Fall Rain

by Angela B

Disclaimer: Not mine never will be. The money grubbing big boys won’t share
Note: This is my answer to the August challenge on the CZ site.
I didn’t have this beta read so you know what that means…Mistakes Ahead

He took a deep breath of the fresh clean air as he sat down heavily into the old cushy chair by the window. He had raised the window up a little higher since the downpour had ended and now all that was falling were the light drops. He loved the smell and sight of a fall rain it always seemed to trigger the one memory he had of cooking with his mother.

When he was seven his father had gone on a kick about living in the country and for the most part fending for themselves. Being a missionary he thought it was his lot, and thereby his family’s as well, to live as meager and humble a life as possible. “If Jesus could live like without the materials of life than so shall we,” he would often exclaim. “We are to live by the examples of his life.”

Josiah didn’t see anything wrong with living a good simple, hard working life. He just hated seeing his mother and sister suffer the consequences. They had a couple milk cows, some chickens and a large vegetable garden. As a young boy he thought he was in paradise. Hannah and him had lots of room to run and yell.

Josiah returned his attention to the rain and smiled once more at the memory it bought back. During that time they lived away from town it was a special treat when it rained in the fall. His mother would allow Hannah and him to bring in their two dogs from the cold wet rain. Hannah had a little rat terrier and he had a collie. Mother would grab some towels and stand at the back door, calling in first the little dog and scooping it up into the towel before it could get inside. After handing the dog to his sister for her to towel dry the dog she would step further out onto the porch and rub the collie down before allowing him into the as well.

His father had been strict about not allowing the dogs inside, but when it rained and he was gone mother made an exception. It was the their little secret. The three of them had several secrets they kept from their father, the cookie dough being one of them. He could never remember his mother cooking per se as a young boy, except when it rained. Then she would bring out the roll of the store bought cookie dough she kept hidden in the back of the refrigerator for them to bake.

Mother would cut off the ends and give one each to his sister and him to eat. When he was little Josiah thought that raw cookie dough was the best tasting thing on earth. Then his mother would slice the dough and hand them the slices. Hannah and him would roll the dough into balls then squash them down onto the greased cookie sheet. They knew better than to leave them in their perfectly round shape, the cookies would come out to perfect looking. This way they looked homemade and it was absolutely necessary they did, to keep their secret hidden.

They would spend the afternoon laughing, eating and playing with the dogs. They always kept a watch for their father though. It would be disastrous if he ever caught them. The dogs would be done away with, one way or another, and they would be punished. Especially his mother. The big man had a powerful voice to call out your evil doings and had a powerful hand to give you a push in the right direction.

A little grin spread across his face, in that year and half they lived out in the country they never got caught. The frown disappeared as he continued down this path of memory. After they moved into town Mother had stopped this special treat. At the time it never occurred to Josiah to question why. Fall came and mother had simply not bought the cookie dough out. Josiah just figured it had something to do with being in town and accepted the change.

Over the years to follow many changes had taken place. As Josiah and his sister grew up the manic depression his mother had suffered from reoccurred more and more often causing her to withdraw from life and herself for great lengths of time each time an episode hit. Hannah had been forced to take over all the cooking by the time she was nine, though Josiah had tried to help her as much as possible. His father had not made that an easy task. When he was sixteen Josiah had come home from school to find his mother had committed suicide. Hannah was never the same afterwards. But, they always had that special time together when they were young, carefree and made cookies when it rained. Josiah took another lungful of the cleansing air. Not all memories of his childhood were bad. The rain always reminded him of that point.