Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pea Weather, Part I

Ok, just a little start to a flash fiction piece. Part II will come sometime later...

“Yes, some of them like this weather. The peas love it.” Mrs. Arnold smiled, almost lovingly. She heaved the straw basket onto the countertop, heavy with fresh asparagus and still smelling like the field. Beads of sweat curled around her hairline and her face was splotchy red. “Good weather for peas.” She nodded her head with authority.

“I’ll take two bunches.” Cynthia had had enough. Her innocent comment about rainy weather was not meant to encourage conversation; not with this farmer woman behind the counter, anyway. She strode away while Mrs. Arnold filled a bag with two full bunches of asparagus.

“That’s $9.90, ma’am.”

“Jake, pay her.” Cynthia waved her hand toward the counter, keeping her focus on the shelves of jam.

Jake pulled his wallet from the pocket of his jeans and handed Mrs. Arnold a ten dollar bill. “Keep the change.”

Mrs. Arnold opened the register. She smiled and handed him a dime and the bag of asparagus.

Jake reddened a little, but took the change. “Alright, Cynthia.” He started toward the door; Cynthia reached it before he did, sunglasses on.

“Thanks for stoppin’ by. Enjoy your day!” Mrs. Arnold leaned over the counter, to make sure they’d hear.

“God, I thought I’d be in there all afternoon talking about vegetables!” Cynthia leaned her head back against the smooth leather. Jake backed the car out of the parking space and turned onto the wet road.

“Foggy up here.” He was squinting.

“What do you expect? It’s pea weather!” Cynthia’s laugh was especially shrill when she mocked.

“How far away is it?”

Cynthia was annoyed; she sighed heavily to let him know and reached down to her enormous bag – smooth, soft leather in pristine black. “Here.” She handed him a sheet of paper.

“Cynthia – I can’t…” Jake grabbed the paper with one hand, stuck it in his mouth, and grabbed the wheel again. “These curves are sharper than they look.”

Cynthia’s head was against the leather again.

“I better pull over… I think there’s a spot here.” Jake slowed the car to the side of the road. Park, flashers on, “Ok, let’s see…”

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