art by Shothot Designs
by Jill Zeller
Natasha needed new things to grow on, like the fertilizer she spread in her garden.
She and Curtis had an old place in a hip and trendy neighborhood, being hip and trendy themselves; Curtis needed a big house for his studio and to accommodate his band.
Natasha thought of herself as hip and trendy because she was married to Curtis and everyone in Seattle knew Curtis. Natasha had no special talent. She was a pretty ornament for Curtis and she liked to garden. That was about it.
Natasha wanted a new car. The station wagon was reliable but old. Half of the dashboard lights didn't work; radio knobs had fallen off. The car smelled of dogs and spilled soup.
They didn't need a new car. Curtis was proud this one was paid for.
But Natasha really wanted a car in which everything worked, with inside rear passenger doors un-chewed.
One hot day in the midst of Summer Curtis was on his way home from playing in Portland. Natasha's shift at the saloon ended at six. Natasha took her soda and laptop into her garden. Under a Rainier cherry tree, she looked at websites and online want ads and tried to cool down.
Curtis didn't come at seven, or ten. It was not unusual for Curtis to bend time as he would a note on his guitar. Natasha went to bed. Curtis had the collie Louise with him, and Natasha helped the old pitbull Brutus onto the bed with her.
Her cell phone rang at four AM.