Walking in Fred’s Field of Carrots
Regina awoke to the whining and grinding of the juicer. Was it 4AM already? The old man stood hunched over the sink peeling his carrots on folded newspaper. Then he seemed to forget what he was doing, gazing out the small kitchen window into the darkness. He grumbled about the neighbors, cursed them and his dead father too. He blamed grandpa for his humped back. "It’s because you made me sleep on that old cot. I’ll get even with all of you.”
He shoved one carrot through the chamber and then another. Regina recoiled as the pain in her back returned when the springs from the trundle bed pressed on her deformity. If only she could leave here. If only she could walk again. It didn’t matter that she had nowhere to go, she would rather die on the road than be here. She thought it was ironic that her father blamed her grandfather for ruining his back when he was making her sleep on this rickety framed bed with her condition.
But she could only peer over the top of the pillow and silently watch. The old man unloaded the carrot peels into his bucket, carefully handling his treasure. He got so much satisfaction from throwing them on the lawn because he knew how the neighbors hated it. Regina laughed to herself and vowed to heal herself so she could escape her prison. “Next week I go,” she said softly to herself.
She watched the old man stumble back inside, leaving a trail of carrot peels where he walked. Her resolution seemed to comfort her but she knew she would never feel the same way about carrots again.
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