Sunday September 14th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the repairman. Or repairwoman. Whichever.

Kat's dad helped me take the front door off this morning. It is currently residing in their garage, with two coats of primer on it. The plan is to get two coats of paint on there tomorrow and then return it to its rightful place at the front of our house either tomorrow night or Tuesday morning, depending on drying times.

Until then, we have a lovely sheet of plastic for a front door.

We babysat a friend's three year old son this evening so that they could go out for an anniversary dinner. He and Max have hung out before, so it didn't take them long to warm up to each other. Running around the table on the deck, playing with stickers, reading books... it was a pretty fun night for all.

Mine:

"What seems to be the problem?"

"If you have to ask, I think I'll hire someone else for the job!"

"Touchy, touchy. I'd just like to hear precisely what you'd like taken care of so that I don't go above and beyond and you end up with a bigger bill than you were expecting."

"Oh. I see."

"Fair enough?"

"Well, yes. I suppose so."

"Okay then! So, what seems to be the problem?"

"The gas stove in the downstairs kitchen began leaking late last night."

"Mmhmm."

"And shortly after that... my house blew up."

5 Comments:

ivybennet said...

“Hello, I’m here with…“ The tall, bearded man trailed off. He visibly swallowed and cleared his throat. “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”
She smiled her bright red painted lips and began to bat her eyelashes. “My kitchen table squeaks whenever I use it and my husband is away on a business trip. Think you can help me?”
He nodded vigorously.
“The table’s in here.” She opened the front door wide enough so he could see her bare, freshly shaven legs peeking out from under her robe. “Follow me.”
And he did just that, trailing behind her like a faithful lapdog. When they approached the table, she deftly hopped onto the edge and crossed her legs, revealing more of her thigh. She moved her hips slightly and the table squeaked.
“See what I mean?” Uncrossing her legs, she leaned towards him. “You think you could fix this?”
Again he nodded and began to unbuckle his pants.
She smiled but this time it was more for herself than for him. He might not have been the milkman, but he would have to do.

morganna said...

Ready to go, day or night,
Every moment we are set
Purple rain?
Ah, no, m'am,
I don't actually think we
Repairmen can stop the purple rain.

Greg said...

@Morganna: Lol, purple rain? You've been listening to too much Prince! Still, I really like your subtle acrostics, and this one is no exception to their general excellence!

@Marc: I think a plastic front door is the kind of thing that everyone will wish they had in a few years' time: you're just ahead of the curve! And using a toddler as a burglar deterrent is just genius!
Heh, it sounds like that repairman had better be a generalist :) I like how there's a hint of trouble in the dialogue at the start... and then it all goes pear-shaped.

The repairman
The wind rustled the leaves in the trees, and somewhere behind them a coyote howled. The air was cold enough to redden skin and the grass was yellowed and brittle; the summer that had done it was gone now. A bird wheeled overhead, a black shape against a leaden sky that promised rain without ever delivering. And up a path almost overgrown with weeds, with a tin postbox at the end stuffed with junk-mail that was never collected, trudged a man in blue overalls. There were black smudges on his face and his hands were shoved down deep in his pockets. His shoulders hunched against the wind, and his lips were pursed as though whistling.
Behind a curtain that had last been washed thirteen years ago, back when she still had a son and could say the words 'Uncle Sam' with feeling bile rising in the back of her throat, Francine stood. Her fingers were clawlike, dark skin pulled tight over knobbled bone, clutching the edge of the curtain like it was the only thing holding her upright. She watched the man come right up the path to the front door, watched him lift the knocker, but when the heavy sound tolled through the tiny house like a funeral bell she still jumped and her heart started pounding in her chest. It was just like when the man in the Major's uniform had come, unannounced and driven in a shiny car, all over again. She stood still, clutching the curtain, listening to the echoes. Then he knocked again.
His head turned and his gaze met hers. She couldn't make out any colour to them, they were like bright lights in his head, but it was enough to free her from her paralysis, and she lurched, feet unsteady, knees aching, to the door to unchain it, unlock it, unbolt it, and let him in.
"You want something repaired?" His voice was low and like feet crunching over gravel. There was a cigarette in his hand, even though she didn't let people smoke in the house. It was unlit, but she couldn't stop looking at it like it was going to cause a fire.
"Just one thing." She felt like she hadn't spoken for years, and her voice seemed thin and anaemic. She remember it being throaty, rich, the kind of voice that lead the choir. "Just the one."
"The cost is going to be high, you know that?"
"I know that." She couldn't have done this before she lost her faith. On the wall behind her was the telltale pale patch of wallpaper where the cross had once hung and the little, tortured man had hung from it. Mocking her, she'd eventually realised. "How much?"
"That'll be decided. You'll know when you need to pay."
Her fingers tightened on the hem of her dress. She was always clutching things, when had that started? She started a prayer that the man wouldn't notice the wine bottle she'd been clutching earlier on the counter, but the words withered in her mind.
"I'll pay." Her voice was barely a whisper now, but it was worth it. It would be worth it. This man would bring her son back and repair her life.

Marc said...

Ivybennet - hah, I wasn't expecting the passing reference to the milkman at the end there. Obviously this is not her first conquest!

Morganna - haha, love how the purple rain line changes the whole tone for the remainder of the acrostic. Nicely done :)

Greg - you know me, always on the bleeding edge of things...

I feel like you had more time than usual to write this one, as it has a rich depth to it that comes with some extra time to play with things. Either way, the end result is fantastic. Very atmospheric, splendid details, and you've left me, as usual, wanting to know more.

morganna said...

@Greg -- it's not me who listened to too much Prince -- it's my dad -- then he sang it too much to me growing up and it lives in my head now. :)