Greta sweltered at the keyboard, trying to get one more article done. Just one more! Think! She worked full time plus at the factory at salary, meaning they didn’t pay overtime. She sold books from her mother’s outrageously huge library online and did copywriting for six businesses. She also had to care for her increasingly senile mother and keep the house and property up, all hundred acres of it. In all her spare time, she tried writing articles to sell to magazines.
She put the laptop on standby and leaned back to wipe the sweat from her chin, under her nose and off the back of her neck. Though she felt guilty, she woke the computer up and opened her silly romance story. She knew it was plotless and didn’t care. This story came as close to holding the man of her dreams in her arms as she was likely to get.
He did not meet the ruggedly handsome stereotype. He appeared tall, pale with dark hair, and walked with easy, mindful grace. He proved strength did not required bulging muscles. He did not flaunt his intelligence or his advanced degree in some physical science.
Annoyed to find herself rereading this stuff again, she clicked her article on how the local town worked to support the Little Brown Bats that were having a hard time. Every time she went to laud the townsfolk for erecting a hundred gaily painted bat houses, her subversive mind veered over to why the bats were failing: Bulldozing the forests to sell off the timber and let a contractor build cheap houses. No snags, no natural bat houses. No forest with streams and life – no bounty of insects for food. What good would a million bat houses be when they nailed them up by heavily sprayed farms?
Ricky had a fun sense of humor, witty, and he smiled often. He often simply touched her as he walked by. He never bought her an expensive, plastic shrouded bouquet of hothouse flowers; he would bring her a single wild blossom and smile with his blue-violet eyes.
Lawd, if she couldn’t get the damned article written, she should mow the grass. She wiped the sweat from her eyes and went to the front door. Heat shimmered above the car and the dog lay sprawled on her back in a scrap of shade. On second thought, she decided to keep her intended late evening appointment for that. A vision flashed before her and soon she had the bowl of rocky road cradled in her hands.
Ricky volunteered to make dinner and asked whether she preferred cheddar or Swiss in the soufflé. Swiss, sweetheart. He would use fresh eggs from their own little flock of Cochins. She scraped the last marshmallow from the bowl, remembering how some refugee predator from a cleared woodland had killed her four hens one at a time, one a week, never able to get the heavy birds over the inadequate fence. Ricky would put a fence over the top and fasten it well, he’d know how to do it right and get right on it.
A knock on the door made her jerk and her heart race. She stood and pulled her wet tank top from her body. On the front porch, the retreating brown van had left a box. She bought it in and unpacked her super tornado whirlwind fan. She plugged it in and plopped in front of it. She wiped the tears from her eyes.