Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kimberly Gould Week 143: Brick By Brick

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Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both

Title: Brick By Brick

I took the same route every day. I usually passed this point at 10:36. It was near the middle of our run and the dogs would want water or to dump, or something else. I’d been taking this same group out since Mimi joined two years ago. Dogwalker and dogsitter was a pretty cushy gig if you didn’t mind bagging poop and occasionally clipping nails that scratched you. Oh, and wet tongues to the face. No matter how many times I used my Alpha voice to make them stop, within a couple days, someone was on my lap licking my nose.

I knew it was 10:36 because I would checked my watch when he showed up. He would jog in the other direction, his blond hair flopping with his pace. When he got here, he would stop, drink from his hip holster bottle and pet one of the dogs. Usually Max. He liked Max. He also liked the house behind the bench.

It had seemed strange the first handful of times I watched him pull a loose brick from the crumbling wall. After two dozen my curiosity got the better of me.

“Why are you doing that?”

He looked at the stone in his hand, at the pile he dropped it on. “This was my grandpapa’s house. He was told to demolish it, but couldn’t bring himself to do it all in one go. The town was adamant that it was a safety hazard, that the walls could fall in on someone. Look at them. If they were going to fall, wouldn’t they have done it already?”

“I guess so.”

“But the town wouldn’t leave him alone, so he said, ‘Fine. If I start will that make you happy?’ and they agreed that as long as he started, and continued, they wouldn’t bother him anymore about it. So he took a sledgehammer to the wall, here.” He made a circle in one of the holes at the bottom. “And he pulled out one brick.”

I could feel the grin on my face. “And he kept taking out one brick at a time to prove he was still working on it.”

“Bingo,” he said , making a gun with his fingers.

We chatted many times after that, and even had a date or two. Shortly after I met him, though, he was diagnosed with lymphoma. I didn’t really get to talk to him much after that.

When I stopped to water the dogs a week after his obituary appeared in the paper, I realized the pile of bricks wasn’t growing anymore. There was also the appearance of traffic cones.

I kicked those away, climbing the slight slope to the derelict house and pulling out a stone. I dropped it atop the pile. The cones were gone the next day.


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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, and it's sequel Duty and Sacrifice. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com


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