continued in one week,
on Thursday, April 24, 2014 ~