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Leaving September: Part 3 - Encounters

Excerpt from the unfinished novel, Leaving September, by Sandra, Xanii@aol.com

continued from last month

A loud banging sound awoke M'Taii on Saturday morning. At first she thought one of her nephews had fallen out of her bed... again. Since that little incident with the car exploding, they had managed to fix the outside of the house to make it look as if nothing happened but the inside told of another story. The drywall still needed to be replaced and painted. The new furniture needed to be brought and what did M'Taii know about redecorating? So in the interim, the boys slept with her on her bed and on occasion, they did manage to sleep with the floor as well.

But as the pounding got worse and was starting to sound like breaking bones, she wondered if instead she wasn't having an incredibly horrid nightmare. She groped groggily for one of the little ones.

"Jacob... Quin... you guys alright?"

No answer. She jerked stark straight up but when she opened her eyes and realized that the boys were nowhere to be found, her heart began to pound. Her bare heels met the wooden floorboard with asserted thuds until she got to the stairway. Taking the stairs three at a time she got to the bottom of the stairs and found the boys, lounged in their pj's, watching Saturday morning cartoons on her big screen TV.

She stopped short, assessed the situation and when she noticed they were alright she asked sleepily,

"Hey guys... I heard some pounding, are you beating each other up again?"

Jacob answered with a mouth full of Corn Pops, "Dat was upfrais. "and he pointed upwards.

"Upfrais? Oh... Upstairs... whose upstairs?"

Tyler walked over and started up the stairs.

"That remodel lady we told you about this morning."

M'Taii looked puzzled. "What?"

"Whew... did somebody forget to use the Listerine?"

"Boy... you'd better start worrying about who you let into our house and not how my breath smells."

Just to be safe, M'Taii detoured to her bathroom and flushed some mouth wash through her mouth before she continued on.

Tyler opened the door to the room that was in the midst of being remodeled. A woman a bit shorter than M'Taii was buried beneath an oversized pair of light blue overalls and a white under shirt. A paint stained cap was holding back her light brown hair, which happened to reach just above her shoulders. Her steady hands swung the hammer, expertly tearing down what was left of the wall.

"Excuse me... could you stop tearing my walls down and tell me who you are?"

She stopped and high stepped over the mounting debris. She dropped her hammer in its slot on her sagging tool belt and turned her cap backwards.

Her creamy cheeks were red from the exertion and lightly kissed with fine dirt.

She reached a rough hand for a brisk shake.

"Doltaire, Samantha Doltaire. Carpenter, Drywaller, Interior Decorator."

She kept her eye on M'Taii, who was clad in her green sweat pants and an off the shoulder tank top sweater which was pink and gray. She headed back to where she left off and drew her hammer to begin.

M'Taii slapped her palms over her ears, "Wait WAIT!!! I thought Sam said he was on his way this morning to give me estimates. I haven't agreed to anything yet."

The woman, Sam, turned and crossed her arms in front of her chest while holding on to the hammer.

"You didn't have to, things were worked out with your insurance. We've been contracted to fix this place up new, no cost to you. And my father, Sam, should be on his way to meet with you."

She turned and kept swinging her hammer. M'Taii backed away, pulling Tyler with her and closing the bedroom door. They looked at each other, then made their way downstairs.

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