Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Part V - Story 1

Part V has been added to the Google Document.  You can click to read the entire story or scroll down to read this week's submission.

There was one submission this week - by Maria Fisher.

-by Maria Fisher

...a large house in old Hollywood. Most of those places have been done
and redone, with each new big shot tearing out the old stuff to put in
new old stuff. But this one still had the golden-age feel. It was the
little touches--the windows and electrical outlets. You could tell, if
it ever got cold in SoCal, it would have been a drafty place.

“A little spitfire maid named Rita met me at the servant's entrance.
She had the look and attitude of a terrier, and you could tell that
she ran the rest of the staff by sheer will. But today she was
spooked, showing too much white around her eyes.

"So I introduce myself, say, 'You must be Rita,' and ask what's the
trouble. She says, 'It's Peepsie.'

"Now, she's got a pretty thick Spanish accent, and she's nervous, so
she's talking too fast. I had to have her repeat herself a couple
times. 'It's Peepsie. It's Peepsie.'

"So I say, 'Your name's Peepsie?' She loses patience and starts
jabbering in Spanish, but the she stops and talks to me really slowly.

"'No, I'm Rita. You come this way.'

"She pulls me into the house through the kitchen and a bunch of these
really narrow halls, these servant halls that are really dark and the
wood floor creeks. When she stops me at the end of the hall, it's in
front of this tiny old door.

"You could tell the door had been there forever because the doorknob
had all these ridges on it, so you could see all the colors it had
been painted over the years. So I grab the handle, but before I open
it, I turn to Rita.

"’Peepsie is in there,’ she tells me. I say to her. ‘Look, Rita, what
exactly is Peepsie?’

“She struggles for a minute, then says, ‘He's a little...uh... little bird.’

“I look at the door again and say, ‘A little bird. And it's trapped in here?’

"’Yes,’ she says, ‘Peepsie. He needs to go back to his cage.’

“So I said, ‘You need me to catch your canary?’

"’Oh, no,’ she says.

"So now I don't know what to think. I open the door, and it's a small
library with a large window seat and a bird cage. You can see Rita's
been cleaning the cage, because it's open and there's a couple
newspapers and a vacuum right there.

"So I slip into the room, careful not to open the door too wide in
case the bird flies past me, but I don't see him. I look at all the
shelves and think, ‘This bird could be anywhere.’ I'm sort of creeping
into the room, trying to find the bird, when Rita opens the door wide
behind me and stares.

"’Careful woman,’ I say, then look around for the bird, but I don't
see it. Now Rita's just standing in the door, and I see where she's
looking. I think she's looking at the cage."

"Then I hear the vacuum chirp."

The women all start laughing. "Oh no!" Shannon said.

Nomad, also laughing, confirmed. "Yep, that poor woman was using the
hose attachment to vacuum up the bottom of the cage, then she must
have gotten distracted, waved the hose around, and sucked up poor

"So I got the vacuum all broken down and open the bag, and there's
this dusty little canary hopping around. The poor thing didn't even
try to fly away. I just scooped him up and put him on his perch."

"Was he ok?" Pamela asked, once they stopped laughing.

"Seemed to be," Nomad said. "But you better believe that bird got the
ride of his life."

They all laughed again.

"But the really odd thing about that, was what else I found in the vacuum."

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