How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Writing Prompt:
"I live in the white cottage at the north end of the lake."
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Carly lifted the binoculars again, pushing away the guilty feelings
that had made her lower them.

He certainly was handsome in a rugged, bohemian sort of way. She couldn’t get a good look at his face, but his swagger said it all.

“Whatcha lookin’ at?” said a voice so close it made her jump. It was Bobby, her kid brother.

Carly ruffled his hair, “Nothin’ squirt, I thought you were taking a nap.”

“I woked up,” Bobby said, “and I’m hungry.”

“Well, you sit right here on the porch and I’ll make you some lunch,” said Carly. She parked him on the big wooden porch swing and went into the house, letting the screen door slam behind her.

Carly had looked forward to summer at the lake, but babysitting her little brother every day had not been part of her plan. Unfortunately, her parents had counted on her so that they could finish remodeling the library in town. She understood, but she still wasn’t happy about the situation. Her “How I spend my Summer Vacation” essay in the fall was going to be awfully boring.

She slapped together a peanut butter and banana sandwich, being careful to cut off every speck of crust. It would never get eaten otherwise. She poured a glass of cold milk, sliced an apple and put them all on a tray.

As she carried Bobby’s lunch toward the door, she heard him talking.

“Those are Carly’s ‘noculers. She’s my sister. She likes to look at the white house with them.”

“Really,” said an unfamiliar voice, “and why does she like to watch the white house?”

“Don’t know,” said Bobby, then yelled, “Carly, I’m hungry!”.

Carly paused behind the darkness of the screen door before going out. It was Mr. Handsome, up close and just as good looking as he had been at a distance, only more so.

Her mind raced for a plausible reason to give him for pointing the binoculars in the direction of his house, but none came to mind.

She drew a deep breath and stepped out onto the porch.

“Here’s your lunch, Bobby,” then looking at the stranger, “Oh, hello, who are you?”

“Chad Ferris,” he said, “I live in the white cottage on the north side of the lake.” The amused undertone in his voice was unmistakable.

Carly flushed with embarrassment, then stammered, “Oh, the one down by the old mill. Have you noticed the herons that roost in the reeds by the mill? I just love watching them fish the lake.” She picked up the binoculars, “Don’t you think it’s fascinating how they swoop down so gracefully to catch a fish?”

She watched his smile grow as she stumbled through her lame excuse until it was a wide grin. She wasn’t fooling anybody and they both knew it.

“Maybe you and Bobby would like to take a walk down to the cottage sometime and see the herons up close.” He said.

“Yay,” said Bobby, bouncing up and down.

“Maybe,” she said, noncommittally, although she felt like bouncing up and down herself.

Chad gave a little wave of his hand, flashed her another one of his heart-melting grins, then turned and walked back down the path.

Carly watched him walk toward the little white cottage.

“Well, things were certainly looking up. Maybe she would be writing a very interesting essay this September after all.”

If she had only been able to see into the future just a couple of weeks, she would never have taken him up on his invitation. Never in a million years!

(Copyright © 2009 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)


Anonymous said...

what's the rest, what's the rest!!!??? Missy

Jan said...

Sorry, Sis...I can't tell you the rest. This is the beginning idea for a novel I will be writing during the month of November.