Rain Continues Ruining Attempts to Mow the Lawn (A Short Story)

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“You’ve got a jungle growing out here,” Marvin said. “You need to cut the yard, Anson.”

Marvin was standing at the door of the house. After visiting his older brother Anson, he was now leaving.

Marvin’s brown-skin was a shade lighter than Anson’s.

Anson looked at the yard. Marvin was right. The yard needed cutting bad, especially with weeds growing up beyond a person’s ankle.

“I mean,” Marvin started. “You’re supposed to be the yard and plant expert.”

True enough, Anson had worked in a retail store’s garden shop for several years, which gained him knowledge about plants and yard work.

“I had so much on my mind lately,” Anson said. “I’ll get to it.”

Then he looked at Marvin.

“See ya, bro,” he said.

“All right,” Marvin said. “Take care, Anson.”

After closing the door, Anson figured out a plan. Right now, it was too late to cut the yard. Tomorrow was Saturday, his normal day off. First thing in the morning, he’ll cut the yard.

 

When he woke up the next morning, Anson heard the rain drops overhead splattering onto the roof.

“Oh, Christ,” he mumbled.

He looked out his bedroom window.  Rain poured over the backyard.

A thought ran across Anson’s mind. Even after the rain stopped, he knew it was not a good idea to cut the grass. From experience, he knew wet grass clogs the blades and turns off the lawnmower. When this happened, he constantly had to remove the grass and pull the string at least twice to rev up the lawnmower’s engine again. Today’s plan for cutting the grass was now cancelled.

On his cell phone, he searched online for the weather forecast.  The forecast for the next day predicted rain for the afternoon.

Tomorrow morning, Anson decided he’ll again attempt mowing the lawn. The ground might be drier then.

 

Later that day, his cellphone ranged.  The phone showed his buddy Sean’s phone number.

“Hey, man,” Anson answered.

“What are you doing tonight?’ Sean asked.

On the other side of the phone was a bald white guy around Anson’s age, fortysomething.

“I don’t know yet,” Anson said.

“Keith Craig is in town tonight.”

“Oh yea?”

“He’s spinning at Eruption. A huge crowd is supposed to show up.”

Keith Craig was an Orlando DJ, who was now internationally known.  At a small joint called the Love Factory, Anson remembered seeing Keith Craig playing house music back in the nineties. Back then, Keith sported long brown hair. Now, he sported a bald head like Sean.

“You wanna go?” Sean asked. “I’ll pick you up.”

“Yea,” Anson said. “I’ll go.”

 

Because of a wonderful time at Eruption, Anson slept from early morning right into late afternoon. Just like yesterday, he woke up to raindrops falling on the roof.

Again, the day’s plan for cutting the yard was canceled.

 

The next day after work, the weather cooperated. Not one drop of rain fell.

In the garage, Anson poured gasoline into the lawnmower. Finally, he can cut the damned yard.

Then, his cellphone ranged. Anson took the phone out of his right jean pocket. On the phone, he saw his Uncle Ellis’s phone number.

“Damn,” Anson said. “Now, what the hell does his annoying ass want?”

Anson answered the call.

“Hello?” he said.

“Hey, Anson,” Uncle Ellis said.

“Hey.”

“I need you to do something for me. I need you right away.”

When it came to favors, Uncle Ellis never really asked. It was always I need you for this and I need you for that.  Instead of asking, the favors seemed more like orders, which always crawled under Anson’s skin.

“Are you there?” he heard Uncle Ellis say.

Anson wondered why the man never told Marvin the things he needed done. Besides, Marvin was the primary beneficiary of Uncle Ellis’s life insurance policy. Anson thought because Marvin was his favorite nephew, Uncle Ellis should be calling Marvin all the time. Yet, here he was calling Anson, the number two on his life insurance policy. In other words, unless Marvin dies, Anson wasn’t going to see a penny.

“Anson?” he heard Uncle Ellis say.

“Yea,” Anson said. “I’m here. What do you need me to do?”

Again, another day of cutting the yard was canceled.

 

The next day after work, Anson finally gained the freedom to cut the yard.  No rain fell and nobody ruined his schedule. Yet, Anson didn’t stop at the yard. The long summer daylight offered him enough time to also trim the hedges growing on the front right side of the house.  Also, with enough time, he weeded the small rose garden existing under the house’s front window.

Afterwards, Anson cooked himself a steak dinner including green peas and mashed potatoes. For the drink, he served himself a glass of Sprite.

Over the meal, he prided himself on today’s accomplishments.

 

The next Saturday, Anson drove over to Marvin’s place. Because he was in the neighborhood, he decided to drop off some mail.

Even after his moving out, Marvin was still receiving mail at the house, a home he and Anson both inherited from their late mother. Yet, Anson was the main one taking care of the house’s responsibilities. All Marvin ever did was run his big mouth about what needed done, things like cutting the yard.

As Anson drove up to Marvin’s rented home, he looked at the rose garden in front of the house. As a favor to Marvin’s live-in girlfriend, Anson planted the garden. What used to be a well-trimmed garden full of lively plants were now weeds and dying roses.

Hot steam rose inside Anson.

After parking and getting out of his car, Anson walked over to the garden. After looking at it again, his foot ached to land right up Marvin’s ass.

When Anson ranged the door bell, Marvin answered the door.

“Hey, bro,” Marvin said.

“What happened to the garden, man?” Anson asked.

“What?”

“The garden. Last week, you did all that talk about the yard at Ma’s house. Yet, here I see y’all didn’t even take care of the rose garden I planted for you.”

“Well, man…”

“Uh huh, talking shit as usual.”

Marvin looked away from Anson.

“Look,” Anson said. “I brought some mail for you.”

Marvin opened the door wider.

“Come on in,” he said.

 

photo credit: SFB579 Namaste British Summer via photopin (license)

About Patrick Scott Barnes

Most of Central Florida knows Stone Crazy (Patrick Scott Barnes) as a poet. Yet, he also photographs, DJ and blogs. The rest of the time, he's guzzling booze in a Central Florida bar.
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