This is from my next release, Heartfelt.
“Hello-o-o…oh, my.” Trish stepped from the hallway into complete insanity. A hurricane couldn’t have upset her orderly kitchen more than her husband and daughter. “Breakfast, huh?”
Dan stood near the sink, running a plate under the steady stream of water gushing from the faucet. He smiled over his shoulder and water drained off the plate to puddle on the counter top. “Hey, babe. Did you sleep well?”
Trish felt the ready smile slipping from her face as she took in the extent of the disaster. Her gran’s over-sized cast-iron frying pan sat atop the stove on the far back burner, still containing about a dozen sausage links resting in congealing grease.
Trish’s stomach began a slow roll just as Baby Conway decided to stretch. Her abdomen shaped itself into a triangular point, and bile pushed its way into her throat.
“You okay, babe?” asked Dan without turning around.
“I’m fine,” she forced past her tightening throat.
A smaller frying pan sat on the front burner with brown-crusted scrambled eggs shoveled into a pile in the center. Yum. Yet another pan had been pushed off to the side, that one containing what might have been sautéed onions… before they’d been overcooked by about ten minutes. And, oh goody, half a loaf of bread had been burned crispy in the toaster and set aside on her good meat platter. Well, that explained the acrid aroma clinging in the air. Someone had made an attempt at scraping the black off of a couple of pieces, so the white enamel sink was peppered with dark bits of burned bread.
In his bed near the back door, Jack raised his head and regarded her with dark hopeful eyes. His harness was in place but the U-shaped handle hadn’t been clipped on. Heaving a long-suffering sigh, he laid his muzzle back on his paws.
The guests had apparently eaten…something, since Dan was rinsing off a stack of four plates. Either they’d eaten or hidden their food in her potted plants in the dining room. She peered through the arched doorway but mid-morning sunlight stretched its rays through the open windows into a deserted room. A light breeze blew in off the beach, and it smelled like rain was on the way.
Wally scampered from somewhere behind Trish and made a beeline for her braided ficus tree. With a mighty leap from about the middle of the room, he sailed through the air and landed with the precision of a jet on a carrier. Trish’s jaw dropped at the feat.
Then he started to claw at the dirt. Oh, no. No. No!
“Cat!” she screamed just as he squatted and sent her a serene stare.
Next to her, Bella giggled. “Daddy says—we need to get—a litter box.”
“And a new bag of potting soil,” said Trish through her gritted teeth.
Coming Autumn 2012! Return to Sweet Saturday Samples.