Gone Astray

1736 Words7 Pages
Esther heard the phone ringing as she turned down the side walk from the alley and entered the back yard. Unhurried she leaned her bike against the house, her usual spot just behind the lilac bush and before the cellar. She pulled the canvas bag of groceries from the basket and headed for the back door. The cell phone in her hip pocket sounded, a text message had arrived. She ignored it. She pulled the screen door open, twisting, she pivoted far enough to shove the back door open with a generous hip and let the door roll across her shoulders. She entered the kitchen with a complete 360 degree turn letting the screen door slam behind her. Esther crossed the worn linoleum floor from door to table in three long strides, dropped the bag on the table top and reached for the phone. “Hello?” she said then realized the black hand-set was only half way to her ear. “Hello?” It was actually in place. Wrinkling her nose she closed her eyes to concentrate on the call. “Hello?” Only the dial tone answered back. Puzzled, she placed the receiver back in its cradle on the wall. Esther pulled a chair out, sat down, and heeled her tennis shoes off. Reaching behind she tugged the cell phone from her left pocket and placed it on the table next to the groceries. Then she reached around and pulled the iPhone from her right pocket and laid it in line with the other. From her purse she produced a small Motorola flip phone which she opened and checked for messages before she laid it down. Ten o’clock and I haven’t started the painting yet she thought. Esther looked at the door to the back bedroom. Just inside the back door and off of the kitchen she was turning the room into a home office, a sanctuary where she could pour over pap... ... middle of paper ... ...“Miss Esther?” Axil interrupted her muse. He stood straining in the doorway with a pair of heavy 63” panes in his arms. “Should I put these on the porch for now?” He balanced the bulk on his thigh just above his left knee. The top barely cleared the curtain rod as he leaned back with the effort to hold its weight. The Westminster chimes rang from the living room. The familiar 16 notes followed by two strokes. It seemed like the firehouse whistle had just blown announcing noon. The groceries were still in the kitchen. The iPhone burped to life. A message eliminated its face. ‘Ur mother called.’ Her eyes played over the top of the night stand. Behind the phones, next to the dog eyed paperback, sat a framed photo. It was one of the few gifts she had received from her sister, a picture of their mother, youthful and happy, smiling with her whole face.

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