#51 The Visit

by Gaye Buzzo Dunn

When Marion walked in the front door, the house was still as the calm before a storm; the spider plant, a permanent resident on the hall table, was bone dry and desperately needed repotting. Marion noticed the house was in its usual state of dirty disarray; it needed a good, deep cleaning. She dug her fingers in the plant’s dried out dirt, pushed a hardened piece of crud on the tile floor with the toe of her boot. Her eyebrows knit together in a disgusted frown; Ruthie always was a slob.

Marion called out from the bottom of the staircase, “Ruthie-- you up there?”

Silence. Marion yelled again, “It’s me, Marion.”

Marion grabbed the rail, trudged up the steps. She knew Ruthie was up there either hung over or drugged with one of her sleeping pills. Still annoyed with Ruthie’s lazy habits, Marion shouted at her prone form flopped over the side of the bed.

“For crying out loud, Ruthie, get the hell up.”

Ruthie didn’t move.

Marion walked to the bed, her face suffused an angry red, grabbed and shook Ruthie’s arm, leaned over and slapped her face. Ruthie did not respond.

A chill crawled up Marion’s back. “Oh my God, my sister’s not breathing.”

Marion ran down the staircase, fished her phone out of her purse to call 911.

But first she had to water the plant and clean up this messy house.


Joe said...

So true. What will people think!

An easy read, to the point. Great visual effects

Deb said...

I enjoyed this, but felt the line "Oh my God, my sister's not breathing" sounded unnatural. The story would be just fine without it though, since we already know that Ruthie is unresponsive. If doing it to show the relationship, "sister" could be worked in earlier in the story. Also, the response of cleaning the house before calling for help is more believable if she doesn't say that line.

I agree with Joe on the visuals - nice!

Diana said...

I liked this a lot. Nice ending.