Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It was good to hear your voice yesterday. I hadn’t realized how isolated we are with Nancy being housebound for the first two to four weeks of her recovery from the hip replacement. And, it has only been one week so far. She is stronger every day and now complains about having to sit and sleep in the lift-recliner. Next it will be that “damned” recliner. That may be the most positive sign of her improvement. She stopped taking the opioids on Thursday and the damn, so to speak, broke the next morning, lessening the pressure and returning a bit of comfort.
I did get out to a massage and picked up some groceries. While out, I snapped a photo of a double Christmas tree. It seems that there is a conspiracy to decorating trees along a quarter mile stretch of WA504 from the RV park to Hall Road. About ten days ago, one tree near Hall Road was decorated. Then a few day later another. In the next week, I saw one motorcyclist decorate one tree, and a mother and child decorating another. Yesterday, I counted an even dozen including the double tree in the photo.
I am attaching the next installment in Amanda’s Saga—installment 7.
Warmest regards, Ed
Amanda White’s Coffee is Interrupted (7th in the Amanda Series)
Fiction in 914 words by T. Edward Westen, 2016
Amanda White stirred her coffee as she listened intently to the speaker on the smart phone laying on the table in front of her “. . .they are settled in, but her young man, Brice, is terribly confused.” The voice on the phone chuckled “As well he should be.”
Amanda White, “OK, but you know you should be ready to move them if you get a call from this number.”
“Right. I’ll talk to you on the land line the next time you get to a drug store.” The voice on the phone hesitated for a moment, “You do know what you plan is crazy.”
“Crazy, yes. But it is legal. Talk to you later.” Amanda punched the red telephone handset icon on her screen to disconnect. ‘Strange they should continue to use a telephone handset as an icon when hardly anyone uses handsets anymore.’
Amanda White got up from the kitchen table, took her coffee cup to the pot and refilled it. Returning to the table, she hit the home button and then swiped her smart phone and touched the Google microphone icon “OK Google, find me a brownie recipe with nuts.”
Amanda White was used to waiting. She had twelve years’ experience of how to deal with time on her hands with no place to go. The first year was roughest until she found the law library in Albion. Most of the women in the law library were looking for a loop hole or a gimmick to at least get them transferred for an appeal. As her cell mate, Cindy. put it, “Any change of scenery.” Amanda figured that if there were easy fixes to get her out, her court appointed attorney would have known about it. After all, the man had completed three years in law school, passed the bar and practiced criminal law for seven years. Granted she was his first child neglect case; but she figured a crime is a crime. So, getting out of the consequences of a criminal conviction would be the same for robbery, murder, extortion or child neglect. ‘That would take some serious legal voodoo,’ Amanda thought. So, instead of looking for a loop hole Amanda got ahold of a legal curriculum in the form of old course syllabi from SUNY Buffalo from her ‘amused’ court appointed attorney and commenced to study the law.
She was looking through the list of recipes that Google provided when the doorbell rang. She looked at the monitor and saw it was Edith Gunderson and two uniformed police officers. Amanda White thought ‘Show time; and it is about time. This is the third day in this dress. I don’t know about it, but I am getting tired of it. Besides, it really needs the mud cleaned off.’
Amanda White opened the door and said “Ms. Gunderson, so nice to see you again.”
Edith Gunderson stood stiff like a ramrod. Before her, dressed in the same mud streaked dress, shoes and stocking with runs in them as Amada Clarkton had worn on Christmas Eve stood Amanda Clarkton; but, an Amanda Clarkston aged at least 15 years since Christmas Eve. Finally recovering, Edith Gunderson stammered, “These, these, officers are, are hear for, ah, Mandy and you. Patrolman Philipson. Arrest her.”
As Patrolman Philipson approached, Amanda White asked “On what charge, may I ask?”
Patrolman Philipson replied, “Child neglect, Mam. May I ask, what happened to you?”
Amanda White replied, “Again?”
Edith Gunderson mumbled a bit “yes, for God’s sake what happened to you? You look 15 years older than you did Christmas Eve.” Then regaining composure, “Where is the child?”
Amanda White replied, “Are you not going to read me my rights?”
Edith turned to the second officer, “Search the premises for the child.” Then to Officer Philipson “Read her her rights.”
Amanda White did not really listen to the Maranda Rights Officer Philipson read to her. She focused on watching Edith Gunderson who still had not resolved how Amanda Clarkston could age ‘what was it, oh yes, 15 years’ in four days.’ Amanda smiled, ‘I guess the years have been kinder than I thought.’
The second officer came back to the foyer and explained there was neither child nor a sign of a child.
“What do you mean, no sign of a child? Did you look in the bedroom at the end of the hall upstairs?” Demanded Edith Gunderson.
The officer nodded.
Edith Gunderson stormed up the stairs.
Amanda White asked Officer Philipson, “Do you mind shutting the front door or getting me a wrap. I am freezing here.”
Officer Philipson shut the door and nodded apologetically. “Sorry Mam. But, you do look a mite bit older today than you did Christmas Eve.”
Amanda White nodded, “It must be the lighting. Lights can play tricks. Would one of your gentlemen retrieve my coat from the hook on the kitchen door and turn of the coffee. I suspect you will find my purse comes in handy when you book me. That’s on the counter next to the fridge.”
The second officer moved to the kitchen and called back “Mam, should I put your cell phone in your purse?”
“Yes, please. I’ll need that to call Uber when this is all worked out,” said a smiling Amanda White.
Edith Gunderson stalked back into foyer “Where is the child?”
Amanda Wright nodded to Officer Philipson and said “I believe this gentleman advised me that I have the right to remain silent.”