I lay awake in the dark, acutely aware of the reverberating chirp of crickets in the woods outside my window. The repetitive, croaking rhythm of frogs seems an obnoxious volume. A cat’s meow escapes from up in the trees. Leaves rustle as a nearby raccoon shuffles along the ground.
The best thing that happened to him was the worst thing that happened to me, initially.
I was in my back yard, hose in hand. Same routine, same time, every morning. That probably added to my demise, along with the fact my house was at the end of an isolated road nestled among a nature preserve.
I sprayed the flower beds brimming with purple Petunias, slowly moving toward the intoxicating, sweet aroma of my Gardenia bush—thick and refreshing at the same time. I finally finished with splashes of water on the surrounding foliage. Twisting the nozzle shut, my breath caught in my throat. A shiver coursed down my spine, sensing a presence. Starting to turn, I glimpsed a shadow.
“You never realize how much you like someone until you watch them like someone else.” — Unknown
Long since are the days when I was last in line to pick an instrument in the school band, or the last one to be picked as a square-dancing partner, or, to be excluded from a specific circle of friends. Now that I’m an adult and all grown-up, I assumed I’d never experience feelings of rejection again. That only happens when you’re a kid, right? Wrong.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
The brisk puffs of air carrying the aroma of nearby Gardenias drifted through the screen of my back porch, caressing my face. I watched the leaves on the trees lining my back deck gently flutter in the soft breeze as I slowly rocked, alone with sad thoughts. I was mourning the death of my sweet aunt who recently lost her difficult battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
So . . . I was recently published in Short Fiction Break as part of the Spring Writing Contest! The theme was “In A Hole”–a character ends up in some sort of predicament and has to find a way out of it. This short, humorous story is about Miss Betty Bailey who, to her surprise, discovers that turnabout is fair play. Enjoy!