Nadine immediately regained consciousness. It was like with the snap of her fingers, none of this gradual returning to reality. No grogginess and trying to figure out where she was. It was immediate, light switch kind of stuff. Her eyes snapped open and there were still chickens flying around, unsettled. This told her that she hadn’t been out for long, probably less than a minute.
A quick inventory of her extremities coupled with a tentative stretch and twist told her that she hadn’t broken any bones, at least not any important ones. She was grateful for that.
The chickens were calming back down but it appeared she had gone all the way through the henhouse. She could look through and see all the way out the back side. Like a shotgun shack. Fuck, she thought to herself. Then immediately that changed to Shit then back to Fuck then back to Shit. Shit, fuck, shit, fuck, shit, fuck. Then she stopped thinking. “I gotta quit doing this,” she said to herself, out loud. “I’m giving up this goddamn cursing, remember!” Oh shit, Nadine had learned to curse in the Navy when she was Nathan. She’d been good at it too and it was hard to quit. She was finding out that it would take more than a series of operations to make her a lady. Her therapist was helping though and she was getting better. She was losing her creativity with the cursing, Shit, Fuck, were almost all that burst forth these days. That was progress.
Riding her bicycle clean through a henhouse just brought out all the Shit, Fuck’s she had inside her. She couldn’t help it. The sound of someone hurrying through the brush drew her attention. “Hey, hey, you all right young lady?” Must be the guy who owned the henhouse, she thought.
“I think so,” she answered and then she looked at her bike. The front wheel was twisted like a pretzel. She was going to have to carry that home, there was no more rolling in that wheel’s future. “Better than my bike, I think.” She stood and picked up her bike by the handlebars.
“Land sakes, little girl,” the man said,” I’ll get that bike outa there for ya. You get on up t’ the house and let my wife take a look atcha. Make sure yer OK.” By this time he had stepped through the hole she had made in the henhouse and extended his hand to help her out. She took it and thanked him. He pointed back the way he had come and repeated, “Get on up t’ the house. Irene’ll take a look. I’ll rustle these chickens up and lean somethin’ ‘ginst the wall to keep em in. I’ll be up shortly with yer bike.”
Nadine nodded, thanked him again and headed off in the direction he had indicated; she unsnapped and removed her helmet. Goddamn good thing I was wearing this, she thought to herself.
There was an tiny, older woman on the back porch when Nadine got to the house. Skinny as a rail, she was pacing back and forth, waving her hands and rubbing them together, as if she were worried, but stopped when she saw Nadine. Down the steps she came with her arms outstretched. I hope she’s not a fucking hugger, Nadine thought and then immediately regretted it. She assumed that this kindly older woman was Irene, the henhouse guy’s wife, and she was right. To Nadine’s delight she was not a hugger. She was however, a gesticulator. Her arms and hands moved whenever she spoke or, took a step, or turned her head.
“My Lord, girl,” the woman said, her hands flitting about like tiny birds. “What on earth has happened? We heard an awful ruckus. Did you see Edgar? Is ever’thing all right? Are you all right? Let’s get you into the kitchen. Clean ya up, get some’a that blood off yer head.”
Nadine couldn’t get a word in edgewise so she nodded her head and followed Irene up the steps and into the house. The back door opened directly into the kitchen and Irene motioned for her to sit at the table. She was still rattling off questions, like there was no tomorrow so Nadine simply sat down, as was expected of her. It was a rectangular wooden farmhouse table with a blue and red oilcloth cover, four chairs were arranged neatly around. Gradually she realized that it was quiet. She looked up at Irene. Irene was looking back at her expectantly.
Nadine realized that this was her cue. Irene was obviously waiting for a response. “I’m sorry,” Nadine said, “What?”
That set her off again and Irene launched back into the endless stream of questions while she got a cloth damp and waved her arms about. She pulled one of the other chairs around and sat next to and facing Nadine, gently dabbing the cloth on her forehead, above her right eye. “Oh, that’s not too bad,” she said, “I can get this cleaned up and we can pro’lly just put a band aid on it.”
I gotta get to my day job guys, Maybe I can pick up again with these characters later. Thanks for reading – sorry to leave the story hanging.
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