Shoes and Momentary Regrets


Evelyn used the hose to purge the blood from her boots; its passive conspiracy removing any visage of the deed. Next she sprayed down the steel bar she’d been using to try to pry the rest of the stump she and Rodger had been working on from its spot within the middle of her intended patch of green beans. When she was satisfied that none of the blood remained, she turned the water off, rewound the hose, and headed back towards the house.

Killing Roger had been neither intentional, nor all that regretful. It simply was what it was; an unfortunate accident that made her life simpler. Now that he would no longer be a demanding presence she could do some of the things she’d been talking about; such as taking a trip to New Orleans, or going to Phoenix and spending time with her ailing mother.

Things dear Roger had no inclination towards.

The aggregation had started weeks ago, just after the last ice melted and they were finally able to begin work on that new section of land she’d been after him to dig up. Growing enough produce to get her, Rodger, and the rest of the farm through winter meant enlarging the garden every chance they got. What with the addition of a dozen more chickens, the sow, and her new litter of piglets, the demands of food had almost doubled since last year.

At first Rodger had seemed eager to help, rooting out blackberry vines and dense undergrowth even before the sun had a chance to come up. But over the last couple of days she’d seen a change come over him; a shift in attitude; a sense that he was disgruntled but hadn’t yet worked up enough angst to confront her. Used to his techy ways she’d left him alone, confident he’d let her know soon enough.

But the eruption, when it came, was so violent and unexpected that Evelyn, having been born and raised in the Alaskan bush, responded to the sound of crashing trees and impending danger the only way she knew how; by swinging around, dropping to her knees, and bracing herself and the steel bar to skewer whatever it was headed her way.

Reaching the back door, she leaned the bar against the outer wall, removed her boots and placed them neatly beside an assortment of tennis shoes, Canucks, Mukluks, and Clarks. Sliding her feet into house shoes, she paused to see whether the pit she’d just dug was visible from the porch.

Satisfied it was, Evelyn allowed herself a moment’s regret as the image of an impaled Rodger, eyes wide in disbelief, a squeal of rage and pain shattering the early morning air, flashed before her eyes. Then, going to the radio she called her neighbor Michelle.

When Michelle finally picked up Evelyn said, “Mic, let the pipeline know there’s gonna be a luau at the homestead tomorrow.”

Laughing, Michelle replied, “It’s about time you killed that damn pig.”

By Shawn Spjut, 2014

All Rights Reserved.

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