Friday, March 20, 2009

"Assisted Living," Part Six

Oziel tugged the storm door shut, fighting the wind. Through the streaked glass he watched crystal beads of sleet dance on the driveway. He shut the inner door. It sighed. What did the weatherman say? Six inches? Maybe he’d sleep in the garage, plow himself out first thing in the morning. No need to cross the snowy driveway with a sheet of ice under it neither, rubbers or not.

He shuffled past the shower and stepped up into the kitchen. The shingles shuddered; the eaves creaked. He heard a drip-drip in the bathroom. Some water musta sprayed in while he wrestled with the door. Drip-drip. Either that or ice backed up under the soffit, a bad thing to happen with the place for sale. Can’t sell a house with a leak, no sir.

No ceiling stain. No puddle on the linoleum. Drip-drip. He pulled back the shower curtain. Why, in her hurry, Lorraine forgot her umbrella, hanging from the soap caddy. Drip-drip. And leaning against the tub’s side: wet boots? Lorraine forgot them, too?

No, two rubbers.

Lorraine wore boots.

And she didn’t bring in no umbrella. Did she?

First the gloves. Then the jacket. Now these. He had made some joke about them. Lorraine must have left them here.

The Father knows what you need before you ask. He shrugged off a prickly chill on his neck. What I really need, Lord, is to have my daughter back.

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.

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