RDP Friday: Gobsmacked

Adena Thorne lives in a yellow house on South Hill Road  in an unusual town called Spare.

There are exactly 4 streets in the little town of Spare with 3 houses on each of them- some are yellow, some are green, one was abandoned and the residents of Spare ( all 36 of them ) have ignored it as ivy and  black berry vines covered it slowly crush it to splinters.

I think that house used to be yellow, it’s hard to say.

Spare’s roads are gravel, it doesn’t have sidewalks, though there is sort of one in front of the Post Office/ Mini Mart/Gas Station/City Hall made of rough and uneven retaining wall blocks.

Whoever started the project got bored with it and eventually the weeds and dust will cover up the blocks and that will be the end of that.

You would think that in a town as small as Spare everyone knows each other, or that they are all related in some way, but that’s not the case at all.

The people in Spare don’t really like each other at all and the likelihood that they would work on anything together is almost zero.

Last year someone ordered a pressed tin sign on line that said, ” Welcome to Spare ” and left it on the counter of the Post Office/ Mini Mart/Gas Station/City Hall  next to the Slushie Machine.

Bette Price  found it leaning against her desk. She opened the package and said, ” Why is this at my desk? What do the people around here think?  I’m their slave? I’m the damn Mayor. I’m not hanging this thing up.”

She drug it behind the post office counter, leaned it against the back wall and it’s still there, collecting dust. Sometimes people scribble on it when the ink dries up in their pens, so  I suppose it’s serving a purpose after all.

Just after Easter Bette was at her desk Post Office/ Mini Mart/Gas Station/City Hall when Wes Farmer sort of oozed his way through the door and up to Bette’s desk. He was wearing a T-shirt with a fuzzy splotch in the middle of his chest that may have said something about Motorcycles or it may have been a decal of a naked woman.

Bette guessed it was was the latter.

” Yes. ” she said.

” There’s a body in that tunnel thing out behind my place. ”

” Did you call the Sheriff? ”

Wes leaned over her desk. ” No. Cause I don’t have a phone. ”

Bette huffed through her thin little nose and reached for her phone.


That’s when Adena walked in.

Bette and Wes looked at each other and then they looked at Adena.

” What? ” she asked.

Adena folded her arms across her chest, ” WHAT.”


Wes followed Adena out to the ” Tunnel thing ” on his property and he stood outside while she walked into it  with a flashlight.  She was in there for a few minutes and then Wes  heard her splashing her way back out.

” Are you going to call the Sheriff and tell him about the dead body? ” he asked.  ” Cause I don’t have a phone. ”

Adena turned around and yelled into the tunnel ” Hey Sheriff, there’s a dead body in

the tunnel! ”

” You’re a jerk. ” Wes told Adena.

” Yeah. But I’m a jerk with a phone. Go find someone else to make your call for you. Tell them the Sheriff is dead and that his head is gone.”

Adena pushed past Wes and made her way to the road. She got into her car and she drove away.

Wes figured if there was no Sheriff, then there wasn’t a body in a Sheriff’s uniform quietly being taken away piece by piece by the sometimes running water and the bugs so there wasn’t anything for him to do now, was there?


Adena was the last person to actually drive out of Spare and she was the last person to never come back.

She did it the day after she realized that for as angry as she was at Wes and Bette ( whose last names she never knew )  it occurred to her had it been her body in that tunnel full of fetid water, she would be there rotting away until every single house in Spare was covered with blackberry vines and Spare was nothing more then a hill covered with a dead houses and rusty cars and maybe, just maybe,  one or two people who did not care about any of it, one way or another.

All Adena knew for sure was that she did not want to be one of those two people.







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