Having lived my entire life as the youngest of eight siblings, it was startling, to say the least, when I became an only child at the age of fourteen. The funny thing is, nobody died.
Two months later, it was still enough to send me into a dull trance if I thought too hard about it.
"You watering those plants, or drowning them?"
I turned around, but kept the spray from the hose pointed loosely in the direction of the garden. Brad was coated in a thin layer of dust that clung to his sweaty arms and face like an extra layer of skin, and I wondered if he had left any dirt in the paddock. I smiled. "It looks like you could use a watering."
"What do you think I'm here for?" Brad pulled his shirt off, and I handed him the hose. He bent over at the waist, pressed the nozzle against the back of his neck, and let out a sigh of relief as the water ran along his face and dripped onto the ground in front of us. Brad stood back upright and gave his head a shake. "I swear, your father is out to kill me, a little at a time."
"Don't worry, you don't actually die," I said. 'You just take root."
I went back to putting water on my brothers and sisters. Sally was about to bloom and she always got mad at me if her buds dropped too soon.
Dad's horticulture experiments had gone horribly wrong, but the irrigation system would be installed by the end of the week and I wouldn't have to spend all my time watering.
Brad would be a magnificent ash tree by then. I'm thinking I might cut him down and use his lumber for baseball bats.
Opening: Liz Royer.....Continuation: Mignon