Cynthia Wiles Hemingway set up shop
Cynthia Wiles Hemingway set
up shop less than three blocks from the Center for Seaside
Studies. It had been just over fifteen years since she
left Promisetown and she felt that in her bones. Aching
with every step, she waded through boxes of stuff that
would soon fill her new abode. It felt good to be back
home; and only through the untimely death of Stanley
‘cipitation was this possible. How could she have known
back then that a tumble in his doleful apartment with his
disgusting dogs would lead to this?
Looking west, Cynthia could
see Mount Pelion in the distance, its steep cliffs rising
from the ocean. It was at the base of those mountains that
she walked with Stanley and his entourage - eight stinky
dogs and six cats. And it was there that the locals held
the memorial service for him only yesterday. She had
stopped at the A&P on the way to the service to buy
several hard peaches to leave at the seaside for him; the
orchards totally bare this time of the year.
Across Mercantile Street
just outside her window, a sign blew chaotically in the
wind, the ragged hooks holding it secure were being
strained by each tug.
Mrs. M. BURK
The wind and the sign
forced her to remember that she didn't like Burk and that
she detested seeing her screwy signs all over town. One
and a half decades ago, Cynthia sat in Burk's real estate
office just down the road, listening to Mrs. Burk's
scrawny Aunt Stockin', discuss real estate and local
history. According to Stockin', the worst thing about
living in Promisetown was the Chinook wind. It was, she
told Cynthia, an unpredictable occurrence, and possibly
"What do you mean by
Chinook winds?" Cynthia asked.
Stockin' looked at her as
if she'd drooled on herself. "The winds dear," she told
her. "One year they were so bad, whipping the way they do
down the cliffs, that the temperature rose from negative 2
degrees Fahrenheit up to about 48 degrees Fahrenheit in
about two or three minutes. Near ‘bout broke a record."
Cynthia, a city dwelling girl
did not know what to say. "Oh." she finally decided upon.
"Oh? My dear woman,"
Stockin' said, "'Oh' is hardly a proper response. "'Fooch,'
Now that I could understand."
Cynthia had looked at her
uncertainly. "Ummm," she said, "Well. That's something."
Well, let me tell you something right now Miss Wiles,"
Stockin' had said, emphasizing the word something the
third time, as she rose from her chair, "You and I are not
going to get along. I think it would be best for both of
us if you took your business elsewhere."
Cynthia stared at her as
her chin dropped. "Excuse me?" she said.
"I said, Miss Wiles, if
that's your real name, we two have no business to attend
to here. Kindly show yourself out." And with that, Stockin'
got up and left the room through a door to the left.
Momentarily, Cynthia got up
to leave and at that moment a rather hideous looking man
came charging through the door. In a guttural voice, he
said, "Stockin', where the hell are you!" The man
disappeared through the same door Stockin' had gone
Next: Bit 2
On dark days, the Blue Bridge