My website is being revamped, and I haven’t had access to it for a while. The site isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, but I do have access to the Dashboard now, so here’s my first post of 2013. I hope you enjoy this story draft and look forward to your comments. I also hope creativity and happiness abound for all of us in the year ahead.
By Laura McHale Holland
She climbs out of her VW bug and walks down the block. Late afternoon light bathes the abandoned houses on either side of the street, houses where she and her childhood friends lived, where she skipped rope, played hide and seek, climbed trees, threw water balloons.
All the families. Gone. Paid off. No more barefoot babes running through the grass, no more parents weeding gardens, trimming hedges. Tomorrow demolition will begin so a high tech corporation can expand its campus. A local business success story.
She reaches the last home in the cul de sac, walks by the rusted camper her mom couldn’t sell in the driveway, sees her mom’s cat, Delilah, perched on the living room windowsill. She trudges up the porch steps, pulls a key from her pocket, unlocks the door. Inside she is greeted by the smell of pot roast, a dish her mom hasn’t cooked since her dad’s fatal heart attack four years prior.
“Here, Delilah, here kitty kitty,” she calls. She checks every room, every closet. No cat. “It’s your last chance, Delilah” she calls. “Mom’s going to be really unhappy living in that big old house without you, you silly old cat.”
She steps onto the front porch, closes the door, tosses the key onto the sun-scorched lawn. Soon she pulls her VW away from the curb, rounds the corner and heads toward her mom’s new home. Amid tufts of brittle grass, Delilah pounces and bats the old key back and forth between her front paws.
Note: When I first posted this, the story ended with Delilah in the back seat of the car, having climbed in undetected before the car pulled away.
Photo by Lilachd