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Blue glistened like waves in the sky, almost mocking the unbearable heat. The wind blew, and blew, and blew; which didn’t make the hot weather any better. The desert scene was agonizing for the old couple. They watched day by day as their life’s work withered away, almost to the point where it was unbearable…
Jenkins was a sweet old man, with passion in his heart; he loved farming, and his wife Luanne. Old man Jenkins worked day after day in the blazing heat of the sun without one complaint- tending to his dying plants, quenching there thirst for water for a couple of hours, and giving them hope for survival. That man spent hours in the soil, moving it, mixing in fertilize, and praying for rain. Years after years his prays weren’t answered and that sparkle of hope in his eyes has been long gone; he performs daily labor for that hopeless crop that even a man half his age shouldn’t have to bare…
The desert was arid and especially hot today, it was a record of 112 degrees. Jenkins was used to the heat, but his old bones couldn’t take it...
“Luanne? Could’ya be a doll and hand me that there straw hat? Sun seems sorta hot ta-day, gonna need awl the help I can gatha.” Jenkins kids around about the heat- with his old cracked sense of humor- you’d think by now he would know it wasn’t at all a laughing matter.
“O’Corse,” said Luanne as she watched him tuck an old musty handkerchief into the sagging pocket of his overalls.
As the old man made his way to the door, the floor boards squeaked with ever step, threatening to give way. The open door welcomed millions of shiny streaks of unwanted light into the dim house. Jenkins stepped onto the packed down dirt, his boot made a small, barley noticeable thud. With every step he could felt the heat exploring his face and body; sweat trickled down his tomatoes red skin, and dripped down onto the famished soil.
The crops were small and brittle; there leafs were pail green with wrinkles from lack of water- they looked as if a gust of wind could snatch them away.
“Aw, d***it… ” said Jenkins when he seen the clutter prints that lead all around the large garden.
“D*** vermin gone an ate it awl, can’t believe this.” Jenkins takes his old straw hat off and wipes his bald, paper white, scalp. He stands there, his boots sinking into the dusty soil, and just stares.
Reality hits him, it was all gone… all the vegetables, all the hope, and most of all… his sanity. Jenkins drops to his knees, and tears are intertwined with his sweat. Streams of water fall from his hollow cheek bones and he falls into the feudal position-chanting “Ice-cream…” over, and over again.
Jenkins and his wife, Luann were close to each other, and she sensed something was wrong… she hurried out the front door, nearly clasping when the heat hit her. Luann sped as fast as she could to her fallen husband, her long shiny grey hair swung back and forth.
“Darlin’, I’m here, no need to worry, you’ll getcha ice-cream. C’mon, let’s go.”
“But… the crops…” His head twitched to the right, and he repeated, “GNRRRRR… Ice… GNRR... Cream...”
Luanne helps Jenkins over to the old green pickup truck, when she gives him a boost up into the driver’s seat the car lingers down. She turns the old key into the rusty ignition, and the truck starts after a couple huffs and puffs. She shoves the gear into drive, and rattles on down the road.
“DARLIN! Stop it! You’re scaring me!” said Luanne when she noticed Jenkins banging his head on the window.
“GNRRRRRRR!!” said Jenkins in rebellion. Poor guy… all he wants is some ice cream; maybe it would stop his fit?
The truck screeches as it pulls up into the parking lot of the ice-cream parlor. Luanne looks through her pockets and finds 50 cents- it’s just enough for one ice-cream cone. Luanne leaves her husband in the truck while she gets the ice-cream. As she steadily approaches the window she notices the cashier looked very unfriendly. Steaks of bright orange covered her deep black hair, and a discussed look was plastered on her face.
She munches on her gum and says with a snarl, “may I help you…?”
Luanne notices the sour attitude, but just ignores it. “Ma’am, can I please have a vanilla cone?”
“Yeah, sure…” The girl says back to Luanne, her attitude was starting to get on her nerves. “That’ll be 45 cents…” Luanne hands her the money with a shaky hand.
When the girl comes back over with the ice-cream, she nearly throws it at the old lady; Luanne almost loses her balance. She glared at the girl for a moment and then made her way back out to the old pickup truck.
As she makes her way closer and closer to Jenkins his eyes light up, and the twitch in his neck seems to settle down. His face is glowing with happiness from just seeing that ice-cream cone heading his way. Seeing this Luanne comes to tears, she thinks about how she hasn’t seen her husband that happy since their wedding day.
With a slow steady hand she hands over the perfect cone. Jenkins grabbed it and brought it steadily towards his mouth.
“GNRRRR...” One last twitch went threw his body and he dropped his ice-cream…
Luanne let out a sob when she seen the hurt expression in Jenkins face; she hugged him and made her way back over to the cashier.
“Scuse’ me ma’am, but we dropped our cone. May we please getta ‘nother one?” said Luanne in her charming southern accent.
“Sorry lady, no ‘do overs’.” said the snobby cashier with a smirk on her face.
Hatred filled that sweet old ladies’ mind and she made her way back to her husband. She caught a glimpse of a small boy playing and gave him a friendly smile…
“How are you ta’day, young man?”
“Fairly well ma’am, and yer’ self?”
“Not too well, to be honest…” Said Luanne, the young boy could pick up on the stress in her voice. He looked at her, then at the old man in the truck he assumed was her husband; he thought they could use an ice-cream. The young boy ran over to the classier and ordered the biggest ice-cream sundaes on the menu; he handed over $2.49 and grabbed the bowls.
The boy had a smile spread wide over his face when he handed the elderly couple their ice-cream. Luanne and Jenkins both were grateful, and ate the ice-cream, savoring the coldness; at this point Jenkins began talking normally again.
“Thank ya’ young man,” Jenkins said with a truly happy tone.
And the couple made their way home…