The first half of this story appeared in my previous blog. Muriel only wants to welcome and help the young couple who have moved in next door. Read that first half and then read on…
“Fat chance,” — HIS voice again — “You’ve got me penned in here, bugging me until I co-operate.” Something was scraping the wall.
“It takes effort, doesn’t it Hon? But keep it up. You’re doing well.” SHE sounded more cheerful.
“What men go through just to please women!”
“Don’t complain Hon — you’ll love the finished product!”
Muriel breathed easier. Of course he would! Beaming with pride, he’d wet its head down at the Rec, boasting of its neonate score.
“It’s all this mess to go about it.”
Muriel lifted her chin. Why the heck wasn’t he sold on — things? So natural, when little else was, these days.
“Well, you know I can’t do it by myself.” Actually, money could buy ways. But if insolvency encouraged people back to Nature, well and good!
“Sweetheart, this is boring, b-o-r-i-n-g.” Above some swishing sounds came his protest. “Besides, my stomach is rumbling. I keep imagining delicious smells …”
Muriel’s casserole! If she left it they’d realise she’d overheard. She’d take it home and return later. Heck, the chap needed a medal as well as food.
“Just a bit longer. You’ll survive.” — HER voice, laying down the law.
Muriel frowned. You can only push a man so far. Someone needed to whisper a word in her ear about forbearance.
“But there’s battleSport on fibroptivision in a few minutes! I knew I should have called in Les to do this for me!”
Oh! To Muriel they didn’t sound so old-fashioned now! How could they ever contemplate … Ooooh!
“Hey, careful! Perhaps Les would have been an improvement!”
“Fine! Well, phone him, ask him to finish! So much for marital teamwork!”
More urgent bumps against the door spurred Muriel into action. She snatched up the casserole. Kooks, that’s what they were! Perverts like all the others!
The extent of the offense led speed to her legs. They took the two permacrete steps faster than her double hip job normally permitted. What had the world come to?
The quickest and most direct way home, with the least chance of being seen, was to skirt their vegetable patch and climb the fence where Muriel’s compost heap lay on the other side. Where was her government-issue vertiTrans when she needed it? Gathering dust! Fool that she was!
Horizontal fence timbers gave her a footing. She eased the casserole over, and followed. Spread-eagled on the compost she treasured, she gagged on decomposing peelings. Rose clippings clutched mercilessly at her support hose. All of a sudden, the natural way was not so ideal.
She kept her head down, praying fervently that Betty-from-behind wouldn’t spot her. In her memory banks this would be her Dreadful Day. At the earliest opportunity she retreated inside, dialing Grace, yet another jiffiMeal volunteer. Grace liked casseroles, and Grace loved wacky little tidbits like this…
From within the neighbours’ bathroom came the voice of Ricky, relieved to complete his exertions. “There, that’s done! You pick up the rubbish and I’ll restore the showerShield.”
“Thanks, Hon. I really needed that help.” The door opened wide, and Liz stood back surveying the results. “I told you that was a good bathSuite wallpaper. Now to plan the next baby: the kitchen.”
Ricky, making for the fibroptivis via the foodStor, groaned as he yanked the tab off an ice-cold can.
“There’s a better use for a kitchen,” he muttered. “I must have dreamed that heavenly smell.” Dammit, he deserved the vicarious pleasure of a darned good battleSport match, if not a dinner.
Did you enjoy my two-part story? It is from my second anthology MORE REASONS FOR A LATE NIGHT which can be obtained from Thornicroft House publisher, at a cost of NZ$20 plus postage. Copies of the first anthology FIFTEEN REASONS FOR A LATE NIGHT are priced at NZ$20 each, and you can read one of these (PAST IT) told in two parts in previous blogs. These anthologies are of short stories looking into human feelings and foibles — and in some cases, that of extraterrestrials, but don’t let that scare you!
Enquire via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org for postage and exchange rates.