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Thursday, December 7

The Lawn Mower

“The Lawn Mower”
Short Fiction - Romance
By Stacie Penney

Silence hung between them as the roar of the lawn mower faded from their ears. She had watched him from the window for the last twenty minutes while he drove up and down the lawn. The lawnmower made tidy rows, but it was the operator that interested her.

"Thought you might be thirsty, seeing as you've been working so hard." She held a wooden tray with a pitcher of iced tea and glasses garnished with lemon. Shorts of an indecent length exposed tan legs that ran for three miles every day.

"Yes, ma'am, I am, but not as bad as when I use the push mower." He took one of the two tall glasses. The sun-brewed tea had been poured over full glasses of ice. It had just been pulled off the porch; he'd watched her bend down to get the gallon jug. The tea hadn't completely cooled from the ice, but that was how he liked it.

"I didn't remember seeing the tractor before. New, is it?"

He took a long drink, partly to quench his thirst, partly to prolong the conversation. "Yep, she's part of John Deere's LX Series. Fifty-four inch mower deck with three blades."

She ran her hand over the steering wheel. Her fingers curled around the black circle's edge. His thoughts wandered to what else those fingers might curl around. He looked up and realized the question she had asked had fallen on deaf ears.

"What was that, ma'am? I missed it."

Her lips curved up at one corner as if she knew his thoughts and why he had missed her question. "I asked how long you'd had it."

A moment fumbled between them before he realized what "it" referred to. "Only a couple weeks. This is the first big job I've had to use her on." He gestured to a realtor sign with "Sold" hanging from the bottom.

His eyes roved the brilliant green grass that could have been found on a golf course. Half of the 2.5-acre plot was striped from the mower's patterns. "Sure would be tough to mow this with a push mower."

"Refill?" She held up the pitcher. The ice clinked against the side and sweat dripped from the bottom.

"Don't mind if I do." He held his glass for her to refill, glad that she was interested in continuing their conversation.

"I really appreciate your hard work. It's nothing big, but I'm sure the heat gets to you. Riding on that tractor must take it right out of you."

"It's nothing. I'm glad to have it."

"Will you get much use out of it?" Her question was followed by a long drink from her own glass. He watched her take long swallows of the cool liquid. A bead of sweat ran from her forehead, down her cheek and into the collar of her shirt where it disappeared. Once again, he had forgotten the question she asked.

"Well," he said when he remembered. "It has about 20 different attachments that will make it real useful all year." He continued to list the attachments for her and explained how they were useful for large yards, such as this country home had.

Her hand moved from the wheel of the tractor to the back of his seat as she leaned in to better see what he demonstrated. Neither was interested in the conversation so it didn't matter what he said. When he finished, her face was no more than five inches from his.

"When you're finished, you could come up to the house and I'd show you around. Since we're new here and all."

"What would your husband say about that, ma'am?"

"He'd never know."

Her eyes were a deep blue, the pupils dilated. The tip of her tongue reached out to moisten her lips.

"Unless, of course, you'd like a break now. Before you finish the rest of the yard."

The green and yellow lawn tractor was abandoned. It sat under the weeping willow tree, about two-thirds of the way through its path across the yard. Two empty glasses and a half-full pitcher of ice tea sat on the mower cover.

A dark blue sedan pulled into the driveway, the passenger door opening as the car glided to a stop.

"Bye, Aunt Becky. Thanks for the ride home." A tan hand held onto the door and pushed it shut before turning to find the lawn tractor sitting in the middle on the front lawn.

"Will those two never stop?" Her sigh followed her as she walked to the front porch that curved gracefully around the front of the house. She rang the doorbell, to let her parents know that she was home.

13 reactions:

Kelly Parra said...

LOL, great ending, Stacie! And you could really sense the intimate tension between the two. I enjoyed the work--thanks so much for sharing!

jason evans said...

Great work, Stacie. You're a strong writer.

I was about to smack my forehead at the guy's conversation before you revealed the twist. MOWER ATTACHMENTS?? Egads, man! But now I get it.... Nice.

stay_c said...

There's history behind this piece.

Ever hear of that country song "She Thinks my Tractor's Sexy"? My husband wants a lawn tractor, although not quite as large of one as in the story. His compelling reason: it would be sexy to own one.

I got to thinking about it and this was the result.

Thanks for the compliments!

KayseaLove said...

Beautiful story with an even more beautiful ending, thanks for the email. =)

Prahagirl said...

I love it! I actually remembered that song as I was reading it and was wondering if that's where you got the "inspiration" from :) I'm glad you let me know it was here!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Nice job Stacie. Always love those kinds of endings with a little twist.

Kathy said...

Stac,
Great story. It kept your interest and kept you wanting to read more. The ending was a hoot. Keep up the good work. Will be waiting for another.

Aunt Kathy

stay_c said...

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

Jess Riley said...

Very clever! They sound like my parents. :)

KayseaLove said...

I hope to be in that kind of relationship when I grow up.

Jeff said...

Nice story, Stacie. :)

Mary Louisa said...

Great read!

Paula said...

Sensual writing, Stacie, and a nice comical twist at the end. Love your double-entendres. Also very subtle and seamless change of POV within a small space.

Well done!