Friday, October 29, 2010

character study: Fred

Fred was a man who came before t-shirts. After he retired, he worked on lawnmowers for his neighbors and started to make some extra cash. He decided after a time to paint a bright sign to put in his yard. His granddaughters helped him, carefully spelling out "Lawnmower Repairs" in bold, black letters on a handmade wooden sign. 

His granddaughters liked to giggle to themselves, and he giggled, too, even though he wasn't part of their secret. When they got off the bus and scampered to his house every afternoon, he'd have two warm grilled cheese sandwiches waiting. He'd ask them how many chicken nuggets they wanted, and they'd always reply ten and eight. They would already be huddled together in the floor watching afternoon TV when he'd bring in the feast. He watched them dipping chicken nuggets into bright yellow mustard, watched wide smiles spread on their faces when they'd bite into the gooey sandwiches. He would remove his shoes, place them by the door, sit in his special chair and turn on his foot heater. With a can of watery beer by his side, he'd watch the small sisters watching TV, watch their legs kicking behind them with laughter, watch the blurry shapes and colors from the television dash behind their blonde heads, and he was happy.