The Ghosts in the Heat Wave steemCreated with Sketch.

in #life2 years ago

“I love you,” I said to the tot. She grabbed ahold of my face and rammed her lips against mine, which is the only absolute way I can be sure that the tot loves me in return—a good, proper face grab. I stood upright from the position I had taken crouched in front of the tot’s stroller. We carried on.


The heat sat on our skin like a pack of mosquitoes intent on breaking through the skin barrier. That heat wanted inside. It couldn’t, so instead it wrapped itself tightly around every angle of the human body, settling there for the long haul. I walked slowly down the street wearing my blanket of heat. The sun was just beginning to set so that the fluffy clouds were getting that vague pink look to them—a pleasant color that isn’t too dramatic. It signals to all humans within their air conditioned homes that sunset is near, and therefore walking around with a heat blanket might be tolerable. I thought about the night before.

The night before I was standing on my back porch, just an hour or so after dark. The tot and her brother were eating ice cream cones with the neighbor boy, a fellow tot. I was babysitting the fellow tot and had just set up a perfectly picturesque moment. I turned my phone upward to snap a picture, when the fellow tot started pointing toward the door. Being a tot of few words, he preferred his gesture.

“You want to go in?” I asked. I couldn’t understand the response he gave me in his garbled tot language, and after a few rounds of this I broke the rules to allow him to take his dripping ice cream back into the house. But still, all was not well. He stood with his nose pressed to the glass of the French door while making Halloween appropriate sounds. I couldn’t quite make out what he was imitating. A monster? He was gesturing then, and imitating some scary sounding creature.


A tot in elegant dress beating a tree with a stick.

A man’s voice broke me from my thought. I looked up to see him sitting on the porch of a house I was passing. “It’s a heat wave,” the man called out, fanning himself. I nodded politely. “Going to be a hundred and two this weekend, with a heat index of a hundred and ten,” the man continued. I made a polite commiserating comment and kept moving. You can’t stop with a heat blanket on, or the blanket gets thicker and hotter. It is something related to outrunning the heat.

My feet continued onward as those clouds turned a less vague pink. Live oak branches were heavy with moss over my head, lazily hanging there, too lazy to sway in a breeze in such heat. The breeze was too lazy to blow in such heat. The heat faded from mind slowly, as the monster sound crept back in.

Wooo-ooooo-oooo! The boy continued, pointing firmly to the blackness of night just off the porch. What is that sound supposed to be? The boogey man? Is this his way of saying he is scared of the dark? I had been trying to place that stereotypical sound for about thirty seconds when it dawned on me. It was the sound a ghost in a cartoon makes. I raised my eyebrows at the boy.

“What do you see?”

“Ghost, ghost!” The boy suddenly seemed to find the word, and gestured onward. I looked at the blackness. I saw nothing, but that wasn’t surprising.

That’s what I get for moving into a house with a road running past it that was built two hundred and forty years ago. Ghosts of tired slaves digging up palmetto roots to make a road fit for a carriage. Ghosts of British soldiers marching along as the heat blanket draws sweat from their bodies. Ghosts of barefoot Florida Crackers weaving cattle in and out of the road with the silent steps of an outcast. Ghosts of natives that walked the trail for hundreds of years even before the slave and the soldier and the Cracker. All walking in that same heat that I walked in then.


All a boy needs in a heat wave - water and a tractor.

I rounded the curve, heading back to my origin and my destination. We were making a slow and steady circle with our companion, the heat. The heat was invisible, like so many things that exist or don’t exist, depending on the perception.


It's 55 degrees here and I broke a sweat doing chores this morning! I don't know how you get anything done with heat like that. I just melt into a puddle and whimper.

We do a bit of melting and whimpering around here :)

Actually I just avoid mid-day. The rest of the time isn't too bad.

Howdy ginnyannette! is it that hot there already? dang. The heat WITH the humidity is what gets me. It's why people in the Deep South move like molassas.

That is the reason for the tradional slowness I think :)

yeah like a bunch of giant sloths down there!

Giant, polite sloths :)

lol. ok, I'll give you that!

I love the pure love from little ones, a kiss, a hug, a looks is so memorable.

It certainly is. Sometimes it even leave an impression on your face ;)

Pffff heat makes ghost to get out demanding for ice cream! Next time just leave a plate with ice cream outside... if ghost doesn't eat it then the ants will... and then you will have an ant invasion which is good cause we all know they are great soldiers and having them on your side will be good when the time of the ghost war comes... but that's a theme for another day ahahha

The ghost war?! Now I'm really scared. I'm just going to set the whole tub of ice cream out there and hope that my offering satisfies everyone :)

Ant eaters are needed, for sure!

Ant eaters, and ghost busters? I think that will cover it ;)

Wow. This is amazing work! Resteem worthy indeed!!!

Thanks for stopping by.

I remember one time it hit 80 here. There was quite literally dancing in the streets

Ha, I ought to take a vacation to Scotland sometime about mid June and cool down.

People have done that in the past and ran kicking and screaming back to the warm!!

You are probably right, I would be a kicker and screamer. Besides, it seems wrong to move the long sleeved shirts out of the "winter" side of my closet where they are getting a deep sleep for the next six months.

I have moved to thinner long sleeved tops for the moment, lol!

The heat gets oppressive here in summer also. We had the hottest day ever in my city in January this year, since records were first kept, at least. 47 degrees. (116.6F) Kinda toasty.

Nothing a good ice cream cone and very good AC can’t fix though.

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116, yikes. That is more like desert temperatures for us, which I don't get here. 102 should be the highest of the horrible highs.

True, ice cream and air conditioners are some of summer's best friends.

And those slippery slides...Long sheets of plastic, dish soap and the garden hose...Remember them?

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I remember many a bruise from those things. Lots of fun getting the bruises though. I made a supersized version of it with a long pool tarp for my son's birthday years ago. We had it propped up on a hill. As it turns out, adults with beer really enjoy that sort of thing ;)

Had fun as a kid on those things...As an adult, well, fun also, but lot of pain...For some reason we kept flying off the end and crashing into things...BBQ's, walls, people...Beer may have been involved.

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No way, us too! Definitely the beer ;)

Beeeeeer! You pesky rascal...🍺

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In my husband's case it was definitely the beer. In my case it was actually pesky rascally wine. Same result, fancier glass :)

I am used to the heat. Although I live in the UK the summer here is not that hot, but we had some heat waves recently. In Hungary where I come from the Summer is hot sometimes it can be too hot. The temperature can be as high as 38C.

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It takes a bit of getting used to, but I suppose heat is not so bad. I'd rather be hot than cold, but I suppose cold is just a matter of getting used to as well.

It sounds like I would be at home in Hungary :)

I need to try me some of these barefoot Florida Crackers you speak of :)

I don't think they are as elegant as yours. Definitely not made of "the finest wheat," but they were born around the same time :) Although maybe I am just knackered - it is the middle of the night here.

Step one for incorporating new vocabulary word - use in sentence. Check.

Excellent usage, you can now rest in peace :)

I just woke up and I did have a peaceful rest. Not the eternal kind though, thankfully :)

Our heatwave is your winter . How's me aul flower?? ☺☺

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We should do that home exchange thing. You can come here to experience heat stroke and I will shiver through your heatwave :)

I'm good. Not been around much lately with other projects going on, but trying to get back into the swing of things. How are you? (Wish I had a masculine sounding equivalent for me aul flower to throw in here and keep a pattern)

Me aul flower is gender neutral. 😉

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It's 83 degrees here now..... right before noon. Did someone move me farther south while I was sleeping.

Ghosts..... your favorite as I remember. LOL

Enjoyed your photos and story.

The weather has been odd this season in a lot of places it seems. Maybe someone did move you south though. If you are in an RV then you might be in my town by now. If so, let's do lunch ;)

Oh my goodness, I need to burn some sage around here or something :)

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