(A continuation from Part First.)
magine, if you can, the fluttering mother-heart of the round-eyed woman as she crept like a strange midnight ballerina toward what might certainly be a particularly Geraldo scenario complete with masked gunmen and duct tape. The irregular sounds from the living room mixed with the panic throbbing pizzicato in her clenched and stylishly-ringed fingers. With her hair still wild from dreaming and the whiteness of her satin nightgown reflecting moon through the windows, she looked just like the twisted moonflower and passion vines that came up like demonic accidents around the front porch of the June-blue house. An unfortunate camouflage for a woman inopportunely stalking certain ski-masked disaster.
In the living room, she used the tennis racquet’s edge to flip on the light.
There was no one there. She breathlessly leapt to the kitchen, the dining room. Still no darkly-dressed, robber-band infamy.
The irregular thumping came from the unattractively secured and jagged piece of raw plywood used to seal up the underbelly of the chimney. Knowing instantly that the thumping could only be the muffled sound of a trapped bat or two slinging themselves selfishly toward the safety of her children, the round-eyed woman stopped and though a bit.
She thought about heinous, rabid, slobbering, madnesses-incurable waiting in spiky bat teeth. She thought about unendurable abdominal injections in the smooth tummies of the sleeping small ones.
She thought about Old Yeller and became all misty.
For some reason the H&P (Handsome and Powerful husband) found it easier to wake this time, and did not protest at all when asked to climb upon the roof of the June-blue house in the very midnight of a late September. The round-eyed woman kissed the sleeping children’s fuzzy hair softly and with great assurance that their perfect pink bellies would be safe from all that was rabid and rodent-borne.
With the H&P tottering on the steeply pitched roof making repairs (there is another story of him falling from the roof, but he does not die in that one either), the round-eyed woman was at long last able to snuggle into the bed and dream sad Erendira moments of men in lines and things undone.
A few hours later, when the round-eyed woman heard hail gently bouncing and tumbling at the windows, she automatically rose to check the weather. She was accustomed to this, having lived cheerfully many years in a small southern town where the weather enjoys unaccountable changes and whirling tornadic things fall from the sky with regularity.
My lovely beans, she thought as she pulled back the soft sheets, will be beaten down to a fray. And this made her sad, because she adored the natural William Morris-like spirals pristinely curled for morning pickings.
By the time the she understood that the sound was not hail at all, not the rattling pieces of her broken heart, that the hail storm was not outside, but inside the house, the repeated flinging of blinded bat bodies casually slamming themselves into the post-war two-inch metal blinds had risen to a roll thunderous enough to wake even the sleeping H&P.
She turned the bedside light on with a gentle twist…
To be, of course, continued ~