A Pile Of Dust

page 3

by K. Kylyra Ameringer

Aoife rolled her eyes towards the ceiling. "Americans!" she said. "Always trying to make themselves look younger. Look at what's-her-name .... The singer, you know who I'm talking about. I hear told she's got so much plastic in her that all they'll find in a hundred years when they dig up her bones are the plastic bits."

"Oh, I know! And the money they spend on that sort of thing!" Margaret regarded her tenants who were finally moving away down towards square. "Of course they didn't get it done locally. None of it. He," she said, pointing her finger at the retreating pair, "had some sort of teeth problem. Was missing a lot of them, you know. Well, not anymore. And Dr. Potter said he's never seen either of them in his office."

"Well, that's not surprising now," Aoife replied. "Potter may be the only dentist in town but he isn't very good. Sure and lots of people head into the city for dental work."

"Fair enough," Margaret said, still watching the pair in the distance. "But still there's something strange about them."

"Well, I'd say their hair stated that plainly enough," Aoife said, sipping the last of her tea. "You'd do well to get rid of them."

Margaret's eyes finally lost the pair to the distance. "You might be right, Aoife."

The blue haired man walked with his sister beyond the town square and down to the beach. He glanced over at his sibling as the wind caught the spray from a wave and let it rain down gently on their faces. His sister tilted her head back and smiled, enjoying the fresh air. It was good to see her out of the house. She'd been so busy lately, working all hours to make the day they'd been waiting for so long now to arrive. He'd been concerned over her waxing colour and the growing dark circles under her eyes. The soft moonlight blurred her features and blended her skin to pale beauty.

"This is nice," she said, her eyes closed. "I needed this."

"I know you did. You work too hard, sister."

She smiled at his comment. "We're very close now. Very close."


"Midsummer, as usual."

The man frowned for a moment. "I meant when will it be done?"

"Completely? From start to finish?" His sister thought a moment. "Difficult to say. It will start from the house and spread from there. But once it's started there won't be any stopping it."

Margaret fiddled unnecessarily with the buttons on the dashboard of her Honda Civic. She'd pulled up outside of Number 4 Hawthorne Drive five minutes ago but still hadn't worked up the courage to approach the front door. Her exchange with Aoife and subsequent conversations with the local priest had convinced her the Americans must go. She regretted losing the monthly checks, but her own unease over her tenants had been increased by Aoife's comments and finally validated by her priest's darkly suggestive remarks.

"I've heard talk from some of the young people," he'd told her. "Whatever they're doing up there, it's not Christian." Margaret had decided immediately that the tenancy must stop, regardless of the loss of monthly income to her savings account. She had no real need for it, after all, except to pad out her already comfortable nest egg. It certainly wasn't worth putting her immortal soul at risk by housing heathens who were getting up to God knows what.

Taking a deep breath, Margaret finally stepped out of her vehicle. She'd rehearsed what she was going to say to them over and over until she almost believed the lie herself. Hobbling down the steep drive, she noticed with a frown that her nephew hadn't been in lately to do the garden; the grass was scraggly and unkempt. She made a mental note to ring him about it later as she stepped around to the back yard.

The late afternoon sunlight penetrated the back feebly, just enough to show the state of disarray the yard was in. Margaret clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth with disapproval. The sucker trees had taken over; the yard was now more a field than a garden. A whiff of rot caught her attention and her eyes focused on a large dusty mound covered with branched in the corner of the lot. Angry that her yard had been turned into such a mess, Margaret began to shamble down the path towards the pile in the corner.

"Margaret. Hello." Margaret turned to find the skunk streaked sister standing beside her in the gloom. The woman moved with a stealth and quietness that would have been envied by a cat.

"Oh, yes, hello," Margaret replied to cover her surprise. "I just came by to check on things. It looks like I need to get my man out here to do some work."

"We like it like this," the woman said.

"Yes, well, you see ..." Margaret stumbled a bit before remembering her well rehearsed dialogue. "I took a fall earlier this year, you know. Hurt my knee badly, and now I can't do stairs. So I need you to move on so I can live here."

A Pile Of Dust by K. Kylyra Ameringer


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