Writing in Public, Story 6, Scene 3
Randy hurried along the sidewalk, resisting the urge to look over his shoulder at Nikki. She was the splitting image of Adelia Chandler, right down to how she walked. It was like the family had skipped three generations and landed in Nikki.
It wasn’t supposed to be like that.
Molly yipped. Then she squirmed in his grip.
“Okay, okay,” Randy said.
He knelt, putting her on the ground. He pointed a finger.
“This time you behave. No running off.”
Molly cocked her head, all doggy innocence. Forgetting the time she had taken off after the calico cat or the rabbit. No attention to passing cars. She was going to give him a heart attack!
Dog had the attention span of a gnat.
She put her nose to the ground like a vacuum cleaner, snuffling eagerly where the lawn ended at concrete. Maybe some gentleman dog had been by here to leave his scent.
Randy chanced a look back at the Chandler house. He’d wondered if any of the family was still left after the last of the two elderly women died. They passed within days of each other, as if they were joined together.
But it left the house empty, for the first time in its history. He still remembered when the great stone foundation had gone into the ground, the scrapes of the tools as masons mortared the stones. His father had been out here every day to make sure the special mortar was mixed correctly, and also to reassure the masons.
Randy had been able to taste their fear riding stagnant in the air. Even today, when the sun was exactly just so, he could still taste it, though those masons were more than hundred years dead. It was like the fear had gone in with the mortar and the stones, into the house.
But the masons had all been handpicked by the Chandlers, and by Randy’s father. Many were brought it from the east coast, where their work had flourished in buildings of Washington, DC. They’d understood, too, of the risks and dangers of the special mortar mixture.
And the importance of what they were doing with this house.
Nikki walked to the car parked at the curb in front of the house, an older Hyndai in silver. He couldn’t help watching her legs, trim and shapely under the sun dress. She worked out, no doubt about it. He wondered if her arms were muscular, too, but the jacket hid that.
Molly bounced back to him, wagging her stubby tail. She sat on the ground and rolled over.
“So you want a belly rub.”
A smile stretched across Randy’s face. He scratched the soft white belly. Molly soaked it up. Pure dog pleasure.
He glanced up at Nikki again. She circled around to the driver’s side of the car.
Nothing could be kept secret, not in a small town this size. She’d inherited the house, but the rest of the family was trying to get her to sell it off. They just saw it as profit, or something that was too much effort to care for.
Selling it off…that could be very, very bad.
Story was being fussy, which is pretty common when I start a new one–especially a longer one. This is not going to be a short story.
- Posted in: Writing in Public