Friday Fiction - "In a Dither"

I get a chuckle over the panic of storms in Maine. I'm sure there are times and places where there is a real danger of being out of supplies for days or weeks, but not around here  . . . not really. 

This story isn't about a snowstorm,
but you get the idea -

"In a Dither"

Mom gets in such a dither over things. She's gotten everyone dashing here and there before Emily gets here.

"Heavens t'Betsy! We're out of toilet paper! We can't run out of toilet paper ...or coffee..." She scribbled a list on the back of an envelope. "I ought to pay the light bill before stopping at the post office and then go to the bank, too, and get some cash from the ATM machine. You never know when you might need some money."

I stealthily grabbed a slice of pizza and tried to sneak out the back door.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"Out with Alex"

"Oh no, you don't! I want you home when Emily gets here. I don't want to be worrying about you."

"Ah, Mom!"

"Don't you, 'ah mom' me, young man! I need you to mow the lawn and clean up the clutter around the place while Tracy and I go to town. There are bikes and balls and lawn chairs everywhere."

Tracy stuck her tongue out at me.

"But Mom!"

Dad growled from his office, "Zack, obey your mom! Emily will be here around two o'clock, and I need to get some work done before then. "

Mom fluttered her hands. "Two o'clock! I've got to get going!"

As I said, Mom was in a dither and had the whole family getting ready for Emily's arrival. Well, not the WHOLE family. Tracy never does anything - the spoiled brat! Most of the stuff in the backyard was hers - a hula hoop, a pink scooter, a skateboard (well, that was mine). I don't know why the big fuss. You'd think the queen of England was coming to visit. I yanked on the mower's pull-cord. The air was heavy and thick --not enough of a breeze to keep my hair out of my eyes.

After I mowed the lawn, I took a soda and sank into the softness of the couch to listen to some tunes and text Alex.



Awhile later, Mom blew through the door. "What a mad house out there!" She dropped some bags on the table. "Can you get the rest from the car, Zack?"



I slid my legs from the back of the couch to the floor and scuffed out the door. The hot air body-slammed me in the chest. I juggled the remaining seven bags of groceries while wrestling with a gust of wind to close the back door. When I tumbled the bags onto the kitchen table, I heard "Bippity-Boppity-Boo" from the living room. Tracy had already claimed my spot on the couch to watch her movie.

Mom ranted from one of the bedrooms. "I should have gone to the laundromat, too! I don't want to run out of towels and clean sheets over the weekend."
Dad emerged from his office. "It's starting to rain. Are the windows closed?"

There was nothing left to do but wait for Emily. Mom microwaved some nuggets and fries. Everyone settled down here and there - watching a movie or doing computer stuff. I texted Alex again.



ME 2

The lights flickered and went out. Everything was silent - except for Tracy screaming at the top of her lungs.


ME 2

The lights came back on, the movie came back on, and Tracy stopped screaming. Mom yelled from her room. "Is everyone okay?"

"Yes, Mom. Nothing happened in the five minutes that the lights went out." I think she gets in more of a panic over things than Tracy does.

ME 2

I rummaged through the frig - nothing but yogurt, salad stuff, and left-overs. Yuck! I thought mom just went shopping! I found some wheat squares in the cupboard and dumped a load into a bowl with some milk and sugar. I hunched over the kitchen table and scooped the cereal in my face.

Dad sat next to me. "The weather channel says that Hurricane Emily isn't going to hit us after all."

I sat up like I had been zapped with a tazer gun. "What! After working my tail-bone off and being bored to death, Emily's not coming?" I glanced toward the bedroom door and whispered, "Does Mom know?"

Dad grinned. "No, I haven't told her, yet. Didn't you want to hang out with Alex?"

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