Saturday, October 18, 2008

Short Story Saturday returns

The sky was gun-metal grey, and the clouds were fat with the raindrops that would soon fall to soak into the earth that so desperately needed it.
People, sensing that this would be a big storm, scurried to and fro like frantic squirrels, gathering nuts for the winter. The local stores quickly ran out of candles, matches, bread and bottled water. The hardware store even sold the two archaic generators that had been sitting on their shelves for 10 years. And people came in droves, complaining that there were no more.
Ben, the owner of the store shook his head, and began to get out the supplies he had to board up the windows. He was the fifth generation of MacAlisters to own the hardware store, and, since his father Joe, had retired to New Jersey, he had been running it all on his own. He missed having his father nearby to ask all the inane questions to, such as, how many pounds of nails should be buy in the month of November, or, how many garden hoses should he stock the shelves with in March?
Shaking his head out of the revery he was in, he got to work on the windows. His wife, Eden, would be anxiously awaiting his arrival, so he could board up the windows on their home, as well. She was pregnant with their first child, and he didn't want her stressed out, or worried when she didn't need to be. She'd already called the store five times that day, asking him to bring things home, including peanut butter, and Crystal Light packets to put in her water.
He finished, and closed the store, after explaining to yet another customer why, exactly he did not have anymore generators. ("I haven't sold one in ten years, Jim, why would I order more?"). Hurrying, he loaded up his 1971 Ford Truck with the groceries, and supplies he'd gathered, and sped home as fast as he dared. His cousin Paul was the local sheriff, but it didn't mean that he got out of any moving violations.
As soon as he pulled up, Eden tossed open the front door. "Did you remember my peanut butter?" she asked, absently patting her well rounded abdomen. She was rewarded with a sharp kick in return, she laughed.
"Yeah, I have it" he smiled, and grabbed the groceries out of the truck. Passing his wife, he stooped to give her a hello kiss, and continued on through the door, and into the kitchen. Depositing the groceries on the counter, he went outside and began to board up their windows, as the first, fat drops of rain began to fall.
Eden went to the kitchen behind her husband, and began to sort and put away the groceries. She knew the storm would be a big one, but, with the groceries Ben had brought home, they were well provisioned. She now had two jars of peanut butter, and, since that was what she was craving lately, things were good. She hoped they didn't lose power for too long. They wanted, and needed to finish putting together the nursery this weekend. She was over 8 months pregnant, and all the little, last minute things needed to be done, like putting fresh crib sheets on, touching up the paint here and there, and putting child proof covers on all the outlets. She was anxious to have everything done, because she just knew that the baby was going to be coming soon. She didn't care what all the people always said about first babies taking forever. She knew her own body. As if to echo her thought, the baby kicked her, hard. Laughing she patted her belly, then made herself some peanut butter and crackers.
Ben's thoughts were also on his child, and the upcoming birth. He'd wanted to know the sex of the baby, but Eden had wanted to be surprised. It was a moot point, because, each time they'd gone for a sonogram, the baby had refused to turn in the proper direction for it's parts to be seen, anyhow. It didn't matter too much to Ben what they had, he would be happy with a son, or a daughter. Truthfully, he was hoping for a little girl, who looked just like Eden. He loved his wife, and thought that having another female on this earth just like her would be a blessing. The rain began to fall in earnest, and Ben turned his thoughts and concentration towards the task at hand. Just as he finished the last window, a crash of thunder echoed around him, setting his teeth on edge. Silently, he counted. One one thousand. Two one thousand Three one thou- and Zot! a flash of lightning, zig zagging it's pattern through the gun metal sky. The lights in the house flickered, then went dark. From the viscinity of the kitchen, he heard the sound of glass, hitting the floor.
"Eden, are you alright?" he asked, concerned.
"Fine" she called back. The wind was really whipping now and the rain was coming down in sheets. Stepping into the back door, directly into the kitchen, Ben saw a broken peanut butter jar, and his wife, who was laughing, and crying at the same time.
"My water just broke" she said, wiping the tears from her eyes....


sybil law said...

Clearly, Eden is insane, because I would not be FINE if that shit happened to me right then!
Also, do they still make peanut butter in glass jars?!

Daryl said...

Uh Oh ... more please


Bubblewench said...

lol! You sure are the trixter.

holly said...

yes, i'm going for insane too. water breaking makes my calmness break.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey, I want more now, and I really like these two characters already. What are you going to do to them?