Jessie wiped the sweat off her brow. She stepped out the farmhouse door followed by the smell of fresh baked bread spiced with homegrown hot peppers and tomatoes.
Hey, you,Bubbles. It's not feeding time yet. Get away.
The two-hundred pound pig, that in six months would be on their supper table, grunted and rooted at her feet.
I'll get your bottle later. Go on!Mom!
I'm coming, Artie, she yelled. Aware that her eight kids liked to play practical jokes on her, she muttered, This better be good. I don't have time for any shenanigans.
She walked past the brown asphalt-shingled shed, turning her wedding band and thinking of her enlisted husband. Where was Pearl Harbor anyway? 1941. She'd been with that bastard nine years and now he'd sought to renew his life and succeeded. Her eyes narrowed.
She turned the corner.
A gray snake with a black tail draped from Artie's neck. Oh, my God! Had she heard it rattle?
Terrified for Artie's safety, she stepped forward, gasped and looked down. The rusty prong of a pitchfork stuck up through her red shoe. Pain shot up her leg. Blood oozed. She closed her eyes.
A twig snapped. Julia, is that you?
Come over here and get this damn thing out of my foot.