Saturday, February 07, 2009

In the street where we live - part two

from w
In the street where we live

It had been the hottest day on record so now Ethel was recovering from the stress of 46 degrees stinging heat. To cool the house she had opened up windows and main doors. Henry was sleeping in the lounge room, and Ethel in the bedroom. They’d been watching a video from Newcomb library, borrowed on the day they went there to escape the heatwave the week before. The Power of One. Before midnight they had tea and buttered buns, sitting in the back garden, watching the moonlight behind the palm tree. The neighbours in the new next door units had quietened down by then. They too had been talking outside and the sound carried. It was now a pleasant evening.

Ethel was mulling over the movie and also the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter she had to edit. Should she put in the article about keeping your house locked at all times, even in the heat? Nah. No thieves would work in a heatwave!

Then she heard the back door bang and a rush of voices. Female. The moonlight shone into the passage and two figures, black as bats flew past. ‘Come back,’ she heard.

Ethel wasn’t the easily scared type but she was just worried about her modesty, so wrapped herself in the new floral sheet – given to her from the Pizza shop friend, then traipsed out to investigate. There were more crashes. The two ‘visitors’ were no doubt tripping over paintings, a bookcase and an old television set! But they couldn’t find a way out.

They’re like trapped birds, Ethel thought. ‘Hey, what are you doing in my house?’ Ethel called out.

One of the girls shouted back, ‘She’s lost. This isn’t her house! She lives a few more houses down the street.’ One of the young women was flailing about, falling down.

‘Malcolm,’ Ethel called out to her husband, ‘We have visitors!’ But Malcolm still seemed to be fast asleep.

The girls changed direction again and crashed once again through a doorway, and did find their way out to the front garden. Ethel ran through the house, turned on the lights, opened the front door, stood on the verandah like a well-wrapped Statue of Liberty.

A taxi pulled up in front of the drive next door and someone called out. The usual Saturday night – taxis bringing drunk people back to their nests. The two girls had vanished. Malcolm now awake, was told the story, embellished a little.

‘Probably the taxi dropped them off at the wrong driveway. They all look the same at night.’ Never fazed, always sensible Malcolm.

‘But our driveway has hundreds of potplants and surely...’’

‘It s the heat,’ said Malcolm. ‘Makes everyone go troppo.’

‘No, one of the girls was very drunk or..’

‘Go back to sleep,’ said Malcolm.

This time Malcolm didn’t go back into the lounge room and was soon gently snoring beside a wide-awake Ethel, already designing a story to write.. Should she put her story into the Neighbourhood Watch newsletter - together with the police report telling everyone to make sure they lock all doors and windows. Even when the temperature is 46 degrees? Perhaps now that they were both elderly – well, over seventy - they ought to start locking doors.



Post a Comment

<< Home