General Fiction posted May 4, 2011

This work has reached the exceptional level
A story of survival

Don't Fence Me In

by Judith Ann

Cynthia hummed a tune, one she loved to sing when dreaming about her future. Reflecting on the past five years she realized most days she plowed along with a heavy heart--afraid to live or laugh too loud. Tears were a normal part of her day and she found herself wiping furiously in an attempt to stop their flow. "Brad hates it when I cry," she would say.

"Well, isn't that just too bad for him," Juanita, her good friend, would say. Every time the subject turned to Brad, Juanita encouraged her friend to dump him. She even offered to help make him go away. Juanita had no use for her best friend's husband. He was bad for her; he loved only himself and expected his wife to make his life perfect. Never mind he had not worked for over a year while Cynthia held down two jobs and kept up the house.

"Brad needs a swift kick, and I would love to oblige," said the outspoken girlfriend one morning.

Cynthia stood and walked over to the kitchen sink where she looked out the window at her garden. The flowers and vegetables gave her comfort and helped her feel productive and needed. "I am going to pick a bouquet for the table," she said, turning to go outside.

Juanita followed with garden shears in hand. "I am going to grab a couple tomatoes for lunch."

Attempting a cheerful look, Cynthia nodded and changed the subject. "They are delivering the fence tomorrow. It has taken three years to save up enough money." She had to hide the funds from her husband. She didn't usually keep secrets from Brad because he had a way of discovering these things, but Cynthia's plan was so much bigger than installing a fence.

"I still can't figure out how you managed to pay for the fence. Brad is going to be livid when he sees it. You are finally showing some spunk, my friend."

You don't know that half of it, Cynthia thought to herself.

Early the next morning a truck pulled into the driveway. The sign on the vehicle read, "Flannigan's Fence Fitting". Cynthia watched as the rotund Peter Flannigan, opened the driver side door and stepped onto the running board.

Waving a thick hand of greeting, the business owner swung his solid frame from the side of the vehicle up into the back of his truck. He began to shout orders to his crew as he acknowledged his client's presence. He winked at his client and she returned the subtle gesture.

"Morning Miss, it's 9:00 a.m. sharp, just as you instructed."

"Thank you for your promptness. It is very important we are on schedule today."

"Understood," said the man. "You can count on me. The weather is perfect and every one of my crew decided to put in an appearance today. We will finish before 5:00 p.m."

It was late afternoon when Brad pulled into the drive. "What is going on here? Who are you and what are you doing putting a fence in my back yard?"

"Name's Pete and this here work-order gives me the right to be here. Who are you?"

"I own this place and you are trespassing." Brad screwed up his face, balled each of his hands into fists and shouted, "Get off my land!"

"Brad, stop this instant. I ordered this fence and I paid for it," said Cynthia.

"You know how I feel about fences. You know I would never allow anyone to erect a fence on my property."

"Yes, Brad, I know. But this isn't your property. It is mine. Remember, Daddy left it to me."

Cynthia no sooner said the words than a black car with gold lettering, much like a Sheriff's car, pulled into the driveway.

The officer exited the vehicle and asked, "Is there a Brad McCoy here?"

"That's me, who's asking?"

"Sir, I am here to serve you divorce papers and I have orders to escort you off the premises."

Brad forced his shoulders back, extending his chest in an appearance of force meant to intimidate. After all, it worked for five years on Cynthia. Swiping at a river of unwanted sweat on his upper lip, Brad approached the officer. "You are going to what? You had better call for back up."

"Already here," said a voice from behind. Pete Flannigan and his boys were in place and ready to act.

Cynthia stood at the back porch watching the show. She always wanted what this fence stood for; a perfect life. She knew there were few things as warm and welcoming as a White Picket Fence and now she would have the opportunity to pursue everything it stood for.

Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry


Just pulled this from my head, no resemblance to my life. I hope you enjoy.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2024. Judith Ann All rights reserved.
Judith Ann has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.