In my memory it was just another day, like any other in Florida during the late summer. Heat blazed from the sun soon after it suddenly popped out of the water and took command of the sky with its presence. I was four and a half years old and had eleven brothers, being the only girl I had tried to hold my own amongst the boys. To do this was no easy task as they were into everything. Some of the older ones would go out with Dad fishing. The younger ones were normally left to mom. Mom had almost always been busy in the house somewhere and as the children awoke she fed us and sent us outside to play.
We were all brown as Indians, which was a good thing since we were part Florida Indian. My hair was almost white from the constant bleaching of the sun, with green/blue eyes reflecting the sun's blaze with a curiosity that would not be quenched. Having finished the obligatory breakfast my brothers (ranging from ages of a few months to the oldest which was in high school) scattered to the four winds.
One of my older brothers, Ralph, (being eight) allowed me to tag along with him. "Bec," he asked "you want to go sploring wif me?" His pet name for me "Bec" was used because he couldn't say my name. Even at his advanced age he was still experiencing speech problems.
I jumped at the chance to be with one of my brothers, "Yes Ralf, can I ask Steve?" Ralph's wagging head was enough to stop me from asking again, he meant business. I always seemed to have a desire to be with my brothers and followed Ralph like a trained puppy. Ralph headed for the family shed, it was really not much more than a lean to, and scattered around it were the bones of cars long since stripped of everything inside. We called the cars gutless critters since the hoods were up, and all the insides were spilled out.
The cars sat beneath the largest tree on the property and from it hung a chain winch used to work on the cars. As we walked by, the tree wagged its moss beard "no, no" at the two of us. We both knew we had been in trouble more than once for being near this part of the property, but that was not going to stop us. It is odd how space is so expansive when you are a little girl. Then, I would have sworn on a stack of old newspapers that the shed was huge. It was not.
As we approached the shed I told Ralph, "We are going to get whaled on if Mom catches us."
He just smiled, "Skeeredy cat Bec!" He knew this would insure that I would follow him with lower lip stuck out stubbornly. When we entered the shade of the shed the sun paled and inside the confines of the lean to, everything took on the magical appearance of shadow. Things that were broken were obviously only wounded in this light, and things that looked useless in broad daylight obviously had some mysterious use here in the cool darkness.
Ralph quickly began his treasure hunt and I was not far behind, though I had a little more difficulty navigating the pile of stuff that was dumped under the shed. Ralph hooted with delight when he found an old radio, "Hoooowheee, look what I found." The radio was one that had tubes, and he had twisted the dials and shaken the tubes trying to get it to work, forgetting even to plug it up. I was still close to the ground as this climbing stuff was not for little girls. However, with a determination I would often show later in life I set out to reach the top. I watched Ralph as he deftly climbed to the pinnacle of the pile, perched there like the king of the world he gathered his jewels around him.
I was almost at the top of the pile when it happened; an errant pipe, sticking out at odd angles, promised a secure grasp. I reached for its security and the final scramble up the last of the pile. Ralph watching now taunted me, "Hurry up Bec, you slow poke." I grabbed the pipe and tried to pull myself up, the pipe gave way and I found myself without anything underneath me but air. I didn't cry out for that would have attracted attention from the house and momma, nobody wanted that. With a decidedly blonde intelligence I decided the best thing to do was to let go. So I did, and of-course fell. The distance was not far, six foot maybe. Still I landed on the only thing beneath me, an old toilet.
I didn't immediately know anything was wrong, but tears came anyway. Ralph scrambled down from the top making it look about as easy as playing in the sand. He pulled me out of the toilet where I had fallen neatly into the bowl. "That hurt." I said eyeing him for sympathy.
He gave me a look, it just wasn't sympathetic. His eyes got huge and he asked, "Ba Ba Bec, are you alright?" I speared him a look that in later years would be a signal to whomever that they were in danger of losing their smiling rights. Ralph for the first time since I had known him, four years and seven months, stammered. He was trying to say something and I couldn't make it out. "You, Your dress, is ta ta tore." It was then that I realized not everything was as it should be. My dress was torn, and where it was torn the material had turned bright red.
I knew that the red meant I was in trouble mom was going to kill me. I tried to twist around to see what the damage was and there in the toilet sitting in the very bottom was a little bit of me. Who knows how or what physics came into to play, but the toilet bowl had been broken. The edge of a broken toilet can create a ceramic razor. This toilet bowl had been broken and had done just that, cutting a neat little hole out of some part of me. I guess I paled, because Ralph took off running for the house. With him gone I stood there and stared at the toilet. Unable to understand the whole idea, all I could think was the toilet had bit me. My mom and brother returned quickly, and by then I was sitting down still trying to get a look at what the toilet had done. When I saw mom the tears started. Fearing that I was going to be punished I pointed accusingly at the toilet and said "Momma the toilet bit me!"
Mom scooped me up and off to the emergency room we went. As the family had no car the neighbor was pressed into service. They had turned me on my stomach and pressed a towel to the hole during the drive. When the day was done I had twenty one stitches in my hurt spot. That night I got to sleep in mom and dad's bed.
The scar is still there, round as a quarter and marked by the stitches. Of-course if you want proof you will have to marry me first. The scar resides on the right side of my rear. Now for those of you with a fear of toilet bites, I must say, I don't blame you!
About the Author
Becky Simpson is an electrical engineer and took up writing as a hobby two years ago. Since then she has experimented with numerous styles and types of writing. She is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ ,which is a site for Writers, and her portfolio is http://www.Writing.Com/authors/Becky_Hayes. Her book of poetry, Walking the Earth, can be found through Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com.