Watching Clothes Dry in the Drier - Accepting a Writing Challenge
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Challenge ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The challenge was a result LET-OUT in billybuc's one hundred and nineteenth Mail-bag.
The question was whether he thought a good writer could make the most boring of subjects interesting, and the question was asked by Ann Carr (a.k.a. Annart) a fellow Hubber and dear friend.
~ ~ ~ Watching Clothes Dry in the Drier ~ ~ ~
The child sat in the Tidy Clean Laundromat, staring at the drier. Emma had seen this same child in the last couple of weeks when she came in to wash her clothes, she had seen her someplace else, but could not remember when or where.
The child of maybe four or five years old had golden hair that needed brushing and clothes that needed washing and looked as if she could stand a little TLC.
Is her mother in here? Emma wondered and looked around, but couldn’t see anyone who looked as if the little girl could belong to them. Maybe she belonged to the family who owned the Laundromat.
Emma sat down beside the little girl and said “hi my name is Emma, what’s yours?” The child sat stone still and did not move or blink, still staring at the drier, almost as if she were inside. Maybe she is taught not to talk to strangers Emma thought, and moved away to finish her laundry.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Cardin's ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Cardin’s, Emma and Clint had just moved to town and rented a small apartment near the Tidy Clean Laundromat in the quiet middle class neighborhood. Both had acquired jobs in the hospital also nearby Clint as lab technician and Emma got her first nursing job since graduation from nursing school a few weeks before.
For the next two weeks Emma saw the little girl sitting and watching the clothes in the drier, when she tried to talk to her the little girl acted as if she did not hear her. She wondered if the people who owned the laundromat were her guardians and decided to ask them. Emma knocked on the door to the back room and an Oriental woman came to the door and Emma asked if she knew who the child belonged to.
The owner of the Laundromat told Emma that once a week the child came in with an elderly man and he and the child played cards and signed to each other all the time laughing while he washed his clothes.
The old man wrote a note telling the owner that his daughter did not treat his granddaughter right and that he had taken her away from her mother, his daughter, and he was afraid of what would happen to the child if something should happen to him, then came the day the child came in alone sat down and watched the driers, then she came in more and more often and always alone.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Silence is Golden ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The child must be deaf, Emma thought and the following day Emma went to the library and borrowed some books on sign language, and finger spelling and hurried to the laundromat. She learned how to sign her previous question, fingerspelling her name. . Emma knelt in front of the child and took her hands and the child had such a forlorn look in her beautiful emerald eyes it made tears come to Emma’s eyes. As she began to speak at the same time signing to the child the forlorn look was replaced with a spark of excitement in the little girls eyes and she finger spelled her name “Mindy” and some other signs that Emma had not learned…but, she had learned to sign every question she wanted to ask.
Mindy, where is you grandfather? In heaven she replied in sign language.
Where is your mother? At home, Mindy signed.
And you come here alone Emma signed? Momma says when my uncles come; “go play in the street or you can go watch clothes dry just get lost for a while.”
That is so sad, don’t you get bored watching the drier? Oh no! I see grandpa in the drier and he is happy and has his own house with a flower garden with snapdragons and he has a dog, but he misses me, Mindy answered.
Do you have food to eat? Emma signed as the tears rolled down her face. Momma brings me a happy meal, but sometimes she forgets, Mindy answered in signs…
Would you like to go home with me and be my little girl? Emma signed. Can you take me to your house so we can ask your momma? Momma will be mad it is too early.
How about if we order pizza and we can go talk to your Momma when it is time? Oh yes Mindy signed!
I look into the drier
But, the clothes I do not see
I see a world that encompasses the heart of me
To see what was and never again will be
The drier is a portal to the past
And when I look inside I see
The love when someone cared for me
Someone who saw the heart inside of me.— Shyron Shenko
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Stipend ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mindy ate her fill, and then she signed that they could go to her home to meet her Momma.
This was grandpa’s house, and then when he went to heaven Momma moved in to take care of me, but Momma don’t like me, as she opened the door and Emma stepped into clutter.
Jennifer walked into the darkened room, who are you? What are you doing in my house? What has the brat been telling you about me?
I am Emma Cardin, I came to meet you and ask if Mindy could come visit me for a while, Mindy didn’t tell me anything about you, she said she lived with her grandfather but he went to Heaven.
Jennifer yelled at Emma, you are after the stipend, even in death the old coot has the lawyer control the purse strings.
Get out, I’ve told you to much already. I am going to call the police if you don’t get out.
Emma turns to go, and Mindy cries out Emma, Emma don’t leave me.
Keep your Stipend, just give me Mindy….
As she left, Emma knew she had given Mindy false hope and at her and Clint's apartment she sobbed the whole story to Clint.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Agreement ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The following day she passed by the Tidy Clean Laundromat, which was empty. The weekend came and still no sign of Mindy. She thought of calling DCFS, but thought better of it.
On Monday at the time she usually went by the laundromat on her way home from work, she could not believe her eyes Mindy was there but she was not alone Jennifer was there with a distinguished man, who turned out to be trustee of Mindy’s grandfather’s will.
When she entered the laundromat Mindy leaped into her arms, the lawyer had papers for Emma to sign and she would become Mindy’s guardian, Jennifer agreed to giving Mindy half of the Stipend if she could keep the house.
Mindy became Mindy Cardin.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The Surprise ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The bride with sparkling eyes, blows a kiss to her Momma Emma as Daddy Clint walks her down the aisle. And a distinguished guest with a briefcase by his side, waits to deliver the surprise inside.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Other Hubbers who answered this Challenge ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
- Instructing a Minotaur: Short Story by cam for Ann's Challenge
Adam is in the midst of a 12 hr boring drive home. Rain has him pulled to the side of the highway. Boring becomes bizarre, but he finds himself strangely equipped to face a terrifying foe. Words 1672
- The Green Room - an accompaniment to The Purple Room
The Green Room is a husband's answer to The Purple Room
- The Purple Room - annart's challenge of the mundane
A flash fiction story in answer to annart's writing challenge about a purple room.
- The Leaf - A Flash Fiction Story
This story is in response to a writing challenge issued by my friend annart to write about a boring, mundane subject and attempt to make it interesting. I hope I have succeeded with "The Leaf."
- Airport Runways. Ann Carr's (Annart) Challenge
A brief description of an Airport runway, its trials, hazards and buzz at the same time.
- A Reason to Watch Paint Dry: Hub Challenge
This is my response to a challenge issued by Ann Carr here on HubPages to take a boring word or words and write and engaging hub about it. I chose watching paint dry.
- A Wilted Leaf In A Pocket: A Writing Challenge
A response to a writing challenge. I sure hope Ann likes it!
- Airport Runway- Flash Fiction- Ann's Challenge
This is a story about two people finding love during the war. Janie sitting at the airport runway, waiting for her husband Joe and thinking back to the good times they had together.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Link to Ann's Challenge ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
- Take a Word.... LET: Etymology, Definition, 'let' as a Suffix & a Story
A word doesn't have to have an immediate impact to be important. 'Let' is not a word you would pick for being diverse but when I started to think about its uses I came up with a surprising number
© 2016 Shyron E Shenko