Bryan L. Lee
Copyright 2010 Bryan L. Lee
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Harold Lutz squinted in concentration over his glasses as he added a ribbon to the dark curls of the busty maiden on the front of the ship. He pursed his lips for a moment, grunted in satisfaction, then set down the tiny paintbrush and reached for the jar of varnish. It wasn’t until she walked into the basement that Harold realized Alice was shouting at him.
“Are you down here again?” she asked, even though the answer was obvious.
“Harold, I asked you to mow the lawn today. Violet and Margaret are picking me up for bridge tonight, and I won’t have our yard looking like something out of the Wild Kingdom. Honestly, I don’t know why I even bother asking you.”
She paused to inhale, but before she could start again Harold stood up, apologized meekly, and shuffled past his wife and up the stairs.
“And don’t forget to use the rake,” she called out behind him.
The lawnmower jostled for space in the tool shed with Alice’s potting soil, two cans of yellow house paint, assorted garden hoses, and a rusty bicycle. Harold wiggled it away from the bicycle and rolled it around the side of the house and through the weathered gate into the front yard. He adjusted his glasses, then leaned over and gave a sharp tug on the pull cord. Three more times, and the engine sputtered and coughed itself into life.