Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mary, Full of Grace: Chapter 2 Teaser

“How does this house get so damn dusty?” Marianne swept the bundle of feathers over the top of the bookcase, making a large cloud of dust billow up towards her face. She let out a few hacking coughs and a sneeze for good measure. The chair she was standing on rocked causing Marianne to yelp.

Mary, who was sitting on a blanket on the floor near the couch, began to giggle.

“Your mother is amusing, isn’t she, Mary?” Marianne tossed the duster to the floor and climbed down the chair she had been using to reach the top shelves. “Your father, on the other hand, is not amusing at all. In fact,” she turned toward the kitchen and bellowed, “He should be in here helping!”

“I’m not listening!” He called back.

Marianne picked the feather duster back up and shook it in his general direction. This made Mary laugh even harder and she threw herself back, her thin little legs sticking up in the air. Marianne watched warmly as her daughter became enthused with the socks on her feet and pulled them off.

“I just put those on you, Mary!” Marianne sighed then turned around and began to dust the bottom shelf.

Jimmy, being an accountant, had a large collection of books; algebra, statistics, and economics were his favorites and there were countless texts were stuffed into the Brandon bookcase. They didn’t interest Marianne at all and, if she had had her way, they would have stayed behind in the move. After all, how practical were statistics in one's daily life? Her thoughts were interrupted when a few books slid off the shelf. She jumped back so they wouldn’t fall on her feet as they settled into a heap on the floor.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” She had tossed the duster aside and was gathering her skirts to kneel when something pink caught her eye. Moving the top books aside, she found what she was looking for; one of the heavier books had fallen open and, nestled between the pages, there was a single blossom.

Marianne picked up the book and scanned the cover. It was a mathematics book indeed, something only Jimmy would read. But why would he be keeping a flower in a geometry book? It appeared to have been there for some time by the way it was paper-thin and completely dry. Marianne stroked it gingerly and pursed her lips.

“Honey?” She called out to her husband.

“Not now, dear,” Jimmy replied in a sing-song voice.

Marianne let out a huff and walked towards the kitchen. When she entered, Jimmy was sitting at the table with piles of paperwork on either side of him. He held a small stub of a pencil in one hand and was mumbling numbers to himself, writing with a frantic pace in his notebook. Marianne cleared her throat to get his attention. “Jimmy?”

He looked up, his smile disappearing quickly when he noticed the book in her hand. “Marianne, what are you doing with that?”

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