Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Assisted Living", Part Five

By the time they pulled in with groceries, rain dappled the windshield. The radio said another “Nor-easter” was blowing in: rain, turning to snow, six inches, with gusty winds.

“Maybe you should stay the night,” Oziel suggested. “Just to be sure.”

“It’ll just be rain down south. It always is,” Lorraine said.

She checked both the kitchen phone and her phone for messages while Oziel put away canned goods.

“The septic guy didn’t call,” Lorraine said, disappointed. “He probably won’t come now until the snow ends. End of the week maybe. I’ll call him and let you know.”
“I don’t see why this can’t wait ‘til the snow is gone for good. They can’t dig up the old system and do the leach field thing until the ground ain’t frozen no more.”
“The tape measures and metal detectors will work fine. He has to check the water table, too. Then they can tell what kind of tank is needed and give an estimate. We can’t sell the house until we know. Then we’ll set up an escrow.”

“Whatever you say.” Oziel stacked the canned beets, remembering the days he dug them out from the rocky soil with his hands. Sleet rapped at the window.

“I’d better go,” Lorraine said. “I’ll call this septic guy from Providence.”

“Want some supper?”

“I don’t think I have time.”

“Take a sandwich?”

“Gary will have something waiting.”

Oziel’s stomach twisted. It’s a good thing Jean died before she knew about Gary.
He followed his daughter to the bathroom door leading outside. She pulled on her trenchcoat. “If the power goes out, stay put.”

“There’s the kerosene heater in the workshop.”

She nodded but pinched her lip. She once said it was another thing he’d have to get rid of before the house sold. Something about it being against code.

“You be careful driving, hear?”

“I’m more concerned about you crossing the driveway to the workshop,” she replied.

“I’ll take an umbrella,” he joked.

“It’s the ice I’m thinking of.”

“Umbrella won’t help that. Rubbers, maybe. ‘Cept I don’t have none.”

A gust rattled the door. “Gotta go,” Lorraine said. “I’ll call.”

Oziel turned his cheek for a farewell peck but Lorraine ran out to the car in that tiptoe way girls do in the rain. The Volvo engine purred into life. The wipers waved good-bye mechanically. So did Lorraine.

John's new mystery novel, "Bleeder," will be released by Sophia Institute Press in August 2009 and will be available at as well as in bookstores.

Investigate Higher Mysteries

No comments:

Post a Comment