Darlene’s Summer Heat
Ninety-five degrees and the humidity is sticking like spit. Darlene’s fan is quickly spinning, but its motor gives out a spurt and ceases. A short grinding of gears as if a final scream before death. Darlene, held in the grasp of copious sweat rolls slightly over to the fan from her bed. She slaps the fan in hopes it will jolt it to life.
But there is no such luck. With her exhausted body from the relentless beating of the sun, she slowly sits up while uttering obscenities beneath her breath. “Damn, fan…why in hell would you quick working now? You bastard, you pointless machine, now you’re nothing more but a damn paper weight.”
Sitting up in her bed, she slides her hands through her ruby hair and guides it to rest behind her head. With her hair behind her, she looks around her room as the sun blazes through the thin white curtains. “Why did I not buy darker curtains, this place is hell during the summer?”
Her face, glistening she curls in her lips with frustration. “So much for a weekend of relaxation. I’m fighting for my life just to make it through this heat.” She picks up a near empty glass of water and consumes the last bit.
She looks at the empty glass with desperation from thirst. She can’t help but feel agitated as this heat is unlike anything she has felt before. “I should have stayed like my mother said, (wavering her finger about) You should stay Darlene, you won’t like the heat. Damn, she was right. I loath this protruding heat. It gives no space and no privacy to think. Hell, all I can think about is this heat.”
Darlene, in her frustration peels herself from her bed with glass in hand and makes her way to the kitchen. The whole house is closed off from the world. Every curtain is drawn in resistance to the glaring sun.
But even that does not stop the sweltering heat. Walking to the kitchen her head is tilted slightly toward the ground as if to surrender to the scorching earth. Her hand is gently clasped around the empty glass. Her eyes daunting with exhaustion.
She reaches the kitchen and sluggishly turns on the water. Doing her best not to move too quickly. As if doing so will keep her cool. Raising the glass it feels as if she is lifting a heavy weight. Her entire body screams to compel her to stop, to cease anything and everything. To fall to the ground and let the blaring red sun be her doom.
But she resists as she fills the glass. The water is almost as hot as the outside. She fills the glass, leans her body upon the counter and slowly places her lips on the edge of the glass. She tilts it with slight hesitation as she can feel the heat from the water resonate with such an unwelcome presence.
But she cannot go on without water. So she opens her lips slightly and allows the hot water to pour into her mouth. She keeps her eyes shut as she tries to think of other things as the heated tap water fills her empty stomach.
She drinks about half the glass then places it on the counter and wipes her mouth with her forearm. She then turns away from the counter and leans her rear against it. She crosses her arms and looks to the front of the house.
There, on the other side of the home, is two long closed cream colored curtains. And like most curtains they curve ever so slightly as they progress closer to the floor. Allowing a very unwanted amount of sun to penetrate through the window and into the house.
Darlene, looking at the sun splashing upon her floor, she scoffs with disgust. Such animosity that she would be foolish enough to purchase such horrible curtains for such a climate. But she thought for sure, that the heat would be much more bearable than the frigid weather from back home.
Oh, but she was so wrong, crossing her arms and glaring at the splitting curtains, “I was so wrong, so damn wrong. I can’t stand this and it’s only been three months since I moved. I could curse everything in this house and walk away. Damnmit…that is just what I am going to do!”
In the heat of her emotion, Darlene paces quickly to her room and starts to pull clothes from her closet and dresser. Without any tactful thinking she starts tossing whatever she finds into a small bag just at the foot of her bed. Her angered rage from the heat as coaxed her blind of anger.
“Aaaaah! This is so stupid, why the hell did I do this?! (Tossing clothes onto her bed) But nooooo, I wanted somewhere warm, somewhere I could see the sun more often and not worry if my toes were going to fall of from the cold!”
Darlene, packing her clothes away with force, a sudden knock comes from the front door.
Knock, knock, knock!
Darlene’s instantly freezes up, gripping clothes in both hands she quickly maneuvers out her room to the edge of the hall and peers around ever so carefully. She waits for a moment or two and then again, more knocks.
Hearing the knocks repeat she quickly darts back and places herself against the wall. Still gripping clothes she looks down and sees she still holding them. She drops her clothes and while walking back to her room, “I don’t know anyone here and I didn’t order anything, who could it be?”
She looks about her room and as she does the knocks progress even louder and a voice of man calls out, “Hello! Is anyone home, hello?!”
Darlene hears the voice and feels something ominous about it. She turns toward her dresser and just to the right of it is a body mirror. She looks to herself and sees she is only in her undergarments, “Man, I am still pale, so much for tanning, its too damn hot.”
Momentarily forgetting about the man outside, she starts to hear the jiggle of the front door knob. Darlene becomes frightened, she leans down quickly and grabs a pair of jeans and puts them on. As soon as she does she reaches into her bottom drawer of her dresser and completely pulls out the drawer.
Behind the drawer attached to the back the dresser is a pistol. Its sitting in a small black holster. Darlene reaches in and pulls the pistol from behind the drawer. She cocks it back and grips her hands around it. Her heart starts to race.
She quietly exits her room with the pistol at her chest angled down slightly toward the ground. She keeps her steps soft and steps out from the hall. “Can I help you?!” as she aims the pistol at the door.
Sweat dripping from her brow she blinks to keep it from entering her eyes. The man on the other side of the door responds. “Oh, uuuhhh, my car broke down from the heat and I am just looking for some water to get me to the next gas station. Could you help me?”
Darlene, unsure what to do as everything around her is still pretty new. She knows no one but those she works with. She responds tactfully, “Well, ummm, I am new in town and don’t feel comfortable helping a stranger out. Maybe you could go to the next house?”
The man, momentarily silent. “Lady, it’s like a hundred degrees out, I am drenched in my own sweat like a whore and I already tried the other houses, no one is home. Come on, just help a guy out. All I need is some water.”
Darlene, gripping the pistol and keeping sights on the door. “ I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”
The mans voice becomes agitated. “Lady, is there like a husband or a boyfriend in there that can help me out?”
Darlene steps back a little and looks around the house to see if anyone is walking around outside. Suddenly, something blocks the light for a second from the kitchen window. Darlene becomes even more nervous.
“Um, they are asleep and I don’t want to wake them, they have been working all day and you know, this heat is no friend of anyone. Please just…find a different house.”
The man outside grips the door handle and starts to jiggle it rapidly as he tries to turn it. “Just help me out lady, trust me, it’s for the better.”
Darlene becoming increasingly concerned, “Sir, please get away from the door, I have a gun.” Darlene grips even tighter around the pistol. Not even a single bead of sweat makes her lose concentration on the situation.
The man at the door, “Ah, sure you do lady.”
Suddenly she hears the breaking of glass, the window to her room has just been shattered. The man at the front starts kicking the door rapidly. Then, Darlene, with no hesitation fires her pistol at the door. Three rounds burst out, each with the press of the trigger ever so efficiently.
After the three rounds are placed through the door she hears the groaning of a man. She carefully steps to the side of the door and angles herself to approach it. She reaches the door and says, “I am going to open the door, I have plenty of rounds left to make it count.”
Darlene grabs the door, slowly unlocks it, keeping the pistol aimed and her eyes on the door. The door is unlocked, she grips the doorknob, swings the door open, steps back a pace and aims the pistol outside.
And there, at the foot of the door is an older gentleman in a jean jacket and denim jeans with a wooden bat in hand moaning in pain. Darlene then keeps her pistol aimed at the downed man as she scans her surroundings.
“Where is the other guy!” she asks as the man grips his wounds.
“I…I don’t know….pl….please don’t kill me.”
Darlene laughs, “Ha, you better hope I already didn’t.”
She keeps the pistol aimed at the man as she grabs the bat and tosses it inside. As she does she sees a neighbor exit their house in a worried state, they stand looking across from the street in panic. Darlene waves to them while keeping eye on the man. “Hey! Can you call the police, this guys just tried to break in!.”
The neighbor nods in hysteria, runs inside and calls the police. Darlene keeping sight of the downed man, “Until the police show up, it looks likes it’s just you and me.”
Darlene removes herself from outside and stands just inside the door while aiming the pistol at the man. Five minutes go by, the police arrive with an ambulance and take Darlene’s report.
And as the last officer leaves he says, “If only there were more like you around, idiots like this would think twice before entering a home.”
What are your thoughts on home defense, what else do you think Darlene could have done?
As time fades so does our chance to truly live, we are fading as we speak.
Coming soon, The Bleeding of Words.