Sunday, August 03, 2014

Summertime Part II

Continuing the summer fun, please enjoy Part II of my short story "Summertime", from my Guppy Soup literary short story collection.

Guppy Soup by JT Therrien
Part II

The wind blew dust in Eugenia's eyes, making her blink spasmodically. When she opened them again she found herself squinting up at a clear blue sky filled with bright sun. She had been told more than once that her green Irish eyes turned a shade lighter, sparkling like emeralds haloed with golden threads, when they reflected the brilliant sunshine, and that thought always made her happy to be outdoors in the summertime.
The car she rode in, a shiny blue convertible with whitewall tires, traveled swiftly down a country road, in the process spewing pink billows of dried clay into the air. She inhaled, enjoying the heady potpourri of fragrances conspiring, along with the colorful patchwork of wild flowers growing on the roadside, to overwhelm her.
She quickly glanced to her left, suddenly remembering, her heart skipping a beat. Eugenia gazed at the man sitting beside her in the driver's seat, a contented smile on his face.
Black hair, cut just like after his release from the military, following his stint with the Van Doos. Beneath the tanned skin, a square jaw and clean-shaven face that seemed to somehow exude both ruggedness and tenderness. Zachary's callused hands, hardened by years of difficult farm work, rested comfortably on the steering wheel as he guided the '57 Meteor down the serpentine roads. The wedding band glinted rays of sun. Yes, her Zachary was there beside her. Of course he would be.
"Zachary," Eugenia sighed, love and devotion warming her voice.
"What are you smiling at, sweetheart? Surely not at my ugly mug?" Zachary glanced at her.
She returned his smile. His gazes made her feel like a treasured prize freshly won at the county fair.
"It's just that..." Eugenia's voice became somber as she added, "I've missed you so much, Zachary." The rushing wind tossed strands of Eugenia's hair into her eyes and she was momentarily surprised at its length and color; the dark henna of her youth, grown out over her shoulders. She marveled at Zachary's crew cut, obstinately resisting the onrush of air in the convertible.
Eugenia leaned over and grasped her husband's free hand. She gave it a tender squeeze before resting her head on the leather seat and closing her eyes against the pressing wind.
The car went over a small rise in the road and she exclaimed, "Ooh... That tickled my tummy!" She laughed easily and slid closer beside him, feeling the warmth of his body through her dress.
She spotted a crow sitting atop a fence post and a feeling of dread darkened her mood. She ignored it when Zachary smiled, perfectly beautiful.
"You still haven't told me where we're going." Eugenia's small voice was all but lost in the roar of the wind and the rumble of the car's powerful engine.
"Port," Zachary replied, keeping his eyes fixed on the road.
"Port Colborne. To look at the boats sailing through the canal," he added after they had driven a few miles further down the scorched road.
"The boats!" Eugenia exclaimed, clapping her hands in jubilation. "Oh, I just love to watch those big ships squeeze through the canal. It's been such a long time since we've gone to see them!" She tugged on the sleeve of Zachary's white shirt. "Remember the last time? We spent the whole afternoon just watching the huge, grey ships float by on their way to the east coast? Or was it the west coast?"
"It was both. They go both ways, Genie." Zachary laughed, his deep baritone making her blush at her forgetfulness.
They rode in silence, happy to be in each other's company, until Eugenia asked, "When are we stopping for lunch?" She glanced at the Lady Timex he had given her for her twenty-second birthday, hardly a month ago. Soon after she'd announced the news. He had it inscribed: To keep track of the seconds when we're apart. "It's going on quarter to twelve and I'm getting a bit hungry. How 'bout you?"
"I'm hungry enough to eat—" Zachary stopped talking. The sudden change of expression on his face made Eugenia turn to face the front.
A black and white Holstein lumbered across the road. As if running out of momentum, it stopped suddenly and blocked their path.
"Hold on!" Zachary stomped on the brake pedal, but...
"Oh, Zachary..." whispered Eugenia, feeling the familiar tears roll down her cheeks.


* * *

I hope you enjoyed Part II of "Summertime". I'll be continuing the story over the next few weeks.

If you absolutely need to finish reading "Summertime" before I post the other parts, you can find Guppy Soup for Kindle on Amazon. The literary short story collection is also available on Smashwords for all other e-formats, including Kobo, ibooks, B&N, etc.


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