I had a little time to clean this chapter up a bit. Wow! Lots of typos and confusing sentences. I must have been in a hurry to get it all down. I know I make lots of mistakes just from reading my blog postings. Ah well, It’s all good.
By the way, this plays back to the “playful” banter that I would often witness while visiting my friends house. He had been married several years while I was still single with no one to “hang out with”. It’s tough being the fifth wheel as a single person visiting married people. Because you usually get roped into babysitting the kids while they have a romantic getaway. Oh! And funny coincidence! His name is David Noorman. He also has a wife named Tracy….Another coincidence! As all of my characters are purely fictitious. David and I have had many adventures before I introduced him to his wife, but none of them were (very) illegal. This story is pure fiction. So…try not to read to much into it….
So let’s press on, shall we? Chapter 4….My interpretation of how married people with children talk to each other.
Tracy sipped her coffee as she brooded in the kitchen. She was force to use one of the goliath shovels to dig her small hole and plant her bulbs. The afternoon of fun soon became a chore as she wrestled with the huge tool for make the smallest incision in the earth. Like cracking a peanut with a sledgehammer.
The cat purred and brushed back and forth as Tracy absentmindedly reached out and stroked its soft fur. The medicinal qualities of a cat were invaluable and greatly unappreciated. She took another sip of her coffee and let her mind plan out the next phase of questioning for David. What she knew at this point was that David was digging a hole in Yankee springs with her favorite shovel. And, as could probably be expected, he had left it there. Most likely he had simply forgotten it. She knew he didn’t like it, but doubted if his act was a malicious one. Regardless, He had some more questions to answer and at the very least, some retribution was called for.
Tracy glanced up at the clock. The kids were due back soon and David would probably be getting up too. The Grade school let out first so Whitney and Daniel would be the first home. Samantha would come home about an hour later, unless she could get a ride home from a friend that could drive. The fact that Sam was growing up so fast and had entered the “rebellious teen” years was unsettling for Tracy. She thought back to when she was that age and all the trouble she used to get into. Luckily, her Father was almost as militant as David was with Sam. Even though she hated it growing up, She was thankful years later when she looked back as an adult.
The roar of the school bus announced that the first wave of kids were about to come home. She sat up in her chair and looked out the window to see Whitney and Daniel emerge from the bus and wave back at their friends as the bus drove off. They then ran to the house racing each other like two floppy eared basset hounds.
The door creaked open and the cat, frightened by the sudden break in the peaceful silence, jumped off the table and ran into the living room to hide from the commotion.
“Hi Mom!” Whitney greeted
“Hi Mom!” Daniel echoed.
The duo ran past her into the living room and punched on the television before Tracy had a chance to return the greeting. The noise of cartoons filled the once silent atmosphere. Tracy picked up her coffee and walked into the living room.
Both kids were sprawled out on the floor flipping thru several cartoon channels trying to decide which one they wanted to settle on. Daniel had the control while Whitney impatiently waited for her turn at '”the power.” Tracy cleared her throat.
“Turn it down!” She commanded affirmatively .
Daniel fumbled with the control to find the right level on noise that would still be obnoxious enough for a child, but quiet enough for a parents acceptance. The small green bars on the television appeared and flashed in relation as the volume was increased, then decreased. Daniel struggled for the right level clicking the mute button by mistake. Whitney could hardly contain herself.
“Let me! You have the mute on!” She reached for the controller and grabbed it. The channel changed several times and the volume popped back on, this time to an ear piercing level.
“Mom!” Daniel whined as he wrestled with his sister to once again gain control. The Television clicked off . Then back on. Then the channel changed once again.
Tracy was not in the mood. “ All right, you two! That is enough! “ She reached down and grabbed the controller from both of them. She aimed it at the television and clicked it off. Both kids looked up in confusion. Then at each other as if to assign blame. “You can either watch the television in the basement or play your video game. Or play outside; You know it is a nice day out. Don’t you guy have any friends anymore?
The two children looked down as if the number of options were staggering and yet paralyzing. They looked up in confusion.
“Or you can both help me with dinner.” Tracy offered an additional option. Both children jumped up and ran out of the room Whitney ran outside and Daniel ran toward his room. Tracy could almost see a cloud of dust where they had once stood. “Works every time” she thought aloud. Then sipped her coffee and headed back into the kitchen.
David opened the door of his bedroom and almost stepped on Daniel as he raced past.
“Whoa! there Tiger. Where you going so fast? “ David walked out pulling his shirt on.
“To play my game.” Daniel offered.
“Where’s your mom?
“Kitchen.” He answered, paused a moment, then sped off to his room.
David followed the scent of fresh coffee toward the kitchen.
“Morning.” David greeted Tracy as she sat by the table. “Or afternoon depending on how you look at it . Hey! If that is coffee, I’ll take some
“Help yourself.” Tracy motioned with her cup. “Just made it a few minutes ago.”
David opened the cupboard and found a cup. He then walked over to the coffee maker and filled it with the steaming beverage. He walked over to the table and sat down, taking a long deliberate sip. Tracy Watched him intently.
“So, what you do last night?” Tracy broke the ice.
David paused in mid sip. Then thought carefully about his next words.
“Nothing much.” Came his vague response.
“Why were you digging in Yankee springs?” Tracy casually took another sip of coffee.
“What makes you think I was digging in Yankee springs?” David took a deliberate sip, pretending to not be phased.
“Well, You have a mound of very dirty clothes down stairs; my specialty shovel is missing; you came to bed very late last night; and to top it all off, you TOLD me this morning! “ Tracy finished with grandiose effect. “So come on now Noorman, spill the beans.”
David paused wondering how it had come to this. Was this why people did not like being married? He didn’t know if it was her snooping to gather evidence, His inability to hide any of it, or her knowing him so well. 15 years of marriage did seem to give them a certain predictability that the other could rely on. It probably wasn’t so much his getting caught that bothered him, rather it was the fact that he could not keep a secret from her for any longer than eight hours! It was like keeping secrets from a psychic. David sighed in defeat. His only question now was how much to tell her. Should he come clean and tell her everything? Or should he tell her the minimum and hope she would be satisfied. Secretly he cursed himself, positive that she would not have noticed if he had not left the stupid useless shovel.
“Ok fine, Me and a bunch of the guys went to a strip club!” David began.
“Nope! Try again.” Tracy was unflinching.
“Ok fine! Ethan called last night”
“Ethan! Ethan Allen?” Tracey’s reaction was as predicted. “I liked the strip club story better. We have not seen nor heard from him in almost 5 years! What did he want?” She eyed David skeptically.
“Nothing much, just to catch up a little.”
“Just to catch up? In Yankee springs? In the middle of the night? Digging a hole? I think you are leaving a few things out here David.”
“Well if you would just let me explain before thinking the worse.”
“Worse? You mean it gets better? Ok I’m all ears. I cant wait to hear this one. I mean, this is Ethan. The Great Ethan Allen. They guy who got you into more trouble than any other friend. The kids still want to hear all those stories about him. I always thought I would have to compete with another woman for my husbands time, not with some childhood friend.”
“Now wait a second, remember he was the one who introduced us. I would never have gotten married to you had he not invited me to that party.” David defended,
“Ok, he does have ONE endearing quality. I thought we were rid of him when he finally got married. In fact we hardly heard anything from him after that. I thought he had finally found someone other than you to do things with. I finally got my husband back.”
“I wasn’t that bad was I? Come on, We went on trips together just me you and the kids.” David was looking for some acknowledgement of his love for his family.
“Ok ok, so we have not seen him in a while. So what is up with him?” Tracy asked trying to move the story along. “Start from the beginning. “
“Well, he called me up just as I got home.” David started.
“Wait? How did he know you were home?”
“I don’t know, lucky, I guess.”
“Lucky? You usually get home around 1 am? Who is up at that time of night? Besides Fireman like you that is.”
“I don’t know, lots of people. Hey! McDonalds is open 24 hours now.”
“McDonalds? What does that have to do with anything?”
“You asked who else would be up at 1 am in the morning.” David explained
“You are getting sidetracked, Stick to the story"!
“You keep sidetracking me with all your questions! Now can I just explain what happened? Without interruptions?” David pleaded.
“I can’t guarantee that, but go on. I will try to control myself.” Tracy took a sip of her coffee. It was almost gone. He motioned with her hand and got up for another cup. Mysteries like this usually forced her to down coffee or any other beverage quickly. As the plot thickened, she would read and drink faster. She poured herself a fresh cup, adding some creamer and sweetener to taste. Then hurried back to the table. “Continue.”
David looked her over, annoyed that she would continue to interrupt his grand story telling. He began again.
“Ok, so he calls over and catches me just as I come in. He was in the neighborhood and wants to do some catching up. He also wants some help dropping something off and need the help of another person .. I ‘m awake, so I figure what the heck. He asks me to grab a shovel but didn’t tell me what it was for.” David paused, raising his hand as Tracy was about to ask another question. “please save your questions ‘till after the story.” He began again.
“ So he comes in his truck and it has some huge thing in the back covered with a tarp. I figure the shovel was for prying not digging so I grab your little small strong shovel, so I wont break the handle of one of the longer ones.” Of coarse this was not true, but David felt a little embellishment was required here and sounded better than him saying he just randomly picking her shovel over the five other ones. He continued.
“So the next think I know, we are heading to Yankee springs and down on state land where we used to hunt as kids. He wants to bury this thing on state land. “
“What was it? “ Tracy blurted before thinking.
“A refrigerator!” David exclaimed.
“Yeah! And a big one, Old! and stank to high heaven.”
“What was in it?”
“I don’t know, it was duct taped shut. But what ever it had in it. It smelled horrible.”
“You didn’t ask?”
“What was inside?”
David thought for a second. “No I guess I didn’t. I asked why it was taped shut and he said to keep it closed as we moved it.”
“You didn’t ask what was inside?”
“No I guess it didn’t occur to me.”
“Didn’t occur to you ? Are you out of your mind? You weren’t the least bit curious?” Tracy stared in disbelief.
“Honey, it was late! And I wanted to get home and the thing was HUGE! And I obviously chose the wrong shovel for the job what else could I do?”
“You could have asked what was in the stupid thing.”
“Well I didn’t, Ok! I was concerned that we get the thing in the ground and buried before sun up. Besides, I think that it might be slightly illegal to bury junk like that on state property.”
“Slightly Illegal! What if there was something inside that thing? Like a body! “ Tracy covered her mouth in shock. “You don’t think he could have killed someone do you?”
“What? No! I’m sure the thing was empty.”
“How can you be sure? You didn’t open it.”
“It didn’t feel like it had anything in it.”
“Wasn’t it heavy?”
“Of course it was heavy. It was a very large very old fridge.”
“Ok then, How do you know that there wasn’t a body in it? Perhaps someone that was small, light, and hardly added any weight.” Tracy reasoned.
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know Ethan and I doubt he would or could do anything like that. “ David clenched his jaw. This was getting a little crazy, “You should know too. He was your friend too.”
Tracy calmed down a little. “True! and Yes, I doubt he could have killed anyone and buried their body somewhere in Yankee springs, But what I’m getting at is that he has not called or anything in years and comes out of the wood work to get you tied up in God knows what kind of conspiracy and you just go along with it with out even asking some important questions! What if this is some government conspiracy? He worked for the Army for a couple years didn’t he?”
“He was IN the army, he enlisted then got out. I don’t think he was any covert special operations kind of guy. I think he was just a regular Joe.”
“Maybe that is what we are suppose to think. Maybe he is secretly a counter intelligence operative or double agent and you helped him bury the evidence that could have pinned him to the Russians, or Chinese, or some Muslim terrorist group!”
David sat back in his chair. “You have been reading too many of those spy books again. Nothing ever happens like that. What the hell can an intelligence agent learn here in Michigan? This is hardly any pentagon or other government stronghold where secrets are kept.”
“Well, in some of my books , there are places that look like normal places but are really cover fronts. They look like stores but are really CIA offices. “ Tracy trailed off knowing how that sounded, “I’m not saying that he is working for the CIA but you never know. “
“Well, if he was some counter agent, then he screwed up leaving me as the only witness to his plot of deception.” David smiled playing the cloak and dagger card was kind of fun.
Just then a sound could be heard from the hallway. Whispers and shuffling feet. Tracy’s head snapped to attention, facing the direction. Even David was startled by the sound and reacted similarly.
The cat was standing in the entrance way to the hall looking at something or someone in the hallway. Tracy looked on as did David. Their conversation stopping abruptly. The silence was deafening.
The cat’s tail twitched back and forth as it continued to look longingly at the unknown person or persons in the hallway. More whispers then some shuffling that sounded oddly like one of their kids. David called out to the unseen eavesdropper. “Ok come out. what do you want. “
Daniel emerged from the living room hall way clutching his pillow. He looked down at the ground knowing he had been caught. The cats eyes followed him as he drew closer then walked over and brushed his leg. Begging for pets.
“Danny what are you doing?” David asked
“I was thirsty, “ Daniel replied. “are you guys fighting?”
“No Daniel, we are just talking about last night. Aren’t you suppose to be playing your game?” Tracy asked.
“I already beat it like a million times and I got bored, are you guys sure you’re not fighting?”
“We are not fighting, We are going to make dinner soon. Now get your drink and either go play your game or you can set the table and help out.”
Daniel walked over to the sink and filled a glass with water and walked back into the living room. The cat followed him.
Tracy looked up at the clock. Samantha was due home any second now. “We better get started on dinner before Sam gets here." She is always starving and will want something immediately or she will start snacking then not eat dinner.” Tracy knew the routine well. Sam would eat the sugary snacks that were readily available then pick at her food all through dinner. Her example would be mimicked by the other two kids and in the end, no one would finish their dinner.
David nodded in agreement. He downed the last bit of his coffee that was now cold and looked for ways to help Tracy out. “What we having tonight? Something out of a box?”
“Spaghetti sounds good, I’ll warm the sauce if you make the pasta. We have some garlic toast in the freezer.” Tracy pulled out a couple of pots and pans.
“Sounds good. I’m a master at the pasta. Perfect pasta every time.” David motioned with his hand like he was an Italian baker.
Daniel opened the door to his room and set the glass of water down on his desk. The cat followed him in mere inches from his heels. Whitney sat on his bed, holding a controller to the video game waiting for his return.
“So what are they fighting about?” She asked earnestly.
“They say they are not fighting.” Daniel replied. “ I had to say I was getting a drink so they would not think I was listening. I think I fooled them.” He nodded with a determined confidence in his stealth capability.
“Not fighting are you kidding? We could hear them over the game. What were they yelling about then.”
“I couldn’t hear everything, All I know is that Mom is mad at Dad ‘cause he killed someone and buried their body in a refrigerator.”