Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Muse

Cecilia sat on the porch drinking iced tea and watching the wash that she had hung on the line blowing in the wind. She noticed that wind had picked up in the last few minutes. This concerned her only because she also knew that her wash was not dry yet. She would have to get it off or wash it all again because of the dust. There would be a dust storm this afternoon. She would not have to wait much longer.

She stood up quickly and grabbed her basket. In her haste she had knocked her glass down and it shattered across the porch. She had to move fast to get the wash, the glass would have to wait. She looked out into the field and saw Wendell stand up. He began to walk toward the house. Cecilia hoped that he would remember that she had put the wash out this morning because it would take her a long time to get it all in the basket.

She had been in the mood to wash their clothes, the sheets, and the kitchen curtains. She had planned to wash the sitting room curtains this afternoon, but if the storm was long that would not happen. She began to pull the clothes off the line quickly hoping to beat the storm, but could feel the wind picking up faster now. The storm was coming and quickly. That usually meant that it would be followed by a thunderstorm and possible a tornado. They had never had a tornado touchdown on their property, but the people down the road had. So she and Wendell had been able to watch the funnel cloud close-up.

Just as she started on the sheets, Wendell came running up. "Cec, I think this is going to be a big one. I could see it off in the distance when I got up to come in. We better hurry and get in the house."

Cecilia and Wendell began pulling the sheets and curtains off the line. Cecilia was cursing the dirt. Now she would have to rewash everything. All her morning work was spoiled. She would have to do it all over again. She had been hoping to get finished early today and sit down and read while Wendell played the piano in the sitting room. Now her work would go on into the night and she would not have time to read before dark.

While Cecilia was lost in angry thoughts Wendell got everything else off the line. As if he had been reading her mind he turned to her and said, "Cec, I will help you with the wash so you can read this afternoon."

"Thanks, Wendell. I really wanted to read that new book you brought me from town the other day."

" I know, let's hurry and get inside." Wendell said quickly.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Muse

Cecilia had always wondered why it was necessary for human beings to have five fingers on each hand when they could so easily survive with only four. She picked up her iced tea and wiped the sweat off the glass with her good hand. Cecilia knew that when she went into town everyone was staring at her “bad” hand. She was born with only four fingers on her right hand. This never really bothered her because she didn’t see the need for five fingers, unless she happened to be around people who did not understand. Everyone always looked at her with such pity in their eyes. But, Cecilia didn’t need their pity. You never use all of them anyway, she thought.

She took a long drink of her tea. The sweetness of the liquid filled her mouth and she held it there for just a moment to savor it. There really was nothing like iced tea. Her mama used to make the best sun tea in the summertime. She would fill up a pickle jar with water and place her homemade tea bags in the top of the jar with the pieces of thread hanging out of the lip and place the lid on the top. She said that the secret to good sun tea was to leave the lid unscrewed so that the air could get into the jar. Cecilia didn’t know if she quite believed this because she always closed the lid. Always. If she didn’t close the lid she was afraid that the gnats would fly in and she would accidentally swallow one.

Swallowing a gnat had to be Cecilia’s greatest fear. Along with stepping on the cracks in the porch, going up into the attic at night, down in the basement any time of the day or night, and losing Wendell. She sat and thought for a moment, no losing Wendell had to be her greatest fear. Gnats, cracks, basements, and attics aside it had to be Wendell. He had always been there. Ever since she could remember he had held her hand as she fell asleep at night, and greeted her every morning in his special way. He loved to sing her songs when there was a thunderstorm, and when the wind picked up and started blowing across the plain he would always sweep her up in his arms and carry her to the sitting room so she could watch the dust cloud come in from the south.

Why did it always come in from the south, she wondered? Even now she could feel the air getting dryer and dryer. They hadn’t had any rain in months. If it didn’t rain soon they would surely have a dust storm. Oh how she loved to watch the power in those things. The cloud would build and build until it seemed it would burst with pure dust. One time she was making sun tea out on the porch and saw the cloud coming in from the south like it always did and made it out to the porch just in time to rescue her favorite pickle jar. She knew that she wouldn’t have any tea that night, but being able to watch the storm from beginning to end was reward enough for her.

Wendell had come running in from the fields. He was so worried that she would walk out and try to get in the middle of the cloud. Cecilia had always wanted to be swept up. She remembered the look on Wendell’s face when she had told him. They were just kids sitting at mama’s feet in the sitting room and they heard the rumble that always comes before the dust and knew it was coming. Wendell was worried that she was afraid of the storm, but she had told him no, she was not afraid. She loved the dust storms. She imagined that her house would be swallowed up in the dust cloud and she would drift on the prairies forever with her mama and Wendell there by her side. No more bad hand, no more work for mama, and Wendell would be with her forever.

That's the end...

That is as far as I can go with The Heist right now. I will try to write more later, but the ending is just not working for me. I have started a couple of other stories. I have the first part for a new one to publish. This is really my problem. Things seem to go and on for me and I can't wrap them up and bring good closure. UGH! Probably because I don't make an outline and I don't know how the story is going to develop until I actually write that part. I hope you enjoy this next story.