A wonderfully slow summer afternoon and you on a reclining white deck chair, in the shade of the lilac bush rife with last blooms just beginning to fall to the full green grass below. You are nine years old and the promise of June, July and August stretch out before you like a never-ending Slip and Slid. The sky, cerulean above you, is perfect in its blueness except for a few horse-tail wisps of cloud just above the snow-topped mountains to the East, slow to learn the warmth of the season. You are sticky with a red Popsicle, savoring its sweetness, its coolness painting your tingly tongue, and then letting it drip, drip, drip into your mouth when the tingle becomes an ache. Life is good - perfect really, at this very moment in time.
Suddenly, not too far off in the glimmer of sunglare, you hear an ominous sound...soft to the point of almost not there at all, but you know this sound and it sends chills down your sweaty back. You sit straight up, forgotten Popsicle dangling in your hand, melting into the grass. You swing your legs over the side of the lounge, ready to run should your instincts be correct. They are correct, you are confident of their rightness due to early years spent running from this very predator, and sure enough, from around the side of the garage comes the enemy, flashing iridescent wings beating over-fast in their efforts to attack! It has you sized up and zeroed in on; your ragged breath and chaotic mind, kicked into over-drive, knows the chase will not be child's play. It hovers, seeming to wait for your move, but you're stuck in a quagmire of fear and stand stock-still with cherry rivulets running down the side of your leg and into your sandal. Will this be the day it finally gets you? A zillion thoughts race through your brain, unhappily remembering every lie you have ever told, especially that whopper you voiced last night at Gran's house. You told her "yes!", over-loud and unsmiling, looking her straight in the eye when she asked if you'd washed as you left the bathroom, water still swirling it's way down the toilet.
It zigs up, then zags down, toying with you. The hellacious, lip-stitching Darning Needle! Horror of childhood horrors! Your fear recedes, along with most of the blood flow to your brain, and you are up and running, Popsicle flung to the winds. In science class last year your teacher had tried to convince you they were nothing more than Dragon Flies, beautiful and harmless, even going so far as to say they were helpful, providing larvae for fish to feed on and make plentiful our ponds and lakes for anglers. This was a lie and you didn't buy into it for a minute. You have very wise older siblings and they have instructed you in the ways of the punishing Darning Needle Beast-Bug. You had been warned, more than once, that this devilish insect has been invented to seek out children who lie and sew their mouths shut. The dreadful Darning Needle's beautiful colors and stained-glass window wings are merely a ploy to pull in unsuspecting youthful falsifiers and fibbers and stitch their lying lips closed forever more.
You are not about to let this happen to slightly dishonest, but mostly just little white lies you! With hair whipping back and forth and pink spittle exploding from your wide open and shouting mouth, you pound around to the front porch, arms windmilling to jettison off any income threats, and slam your way into the sanctuary of the front hall, the door banging with a reassuring thud.
"Whose's slamming doors!" reverberates from the kitchen, where your mom is putting the finishing touches on a Tuna Casserole for Lady's Club.
"Not me." comes your innocent reply.
You're safe....for now.