We are a hearty bunch. We can take the heat, we can take the humidity, we can take the fried food. We can take threats of hurricanes, tornadoes and all sorts of natural disaster. But we can’t take the cold. And by golly, we can’t take the cabin fever.
After-school hours spent indoors aren’t as fun as they once were. They’re packed with high anxiety and a waning sense of humor. Weekends–once a reward for a week of hard work and a time to bask in the glow of each others’ company– now stir feelings of uneasiness and leave me claustrophobic. We are on the brink of ODing on together time spent in close quarters.
I feel like Barbara Shelley in Village of the Damned, living among emotionally reticent and thankless Village children, “cherubs with telekinetic and telepathic powers” (I know what these are; I’ve seen these four kids exchange secretive glances at each other; I know they’re up to something), children who “mature at an alarming rate and travel the streets (or the hallways in my home) in packs. Anyone who looks at them sideways meets with a violent accident” (likely caused by carefully placed Marble Raceway pieces on a hardwood floor in the middle of the night outside the bathroom door, or knives pointing blade up in the dishwasher).
This isn’t science fiction; this is winter in Alabama. In addition to the crippling cold temperatures, we are fighting a constant battle with consciousness. Winter may not have had anything to do with the unexplained unconsciousness in Midwich Village, but is has packed a wallop in terms of deep sleep here. Nobody gets anything done. Nobody can get enough shuteye, it seems. We wake up on Saturdays, only to plan our next nap. Monday will bring yet another off day, and already there is talk of sleeping in. Our house is beginning to look like a rest home. And when we’re not sleeping, we are all on edge, ready to unleash a storm of terror. The upshot is, we’re not all waking up pregnant.*
It’s the kids I’m concerned about — what do we do about the kids? How can we be proper mothers when we can’t send the kids OUTSIDE?
* Midwich was plagued with an entire village of unexplained pregnancies. As you can imagine, that caused some problems.
This just in: Local meteorologists have announced that our local temperatures will hit a balmy 58 degrees Friday. We’re holding them to it.