Stars sparkled in the night sky, and the dark path ahead of us stretched on. I felt like falling asleep and drifting off to the sound of the wind in the tall trees, yet just the thought of closing my eyes freaked me out.
I forced open my eyelids with my fingers. I was desperate to stay awake, even if it meant pain. So I widened my eyes as far as they could go, and swore that I would NOT go to sleep. When Timmy saw that, he kind of glanced at me and chuckled.
We had arrived at the front door.
“We’re here,” Timmy whispered.
I gulped, fiddling with my braids. “Do we…do we have to go in there?”
Timmy nodded, folding his hand into a fist. He looked at me one last time, and then knocked on the massive door. I froze, holding my breath.
I waited again.
Timmy sighed. “Well, I guess that-”
Suddenly, the door flew open. I screamed, jumping behind Timmy. When he didn’t move, I glanced up. An old, bearded man looked down at me with piercing blue eyes.
“What’d you want?” he demanded in a gruff voice.
Shaking like a frightened dog, I choked out, “A place to stay. We- we’ve been traveling all day and my legs are aching, and I can barely keep my eyes open!”
“I ain’t had a guest in thirty years,” he mumbled to himself.
I waited silently, praying the old man would say yes.
Rubbing his thick, Duck Dynasty beard, he stared at me with those glassy blue eyes.
“Please, Sir. We’ll pay you for your trouble,”
When the old man showed no interest, Timmy added, “Three schillings.”
The old man shook his head as if he was convincing himself of something.
“No.” he replied. “No, I won’t be housing nobody.” Turning around, he slammed the door behind him. As he walked away from the closed door, I could hear him mumbling to himself over and over, “no, I don’t help nobody.”
Standing there, I felt hopeless as ever. It was night already, and we still didn’t have a civilized place to lay our heads. And this old grouch wouldn’t let us sleep at his house, either.
To be continued…