Quirks and Quarrels
Sara Bell turned off the radio and stopped dancing. The downstairs neighbor was hitting the ceiling with what probably was a broom. Sara wanted to go to bed and pull the covers over her head. That would mess her hair and ruin her make-up, and Eric could still come.
Picking up the newspaper to read, that damn dog downstairs was still yipping.
Stomping to the refrigerator and back, Sara makes an angry burst of stomps.
Old lady Mauldlin hits the ceiling some more. Sara walks into the bathroom, turns on the shower and focuses the water so it will leak in Mrs. Mauldlin’s bathroom.
Taking a triumphant stomp, the floor collapses beneath her right foot. Steam envelops her.
Kneeling in pain, willing herself not to cry, tears flow.
She told Mrs. Mauldlin if she had a BB gun she would shoot her yapping dog this morning.
Mrs. Mauldling called her a “trumpet”. She told her mother later that afternoon.
“Sara, why would she call you a “strumpet”.
“I don’t know. She is a mean old bag with a blind old dog with one creepy looking eye.”
“Are you having multiple sex partners.”
“What? Why would you think that?”
“She’s not calling you a trumpet, she’s calling you a strumpet. She’s saying you’re promiscuous.”
"No, I'm not. I'll call you tomorrow mom." Sara slammed the phone down and got ready at 5 PM for Eric. He was supposed to be there at 8 PM.
It was now 10 PM, and something sharp prevented her from pulling her leg from the floor. Mrs. Mauldlin and the building manager talk.
“There’s her foot. She’s not responding.”
Sara talks to them but they cannot hear.
Mrs. Mauldlin says call 911.
The building manager says, “We don’t need to do that.”
The door closes downstairs. She hears Mrs. Mauldlin call 911.
The floor isn’t sturdy under her left knee. Water was trickling down the wall to puddle on the linoleum under Sara.
The manager argued with the firefighters. Then she hears them unlocking her door and coming in.
The firefighters removed a section of the floor. “We’re going to lift you on three.”
The bruises faded to green, her knee aches before it rains, the long angry scratch healed. Sara helped Mrs. Mauldlin move. Sara hung up on Eric when he called.