Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ed Returns

(Previous post, Free, continues)

Two days after The Zelda Incident, Roxie Petersen peered out her front room window, the one that faced the Sullivans’ ranch-style house across the street. Ed and Zelda Sullivan had moved to the quiet town of Langhorne, a suburb of Los Angeles, three years ago. Ed told the Petersens that The Gateway Retirement Community seemed the perfect fit with their two sons grown and leading their own lives.  

Roxie spied Ed’s jeep pulling into the driveway and quickly sent her husband, Buzz, out the door and over to talk to him. Did he know what had happened while he was gone? The two men stood in the driveway, Ed a head taller than Buzz. Both men had the thinning gray hair of middle age, and each wore faded jeans and open-necked shirts, their bodies tan from mowing lawns and tending summer gardens. Just one thing made them different. Roxie swooned whenever Ed was around. Buzz well...Roxie didn’t remember swooning.

Roxie hid her feelings from Zelda, because the two women were friends, but she knew the couple had problems. One problem, Ed’s Junk Addiction. A junk addiction could be overlooked if you had Ed’s charm. She wondered what the men were saying.


Ed was weary after his three-day-long camping trip, one of several he took each year with his four-wheel-drive club. He planned to flop onto the livingroom couch with a beer, but instead he listened to Buzz describe the details of that day. Ed thought about his 30 year marriage to Zelda, and their move to Langhorne. The Gateway Community seemed the peaceful lifestyle his wife craved. Why couldn’t she be happy? He was. So he was a clutter-bug as she liked to call him. So what?  Was that any reason to go nuts?

“Buzz, are you happily married?” Ed asked.

“Well sure, Ed. Roxie and I have been married 35 years. Oh, we fight now and then, but no one goes over the edge.” Buzz immediately regretted that last remark. He apologized. “I better be going Ed, but if there’s anything you need let me know.”

“Thanks Buzz. I’ve got some calls to make. See you later.” He turned to go inside the house, nearly tripping over the four cardboard boxes on the porch full of his belongings. It angered him to think of Zelda dumping his stuff in the yard.

For old time’s sake, Ed tossed his dirty cap onto the kitchen table. Zelda hated dirt. The last time he did that she hollered at him. Ed grabbed a beer, and flopped onto the couch. He propped his boots up on the coffee table and smiled.


Donna DeWeerd said...

Didn't expect Ed to come back -thought Zelda did him in last chapter.

Now I want some more....

barb bits said...

Donna, thanks for commenting. I'm lousy at killing off characters, besides I have big plans for Ed. I'm so glad you want more. I am debating whether or not I should continue posting the story.

barb bits said...

From Leonore's email:

IT IS A BOOK! WOW WOW!! GO FOR IT!! So crisp and full of suspense! You are well on your way! A thousand hands clapping here. xo Leonore said...

This reads so well. You improve with each new blog post. Keep going, girl. You're a star!

barb bits said...

Thanks, Patsy. And thanks for the help in all help me shine.

Laura McHale Holland said...

I'm really enjoying the way you're developing this. I wonder what has kept Ed and Zelda together for so long. It intrigues me that the only person who seems happy with his relationship is Buzz.

barb bits said...

Thanks Laura. I wonder too about Ed and Zelda. Only the pen knows for sure. I doubt I'll be posting big chunks like this in the future while I'm trying to develop ideas, but it's been fun hearing comments.