Chapter Nine

1 Year later

Eye of the Beholder

He sips his coffee slowly, and thinks about retirement. Enough with the early mornings, enough with the long drive out, enough with every inch of his body hurting at the end of the day. Enough with complaining customers, who expect any plant to thrive in the desert when they forget to water it. Enough.

One hand on the wheel, he sips at the coffee again and lets up on the gas, the old beat up truck slowing to make the turn onto the dusty drive, past the faded sign, hand painted lettering announcing that he'd once again arrived at Spring Anew Nursery.

He parks off to the side, leaving the best spaces for what few customers he might have. The coffee bounces around as he climbs out of the cab, spilling over the lip, splashing on to his hand. Cursing, he tosses the Styrofoam cup down; the morning breeze catches it, sending it tumbling though the dirt and sand. It comes to rest near an anthill.

He curses again; ants are another thing he's had enough of.

Trudging after the cup, better pick it up, can't have the place looking trashy, he's careful not to let any ants onto his skin. The breeze picks up again, taking the cup for a ride, and as he stalks after it, he feels like a player in a silent movie and wonders if the Gods are laughing at him, munching popcorn. As he chases the cup, the toe of his boot catches, almost sending him stumbling. He looks down, expecting to see an extraneous root, and his face folds into confusion when he finds instead, of all things to find buried in the desert, a plastic bag.

He kneels, his knees crackling with the movement, and frees the bag from it's earthen grave; dirt falls off the slick surface, and he gives it a jiggle, shaking off the last of the dirt. A cell phone? Why would someone wrap up a cell phone and then drive all the way out here just to burry it?

His mind focuses, and he decides it's not a phone after all. What it is, he doesn't know, but there's a rainbow of wires coming out of one end. Must be some kind of computer thing, but why burry it? He shrugs to himself and slips it back into the bag, stands up, brushing his free hand on the leg of his jeans. Whatever it is, he thinks, can't be all that important.

Many thanks to everyone who left a review. Hope you 'enjoyed' reading this as much asI did writing it. Sunset