Thursday, July 26, 2007

IOSM - Chapter 4 (WIP)

By five o'clock, the back-half of the mulch pile lay in the shade. Despite the ninety-five degree heat and a stench from whatever had died in the pile, I loaded up the wheel barrel several times to clear away the mulch from the small gardenia bushes it was smothering. I had also changed the rules with regard to air conditioning, and even in the cooling house, Roscoe wouldn't stop his howling. I finally put him on leash and let him tell me where to dig out the rotting animal corpse.

He headed straight for a lumpy area of the mulch pile in the sun, and I'm sure he had visions of rolling around in some dead animal's guts. Snake, opossum, or rabbit, it didn't matter. Something satisfied him to roll around on any dead animal he found, but he wouldn't dig a t-bone from under a dusting of dirt. I should ask Don about the contradiction. He'd probably know why. Rosoce sniffed, yelped, and then let out a howl. I swore I saw a smile on his face when he finally faced me.

"Good boy." I played right along with his game. Now all he wanted was back in the house having accomplished his mission.

A sharp clap of thunder overhead convinced me I was done. I opened the garage door and tied up Roscoe. He plopped onto the relatively cool floor, as I pushed the wheel barrel filled with my tools into the garage. The rain splashed down as if someone had overturned nature's water bucket. The amazing torrent obscured my neighbor's house, only three hundred feet away.

A wry smile crept across my face. "All hail's gonna break loose." Roscoe whined, rolled over onto his back, and blew out his cheeks, flapping them like sails in a changing breeze.

The temperature dropped thirty degrees in two minutes. Goose bumps erupted like pimples the night before a big date. Lightning lit the sky; the thunder rattled the jars of last year's pickled okra in the garage refrigerator as a burst of wind pressed down like an invisible giant's foot. It tore off pine tree limbs and an oak branch flew by. A brief moment passed when the exhilaration of the event matched my safety concerns. But just as fast, the spigot was turned off, the sun came out, and the ominous ground hugging fog bank returned just like this morning.

I checked my rain gauge. An astonishing two inches of rain fell in ten minutes. The temperature ascended. Water gushed from downspouts and some mulch leached away in the run-off streaming into the woods.

That's when I noticed the hand sticking out of the mulch.

1 comment:

ron v said...

Good piece. Details make it vivid. Good sensory and visual content. The storm adds a level of foreboding.