Silverwood: Chapter 15

The 1954 Ford Country Squire station wagon had faded simulated wood siding and a rusty roof but also good tires and a solid engine and an indestructible attitude. It was hauling a teardrop-shaped trailer packed with belongings including the cardboard box containing the yellow spatula.

The car snaked its way around the tight ramps on its way out of the underground garage, tires squeaking loudly. Helen sat in the passenger seat resting her elbow on the windowsill. In the rear view mirror she could see the trailer and also Henry and Clarence in the backseat. Kate was driving.
They pulled out of the garage and a curtain of rain came down onto the hood. To Kate’s relief the wipers still worked.

Something yellow caught Henry’s eye out the window. A yellow raincoat. The girl with curly hair from school. His one friend. What was she doing here, in the middle of the night in the middle of the sidewalk?

“Mom,” Henry said, “Stop. I just need a second.”

“Henry we have to go. Now.” Kate said.

“Just a second. I promise.”

Kate stopped the car in the driveway. The wipers flopped back and forth and the engine hummed. A cloud of exhaust floated away. Henry climbed out and walked over to his friend. They looked at each other.



“You’re moving away,” the girl said.

“It’s the middle of the night, Rosie,” Henry answered. “What are you doing here?”

“Just seeing you off,” Rosie said. A little girl on a city street in the dark. Seeing them off. What did that mean? How did she get here? Was he imagining this?
“Are you okay?” Rosie asked.

“Not really,” Henry said. “But hopefully we’ll meet up with my dad soon.”
“Yeah,” the girl said. She looked down.



“I’ll write to you when I get to wherever we’re going, okay?” Henry knew that was kind of an empty thing to say. He meant it though.

“Um, alright.” Rosie looked up at him. “Be careful, okay? Be careful on your way to Brokeneck.”


Rosie could see things similar to the way Henry did. He knew that. She saw things before they happened. And she could draw them. One time Rosie drew a whole series of things that were going to happen at school. And she only showed them to Henry. But it all happened. A teacher got the flu, somebody’s dog got loose on the school grounds, some student got a bright blue backpack. Not exciting stuff, just bits and pieces falling into place. She knew exactly what it was all going to look like. The same way Henry did. Just without the monsters.

She also knew that Henry was going to be leaving. And where he was going.
Rosie brightened a little bit. “Henry, my dad says you and I are members of a thing called the Guild. I’m not sure what that is, but that’s why he says we can see things. And draw things. All the Guild members are connected. So I hope I can still see you after you’re gone.” It felt like an invite to a secret club. Maybe an imaginary club. Henry had never heard of the Guild. He just figured it was him and Rosie who had this weird thing going on. And kept it secret.

Henry smiled. He hoped he would see her. Rosie was his one friend in the world. He tried to memorize her face. He would draw it later on the car ride.

“Well, I gotta go,” Henry said. “The road beckons.” He attempted a smile.


Henry trudged back to the car. His body felt heavy but there was a small, strangely hopeful feeling inside his chest. He climbed back into his seat and shut the heavy door. He rolled down the window. The car rolled forward into the street.

“Henry?” Rosie called out.


“Be careful, okay?”

“Okay. We’ll be careful. I promise.”

The car turned out into the street. Henry waved one more time. Rosie held up her hand. In it was the drawing pencil Henry gave her.

Steam rose from the manhole covers in the street as the station wagon with its trailer and its cargo of Silverwoods and Clarence and a spatula headed downhill and out of the city.

Rosie turned and skipped down the sidewalk toward her father who waited patiently for her in a doorway. He raised an umbrella over the two of them and smiled at her and took her hand.

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