|FICTION||by Gertrude Crocker|
Smith of the Burning Eyes and Edith
Excerpt, pages 27-28
The Smiths turned out to be an unremarkable couple in their fifties. (But that was only a first impression, often deceptive.) The furniture going in passed muster. Some pieces were even admired by dog-walking ladies. But that Chihuahua! Wasnt that a sad excuse for a dog? Marianne Fallons Doberman pincher mistook the little beast for a large rat and tried to eat it.
Why, I had to hold on to the leash for dear life to keep Cookie from chewing the poor little thing to pieces. Thank God nobody was around, Marianne told the ladies.
Lottie Dixon, next door to the Smiths at Number 18, reported that he was red-faced, heavy-set, no neck, ex-football type. She was small, you might even say tiny, sort of vague looking, and her clothes looked expensive.
Edith was singing,
and, she was as naked as her little dog. The Johansens smiled and nodded, wished her a pleasant Good evening! and went on their way. At a safe distance they broke into laughter.
Oh, my God! Can you believe it? Mona Lisa gasped. Nothing! Not a stitch on! And not a bit concerned! She grabbed Gunlaks arm to keep from collapsing with mirth.
Gunlak shouted out, Bare-assed! Like a peeled banana! What a woman!
And singing! Mona Lisa yelled.
Lets take up a collection, folks. Buy her a medal, Gunlak called into the foggy night. Its got to be a first! Around here, anyway. Right, neighbors?
Mona Lisa choked back her laughter. Yes! A medal! But how could you pin it on her bare chest?
Lottie clapped her hands over her astonished open mouth. Oh, just look at her, she thought. Shes so frail! And singing like that. I ought to do something. Shes got a screw loose or something. I better call Gen or Marianne. Oh, the poor little thing!
Then she saw Smith in her rearview mirror. He was partially concealed behind a rhododendrum bush. She heard a Psst! and a plea, Edith, please! Come in, will you? Edith? Come on now, Edith!
Edith flipped him a casual wave and segued smoothly into,
This happened to be the afternoon preceding the night that Smith was throwing a party to welcome himself to Cardinal Court. Everyone was invited, and anxious to see what, if anything, Edith would be wearing, everyone accepted. Word of her penchant for nudity had spread.