I am working on an A-Z challenge, this one featuring short pieces of fiction. Today’s letter is Y for “Yikes!”
Will strolled up the driveway in the direction of his son’s place, noting the presence of the full moon, and how clearly it illuminated Andy’s spot, and all that was contained within the peripheral fence. The outbuildings, the house itself, upon which had just been added a kitchen, the greenhouses, and the garden, all were clearly silhouetted by the brilliance of the moonlight.
Will had popped down to his place to shut off a valve, and for refurbishment of his libation, Jameson on ice, and was meandering back up to join the others, when he became aware of movement, just at the back door of the smallest greenhouse, the one that sat farthest away from the house. It was the home of Will’s starts, the one plastic-encased structure, which housed anything other than the organic produce, which provided Will a chance at survival, in these economically-challenged times.
Andy grew a few plants for the pain in his surgically repaired knee, and for the insomnia that had plagued him for as long as he could remember. And he kept the newly-planted starts in this bottom greenhouse, until the weather was sufficiently warm, for the young plants to withstand the wind and the nights, which were still known to plummet down to freezing, at the drop of a hat. But he didn’t have many, and he treated them as if they were his adopted children, even going so far as to affix them with names, early on in their existence.
Standing in the middle of the quarter-mile long driveway now, frozen in his tracks, Will peered through the fence, at was unmistakably the sight of one of Andy’s starts, being carried out the back door of the greenhouse. “Yikes! What’s this all about?” he asked himself, as he saw a figure, wearing a hoodie, carrying the plant downward, away from the house, to a gate at the bottom of the enclosure. It seemed rather peculiar, that someone would choose this particular night, when there were folks up at Andy’s house, eating dinner and enjoying each other’s company, to be absconding with one-or more-of Andy’s starts.
Will knew he couldn’t just stand there; he had to do something. What was best? Should he confront the hooded figure, and take what could be a stupid chance? Or should he hustle up to Andy’s, and elicit some assistance? Time was of the essence, and he had to act quickly.
He couldn’t help but think back to those stories he’d heard about slicky boys ripping off others, striking in the dead of night, willing to risk all, in order to get what they wanted. He even remembered an instance of someone being knocked upside the head when he attempted to stop thieves from carrying out their nefarious plans.
Will decided that discretion was the better part of valor, figuring this was a young man’s game, and he no longer qualified, having hit his sixtieth, the last time “Happy Birthday” had been sung to him. Gasping for breath, as he got up to the top of the driveway, he burst through the kitchen door, to come face to face with Andy. “Hey, Brother Man, someone is going south with your starts. Best get on it most rickety-tic!”
Andy laughed and said, “Hey, Pops, cool your engines. That’s Jack and I told him he could take a couple of my girls because all he needs is two, and I can spare them. Thanks for looking out, though. Now come on in and sit a spell-you look like you just ran a marathon.”