After all the kind comments and encouragement I received following last Saturday’s post from my WIP (tentatively titled Electra and the Geriatrics), I’m moving forward with the story. Last week you met my protagonist Elly. Today’s post gives you a peek at my hero Derek.
Derek watched the heavy gate clang shut. He’d recognized Mrs. Macauley’s distinctive ride and waved, but she must not have seen him.
Where is she headed, all by herself? Should I have stopped her?
He’d started to shout a greeting, then changed his mind.
Those senior citizens can be damned independent.
Especially Mrs. M. A real ball of fire ‘til she’d fractured her ankle.
He shrugged, stepped back under the oak’s branches, and leaned on his shovel.
Must be feeling better if she's running around in her golf cart.
He wondered what had happened to the granddaughter who’d been helping her. He’d seen her a couple of times at the rec center right after Mrs. M fell off that curb. Nice-looking woman. Her relation to her grandmother was obvious—red hair, lanky build, though the granddaughter was taller. But for one reason or another, they’d never met. Probably just as well.
Derek turned and resumed his work beneath the native red oak. The neighborhood’s gardening committee had decreed that the entrance to Sunset Acres Retirement Village be spruced up this spring, and their first project included putting flowers beneath the tree’s branches. As their landscaper, he wasn’t too hopeful of the plan’s success. He’d tried his damnedest to convince them that the roses and daylilies they wanted would never survive in the shade at the oak’s tangled roots, but the ladies on the committee wanted colorful blooms. He hoped a few azaleas, with impatiens and begonias in bright ceramic pots, would satisfy them. Of course, they would have to approve his choices. The whole thing would take on a drama far out of proportion to the importance of the issue. He shook his head and chuckled, imagining their heated discussion.
Good thing he could find humor in his situation. By now he’d hoped to be settled down with a wife and kids, heading up a successful landscape design company. Instead, here he was, pushing thirty and still working toward those dreams.
He put a foot to the shovel’s blade and spaded up a mound of mulch, then spread the top-dressing over the hard-packed ground. What a life. But right now, there wasn’t an alternative.
I hope you enjoyed today's excerpt. You'll find more Sweet Saturday Samples here: The Sweet List