General Fiction posted October 25, 2016

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Semi-true story

Hell Found Me

by pome lover

Hell Found Me
by Katharine Folkes -- pome lover

Hell found me. I thought I'd escaped with a new address and new phone number. I was not moving to another town! It was ludicrous, though, really, to think I'd get away. Mother-in-laws have radar, (I've always suspected it) especially an "m-in-l" whose only son I'd just divorced. They can smell the thankful aroma of freedom; feel the vibes of unbridled joy. And they can't stand it.
It happened yesterday afternoon. I was in the kitchen, making beef fajitas with my new friend. His name is Will. And Will will--do anything I want. That is so novel I feel like I'm on another planet. He's up for anything, movies, cooking, walks after supper, hanky-panky ... oh, the hanky-panky... but back to yesterday.
We were having a little vino and seeing who could chop tomatoes the fastest when the phone rang. I was so busy having fun I just answered without checking the number. "Hello," What? But that's not... I... Madeline, I'm in the middle of... would you please calm down, I... Madeline, I'm going to "...CLICK. "She hung up on me! I was going to do the hanging up. H! H! H!" I stormed around the kitchen, paring knife slicing her up into little pieces.
Will grinned. He does that when I get crazy. It used to make me crazier. Now I laugh.
"Well, you going to tell me?" he said. "She must want something. Probably trying to get back more wedding presents from twelve years ago."
I was still fuming. "She wants the dining room table! My table! Can you believe it? She says she bought it; she can take it back. That is the last straw! You know what?"
"You waiting for me to guess?"
"No, I'm ...trying to calm down."
"You know what?"
I am going to give it back to her! I am going to take it over there and deposit it on her front lawn! Her precious no-dog-better-poop-on-it winter grass. Right now."
"Now? But..."
"Now." I started taking the mats and utensils off the table. Will grabbed the centerpiece and stood there frowning. "You figured out how we're going to get it there?"
"We'll use the pad under the rug."
"Put it on the roof of my car."
"Ah. You want to put the table on your little car."
"You got it. And please don't say it won't work."
"Um, okay."
We got to work; moved the table, folded the rug back and rolled up the pad. I motioned with my head. "Follow me." We headed for the garage. Over in the corner were Jack's old motorcycle bungie cords I'd brought in case I ever needed them. I looked at my Mini Copper. "We'll throw the pad over it and tie the table down through the windows, with the bungies.
Will was shaking his head. "It's not going to stay up there. Why do you have to do this now? Why not..."
I bared my teeth. I was "this" close to losing it. Mother-in-laws can do that to you. They're experts. They relish it. One time, I gave her a good looking jacket for Christmas, a really nice one. She made a point of coming over, opening the trunk of her car and showing me the things she was taking to Good Will. Brand new Jacket right on top. Hateful, despicable woman.
With tremendous effort and probably strained backs, we got the table up and struggled with the bungie cords which give, as you probably know. I used to help Jack secure his motorcycle in the back of his pickup, but I was finding out that this was a bit different. Anyway we got the cords as tight as we could through the open car windows. Off we went.
On the way I dredged up some of the things Madeline had done to me over the years, like the time she got mad at me and came in my house while I was gone (Jack had given her a key) and actually took two end tables she had let us have. Why would she do that? Then she went upstairs and had the gall to take the two new dresses I had hanging on a brass rod in our sitting room. She stole my new dresses! I still fume every time I think about it. After Jack left, I changed the locks. Ha! She is truly a witch.
Her house, thankfully, was not close to mine, but in this circumstance it would've been better if it had been. I was driving slowly and evenly. No quick stops or starts. Will had his arm out the window, holding the edge of the table. We did okay for a while but as we crawled around a corner I noticed Will's arm slowly moving outward. Uh-oh. The car behind started honking. I pulled into a parking lot and stopped, just in time to grab my side of the table. Will pushed from his side. It was obvious that this was going to be an on-going problem. It was.
However, we finally got there and maneuvered the table off the car and over onto the lawn. I scraped the table legs across it, making as many divots as I could. It wasn't my table any longer; I didn't care what it did to the legs.
On the way home Will started chuckling. That was just what I needed. I gave his arm a squeeze. "Thank you for going along with this," I said.
He looked at me. "Like I had a choice." But he smiled and pointed out the window. Dark, rain clouds were moving in.
I pulled his cell phone from his shirt pocket and punched in some numbers. "Hello, Madeline? The table is delivered. Yes, right to your front door." I clicked off.
Hell has moved on. For the moment.

Newbie Writing Contest contest entry

I know there are perfectly nice mothers-in-law out there. Surely. Just wasn't my luck to have one first time around. And believe me, it was hell on earth. Kind of therapeutic to write about it. The story is fiction. Some of the occurrences are not.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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