The screwdriver balanced on the window sill as lazy sheers billowed into the room. The tool didn’t belong there. Neither did the dark substance streaking its shaft. One last drip clung to tip of the blue handled Robertson, wavering in syncopated rhythm with the thin white fabric above. Below, a sticky stain eked its way between highly polished chestnut floorboards.
A soft early morning light gave the parlor a hazy old-world quality belying the youth of the home’s current residents. Thick splatters cast on the gilt-silver wedding frame positioned on the round end table, contrasted against the monochromatic image of the happy couple; laughing at forgotten words.
Bunched and strewn portions of the cream silk floor runner skirted the mahogany legs of a large globe-bar. The bar no longer sat parallel to the tufted sofa. A single round furniture foot disk swooped in arching circles on the floor; it’s rolling clack the only sound heard. It clattered to a stop against the carved heirloom grandfather clock lying as broken as the man who rebuilt it. Marlin Waite lay unmoving beneath the hulking mass.
Clara Waite flung open the front door and rushed into the foyer. The layer of sweat coating her face, neck, and arms gave her a glow of achievement. Shutting the door, she set down her water bottle and removed her ear-buds. Turning off her i-phone she walked to the entry of the parlour.
Marlin, the clock, the splatters of grease and oil and finally, the screwdriver summed up the situation.
“It fell, didn’t it?” she asked.
Marlin sat up cradling the mass of wood, exposed gears, and frosted glass he had brought back to life not twelve months earlier.
Dragging his eyes away from the clock he said, “I couldn’t save her.”
Clara raised an eyebrow, turned, and walked to the kitchen to pour her usual glass of orange juice.
* * *
M.J. Moores’ passion for books, reading, and writing took her beyond a career as a teacher and into the realm of writing, editing, publishing, and owning her own business. She is currently in the midst of editing her New Adult Science Fiction novel The Chronicles of Xannia: Time’s Tempest – the first book in the trilogy.