, , , , , , , ,

Be careful of those who make things go bump in the night.  It is not the night you have to fear.  It is them.  Enjoy Part 2 of The Perfect Community.  Thanks.




JAY GREEN SAT AT the table in the dark with a cup of tea in front of him.  He was still wound tight from the ten-hour drive.  It had been ten-hours of mostly heavy rain from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Calaco, North Carolina.  His back and eyes hurt.  He had driven the entire trip.


Crystal, his wife, had worked a double shift in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at the hospital.  She was the Head Nurse in the ICU.  It was a management position.  But she made an emergency decision to work with patients that month.  They were short-staffed.  Half of the nurses had called out sick.  The flu had run rampant there.  That left her and a few others to fill the voids that seem to come up every few days.


When Crystal and Jay were ready to leave for her parents she was exhausted.  It was clear from her glassy eyes that she was in no condition to drive.


When they arrived at Crystal’s parents, Jay unloaded the suitcases and took a shower.  He thought it would wake him up and make him feel better.  It did for a few hours.  Then he fell asleep on the couch while talking with her and her parents.


Jay woke up to Crystal telling him to come to bed.  He did not remember getting into bed.  He woke up again and reached over and touched Crystal.  She was sleeping hard.  The clock read eleven pm.  He laid there until he fell back to sleep.


Jay woke up again at one thirty am.  He laid there and hoped he would fall back to sleep.  After twenty minutes he knew there was no chance of going back to sleep.  It was just like it was at his house.  Once awake his mind went to thoughts about his business.  How much money did they need to expand the plant?  Could they afford it?  Could they hire more employees?  Would he have to take out a second mortgage on their house?  Should he sell the business?


Jay got up and went downstairs.  Crystal’s parents had shown them where everything was.  The coffee was on the top shelf.  The tea was on the shelf next to the coffee.  An exotic blend of teas was next to the basic teas.


Jay had not asked what made up or classified a tea as exotic.  He did not want to hear the explanation.  Crystal, however, took the bait as usual and asked.  Jay wondered why and looked at her.  Crystal raised her eyebrows and shrugged.  It was her way of pretending that she did not know her mother was going to answer her.


Her mother’s answer took thirty minutes.  It contained the mental and sexual benefits of exotic tea and everything in between.


Crystal parents acted like semi-reformed hippies.  Their answers to basic questions could make a person wonder if they were reformed.  In reality they both were semi-retired CPAs.


Jay sipped from the teacup.  He jumped when he heard what sounded like someone trying to get in the front door.  He could see out the big kitchen window.  There was no one outside in the yard.  He stood and walked softly into the family room.  No one was in there.  He turned the front door’s doorknob.  The door was locked.


Jay stood by the door and listened.  He did not hear anything.  His mind was playing tricks on him.  His ears were too.  He was just tired.  He could hear Crystal in his ear.  “You don’t get enough sleep.  Lack of sleep, lack of thought.”


He went and sat back down at the table.  Business thoughts resumed their place in his mind.  The fear came with them on what to do with the business.


“Waiting for me in the dark,” a woman’s voice whispered behind Jay.  He jumped and bumped the table.  “Shhh.”


“Damn it, Carla!” Jay said.


“You’re going to wake everyone,” Carla whispered.  “You’re not good at this sneaking around thing.  To be honest, you suck at it.  You’re pathetic.”


“Why would you do that?” Jay asked, angry, trying to whisper.  He could not catch his breath.  “Was that you at the door?”


“You’re such a ninny,” she said.


Jay does not appear to be having a good time with his in-laws.  I guess it is difficult to have a good time when a pressing event is on your mind.  The question for Jay is which event is on his mind?

Thank you for visiting me.  See you tomorrow.


Stephen Wallace