Stepping out his front door, Jack Davis blinked several times in the bright sunshine, then slid on his sunglasses. The cool breeze floated across his skin and a smile danced on his lips.
“Get your ass up here.”
The screeching voice pulled Jack’s attention. A slender woman with a sundress walked down the sidewalk. The dog at her feet trotted to keep pace. The woman’s head turned over her shoulder. “I said, get up here. Now”
A young kid, perhaps nine, wobbled on his bike as he approached the woman. “I am.” The kid swerved his front wheel, avoiding a pothole and rolled towards the intersection.
“Stop!” The woman jutted her head forward and both of her fisted hands shook at her side. “That means now.” Her voice bounced off the other houses and carried into the distance.
The kid pedaled backward, making the bike stop. Leaning to one side, the kid put a foot down and waited. “I know how to cross the street, mom.” Curly hair poked out at random sides of the helmet on the kid’s head. “I’m even looking for cars.”
Jack crossed the street and walked into the shade provided by the trees. Letting out a sigh, he shook his head.
“Let’s go,” the woman shouted. “Get out of the road, you idiot.”
Jack turned his head and watched as the same woman called after the child on the bike.
The child veered up a driveway and onto the sidewalk. A quick glance over his shoulder and the child’s pace on the pedals quickened.
Keeping the child in sight, Jack heard the woman talking low.
“Stupid kid,” she said and jogged after the kid.
“Hmmm…,” Jack said to himself. Breathing in, he focused on the woman’s ankles.
“Stop!” The woman’s voice was loud and even a few people looked out of their windows at her. “I fucking said stop!”
“You’re done,” Jack whispered and flicked a finger at his side.
The trailing leg of the woman moved just an inch. It clipped the leading leg, making her body travel well in front of her feet. Letting go of the leash, her arms flew up as her body slammed into the cool, damp sidewalk with a loud, flat smack.
Jack continued on his path.
With the sound of a tire skidding on the cement, the kid slammed on his brakes and straddled over his bike. Looking at the prone woman, he called out, “Mom? Are you OK?” The shadow of a smile crept over his lips.
The dog backtracked and licked the woman’s face. Using her hands, the woman got to her feet and dusted herself off. A bruise appeared on her cheek and a dot of red showed on her lips. “I tripped.”
“You’re always telling me to be careful,” the kid said. “Maybe you should.”
“Don’t you talk to me that way.” The woman snatched the leash from the ground. “We’re going home.”
“But the park is right there,” the kid whined.
“I said we’re going home,” she said and grabbed the kid’s shoulder. “Now get off that bike and walk it home. Ungrateful brat.”
The kid looked at his feet and shook his head. Gripping the handlebars, he trudged after his mother.
Another woman, further along in age, exited her car. She carried a bag of groceries to the house, shaking her head. A teenage boy stepped from the house and went to the car.
“This has gone from bad,” Jack said to himself, “to a travesty.” Something shuffling in the shrubs got his attention. “Let’s see how she deals with this.” Focusing on the bush, Jack’s mind found the squirrel in there. In his head, he envisioned holding it in a ball. Next, he pictured the ball floating near the ground, over the street and across the path of the dog the woman was walking.
The squirrel did exactly that.
As the furry creature cross the street, the dog jerked to the end of the leash, pulling the woman with him. “Hey!”
Jack flicked another finger, and the squirrel jumped free and darted across the sidewalk. The dog followed, pulling his leash. As the thick cord, crossed in front of the woman, she stepped high to avoid it.
Nodding, Jack made two things happen at once. First, the flimsy material of the dress flew up and covered the woman’s face. Her thin body was exposed to the world. The only thing under it were the bikini style briefs she wore.
The other thing Jack did was halt the progress of the woman’s knee as she stepped over the leash. Her foot caught on the thick rope, and once again, she was propelled onto the pavement.
The teenage boy, carrying groceries in from the car gaped at the young woman’s body. “Whoa!”
“Yeah,” said another voice. The teenage boy turned and saw his father standing in the yard, staring wide eyed at the same scene.
“If you two are done,” a woman’s voice said from the porch, a smile plain on her face. “The groceries won’t get put away themselves.”
The woman holding the dog leash scrambled to her feet and pulled her dress down. Seeing the two guys staring at her, a deep red flowed up her neck, cheeks, and forehead. Without so much as a backward glance, she dropped the leash and ran.
“Mom?” The kid on the bike reached for the leash and fit it over his handlebars. “Where are you going?” He pedaled fast. “Wait up!”
The woman dashed into the road, holding up hands as cars screeched to a halt.
The kid rolled to a stop at the intersection and watched as his mother ran down the next block. “Screw this,” the kid said. He turned around, bringing the dog with him. “I’m going to the park. Let’s go Max.”