Lane (Made From Stone Book 1)

By: T. Saint John


Eventually, she started using her prescription medicine more than required and the gateway opened to harder drugs. We lost our house, moved into a hotel, and then we started to see Mom less and less. For a while she’d come back to sleep or shower, but it’s been a few months since we’ve seen or heard from her.

At first, Amy and I tried to help. We showered her and even hand fed her if we had to, but after a while, any trace of our mother was gone. Her eyes no longer belonged to her; they belonged to the addiction—black pools of destructive need that were only satisfied by her next fix. It's been so long now that we've had to give up hope on her ever getting help. We still pray she will, but we can’t find her; so, for now, we count on each other.





Lane


“Merry Christmas!” Mom says while running to me with arms open wide. She makes me laugh because every time she hugs me, it’s like she hasn’t seen me in years, regardless of the fact that I was here just yesterday bringing all the presents for my brothers, sister and cousins. When your family is this big, you have to prepare in advance.

“Where is everyone?” I ask.

“Scattered about. Your brothers are playing video games, your sister and Taylor are baking, Harper is going over the music selection and your aunts and uncles are drinking in the living room with your dad,” Mom explains this to me with a happy smile, and I chuckle to myself. It’s always chaos around here, every event, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Hey jackass, you made it!” Gavin says, as he comes out of the bathroom.

“Gavin, it’s Christmas,” Aunt Kerrigan scolds him.

“Sorry, Mom,” he says and I know, hell we all know, he is anything but.

My mom rolls her eyes and heads into the living room as I follow.

“Hey son,” Dad says, handing me a beer and clapping me on the back firmly in our usual greeting.

“Hey, Dad.”

“Gather everyone so we can get this evening started?” he asks, as I wrap my arm around his shoulders, and give him a squeeze.

I do as he asks and make my rounds getting everyone together. We’re all sitting around the living room and there’s a sadness hanging in the air amidst the holiday spirit. Landon, my oldest brother and best friend, will be headed on his first deployment to Iraq right after the holidays. We are all beyond nervous. Mom and Dad constantly talk about when this war started, about how they can’t believe it hasn’t ended, and how things are heating up again. We’re all aware Landon will be in danger, and you can see it in everyone’s eyes.

“Well, it’s Landon's last Christmas at home for a while so I think he should go first,” Mom says.

“Thanks, Mom,” he smiles, “you heard her! Give the favorite son his gifts!” he jokes, just like always.

We watch as he opens his gifts; they are all sentimental, forget-me-not types of gifts, except the one from Lucas. That boy doesn’t have a serious bone in his body, which should be concerning considering he is part of the Chicago Fire Department.

“That isn’t what I think it is... is it?” my Aunt Lani asks, trying to act shocked but her stifled laugh betrays her.

“Yep, it’s a blow-up doll!” Landon says, glaring at Lucas who’s holding back laughter.

“Well, I figured it would be a while before you had any real pus…”

“Lucas! None of that talk on Christmas!” my mother scolds.

“Landon, just call me tomorrow, and I’ll explain how to use it,” Lucas says and my uncles all crack up laughing, as my aunts elbow them in the ribs. I can tell they are trying not to laugh as well.

“I just want one holiday where my boys don’t talk about… oh, never mind. Noah, Evan, Maddox this is all your fault!” my Mom says, shaking her head, resigned to the fact she has raised a group of male whores.

“Well, maybe next year we can talk about dicks,” Harper says, making a joke she should know better than to make. Uncle Evan immediately puts a stop to that talk.

“Harper! Stop!” Uncle Evan demands.

“Why do you laugh at the boys, but you don’t think it’s funny for the girls?” she questions pouting.

“Yeah, honey. It isn’t fair!” Aunt Lani says, and Uncle Evan gives her a look that immediately shuts her up.

“How about no dick or vagina talk? It’s Christmas for God's sake!” Aunt Kerrigan says.

“Alright, enough! Who’s next?” Dad asks, changing the subject.

“Mom, Aunt Kerrigan and Aunt Lani,” I say. It’s always funny watching them open gifts. My dad and uncles got into a game years ago of one-upping each other. I think Mom and my aunts enjoy the banter between my dad and his brothers, but it’s gotten way out of control; so out of control that last year my mom and aunts repaid them with ridiculously extravagant gifts they inevitably hated. Matching gaudy gold bracelets with the words ’Brothers and Best Friends’ engraved on them. We’ll see how it goes this year.

We all wait patiently as the women open their gifts, noticing that they all start to tear up. Landon is the first to ask what they got. They all got the same thing; it’s a collage of photos from when we were growing up. There are a lot of photos of all of us kids camping in Kentucky, those are some of my favorite memories. I think the photo that really got everyone was the photo of my grandma. She passed away unexpectedly last year from a massive heart attack. Looking at my family, I can see everyone’s mood has turned somber. I can see it in the weak smiles and lingering glances, we’re listening to the slow flow of Christmas music playing in the background and no one is really talking.