The air was as heavy and as hot as the chugging machine I pushed in front of me. My eyes stung from the sweat that dripped from my forehead. My calves were pounding with each step I took. My bare forearms, now crimson, glistened in the humidity as I gripped that lawnmower handle. Just another half hours’ worth more, maybe, I didn’t know for sure. It was the first time I had mowed the front yard.

A passing glance into the row of naked windows revealed the boxes stacked high. That view propelled me on. My feet thrust past the tall, pristine, white columns, the forest green shutters, and dark red front door. I suddenly imagined the previous owner rushing through that door, just a week ago, oblivious to the stakes when desperation is disguised as an incentive. Yes, aching knees were so worth it to me, now. Any other yard, and I would have flat refused to take care of it on a day as hot as today. But when I looked up at this beautiful house, suddenly I could dance through the rest of the job. All mine; courtesy of four aces.

About Diane Teichman

Diane plays a little poker, but she never won a house. Yet she does survive the Texas heat in Houston where she works as a foreign language court interpreter and translator. (The latter probably explains the former.) Now nurturing a collection of short fiction, she is published in nonfiction and has been a series acquisitions editor for the UK publisher, Multilingual Matters. She nudges other writers along at White Oak Writers, a critique group she formed in 2007.

>> Diane Teichman's author page

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