Monday, April 11, 2011

A to Z Challenge: Icebox

PREVIOUSLY

Eventually Athena and her mother Kyria made it to their house with the diary, while David and his mother Yamileth made it to their house with the cows. One pair was happier than the other. It sounded to Athena like Harmonica Man played all the way to his store.

Athena got her bag ready for her expected rounds, planning to check on a couple of pregnant young women, a baby with colic, and Darina. Darina liked to imagine that she had all sorts of exotic diseases, and demanded all sorts of tests and remedies. Athena discovered that if she just stopped by regularly anyway, Darina got the attention she wanted without exhausting Athena or her own children.

The rest of the morning therefore went along very predictably, which Athena really appreciated. Her last stop before going home for lunch was at the Old Man's house. Everyone called him that because, aside from the obvious, there was actually quite a shortage of old men in the town. There weren't really tons of middle aged men, either, for that matter.

"I hear you had an exciting morning," he stated as she listened to his chest with a stethoscope. She shushed him as she listened to his heart and lungs, making him breathe in and out a few times. She checked his pulse, and then addressed him.

"Did you hear about the cows? Who would leave cows out here?"

"I'm more interested in that diary. Did you bring it in your bag?"

"Actually, yes. I thought I might get a chance to look at it if I had to wait for someone."

"Mind if I take a look?"

Well, actually, she did. She was starting to think of it as her diary, but let him see it anyway. He read the beginning and the letter and looked at the photograph, making suitable "uh-hum" noises every so often. Then he went to his icebox. He moved aside a pair of chicken legs, a slab of meatloaf, and part of a green pepper. Then he reached back, and pulled out an envelope. He brought it back to the table and handed it to Athena.

"Open it."

There inside was another letter, and another photograph. This photograph was also Mario Villa, but this time he was in front of a boat.

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