January 29th, 1901
Uncle Levi's hollering woke me up from my sleep. I wasn't even up by the time he came bursting through the door. "Alice!" Even though it was mighty dark in the room, I could still see the wild look in his white eyes. "What did you do?"
I pushed myself up and tried to adjust my sight. My eyes stung from being awaken suddenly and the room blurred with every blink I made. "What?" I asked.
Uncle Levi's boots fell heavy on the wooden floor underneath us when he approached the side of my bed. Felt his hand grab my arm and pull me up some more. "I ordered you not to utter a word to that man. Your grandfather even said not to, but you did."
I couldn't help but look over at his hand digging into my arm. "I don't know what you're talking 'bout," I told him after looking back up into his angry stare. His nails hurt real bad and I tried to wiggle my arm free.
He frowned and kept his grip strong. "You know exactly what I'm talking 'bout, girl. Jessie told me what happened today."
He knew 'bout Adam.
Jessie talked and now I was going to get punished. Fear struck me 'cause of Uncle Levi and anger sunk in 'cause of Jessie. "I didn't mean to," I tried explaining. Thought that if I could explain what really happened, he'd go easy on me. "He just started talking to us."
Uncle Levi pulled me out of the bed and took my other arm with his other hand. "Didn't mean you had to talk back, now does it? Jessie says that you kept talking to him, even after he begged you to run away. Why? Why did you stay?"
I chewed on my bottom lip and glanced down at my feet.
"Out with it!"
Heard the floors from out in the hallway creak, followed by the hushing of Aunt Victoria. Uncle Levi caught my stare that way and pushed himself past me 'fore looking out the door. "I told you to keep the boy in bed! Get to bed, Jessie!"
"Don't holler so loud!" Aunt Victoria snapped back. "You're getting too rough with 'em!"
Uncle Levi left the room completely and I could hear the small footsteps of Jessie running away down the hallway. "Somebody has to 'round here!" he yelled. "Do you even realize what the bloody hell is going on here? Are you really that ignorant, Victoria?"
"I know enough!" Her voice was weak, pitchy even.
Sitting down on the bed, I covered my ears and clamped my eyes mighty shut. I didn't want to hear 'em fight. Even though Uncle Levi could be might nice with Aunt Victoria, he'd turn vicious whenever he was mad at her. Usually, in the middle on the night, I'd hear her crying after one of 'em. Pushing my hands closer into my ears, I took a deep breath. Their voices were muffled enough so that I couldn't understand what was being said, so I kept like that 'til I couldn't hear no more.
Removing my hands from my ears, I waited for a moment to hear if it was over. Nothing happened at first, but after a few seconds, I could hear somebody sigh. Couldn't tell who it was, but it sounded weak.
"Just saying that you get to rough with 'em sometimes," Aunt Victoria whispered. "Don't keep up all night dogging her, alright?"
Uncle Levi appeared in the doorway, his body turned sideways towards me. "Just go to sleep," he told her 'fore turning to look at me. His tongue slid out 'cross his lips and he gently leaned up against the doorframe. "Tell me what happened. All of it."
Nodding, I thought back to the afternoon. We were out on our property, playing 'round. There was the whole thing 'bout the lizard and then those sticks. And then Adam. "Me and Jessie were playing with some sticks, minding our own business and everything. After a while, Jessie gone told me that Adam and his friend was heading our ways."
When I paused, Uncle Levi said, "Go on."
"I tried to leave, I promise, but Adam kept telling us to stay. And I told him we weren't allowed to talk to him when he got real close, but he didn't listen to me." For some reason, I felt like rubbing my shoulder, remember how Adam grabbed it when he got angry with me. "His friend started to ask me questions…"
"What did he ask you?"
Glancing up at him, I frowned. "I'm not so sure. He kept asking 'bout Yindi."
"Yindi?" Uncle Levi pushed himself up and away from the doorframe. "He knows 'bout the baby?"
"You tell 'em 'bout her?"
I didn't answer him.
He took a step towards me. "Alice?"
"Maybe." My legs crossed in towards me on the bed and I felt my body shake. "I thought it'd be alright if I told him…didn't know he'd get angry 'bout her."
Uncle Levi sat down next to me and gently placed his palm on my hand. Slowly, he asked me, "He was angry over Yindi?"
"And he was asking 'bout her?"
He swallowed and retracted his hand to rub the side of his face. "Jessie said something 'bout him talking 'bout coming here. That true?"
"I think so."
The weight on the bed shifted when he got up. "No more of this," he whispered. "This is the last time you speak to that man, even he approaches you. You just a girl." His eyes looked over to me. "He's dangerous, I don't know how else to put that to you, Alice. And he has no good intentions for the baby."
I got up off the bed when he started to make his way to the hallway. "Why?" I asked him quickly. "Why is he a bad man? What did he do? And why doesn't he like Yindi."
"You're too young," he responded harshly. "And I ain't got the heart to tell you, not now."
I grabbed his arm gently, feeling his muscles tense up. "What are we going to do, then?"
"You're gonna keep far away from him at all times. From now on, you ain't allowed by yourself without one of us adults with you, you hear me?"
"And he's getting too comfortable 'round you and this family," he continued, expression turning into disgust. "He wants something…something that he can't have, not while I'm alive." Kneeling down, he touched my right cheek and said, "If you catch him on our property again, you come tell me. I swear I'll shoot that sonofabitch the moment he thinks he can come snooping 'round here again."
Seemed like everybody 'round me wanted to shoot Adam. "That's what grandpa said."
"Well, I mean it," Uncle Levi retorted. "I really do. My father and Seth are cowards that try to talk tough, but when I say I'm going to do something, you can bet I'll do it."
*#Everybody is on board to shoot Adam, yeah?
*This is part two to the previous chapter, but I keep them separate from each other because I wanted separate reviews/critics for each.