>> Thursday, September 10, 2009
Friday Fiction this week is hosted by Karlene. Go there to find other fantastic stories! This is my Autumn story for FW. I got 12th place, by the way. Am pleased with that. Happy Friday!!!
Clare stood at the sink as she washed the dishes. Her mind left her kitchen and drifted past her wildflower garden to the field. The cool air fluttered the kitchen curtains.
A toddler ran beneath her window. Clare stood on her tiptoes to watch. Joey and Jared hid behind the tree and jumped out at Brett. She smiled when her twins giggled and chased after the little boy.
“You there, Tori?” Clare called out; sure her best friend was right behind her son.
“Coming.” Tori pulled a wagon full of sweet corn. “Ready to do some husking?”
Clare dried her hands and opened the door. “Sure am.” She wrapped her arms around Tori and squeezed her tight. “I’m so glad you came today.”
Tori hugged her back. “You lonely?”
“Just a bit, yes. I can’t get used to the farm life. I just want to have Greg with us again. But even when he’s with us, he isn’t. He’s constantly thinking of how he can improve things for next year.”
“Greg was home all winter. We both complained about our husband's being underfoot all the time, remember?"
Clare stopped to wipe tears from her eyes. “I'm spoiled. Just never happy, I guess.”
They sat on the porch swing, the wagon full of corn between them; a pile of discarded husks on either side.
Both women were quiet. They worked, each lost in their own thoughts. Tori broke the silence. “I think you should go spend some time with Greg.”
“But he’s working.”
“Pack up a picnic supper and drive out to the field.”
“I can’t do that. What about the boys?”
“They’ll come home with me. Brett loves to play with them. Go ahead. Trust me. Greg will love it.”
Clare stood up, unsure of Tori’s idea. “I suppose I could dress up.” She smiled.
Tori clapped her hands and laughed. “Yes. Wear your high heels and that cute little black dress you got for your anniversary.”
“I think I’ll do it.”
A little spray of perfume and covers on the dishes were Clare’s final preparations. She held the picnic basket in one hand and used her other arm to help balance herself in her three inch heels as she walked to the car. Her excitement grew the closer she drove to the field.
She parked on the side of the road and pulled out her phone. She sent off a text and then smiled in a mischievous way.
Quickly, Greg replied back.
Within minutes she saw the combine come closer. Greg jumped out and ran to her like a teenage boy. “Hey Baby, what’s up with that text?”
Clare giggled and blushed a pretty rose color.
Greg wrapped his arms around his wife and held her tight. “So, you think you want a ride, Mrs. Johnson?”
“Oh yes, Mr. Johnson, more than anything.” She handed him the basket of food and he put it up into the cab then he came back for Clare.
He scooped her into his arms and walked to his John Deere. He climbed up first then pulled up his wife. “I’ve never seen a farmer in high heels before, Honey, but I think I like it.”
“I’m thinking I like it, too.”
Greg put the machine in gear and they were off. He drove to the middle of the field where they couldn’t be seen from the road. “How about dessert first, my dear Clare?”
“Greg, you’re crazy. Are you teasing? What about Charlie?”
“A man never teases about that. I sent Charlie home as soon as I saw the car crest over the hill. We're done for the day.” Greg drew her close and whispered in her ear, “I sure have missed you.”
The tears Clare had worked so hard to keep inside while around Greg were let loose.
“I know harvest is hard on you. It’s almost over, I promise, and then I’m all yours.” He kissed away her tears. As the sun set in the west, the windows fogged. Clare’s loneliness was forgotten for a time.
The harvest moon settled comfortably in the sky. The rays shone into the John Deere and revealed the uneaten food; but both husband and wife really enjoyed the dessert.
Clare grinned. “I suppose farm life isn’t so bad after all.”