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:: Riddance by Michael Largo ::

There was a pile of bricks. He carried them from the front in a wheelbarrow. Marshall sat against a large, ancient black-oak smoking a slender cigar. The air was still. Smell of his body strong, his back wet.

"It's too hot to work."

He was startled. She had come from the house quietly. He noticed her deep tan and when she bent to sit he could see the hanging breasts through the opening of her collar. She took the cigar from his hand and inhaled a small breath.

"We should go to the lake," she said.

"They'll be too many people there. They'll be all those kids with fishing poles." He took the cigar back. It annoyed him when she did that.

"So everyday you're going to work on this...shack."

"It's not going to be a shack."

Words she choose for things were beginning to bother him. The way she moved didn't please him. Although, exactly how he couldn't say.

"Well, I'm going to the lake just to cool off."

He said nothing. She wanted him to say something, the way she lifted herself off the ground and stood there. He thought she would start yelling, again. She went back toward the house.

He worked until one. All the bricks were piled into stacks under the oak. He had dug the foundation. There was dried, red dirt in heaps around the hole. She wasn't in the house. He checked the bedroom, the back porch. His truck wasn't in the driveway. The money jar in the kitchen was empty. She had left some of her things.

 
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