Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Apatheia Chap 3: "Distraction"

(Friends- I've been away...sorry this has taken so long to post. I'm writing chapter 4 now. The story should be finished soon- thank you for all your words of encouragement as I've worked on this! Hugs to you!)
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"Distraction"

On Saturday the kids had a play date with their Grandmother from 10 am to 5 pm.
William needed to cut the grass and Clara wanted to run errands.

The serpent slithered into the further most corner of the crawl-space, towards the front of the house, on the opposite side of the garage.
Saturday was the only day of the week that she might be found by William and she wanted to be in the darkest corner under the house.

William mowed the grass, it wasn't his favorite job, but he didn't mind doing it. He recalled that when he and Clara were first married she'd plant flowers while he cut the grass, but those days were long gone. Life was busy and they were often on different paths.
As he pushed the mower along the side of the house he spotted something unusual. One of the vents in the foundation was open- which was fine for ventilation in the summer, but the screen behind it was broken. It crossed his mind that the screen is what kept "critters" like mice and rats and other rodents out of the crawl space. As he thought about it though- he realized he'd never seen a mouse, or even a mole, in his yard.
He shrugged his shoulders and pushed on, deciding that the broken screen could wait.

The serpent hugged herself tightly and lifted her head. With eyes like 2 shiny beads in the cool darkness, she flicked her tongue- knowing she was quite safe.

However, William did see one bothersome thing as he made the turn to mow the back yard-
A patch of poison ivy near the swing set.
Without much thought he pulled the plants up and tossed them over the fence into the wooded area behind his house, and kept mowing the grass.

Meanwhile Clara was at the drug store picking up Tylenol, allergy meds, and trying to find a lipstick to replace the one she thought she'd lost. While she was shopping she noticed a different pharmacist behind the counter. She recognised him as being the parent of a new boy on Billy's little league team. From what she'd heard he was going through a rough divorce and had moved to the area less than 6 months before. He seemed to be a devoted father and was good with the other children on the team. He was also quite handsome.

Clara had not introduced herself, but Billy had spoken often about the new boy, Jacob Douglas, and wanted him to come over and play. Clara looked up from her shopping basket to see Jacob's dad coming towards her.
"Mrs. Thomas?", he asked.
"Yes", said Clara smiling, "And you are Jacob's dad, right? "
"Please call me Ryan", he said. "I've wanted to say hello for a few weeks now, but I just haven't been able to. My son Jacob really likes your son, and Billy has been a good friend to him as the newest member of the team. It's meant alot to him, and to me. I wanted to say thank you."
And he reached out to shake her hand. Clara was touched.
"Oh, what a nice thing for you to say!" Clara exclaimed warmly, as she took his hand.
"Billy has mentioned your son to me several times. We would love to have Jacob over ...maybe you and Jacob could come over for a cook out with our family one night?"

They chatted for a few more minutes and exchanged phone numbers. Ryan Douglas went back to work, and Clara finished shopping- feeling sorry for little Jacob, and touched by Ryans kind remarks. He was seemed to be so nice and she wondered, "What woman in her right mind would let that ONE go? Smart, a loving dad, and so good looking! She must be an idiot!"

By the time Clara finished all of her errands and got home- William had finished the yard work and was itching like mad. A red rash with tiny blisters covered most of his left hand and part of his right arm. Clara took one look at the rash and said, "That is from poison ivy! How did that happen?"
William said, "I saw a small patch of it next to the swing set, so I pulled it up and got rid of it."
"Were you wearing your gloves?" Clara asked pointedly.
" I couldn't find my damn gloves!" He retorted.

Clara gave instructions for him to soak his hands and arm in cool water.
She didn't have any Poison Ivy lotions or cremes in the house and she would have to go back to the drug store, and get William some cotton gloves to keep the rash from spreading.

William filled the deep kitchen sink with cool water, and removed his watch and wedding ring.

Clara stepped into her bathroom and fluffed her hair and put on her lipstick before heading out to the drug store for the 2nd time that day.

The serpent yawned and stretched out a little. She wondered when the kids would be back...

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

and the suspense builds up ... as apathy infects this seemingly happy home.

now i can hardly wait to read chapter 4!

thanx for this!

luxlucisvita said...

I wonder if she drives the car going to the drugstore...gas costs...My husband always tells me to make a list..so i don't keep going back and forth...I do make the list..but by the time I make it to the store I discover I left the list back at home...you should see the look on his face when I tell him this ha!ha!ha!ha!ha!

schaumi said...

...looks like this woman is starting to develop a "the grass is greener on the other side" case...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

this reminds me of an old internet joke that went around...a picture of a great lookin' babe in a bikini and the caption read:

somewhere, some guy...... is tired of her sh*t!

that is the truth every which way ya got.

mayden, im gone for the weekend!
*circle tail (or as boney calls it airplane tail) wag*

/howl

X. Dell said...

I'm gonna suspend any anticipation for what comes next in this story. I will say, however, it's unfolding nicely. You've had decent exposition to explore the areas outside of the house, away from the snake, and the divorced dad and the poison ivy are moving the plot forward. Very good.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Velvet- things are about to speed up- hopefully chap 4 will be shorter :)

Lux- Oh- I imagine, like me, she drives the car everywhere :)

Schaumi~ Greener grass, as I am finding, just means there's more poop in the soil! :)

K9- May such a thing never be said of me! :) (wait...too late! lol!)
I'm kidding. T has never said that! Somebody else has- but not him. I'll give him another 6 months :)

X~ Thank you. This has been a very good exercise for me- I've never written anything like this. A good friend and author is giving it a critical read and telling me (brutally, of course!) what I could do better. It's nice. Thank you...I hope the ending will be surprising.

schaumi said...

of course greener grass is full of b.s./err manure, that's why folks are often fooled by it...:)

Crashtest Comic said...

Nice post.
Not enough high heels for my taste.

luxlucisvita said...

that makes sense...the greener the grass is...the more bs it's got...words ov' wisdomfrom schuami...ey' Cora...how are ya???...write to you tomorrow...sleep tight tonight...it's 1:04 pm here...

Anonymous said...

Apathy is very destructive. We have to find a way to not care about it.

boneman said...

Dang! How come he didn't fix the screen thing that keeps out the critters?
And, if it's small enough t'fit through one of the blinds, then just how big IS this serpent?

I'm a lil less worried bought the serpent and more worried about how Clara's fixin' her hair up just to go back to the drugstore...especially since what it takes is tomatoe juice and vinegar. Oh, it won't smell too awful good after, but, ivy leaves a resin that can be cut with acidic substances.

uh...
I'm getting too much out'a this, ain't I?

Libby said...

cora-great chapter! y'know what? i think my 'suspense' is ended here...but, i'd love it if you made this story longer, just cuz it's so good!