PB&J&J for Our Heroine

Henry parked the truck in a cloud of dust right in front of the house. “Come on,” he beckoned with a jerk of his head toward the bed of the truck and handed Frannie a single bag containing a loaf of Wonder Bread.He gathered up the rest of the bags in his own arms and headed for the porch.

He dropped his load of groceries on the porch swing in order to struggle with the front door. “I don’t hardly bother locking it up anymore, what with as bad as it sticks nowadays.” He turned his head to tell Frannie.

She nodded solemnly, and her stomach rumbled again, more insistently this time. Henry laughed and finally got the door open.

“Got to get the plane out and fix this, but then I wonder why bother. I only go to town a couple times a week, and my little girl doesn’t visit near often enough.” He expertly threaded his arm through the mishmash of bags on the swing and carried them inside, leading Frannie to the right, through the dining room and into the kitchen. “Here’s good, girl.”

She reached up nearly as far as she could to put her lone bag on the counter and looked up at Henry. He told her to go have a seat at the table, so she did.

“Milk or juice? I got orange,” he offered.

“Orange juice is my favorite!” Frannie had already brightened up immensely.

Henry grinned as he opened the fridge and pulled the jug out. “Now, all I got’s real glass, are you up for the challenge?”

Frannie put her hands on her hips in mock indignation. “I’ll have you know, sir, that I can drink out of a real glass just as good as any grownup I’ve ever met, thank-you-very-much.” She reached out for the glass that he handed her and greedily gulped down three-quarters of the juice in one slug.

Henry had brought the juice into the dining room, so he topped off her cup. “Go a little slower on this one, or you won’t have room for a pb&j.”

Frannie nodded. “Yes, sir.” She sipped more politely.

Henry laughed and returned to the kitchen to put the groceries away. “Grape or strawberry jam?” He asked her, raising his eyebrows. “Or I can do both. Don’t tell anybody, but that’s how I like ’em.”

“My last mother only ever bought grape jelly, so I don’t even know if I like strawberry. Why not both?” Frannie remained as blunt as ever.

Her words were like a funny bone strike to Henry’s heart, and he shook his head as he turned to make two sandwiches. “I got to figure out how I can do right by this girl,” he muttered to himself. He cut each sandwich into four triangles, and brought the plates to the table. “Dig in!” he said, with a much brighter tone than he felt.

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Read more of Frannie’s Misadventures here and find out how on earth she got where she is today.


Burgers and Fries

“These fries just make me mad,” she said through a mouthful of visually-seasoned potato. “They’re supposed to be Cajun fries. Look at this. They’re the right color. Look at this angry red one! That fry should be spicy as shit. That thing should burn my mouth.”

She picked it up and ate it.

“But no! Not even close to burn. It’s like they painted some bay leaves red and then ground them up and called it Cajun.” She frowned down at the fries that were slowing spreading their grease throughout the brown paper bag on which they lay.

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She expressed her frustrations to her husband. He agreed that the fries were not impressive.

He disagreed, however, with her summation of the seasoning. “It’s not bay leaves, though,” he mused.

“Yeah, you’re right,” she admitted.

“It’s something else too, I just can’t put my finger on it,” he continued.

“I don’t know. That gross stick seasoning. I don’t remember what it’s called. But it’s not spicy either.” She shrugged, willing to concede. “Maybe when I try them again in a few years they’ll be better. Or maybe I’ll have forgotten how made those fries make me.”

“Just make me mad,” she muttered under her breath, crumpling the bag around the remainder of the fries. She stood and threw the whole wad into the trash can.

They weren’t even salty enough. But they did give her horrendous gas later that day.


Reunion

He sailed onward, onward, ever on,file0001141335366
Knowing ahead she waited, waited alone.
The wind in his sails
And the salt in his nose
And the anchor never unstowed.

The breeze fell calmer, calmer, and it stopped,
He frowned, and frowned in deep concern.
She checked her watch
And checked again
He was always prompt before.

Three days and nights and nights and days
He drifted, drifted aimlessly.
The sun stared down
And burned his skin
He lay awake in pain.

The wind picked up and blew some more
He cheered and cheered aloud.
She was gone from the dock
When he made shore
And so he left again.


Old Friends

Teresa stood on her tippy-toes to peer out of the small basement window placed so close to the ceiling. No sign of rain, yet.

She turned back to finish organizing the books on the newly built shelving, humming absentmindedly to herself. Some mishmash of three or four different showtunes, the same odd tune she always hummed when she was working.

One of the books felt different under her fingers ash she pulled it from its cardboard home. She paused and glanced down, flipping the book to have a look at the front cover. Smiling to herself, she took a step backwards and reached behind her for the arm of the recliner that she knew was there.

Once settled, she put her feet up and cracked the book open. She lost herself in the old childhood favorite for hours, and by the time she closed the back cover with a sigh, it was pouring down rain outside.

She gasped in shock, and quickly checked her watch. Sure enough, more than three hours had passed while she was reading, oblivious to the outside world.

She took a look around at the half dozen boxes of books still resting peacefully in front of the mostly-empty shelves. The rest would have to wait until tomorrow; right now, it was time for her to go pick Todd up from work. She checked her watch again, and grimaced It was going to be close.

She kicked the footrest down and got out of the recliner. Rubbing her finger against the spine of the book, she briefly pondered what to do with it, where to put it so it wouldn’t be lost again, before settling on the top shelf, all by itself, at least for now.

She kissed the tips of her fingers and waved a fond goodbye to the boxes and shelved books before turned toward the stairs with a sigh of regret. Parting was such sweet sorrow.

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The Tides Have Turned

So I went to my job interview today. It was for an indeterminate position at a karate school: either receptionist or teacher, depending on who they decided on. They currently have a receptionist, but everyone floats there, and everyone must take lessons.

How cool is that?

Also they want someone able to get a CDL within the next few months. To drive their bus. It’s like every time I look for a job, I end up kicking myself for not agreeing to drive the bus for the blood center and letting them pay for my training and CDL ten years ago.

Also, it’s not a real karate teacher they need, more like a babysitter to do karate-themed stuff with the three to five year olds, so I’m apparently qualified enough for that, having been a Sunday school teacher once upon forever ago.

I interviewed with three instructors, and we got on really well, and it sounds like a lot of fun and a completely new experience, which is exactly what I’m looking for. Fingers crossed!

And next week I have two more interviews.

One at Torrid, and I’m perfectly cool working there, but that’s third on my list.

Then tonight I got a call from Johnny’s Pizza, just not the one I can practically hit with a rock from our back porch. It is, however, one in a part of town that I delivered in for years and years, with no new development since I worked there, so just a day or two and I’d be completely refreshed on the delivery area. Interview there Monday, and I’m sure I’ll be offered a job, maybe even a can you start now, depending on how shorthanded they are.

Buuut will I hear back from the karate school before I hear back from Johnny’s? Because with the karate schedule I wouldn’t be able to do both; it overlaps from lunch to dinner.

Oh, decisions, decisions. I think I’ll just put it out of my head, because there’s no sense counting my chickens before they hatch.

It’s just funny that I hear nothing for three weeks, and then I have three callbacks within two days at places I’ve only just put in applications.

This picture is completely unrelated, but I like it.

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Another Interview

Tomorrow at a karate school about a mile from home. Wish me luck!