Announcing today! The Good Neighbors, a short story for the holidays is now up on Amazon! If you need a break from preparing for the upcoming holidays, pick up the short story and escape for a awhile into this fun tale. Please leave a comment to be eligible to win a PDF copy of The Good Neighbors!
Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds from Michigan, always help out the neighbors in their Florida retirement community when asked. Who knew being good could turn out to be so bad?
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Excerpt from The Good Neighbors:
Gloria couldn’t pull Ethel out of the bathtub by herself. She remembered there was something about not moving a fall victim. She couldn’t just leave her there. Her skeleton-like neighbor was lying splayed out in the tub. At least she didn’t land face down in the soapy water. Gloria pulled the plug and the water swirled down the drain. She wrapped a bath towel around Ethel and dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone. Thank goodness she had stuffed it in her pocket this morning.
“9-1-1. what is your emergency?”
“Yes, hello. My neighbor has fallen and I can’t get her up.” Gloria’s head ached and Ethel’s yapping dog was driving her crazy. “Hush, Buttons! Go on. Go on. Get out of here.” She shooed the little mutt away from her.
Ethel moaned. She seemed to be coming to. “What the hell happened?” She blinked up at Gloria. “Dammit. Get me out of here. I’m okay. I’m fine. Dammit.” Gloria gently held Ethel’s hand, but when the determined woman struggled to get up, Gloria threw the phone on the floor and firmly grasped Ethel’s wrists to hold her down. This feisty eighty-four-year old lady was stronger than she looked.
“Stay there, Ethel. I’ve called for help. Just be patient.” Gloria couldn’t let go of Ethel nor could she retrieve the phone from the bathroom floor to keep talking to the 9-1-1 operator. She hollered Ethel’s address at the phone.
Trying to remain calm, she turned back to Ethel and asked, “Do you need another towel?”
Ethel’s eyes narrowed as she gazed full on at Gloria. “Let me outta here, Gloria. Dammit! I’m okay. Why’d you call 9-1-1? Are those first responder clowns going to show up here? Son of a bitch, I’m naked! I don’t want them to see me like this. Dammit to hell. Let me outta this tub!”
“Calm down, Ethel.” Still hanging on to Ethel’s thin wrists, Gloria made a mental note to herself not to ever pick up the neighbor’s newspaper out of the bushes and take it to the back door. She realized she would never have heard Ethel’s scream if she had ignored the paper.
“Where are you?” A woman’s voice called from the kitchen door.
“In the bathroom. Come on. Hurry. Ethel’s fallen and she shouldn’t get up, but she’s trying awful hard.”
Gloria was never so happy to see someone. Thank goodness it was her friend, Leslie. She was one of the first responders in their Florida retirement community of Citrus Ridge, a large park filled with double wide trailer homes, broad streets, golf course, and Florida palm trees.
“Dammit, Girl. Let me get outta this tub!” Ethel continued to squirm but Gloria held her down.
“Oh, my side, my side hurts. Shit.” Gloria felt Ethel stop resisting when the pain took over. The injured woman closed her eyes and wriggled her hand free to hold her left side, but continued muttering every blue word Gloria had ever heard in her life. Evidently Ethel’s ribs were more painful than the goose egg beginning to appear on the side of her head.