Yard Sale!

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Sophie Green is moving. But first she needs a Yard Sale. Years of bad marital memories need to be disposed of quickly, erasing any connection she had to her former life. But there's one thing that isn't for sale- Sophie Green!

*This short story was part of a 600 word challenge. (Yes, it was very challenging to use so few words!)

Yard Sale!   by Stacey James

Yard Sale signs dotted Maple Street last Saturday morning. It was a joyful day in many ways.

Sophie Green cheerfully made pocket change for hundreds of simple household items, most of which belonged to her husband, Otis Green.

“So Mr. Green has already relocated to your new home?” An elderly neighbor inquired over tortoiseshell spectacles, inspecting a glass gin set.

“Yes, he has, Mrs. Reynolds,” Sophie answered, massaging the old bruise on her upper left arm. “That gin set belongs to my husband. He won’t need it any longer. He recently quit drinking . You can have it. My gift.” Sophie remembered with irritation the way Mrs. Reynold’s never inquired about her overuse of sunglasses- even on cloudy days. But they were all cloudy days, weren’t they?

“Really?” Drawn-on eyebrows arched.

“I’m more of a whiskey sort of gal.”

Why, thank you, Dearie. So sweet of you.”

“It is my sincere pleasure. Just think of Otis every time you enjoy them.” Sophie watched the old lady hobbled back across the narrow street.

An impatient man waved a newspaper from across the lawn with one hand, wiping beaded sweat from his brow with the other. “Ad says you have an antique revolver?”

Strangers by the dozen and neighbors rushed to the yard sale items, treating them like rare treasures. Handling the merchandise thoughtfully. Mixing their fingerprints with any that may already be present. Incriminating.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Sir. Those items were sold first thing this morning.”

The man pouted before darting off; another yard sale presumably.

Sophie’s heart didn’t race when Officer James parked his police cruiser in front of her house. “Hi, Sophie,” the lanky patrolman called out while scooping up dvd’s and books; thrillers.

“Thank you,” he said, smiling. “The kids will love these.”

Sophie smiled back at him as she handed him a dollar change from the five dollar bill that he’d given her. “No, thank you.” After a moment, she picked up a collectible hunting knife. “Jeff, why don’t you take this? Maybe you can add it to the wall collection down at the station.”

“Gee, thanks Mrs. Green. This is like Christmas.”

“Isn’t it?” She beamed.

“Looks like you just about sold out,” Mr. Bosely chirped. He was Sophie’s  observant next door neighbor. “I see you lost Felix.” His mood turned somber, pointing to the freshly tilled earth in the yard. A tiny wooden sign with the cat’s name poked out of the earthy mound.

“Yes. I will miss him,” she said. “Hopefully, nothing will disturb his new resting spot.”

“I’ll keep an eye on it. Scrounging animals. Make sure nothing digs Felix up.

“You’re a good neighbor, Mr. Bosely.”

Silently she wondered why he’d never asked her about the noisy interludes that she and Mr. Green often engaged in on evenings when her husband enjoyed too many cocktails.

“I’ll bet Mr. Green took Felix’s death hard. He loved that cat,” Mr. Bosely added, lamenting.

“His death hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Sophie sighed, packing up the last remaining items from the sale.

Momentarily, a Goodwill truck pulled up to the garage door. Mr. Bosely helped the volunteers load all the boxes into the back. It drove away.

“Well, good luck to you, Mrs. Green.”

Sophie was pleased with the results of the yard sale. Their household items now distributed all around the city; the state. She watched Mr. Bosely make his way to his house and disappear inside.

After claiming a single suitcase from the bedroom, she placed it in the backseat of her car. Lovingly, she placed a pet carrier onto the front seat.

“Come on, Felix. Let's go home.”

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