Sunday, March 27, 2011

For God's sake, its ants!

   Too hot now, I threw the blankets off and turned over in my sleep. And then I felt a smile touch the corners of my lips and drifting again, I remembered and felt the same warmth in my house; in my cozy kitchen with the round oak table and chairs by the bay windows. The pot of stew simmering on the stove, awaiting my husbands arrival from work for our supper.
   I took a deep breath in my sleep and relished the zesty aroma.  And oh that house! Even now in my dream I could see it standing proudly atop the hill.  I'd met an married a hard working man and the time spread before me in a panaramic flow of our happy years of being together and fixing it up.  It was a lovely seventy-five year old mansion standing in a valley surrounded by rolling hills. Later a housing development came in but back then we were gloriously alone in all the beauty. 
   Our house was a two story colonial with a veranda that ran along three sides of the building with colums set along the edges. It had been in foreclosure for back taxes and had been standing abandoned for years. The minute I saw the place and walked in, I had felt the warmth amongst the faded walls and creaking floors. This was what I wanted, I felt safe there.
   Several years went by as we tore down, refinished, painted and gradually made that place into a beauty. Our bodies ached, our hands bled, but finally it was done and our palatial house stood fininshed in all its glory.
   I felt a moan escape my lips as I continued to dream. Then I remembered the dreaded words we heard from the doctor when he had said "its cancer"!  And then the inevitable silence in that house later when I  was  alone that never went away.  I felt a tremer shake my body and I hugged the pillow now.  For some time I had been seeing small piles of sawdust around the house, strange but not anything I took seriously. There would be some on top of a dresser in an upstairs bedroom, or, downstairs on the kitchen counter and this went on mysteriously for several  months.
   This seems to be falling out of the ceiling, I swore one day as I was cleaning house.
   What the hell is it? I muttered.  And I painstakenly checked the house over carefully and dam if I didn't find cracks appearing in all the ceilings in most of the rooms.
    What the hell was going on up there in the attic?  Gathering all my nerve I went into the upstairs hallway and took down the pull-down ladder. I'd never been up there, never wanted to, but now I didn't have a choice! I remembered my knees shaking as I climbed up grasping the steps and then finally I was eye-level with the attic floor.
   My God it was scary in the gloomy cavern; spider webs hung like glistening patterns of lace from the rafters, settling into the mounds of gray insulation. And as I stood hanging onto the ladder for dear life something crawled over my hand. I jerked away and as I did I moved some of the insulation on the attic floor, and then I saw them.  Huge black carpenter ants embedded in the boards, busily eating away on my house. 
   Horrified, I didn't remember climbing down, but, I do recall later the exterminator had shook his head and jokingly remarked, "Lady you better burn this joint!"
   And then, I awoke and sat up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Will he or won't he?

   The next morning I sat holding my diamond and ruby earrings, which I'd retrieved from the pawnbroker as I thought about the day before when I had been at Dade's house. We'd lingered over coffee and cordials in the living room, and he had leaned in and kissed me.  Much to my surprise. A real kiss and on the lips!  At the time I wondered how far things would go, could it possibly heat up to an afternoon of love-making?  And now I was ready. But the man released me and stood up and began to pace around the room!
   "Lindy, we've got to talk," he exclaimed and pulled me to my feet. "But right now I've got to get you back to town as I promised."
   I wondered, what did he have in mind?
   Bone-tired after another night of grueling work and unable tos leep, I sat in an old terry-cloth robe and sipped coffee from a cup I had taken from the resaturant; a white flowered china cup and saucer. It was the only pretty thing in the room. The morning sun caught the dust motes laily dancing over the worn carpet. An outfit I'd worn to work last night lay over the arm of the old stuffed chair.  I put my feet up and sat absorbed in my thoughts, the diamond earrings in one hand and the china cup in the other. Lordy, after seeing the luxury of Dades home, mine looked pretty dismal.
   Today, the ugliness of the room in the motel, a couple of decent outfits of clothes, and a killing job and far away from anything familiar was a blatant reminder of my life. When I'd lived in Dallas years before, things had been altogether different. Of course, then I had been young and full of dreams.
   What will I do if I don't find my money?  I just can't stay here, I need a plan!
   Could there be a future for me with Dade? I wondered.  Maybe, but something about him causes an uneasy feeling in me. Suddenly loneliness over whelmed me and I started to cry, first whinpering sobs, then angry cursing tears at the man who had taken every thing I had. Then finally exhausted I curled into a fetal position and fell asleep. Or maybe it was the early stage of slumber of shadows and gray dreams.
   I was small again living in a run-down farm miles away from the city. Barefoot in a ragged dress and braid down my thin back, I felt the cry of anguish erupt from my six year old body as I was used and ravished by a relative. I didn't know where to go to be safe and I ran and ran trying to hide.  Finally after years I got a reprieve and my parents sent me away to school. I was thirteen then and never lived at home again.  I was free! I worked and saved my money and went to college, and soon was working on a degree in business
Amidst my studies and part-time jobs I met a young man at the greasy spoon cafe we were both working at.  His name was Reed Conners and for the first time I felt an attraction to a man!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where's the million?

In a Kansas prison, a man in an orange coverall sat at a computer. as a geniusat athe keybroad he had a plan. It had been over thiree months since his incarceration.
I'll find that bitch Lindy Lewis yet, he mumbled as he scanned the internet. And that asshole Conners, his days are numbered, John Thomas smirked.
A buzzer shrilled as the cell doors clanked open. He had two minutes to pass through inspection and get back to his cell.
 "Will I see you later ?" the cocktail waitress at Savards Bar asked as she put a shot of whiskey down on the bar for Reed. 
   "I'll see how the nights goes," Reed answered evasively.  He took a sip of his drink, and tried not to notice the hurt in her voice.
   Ginger Adams lived in his town in the north and was a friend and sometimes bed-partner. But ever since Lindy Lewis had popped back in his life he had been treating her badly.
   Goddamn, he mumbled under his breath, why do I let Lindy do this to me?
  It had started years ago when she'd call or show up and get him all charged up.  Then nothing!  And finally after left hanging too many times, he'd buried himself in his work and put her out of his mind for good.  He'd heard later she'd gotten married. Then a few years ago he'd felt a curious need to buy her hometown paper, and there on the second page was an article that her husband had died.  Not wanting to contact her since it had been so long, he couldn't believe it when later, her name had been linked to a insurance fraud case he had been handed to investigate.
    What had driven her to commit a crime?  She'd always been hard working and honest.  But it had been several decades since they had been together in college, and he knew people changed.
   Reed sat in the Corvette now, his gaze lost in the star filled sky.  It was a late fall night.  A gentle breeze sent leaves falling silently  like a soft rain.  The music on his radio played a slow sensuous song from the eighties. 
   He'd a restlessness eating at him lately. The same feeling he'd gotten every few years at this time and then he and Tanner would plan a trip, to hunt in Montana or fishing in Canada.  Now his friend was dead and soon the snow would fly.
   When winter set in would he be content this year to stay at home with his books and warm fire?
   Goddamn, he remembered Lindy had always loved Dallas, and he was going to Texas.  He would find  that woman and get his company's million back!