Posted by Geo 07-28-2017
Today is an assortment of humor and a free short story, Mister Bob, at the end. This is all stuff I have written and set aside. There is so much of this sort of stuff that sometimes I wonder how I get any work done at all. Please take it all with a grain of salt, or two, or three…
My Friend Bob.
My friend is a little slow. He called me up and said…
“Listen, I’m really worried.”
“What’s wrong, Bob,” I asked? I was concerned. Must be serious for him to call me.
“Well, I’m concerned about this Trans-vaginal mesh thing on the T.V.,” Bob says.
“Wife had the surgery?”
“You know, I never even thought of that,” Bob says.
“Oh… Mother… Sister?”
“Jesus, now I’m really worried… I was worried about me… That time I had the surgery for the hernia.”
“Um… Okay… So you were worried what, that they used trans-vaginal mesh to repair it?”
“Oh, that’s bad,” Bob says. “I didn’t even think of that… But no… When I went to see that shrink a few years back he told me I had to get in touch with my inner Vagina.”
I choked. I couldn’t help it. “He said that?”
“I think so… The thing is he was saying a lot of shit, I really wasn’t paying attention. Inner feminine side, vagina, something.”
“Okay… Well, is it possible he said inner child? And … Get in touch with your feminine side?”
“Maybe,” Bob allowed. “But you know we are all female in the womb and that means we must have a vagina and that’s what’s got me worried.”
Things on TV that I don’t want to see or hear:
“If you have an erection that lasts more than four hours contact a doctor”
“Less leakage with our pads.”
“Let’s talk about our bums.”
“Hail to the V.”
Important things to consider:
Bears can not wipe their asses at all.
Beavers are really an animal with buck teeth they can cut down trees with. How does that equal a vagina? Oh… never mind.
Groundhogs are really just rodents so you don’t have to listen to anything that they say. Such as, I don’t know, predictions from that fat bastard groundhog in Pennsylvania.
Boogers, there was a time as a child when you considered this food.
Assholes, what if everyone that was an asshole had to look like one? I know, right?
Hamburgers have no ham in them. Is that a lawsuit or what?
Politicians, what if everyone that was an asshole had to look like one? I know, right?
Riddle me this the big Dummy asked: What wind speed would it take to knock a 270 pound Idiot-Man flat on his butt on an icy driveway, while shoveling, in the middle of a blizzard?
You may ask, “Well, what was the idiot doing out there shoveling if it was a blizzard?” But that is self explanatory, he’s an idiot.
You may say, “Shouldn’t he have a Prozac and watch the snow pile up from somewhere safely inside?” But that should also be self explanatory.
Give up? Well, um, apparently all it takes is 16 mph winds from the West. I checked with the weather service after I got up. And although you didn’t ask, I’m fine. Just fine, and bonus, I apparently provided a smashing show for the guy driving by in the green truck. Happy to be of service, Guy in the Green truck…
Tough guy lines
“Hey… Hey, let me have your fucking attention for a moment if I might. Why don’t we do this. Let’s just shut the fuck up and accept what I’m gonna do or else I’ll put a fucking bullet right in your fucking eye… Okay? Are we cool with that?”
“Okay… Okay… I see. You are objecting to the way I’m handling this problem… I got that right, right? You don’t think I’m being fair? Okay. Well then, obviously I gotta make a change. Fair is fair. So why don’t we compromise and do it this way. You’ll have your say and then I’ll do what I was gonna do anyway and you’ll shut the fuck up and quit jabbering about it. That way I don’t gotta shoot you in the fuckin’ knee… Now who says I can’t compromise?”
Things a dolphin might say if a dolphin could talk
1: Please don’t eat me.
2: So, you a fisherman?
3: I hear the Snapper is good.
4: Well, you could take me home… Keep me in one of those little bowls…
Things a dolphin might say if you get them drinking.
1: “So, me and my buddy were over by the coral reef when this huge frickin’ shark cruises in like he owns the place. Well, I says to my friend, let’s just see about that. So…”
2: So, she says to me. “You come here often?” Often, I says. Often? It’s the freakin’ ocean! Whad’ya’mean often!
3: Well I used to be a Loan Shark.
4: Sushi… I mean Susie… Ow! Stop it! Why are you eating me!
Truth in advertising
Used Cat, 2013 model with gray striping. Yellow/green/red/demonic eyes. Very low miles, sleeps all the time. Has claws, poops in the house, does not respect humans, dogs, bugs or pretty much anything else. Has chewed the cords off seven mice and three power supplies, still all in all a very likable cat.
Bad dog. Very cute. Has piddled or pooped in every spot in the house. Dug up garden. Bit mailman and killed neighbors cat. Very affectionate. Cheap. Papers included, newspapers I mean, because he is sure to crap all over your house too.
Microsoft Backup in the old days
Waiting for a backup is like watching paint dry… Nope, the paint is dry and the damn backup is still ongoing. I suppose, as a writer, that I should feel fortunate that I have so much stuff to back up, once upon a time I only had those first few words too. It has said … ‘About Four Minutes Remaining’ … for like twenty minutes now. Oh, what a surprise, I wrote that, went back and checked, and it still says … ‘About four minutes remaining’ … Figures. I do not believe that Microsoft Windows Backup can count. See, I wrote that too and it still says it!!!! ARRRGGGG. Lol. The Backup dilemma, do I have five hours to waste today to do a backup?
Scenes of Elvis I have cut out of books I wrote…
… In a rusty old trailer, in the Palmview Park trailer court, in Miami Florida, a dark haired heavyset man sat at his kitchen table.
The power had been off for days, and the cheap plastic cassette player’s batteries had finally run-down. He had tried to be careful, had tried to only play it occasionally, but they had run-down despite his efforts.
He no longer wore the white leather outfit. He had hardly ever worn it anyway, only occasionally, only when he needed to, when he wanted to remember.
He had put it away two days ago, and he had no intention of ever wearing it again. It hung in the musty closet in his bedroom at the rear of the trailer, and as far as he was concerned it could hang there forever.
He removed the dark sun glasses and rubbed his tired eyes, started to put them back on, and then decided against it. They too had to go. Old stuff. Stuff that wasn’t important any longer, he knew. He ran his fingers through his thick hair, as he carefully set the glasses aside. He had thought of cutting it. Like maybe he should cut it, but he hadn’t been able to do it. In fact, he didn’t want to do it, so he had left it, along with the long graying sideburns. He liked them, they suited him, and he couldn’t let them go. He supposed they looked silly, even made him look older, but he didn’t care. And besides, he thought, he was old. The hair made him feel young, the hair made him remember, and if only for that reason, he wanted to keep it.
He sighed as he stood up from the table, glancing once more at the cheap plastic cassette player. It was time to go, time to leave, and although he didn’t want to go, although he really wanted nothing at all to do with people again, he knew that he had to go.
He had known, just known, when the batteries had finally died, that Florida was about to die too. He had to leave, unless he wanted to die right along with it. He levered the old door open for the last time, and stepped out into the warm morning air.
He took one last look at the rusted and faded trailer, and then set off through the park.
He walked slowly, looking around at the run-down park for the last time as he did, and headed for the marina that was just down the road. He hoped to find a boat of some sort, and leave.
And… Go where? He asked himself.
He pushed the thought away. It didn’t matter where he went, only that he went…
From a later book
… Aaron walked slowly out of the bedroom and into the kitchen area. The music had cut off, and suddenly too. And for just a second there. For just one small second there, he had felt as though the last ten years had slipped away, had been made unreal somehow, and he was back in the run-down trailer in good old Palmview trailer court, in Florida. Which was ridiculous, had to be ridiculous, and even he knew that it was ridiculous, but it had felt that way.
It had, thank God, nothing to do with that though. It was ten years later, he wasn’t in Florida, and everything was… Well, regular. The damn breaker had flipped again.
Ira, had helped set it up, and most of the time it worked just fine, but sometimes like this time, he thought it didn’t.
Sometimes when the sun slipped behind a cloud the thing just shut down. And the reason was clear. The electricity was solar, and they had hooked up a battery back-up, but the back-up was shot, kaput, done, finished, the damn thing couldn’t hold a charge more than fifteen minutes on a good day, and the last several day’s had been far from good days. Barely any sunlight six days running and it didn’t look as though there would be any real quick.
No big deal, he thought, as he switched off the main breaker, and then reset the one that had tripped. It wasn’t like there were factories just pumping out batteries any longer.
He had come a long way since his days as the king of rock and roll. And, he really had been the king for a while there, even after he died, after he was supposed to be dead, he had still been the king: Still on top, and no one had come along to knock him out of that top spot either.
The Star Reporter had still been doing articles about him ten years ago. ELVIS LIVING AS A VEGETABLE IN BRAZIL, was his favorite.
Really? Please, give it a rest. How much, he wondered now, did they have to pay those people to say those things? Probably, he concluded, as he always did, with a dry chuckle, absolutely nothing. They were glad to say it, needed to say it even, and would say it regardless of whether they were paid or not.
Wouldn’t they be surprised to know that he had really spent those years since he was supposed to have died flipping burgers in a run-down diner on the outskirts of Miami?
No, he decided, that would be too boring to print. They would have never gone for that.
Aaron chuckled once more, and walked back into the bedroom. Ira had stopped by just a few hours before, and invited him over to dinner, no time to think about Slander Sheets now, time only to get ready, and not just for dinner with Cora and Ira. After all, there was some serious business ahead. Very serious, and Ira might not know it yet, but Aaron did, he knew it for a fact. And he also knew, had a feeling really, that this time… This time the king might really die. He might really die, and…
He chuckled once more, an uneasy chuckle, and again began to trim the bushy sideburns that had been one of his trade marks so long ago. It made no difference. Not to him, and most surely it wouldn’t make any to Ira. If it was time, it was time. Life hadn’t been so bad, at the least the last ten years hadn’t, not at all. In fact the last ten years of not being the king, of not living in the shadow of being the king, of not reading all that garbage every day, those years had made all the other years more than worthwhile. If he died so be it, Mamma would be there, and Aron would be there, and he had spoken to Ira about death, so he was no longer afraid of it. It was a known thing now, an understood thing, and if he had to go he would.
The sound of a motor came to him from outside, slightly loud. The exhaust, he knew, was going on Ira’s old truck. It was too dark in here to see all that well anyway without the light. He set down the scissors, and left the bedroom just as a short and feeble-sounding toot came from the truck outside. He could use a new horn too, Aaron thought as he opened the front door and walked to the truck…
A word from turtles
Thousands of turtles are run over each day, while doing nothing more than trying to reach their homes across the busy interstate. This wholesale slaughter can be averted. We are currently working to provide turtle overpasses on many of the nation’s busiest highways. Won’t you give to help this worthy project? Just ten cents a day could save the lives of these poor, unfortunate turtles who are being run down and left for dead as you read this.
For ten cents a day you can give a turtle a safe alternative to reach his home. Won’t you consider it now?
Okay. Hope you found some of that humorous. I am going to leave you with a short story. Before I do that I wanted to let you know that I will be gone a good part of this coming week, possibly into the next week. I have posted concerning that so I won’t reiterate it. I’ll be back as soon as I can with fresh posts and blogs for you. Until then, have a great week, try not to hurt anybody on your way through life. That’s it for me today, Geo.
Mister Bob is Copyright © 2015 Wendell Sweet and his asignees
Additional Copyrights © 2010 by Wendell Sweet All rights reserved
Cover Art © Copyright 2015 Wendell Sweet
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
This novel is Copyright © 2015 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Name Dell Sweet is a publishing construct used by Wendell Sweet. Portions of this text are copyright 2010, and 2011, all rights reserved by Wendell Sweet and his assignees. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s or assignees permission.
Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
The Middle of the night: Lisa
She awoke suddenly in the darkness of the bedroom. Panic rode tightly in her throat, but nothing in the silence told her anything she needed to know.
The clock read 2:38 AM, green numerals lighting the bedroom in eerie, fairy half light. Spooky light, she decided. It was adding to her sense of something wrong. Would red be better, she wondered. She would pick up a new clock… Make sure it had red numerals.
Don slept on beside her, apparently undisturbed, but the sense of panic, touch of fear, would not leave her.
“Mommy…!” Alandra, sobbing, calling her name. She threw the covers aside and nearly leapt up, out, and to her feet in one motion: The cotton night shirt fell to her knees as she ran for Alandra’s bedroom. Behind her, Don grunted in surprise, but she barely heard him: Her mind had kicked into a higher gear; suddenly working overtime.
…Nightmare? … Kidnapping? …Killers? … Burglars? … My baby! …
And why is it, she thought, as her mind threw all the worst possibilities at her, that your mind does exactly that? Why?
She pushed it all away as she pushed the bedroom door open to find Alandra sitting up, staring at the closed window that looked out over the back yard.
She reached the bed and gathered Alandra in her arms… “What, baby? … Bad dream?”
“No,” Alandra sobbed. “Not a dream. You have to stop them, Mommy. They were killing Mister Bob… He told me.”
Lisa let her eyes fly quickly to the window, and then flit around the bedroom, alighting here and there, in case there was some wack-job standing in the shadows… Closed window… Tree limbs outlined outside it in moonlight… Closed closet door… She thrust one foot at the darkness under the bed.
“Baby, there’s no one here.” She pulled Alandra’s head away from her breast which was already wet from her tears.
“Honey, Alandra.” She waited until she turned her tear stained face up to her own. “Baby, there’s no one here… See?” She turned her eyes to the empty room.
“Mommy, Mister Bob,” Alandra said. “Look at the window.”
Lisa looked more closely at the window, but saw nothing more. “Honey, are you saying that Mister Bob was at the window?”
Alandra nodded solemnly.
Dan was supposed to take care of getting the tree outside the window trimmed. Lisa had been concerned of just this thing: Someone climbing that tree and having access to Alandra’s bedroom window. A spike of fear lodged directly in Lisa’s heart. “Stay here, baby, okay?”
Alandra nodded once more. Lisa gathered herself, rose from the bed, and went to the window, wishing she had thought to grab her pepper spray. Better yet, her mind supplied, Don’s 9 mm. The window was closed, but the thumb lock was off. She eased up next to the window, holding herself in the shadows, and scanned the back yard. … Nothing … The bedroom door opened suddenly and she turned quickly, her heart hammering hard against her rib-cage.
“Whatzit?” Dan asked.
“Jesus, Dan,” Lisa said. One hand went to her throat.
“Sorry…” He turned to Alandra. “What’s wrong, honey-pie?”
“She said someone was at the window,” Lisa supplied.
“Christ,” Dan muttered. He walked across to the window: A big man who moved fast. His eyes scanned the yard.
“Well… I don’t see anyone now,” he said.
“I don’t either, but I thought…”
He nodded. “Tomorrow morning, noon at the latest. It’s spring… He’s backed up.” Dan shrugged helplessly. “I’ve been on him, Lissy. I have.”
He held up a hand. “Or I’ll take the day off and do it myself… Promise… I’ll call him in the morning before I leave.” He sighed.
“Honey, you want to sleep with Mommy and Daddy,” Dan asked?
“Uh, uh. What if Mister Bob comes back?” Alandra asked.
“Mister Bob?” Dan asked.
“He told her that was his name,” Lisa said.
“Were you dreaming, honey?” Dan asked.
“She wasn’t dreaming, Dan,” Lisa warned.
“Well… Cops… Should we?”
“There’s nobody… What do you say exactly? No… Just make sure it can’t happen again,” Lisa finished.
“Okay… Okay.” He turned back to Alandra. “Come on, honey. Sleep with Mommy and Daddy tonight. Tomorrow we’ll make sure Mister Bob can’t wake you up in the middle of the night again.”
“Mommy will stay in here with you,” Lisa countered.
Dan looked from Alandra to Lisa. Lisa shrugged.
Dan frowned and then turned and left the bedroom. A few minutes later he was back.
“Here,” he said as he handed Lisa her pillow. His own pillow and a wad of blankets were tucked under his other arm
“We’ll have a camp out,” Dan said. He looked at the floor, yawned deeply and then spread out the blankets and tossed the pillow to the floor.
Alandra giggled as Lisa climbed into the narrow bed and pulled her close.
Dan was already softly snoring and Lisa was sure that Alandra was sleeping too. Her own thoughts were getting farther and farther away from her. Her mind free falling into the spiral of sleep when Alandra whispered.
“Mister Bob is my friend, mommy.”
She came up from the edge of sleep just that fast.
“He talks to me every night.”
Lisa pulled her closer. “When, baby?” she whispered back.
“All kinds of times… Sometimes when I’m awake, sometimes he wakes me up. He’s not mean, mommy. He’s my friend.”
“But, baby, a man shouldn’t be climbing a tree to talk to you,” Lisa told her.
“But he doesn’t, mommy. He’s already there. Mister Bob is a tree. My tree.”
“Oh, baby… A tree? The tree in the back yard?”
Alandra yawned. “Uh huh. My friend, Mister Bob.”
“He talks to me… He said… He said, they’re going to kill me, sissy. Don’t let them kill me.”
Lisa’s heart leapt in her chest. Sissy had been Alandra’s nickname until she had discovered that she liked her real name better in Kindergarten and had solemnly told she and Dan not to call her Sissy anymore. Lisa yawned in spite of herself. She pulled Alandra closer. Maybe it had been a dream after all.
“He calls you Sissy?”
“I told him I’m not a baby.” She yawned again and the rest of what she said was lost as she began to drift into sleep.
The fear that had been rising in Lisa’s heart bled out just that quick. Her own lack of sleep caught up to her. She yawned too, and a few seconds later she drifted down into sleep thinking about talking trees that spoke to little girls and called them by their nicknames.
She heard the alarm from her own bedroom. Dan had turned over, pulled the covers over his head and balled the pillow up under his head. He slept on, oblivious. She recalled a dream of her own. Must have been after all that had happened, she thought. She had dreamed that she had awoken briefly to hear Alandra holding a conversation with Mister Bob. Something like, “I told her… She’ll make sure you’re okay.” And the impression of another voice. Deep, resonant. She couldn’t understand it. A weird dream provoked, no doubt, by what had happened earlier and what Alandra had told her. She looked down into Alandra’s sleep eyes.
“Want to sleep a little longer, honey?” Lisa asked her.
Lisa kissed her forehead, got out of bed and then tucked her back in. She turned to Dan.
“Do you want to sleep in a little longer too, honey,” She asked.
The wad of blankets surrounding his head nodded.
“Well, you don’t get to sleep in. Come one. Get up.”
Dan groaned. He struggled briefly with the wad of tangled blankets that surrounded his head. Alandra looked over the edge of the bed and giggled. Lisa looked at her.
“You’re not going back to sleep are you.”
“Nope,” Alandra agreed.
“Well come on then. We’ll get breakfast and coffee going while Daddy gets his shower.”
Lisa shifted through her email: Nothing too pressing. She closed the browser and popped open her scripting editor. She worked for the next three hours straight after she had gotten Alandra off to school. The website she was writing a script for was nearly done. She had written the site, incorporated the graphic elements, and was finishing up the scripting that would load the cart system for the site and control purchases. She had one small script to write yet, and a few graphics to tweak and that would be it. She reached for her coffee cup, found it was empty, and headed for the kitchen.
She had just poured the coffee when she heard the sudden roar of a chainsaw. She knew the sound. She heard it often enough in the spring and fall, but it was close. Much closer than it should be, and that rattled her. She took a deep sip from her coffee, set it down on the counter, and headed for the back door, glancing through the windows as she went: Two men she didn’t know were in her backyard.
At first it alarmed her and then she realized they must be there to trim the tree. She levered open the rear door and popped her head out anyway. They both looked over and nodded.
The bigger one held the chainsaw in his hand. A bigger saw than the models she had seen used for yard work. Somewhere, probably in the garage, they had one of the small ones tucked away for just-in-case themselves.
She smiled. “Here to trim the branch?” It made her blush. She felt a little foolish asking, but the saw was huge. Maybe they were at the wrong house… Wrong job… Something.
“The tree, miss,” the smaller man answered over the roar of the chainsaw.
The smile left her face. The words Alandra had said the night before surfaced on their own but she couldn’t quite get them. Something like, Mister Bob was her friend… A tree… This tree, in fact, and they were going to kill him… Trying to kill him…
“The branch,” she said.
“Uh, uh,” the small one said. He pulled a notebook from his breast pocket, studied it. “Danny said… Danny said take the whole thing.”
“Well that just can’t be right,” Lisa informed him.
“Well, miss. I got it right here in black and white.” The big one was revving up the chainsaw and looking at the big tree with something like desire on his face.
“Well, see, I give Danny a good price, ’cause we’ll just cut this son-of-a-whore-tree…” He seemed to remember that he was talking to Lisa, met her eyes and blushed deep red. He turned away. He continued after a few seconds of silence.
“This ol’ tree, we’ll cut her up for firewood,” the bigger man continued. He had let the chainsaw fall to a rough, popping idle as they talked. From the kitchen came the ringing of the telephone.
“Excuse me,” Lisa said. She turned to go and then turned back just a quickly. “I’ll have to call Dan… Maybe that’s him. It’s only the limb though, not the tree.” She turned and headed for the back door.
The phone stopped ringing just before she reached it. She cursed under her breath, picked up her coffee, sipped at it, then picked up the handset, punched in Dan’s number.
The house phone was something that their friends considered an oddity and she considered a necessity. She liked it. She had a cellphone she rarely ever used. She had no real reason to. Her cell phone dislike wasn’t part of some strange phobia, it was just a habit she had never developed. She was a stay at home mom, what did she need a cellphone for, she asked her friends when the chided her about it. Secretly she hated it. More truthfully, she knew, she loathed it. It was something akin to being tracked everywhere you went. She had tried one for a year and that was how it made you feel. You didn’t have to slip it in your pocket, but you did. You didn’t have to answer it in the super market, but you did. While driving, while gardening, she had even tentatively answered it once when she had been in the bathroom.
That had been it for her. The cell phone had gone in a drawer, and the next time she had been at the big shopping center she had bought a wall phone with a built in answering machine. She had bugged Dan to get the house phone put in and things had been perfect. Calls went to the machine: If she felt like answering she did. But she didn’t rush to answer. She didn’t buy a portable phone to add to the line. She liked it the way it was.
Smooth silence greeted her on the line, then it clicked and a voice was in her ear.
“Hello? … Hello?”
“Hello?” Lisa answered.
“Miss Stevens?” A voice asked.
“That’s so weird… It never rang… Just sounded as though a number was being punched in,” the voice said.
“You must have been there when I picked up to dial,” Lisa said. “Sorry.”
“No… No, it’s okay… Miss Stevens, this is Ms Edwards… Joan Edwards?” Alandra’s teacher.
“Is something wrong?” Lisa heard the panic as it jumped into her voice, but she couldn’t have stopped it if she had wanted to.
“No… No, but, well, Alandra’s upset… Very upset. I’ve honestly never seen her like this… She wants to talk to you… About Mister Bob? I know her father’s name is Daniel, and the explanation about Mister Bob is hard to understand… She”s upset of course, but whoever this Mister Bob is, she believes…”
“Someone is going to hurt him?” Lisa supplied.
“Well, yes… Her words were stronger.”
“Kill?” Lisa asked. Her words seemed forced, her heart hammered right at the back of her throat, fast, hot, her tongue was dry and hard to move.
“That was it… I know it’s unusual, but I’m here in the principle’s office…, She’s quite upset.”
“Put her on? Put her on,” Lisa told her. “Baby? Alandra?” The sound of Alandra’s sobbing came to her. “Baby, what’s wrong…? What about Mister Bob?” She was getting more than a little freaked out. Two men had come to cut down her imaginary friend the tree. But there was no way she could know that, was there?
“Mommy, they came to kill Mister Bob.” Lisa only understood it because she was listening for it. Otherwise, it was just broken sobs and syllables. In the backyard the chainsaw revved up to a high whine.
“Honey, they won’t cut down Mister Bob.”
“Kill, mommy, kill.”
“Kill… They won’t kill Mister Bob. They won’t kill Mister Bob… I promise.”
“Mommy, I want to come home, mommy. I want to. I want to see Mister Bob!” She sobbed even harder. The phone clattered and the teacher was back on the line.
“Miss Steven’s, I don’t know…”
“Ms Edwards… Ms Edwards I’m coming to pick her up. I’ll explain when I get there, but I’ll come to pick her up.”
“Well if you think…”
“I do… Thank you so much, Ms Edwards.” The phone was back on the hook before the teacher answered, and Lisa was palming the back door open. The big guy was getting ready to cut a notch into the tree. She waved her arms and yelled at the smaller guy who tapped the bigger guy on the shoulder. He seemed to hesitate, then he turned to face Lisa. She motioned impatiently at the saw: Reluctantly he shut it off.
“Did I say you’re not cutting down my goddamn tree?”
“Miss… The mister said…”
“I don’t care what the mister said. The tree stays.”
“Miss,” the big one soothed. “It’ll be quick. I’m insured if that’s what you’re worried about. Let me take this ‘ol bitch down and get it over.”
“It’s a he,” Lisa said.
“A… Never mind. You’re not cutting down my tree… Are you really standing here on my property arguing with me about my own goddamn tree?” She took a few steps toward him and he stepped back, flinching as he did, despite the fact that he was easily twice her size.
“Miss,” he started, but the smaller one patted him on the arm. He turned, paused, and finally seemed to realize he would not be cutting down the tree after all. “We’ll be going,” he said after a long period of silence.
Lisa didn’t wait. She walked back into the house and was backing her Honda out of the driveway before the two men had finished loading up their truck.
Lisa popped her head into Alandra’s room, but she was fast asleep. Dan looked over the top of her head.
“Okay?” He asked.
Lisa nodded, closed the door a little farther and then followed Dan down the darkened hallway to their own room.
“A talking tree,” Dan said, not quite laughing as he changed for bed.
“She believed it… Believes it… I can’t cut down her tree.”
Dan shrugged. “Willy and Timmy were pissed off.”
“So was I.” Lisa said.
“I heard.” He held up his hands. “Not that you didn’t have a right to be… I should have told you. I made a deal to just take down the tree. I figured I’d just end up trimming the thing for years… It’s a bad place… But, if it stays, it stays.”
“I didn’t say the tree talked to me,” Lisa said.
“I know,” Dan agreed.
“I feel a little defensive.”
“Don’t… It’s over.”
“Would you have done the same thing?”
“Are you kidding? Nandie crying on the phone? I would have run them both out of the yard.” He sighed.
Lisa smiled. “Okay, that made me feel better.” She reached for the light, casting the bedroom in half light from the glow of the red numerals on the clock. Dan noticed but said nothing.
“I didn’t like the other clock,” Lisa said.
He pulled her close. “Okay,” he agreed. “Red’s good.”
“Baby,” Lisa pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “Do you think, well, do you think trees can …”
“Talk,” Dan supplied.
“No, I was going to say feel pain… Weird, right?”
“Well, they’re alive, aren’t they? But pain? I don’t know… Are you serious?”
“Well, Alandra was so upset… So hurt and…”
“It was a bad dream. You know how a dream can seem at that age. Like everything… Real. Completely real to a kid.”
“I think,” Dan soothed. He pulled her closer.
Lisa snuggled her head into his chest, meaning only to close her eyes for a few moments, but she drifted off into sleep instead.
“Sissy…” Softly on the wind…
Alandra’s eyes opened in the darkness of her bedroom.
“Mister Bob,” she whispered. She sat up and looked to the window, got out of bed and walked over quietly raising the window a little. She sat down on the floor and looked up at the branches that were only a few feet outside the window. The blue-gray moon floated above the limbs far above the tree. The name came again on the wind. Softly… Barely there.
She smiled. “Mister Bob,” she whispered once more…
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Have a great week, Geo.
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