The following is an excerpt from a fictional work in progress that I am writing. After entertaining my family reading it out loud yesterday and seeing their delightful reaction, I’ve determined to share it with you.
The story is called _The Great Divide_ and is based in the month of July. The plot involves a family that is separated for a period of time due to a natural disaster. If the good Lord is willing, this may become my first attempt at the Great American Novel.
“The children and I headed toward the pool. I took my glasses off, laying them in the fold of my towel where they would be safe. I reminded my kids that they were NOT to touch my towel as my glasses were in there. We stepped to the edge of the pool and all four of the kids began to jump up and down, screaming at the top of their lungs. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. As they all pulled on my arms and my bathing suit I lost my balance and into the pool I went, with the two boys attached. We came up sputtering and coughing. I was laughing, but no one else was laughing.
The boys proceeded to climb my body like a ladder, scratching and clawing their way up making me lose my footing and go back under the water. One of their feet actually found its into my bathing suit and I felt my self being partially disrobed. Now, I was trying to stand up in the chest high water, get my boys up and into the air, all while trying to regain some modesty.
It couldn’t all be done, something had to give, that something was my attempt at modesty. I finally was able to see enough through my hair that hung in my eyes to see Granny Marley standing at the side of the pool and reaching out with a worried look on her face. I know, even in the circumstances I must have blushed realizing that she was seeing parts of me she had not seen before. The girls were still screaming, jumping up and down holding on to each other for dear life. It reminded me of the mouse incident.
I now had the two boys firmly in hand, one tucked under each arm and moving towards the steps of the pool. I handed Micah into Granny’s outstretched arms as best as I could with one hand while Jonah continued to squirm and scream. Finally I had had enough. I turned him around and spoke firmly to him. “Jonah! Stop it! What in the world is wrong with you?” His answer was a wide-eyed, terror-filled, blood-curdling, shrill scream.
I saw Granny Marley’s mouth moving but could hear nothing over his screams. She frantically reached out for him and I gladly handed him over as I tried to recover some of my dignity. I pulled up my shoulder strap and brushed the hair out of my eyes as I tried to shake the water out of my ears, still coughing a bit from the unexpected encounter with the water, twice!
Finally, I was able to hear Granny’s voice over the others. She pointed determinedly behind me in the water and bellowed at the top of her lungs!
Why I took time to actually turn and look, I don’t know. Why I didn’t move as quickly as humanly possible to the steps before, me I can’t say. There at the edge of the pool opposite of where I stood in the water was a snake. A snake in our pool! A snake in the water! I was in the water and so was the snake. He couldn’t figure a way out but I could. He didn’t have two legs to walk up those steps, but I did. It was towards those steps I headed.
Have you ever tried to hurry in water? It is torture! It takes so long to span the shortest of distances, especially when you are in a panic, and let me assure you I was! Finally I made it out, I grabbed at my towel and made an effort to grab my glasses so I could get a better look at the invader. My glasses went flying! Thankfully they weren’t broken as I retrieved them and turned back to the pool.
An hour later, the snake had been taken out of the pool with the skimmer by yours truly, dumped onto the ground where I unceremoniously chopped his head off with the garden hoe. I threw his body (and head) into the burn barrel, lit the fire and stood defiantly as I watched. Don’t ask me what kind of snake it was, I’m sure I don’t know. What I did know was, I can get a snake out of a pool, fry him up in a burn barrel, ‘cause I’m a woman. I hummed the tune as I ambled away feeling rather sure of myself.”