Moving Day


I don’t know how to do this. Amy Therriot-Winters sat in the foyer which featured, at the moment, fresh flowers on the entryway table and a new crystal chandelier over the stairwell. Her hand smoothed her linen slacks over and over while she looked at each piece of furniture and said good-bye to them. She had picked out each painting and drape herself, even the burled wood that stretched across the mantel. Her fireplace! The new house didn’t have one. The closest she and Jack would come was probably going to be a burn barrel in the back meadow. His dot-com business had failed; it was all gone.

Jack was easygoing. He would never see the subtle changes of attitude that she was going to notice; like when the cashier at the grocery chatted as she rang you up then stopped when you pulled out your food stamps. No longer worth my time. Don’t talk to them it might rub off. Amy knew that look, she was guilty of it herself. Now that she would be the recipient, she understood that you did what you needed to feed your family.

Amy stood and wandered out the back to the stone-flagged patio and sat in a rattan chair. A few late afternoon sunbeams chanced their way through the overhead portico. It was heavy with yellow Jasmine in full bloom; the foliage twisting up, around and through the wooden slats. It created a wonderful canopy that teemed with butterflies and bees this time of year. Another family’s arbor now. The sale was final.

Can I do this? Although born to money, she would make the move and give it a try. Without her husband Jack what good was a fancy house or clothes? They could do this, she was sure of it.   Life might be a struggle at first, but it would be okay. She heard a truck out in front. It must be the movers.

Amy walked back into the house and froze inside the back door. A young blonde leaned over the kitchen table with her skirt hiked up. Behind her, said husband had his trousers down around his ankles. Amy stared. Had she been outside so long that they had time to come in and do– this? She knew the look on her husband’s face and that was what finally made her angry. It was her look, only for her. Therriot blood surging forward, Amy let the screen door slam behind her and walked purposefully in and past them. She didn’t know what she would say until it came out of her mouth.

“Jack,” she said angrily as they gaped, sliding off the table and grabbing at their clothes, “at least take the girl upstairs, the movers are here.”

She continued on, stopping only to pick up her shoulder bag and all the keys in the foyer. Jack ran behind her, hopping and stuffing himself into his pants. Amy stopped and turned to face him.

“Amy? I didn’t see your car. Wait, this isn’t…” he trailed off. It certainly was what it looked like, he wasn’t going there was he?

“The car is out back. I got off early today, imagine that.” Tears threatened to gather, she had to leave now. He started to speak but Amy turned around and walked out- for the last time. Dodging the movers as they headed inside she got in the car and left. How she managed not to spin out or tear up the fine gravel-lined drive was beyond her. In no time at all her cell phone was ringing. It was Jack.

“You took my GTO…” His voice squawked in disbelief. She had bought that car for him for their fifteenth anniversary. It had been a peace-offering; a hope that he would give up the latest mistress and stay with her. A tawdry bribe.

“Jack, Jack. You said the fooling around was ‘behind you now’ but you were wrong. It was behind her today wasn’t it?” Amy didn’t bother to hang up, she simply tossed the phone out the window. It was stupid; a childish thing to do. Heaven knew she would need a cell phone in the coming weeks. She watched it smash and fly into a million pieces on the pavement behind her, like her marriage and her life.

Rounding a bend in the canyon road she stopped on the shoulder overlooking the city. The valley glittered in front of her. She walked to the edge and looked down. Rocks, bushes and garbage lay all around. Trash. Yes, it was time to take out the trash. Amy picked up the biggest rock she could carry, shocked at its weight. She put the GTO in neutral and set the rock against the gas pedal. The engine raced. Frightening as the sound was she stayed until she had it set securely.

The GTO rocked every time she adjusted the rock, engine roaring. The rest happened quickly. Amy threw her shoulder bag out the door then shoved the car into drive and leaped, landing on her bottom in the dirt. The tires spun, kicking up a ferocious cloud of dust. As it found purchase in the soft dirt the car tore forward and screamed off the edge like the paint-streaked whore that it was.

She heard a bang and hoped for a fireball but did not get the satisfaction. Fine. Amy sat in the dirt, in her fine linen trousers and silk blouse, and started to laugh. It really was moving day, wasn’t it?

Instead of 3 words I used two paragraphs at random from a book I had on the shelf then wrote a story touching on them. 

6 responses »

  1. Wow, Monique. Kind of blood-curdling, huh? Good detail, got some punctuation and syntax issues, none serious, but distracting. Chilling.
    Thank you Dena, could you elaborate? Love the critique!


  2. I’m glad she rid herself of the car as well but I was afraid she meant to do away with herself as well. Whew. Had me on the edge of my chair. There were a couple of spots I had to re-read for clarity but all in all this is a wonderful read. 🙂

    Thank you so much, could you tell me what spots needed clarifying? I would love the help, thanks!


  3. Ha! Comeuppance at its finest. Nice job, Neeks! I had to read it twice to get the meaning, but I like the line Therriot blood surging, like a hereditary calling-card. Love the end, too!
    Thanks Mayumi! I was afraid folks would be put off by my description of the car in the end, but I wanted the shock value so I went with it. That’s very unlike me! I don’t want folks to have to read any of the story twice, what might make it clearer, do you think? Any help appreciated!


  4. ‘Sunbeams chanced their way through’, this just one example of gems and pearls sprinkled through out, as subtle cues without a clue as to the outcome.

    String the pearls together and the end knots itself. And the pearls. Well, they’re irregular. Some off colour. Not perfect pearls, definitely mishaped, the ugly side of what should be perfection, but nothing is ever perfect is it. Put them little ‘suckers’ together, and something unexpected will occur -shudda-cudda had a V8. Or, in this case. She should have bought ‘dirt bag’ the V8 instead of the V6 -the V8 would have attained more altitude and greater trajectory, am think’n. And as Ellen says, “Any waysssss’. Move on, move on. The move is on. This was ‘fun fun fun, till Daddy took the T-bird away’ kind of a read.

    See this is exactly why I drive a mini-van. But truth be told, I had (and I quote sorta), a ‘whore car’ once. A 1976 cherry red Cutlass Supreme. It was my first love. I had the mascara custom painted on, bling’d her out with shinny spoked expensive shoes. And O’ was she built. With a 350 big block she was all ‘rock and roll’. Did I mentioned, how much I miss that car.

    I think it was a metaphorical kind of thing, throwing the dirt bag and his harlot out. By far my favorite car was my first, a saddle bronze Ford Gran Torino. Not the Starsky and Hutch car but almost, almost!


  5. I hope it was metaphorical.

    I know the car and the colour. A righteous first auto. So glad you didn’t say it was a Pinto. So so so glad.

    Ha! My best friend got herself a Pinto her senior year, right before graduation. We parted ways after that, so no idea how long it ran. Ha I’d forgotten.


  6. Moving day… leap day. 🙂 There are times I suspect revenge would feel really good. Enthralling story.

    Pretty light revenge in my book, but a taste just the same. Thanks Nelle, good to hear from you 🙂


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