Sunday, April 28, 2013


The trigger came from A God of Small Things by the Indian writer Roy. I felt mine was a bit cliché and I really couldn't get going but my writing pal developed a wonderful grandfather who picked mint with his grandchild (great detail) and was reflexive in his answers. I wanted to meet that grandfather.

The afternoon was still and hot.

Marge and Betty sat on the front porch fanning themselves. In the yard, their five-year old kids, Tommy and Sarah, were running back and forth through the sprinkler, screaming.

It was Sunday. Neither had to work. Marge was a nurse and Betty was in billing at the same hospital. For both of them having a Sunday off together was a real treat. They had adjusted their schedules so normally it was Marge working at night so she could be home with the kids days while Betty was working, which made time together as a family together difficult.

“Should we take them for ice cream?” Marge asked.

Before Betty could answer, they heard a door slam on the house to their right. Mr. Harper stormed over. “Can’t you keep those kids quiet. It’s Sunday.”

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We’ll do what we can,” Betty said, putting a hand on Marge’s knee that said, “Don’t say anything louder than if she’d yell.”

“Hey kids,” Marge hollered not quite loud enough to break glass but almost. “It’s Sunday. Keep it down.”

Janice, their neighbor on the other side stood up. They hadn’t noticed her planting flowers below the white picket fence separating their properties. “Don’t be such a grouch, Harper. They’re just kids.”

“It’s the Lord’s Day,” Harper said. He glared at them all and stomped back toward his house.

“And if the Lord were here, he’d probably be running through the sprinkler, too,” Janice said to his back just before he slammed his door. “Bigot,” she said to the two women. “I heard you suggest going for ice cream. I’ve an ice cream maker. “Want to come over later and John and I will get it out.”

“What flavor?” Sarah asked. No one had notice her come up to the porch.

"Whatever you want, and bring your moms."


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