Broken Glass

Prompt: Sudden Shifts
You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.


Broken Glass

Ms Pepper was dippin her toes in the pool, and Mr Pepper was sittin in a lounger, wearing his neatly pressed suit trousers but his shirt, tie and jacket were draped over the lounger beside him. He had taken off his shoes but not his socks. It was a warm day. There was a wind comin up from the ocean, and we could hear the waves crashin. Ms Pepper’s hair started to muss, and she tied it in a knot with a elastic band she had on her wrist.

I was walking towards them from the house, with a big crystal tray, piled high with fat watermelon slices and a pitcher of lemon gin and tonics. Ms Pepper liked to use all the fine things, like the crystal tray, for everyday, but Mr Pepper didn’t like them down by the pool. He was afraid they would break and someone would step on it. But Ms Pepper really ran things at home. She didn’t interfere with his job no more, and he let her use crystal trays by the pool. It was kind of a marital agreement.

The sun caught some of the top wire from the high chain link fence that separated us from the sandy beach. It glittered like fine sequins. Just like that dress Ms Pepper wore to Mr Pepper’s inauguration. It was hand-sewn, they told me, and shone all silver and gold. They were both happy that day, not like now. I was happy too. It was my first day working for the Peppers, and it was a good day. I was safe there, behind the walls and fences. Tommy couldn’t find me there. He was too stupid anyway. But if he did, he would of punched me, for sure.

When I set the tray, and it was heavy, on the wide, slatted teak table, Mr Pepper stood up and walked to the table to pour himself a drink. He didn’t wait for me to pour it. I guess he was thirsty. Ms Pepper asked me to bring her a piece of watermelon on a napkin, please, so I got it for her. I walked over to where she was sittin, in her black one-piece bathing suit, toes in the pool.

She said, “Can you hear that?” And when I strained myself to listen, why, the birds stopped singin. It got quiet, all of a sudden. Ms Pepper said to me, “Sit down by me!” and I did, and when the gunfire came, she put her arm around my shoulders and pulled me into the pool with her.

There was a righteous hail of bullets, and I heard them bounce off the concrete and hit the chairs and tables and shatter the crystal tray and the pitcher of lemon gin and tonics and Mr Pepper.

It fell silent. Mr Pepper was laid on the ground all funny, legs and arms poking everywhere, and redness spreadin from underneath him. I was weak, and Ms Pepper helped me out of the pool, and even found me a towel. There was a fat slice of watermelon floating in the pool, just circling round and round.

Ms Pepper said to me, “Maddy, watch out for the broken glass.” It glittered around Mr Pepper’s body like fine sequins.

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