This is the start of a series of short stories which feature Amanda, Jamie and, of course, Lee. Jamie isn't quite as 'present' in this one as he is in some of the future episodes.
Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King and its characters belong to WB and Shoot the Moon Productions. No infringement is intended. This is written for entertainment purposes only. Please do not redistribute or reproduce this story without my permission.
Summary – A quiet afternoon spent weeding the backyard...Is anything ever that simple for Amanda?
Timeline: Season 1
Rating – general
Genre- humour, fluff
Title: Backyard Attack
Amanda was in the back yard pulling weeds. Jamie was supposed to be helping by watering but was having more fun shooting the water into the sky and watching the rainbow effect caused by the sunlight dancing through the spray.
Glancing over her shoulder, she noted her son's antics and shook her head. A young child's idea of helping wasn't quite the same as an adult's. She decided to save herself an even larger than normal water bill and relieve him of his duties. As she tugged on an especially resistant dandelion, she called out to her youngest son.
"Jamie, sweetheart, I know you like playing with the water but the grass is really getting wet and muddy. Maybe you should do something else for awhile and we'll finish the watering later."
"Okay Mom." With a smile he dropped the hose and ran inside, the door slamming behind him.
Amanda winced at the sound, wondering if he'd ever remember to close the door quietly. She arched her back trying to relieve the strain of being bent over for the past half hour and surveyed the expanse of weed infested ground still facing her. She'd known the weeds were there but she hadn't realized they were this bad.
It was a hot afternoon in late summer and the sun was blazing in the sky. A bead of perspiration trickled down her face and she rubbed it away absentmindedly, leaving a smear of dirt across her cheek. 'Well, the weeds won't pull themselves,' she told herself. Giving her shoulder's a quick roll to loosen the muscles, she once again bent over to tackle the mammoth project.
Behind her, the garden hose Jamie had abandoned was taking on a life of its own. Now free of confining hands, the force of the water was causing the serpentine piece of plastic to twist and turn as if listening to a snake charmer's tune. As it undulated back and forth, water was being sprayed around the yard in an ever increasing circular pattern.
Unaware of what was happening behind her, Amanda continued weeding, humming quietly to herself. She was thinking longingly of a cool drink and shower once the task was completed. In fact, she could almost taste the iced tea sliding down her throat and feel the refreshing water on her skin. Suddenly a blast of cold water hit her in the middle of her back.
With a shriek, she spun around, lost her balance and sat down on the muddy ground. Glancing around for the culprit, she was met by another shot of water in her face as the hose made a return circuit. Sputtering, she wiped the water from her eyes and got to her feet. Spying the source of the attack, she muttered dire words to her absent son and began to make her way over to the offending nozzle. The grass was wet from Jamie's earlier 'help' and she skidded on the slippery surface. She was almost at her destination when her feet slid out from under her. The air whooshed out of her lungs as she landed face first on the grass.
For a moment she just laid there catching her breath, then finally summoned the energy to look up, cautiously checking where the enemy hose might be spraying next. It was circling back towards her and she ducked just as it approached.
"Hah! You missed me," she called out pleased with her victory. Quickly getting to her knees she lunged forward and grabbed the hose, tackling it into submission before twisting the brass head into the off position.
"Do you practice hand to hand combat with the garden hose very often?" A male voice spoke behind her and she froze closing her eyes and praying it wasn't who she knew it was. Why did Lee always show up at the worst, most embarrassing moments in her life?
Slowly Amanda got to her feet and turned to greet the visitor. He was peering over the fence at her, not a hair out place and dressed to perfection in a suit. He gave no indication of even noticing the fact that the thermometer was nearing ninety. Giving an awkward shrug, she tried to explain. "Jamie was helping me by watering the flowers but when I sent him inside, he didn't turn the water off and the hose just started to go wild."
"Hmm, garden hoses spreading terror across the backyards of America. The suburbs are obviously much more dangerous than I've been led to believe." Lee nodded solemnly but Amanda could see the smirk he was trying to suppress. "Umm... You're a little wet and muddy you know."
She looked down at her soaking wet clothing streaked with mud. "Yeah, just a bit." She plucked at her damp shirt and pushed tendrils of wet hair from her face. "Did you need me for something or did you just come for the show?"
"Actually I have some typing for you to do, if you have the time."
"I can probably do it. When do you need it by?"
"Tomorrow morning will be soon enough."
"Tomorrow morning?" She stared at him in disbelief. Knowing Lee it was probably pages and pages of notes written in the undecipherable scrawl that he tried to pass off as penmanship. It was already four in the afternoon and she had a Junior Trailblazers meeting tonight...
" Yeah. I can stop by around nine-thirty to get it, or earlier if you prefer." Possibly sensing her hesitation, he flashed his heart melting dimpled smile.
"Oh all right. Hand it over." One look at his boyish grin had her resolve melting. Inwardly chastising herself for giving in, she squished her way across the wet grass to the fence where he was standing. He started to pass the manila envelope over to her but as she reached for it, she accidentally joggled the nozzle on the hose. A blast of water spewed into the air and caught Lee in the face.
"Oops! Sorry! Oh my gosh." She struggled to twist the nozzle into the off position again, sighing with relief when she finally succeeded. "Oh Lee, I'm so sorry! It was an accident. Did the papers get wet?"
"No, luckily it was a head shot. But if that had been a gun, I'd be dead right now." His tone of voice let her know he was not amused.
Hesitantly she reached out and took the envelope. "Can I get you a towel or something?"
"No, you've done quite enough, thank you. I'll just head home and dry off."
"Okay...I'll see you tomorrow, around nine thirty."
"Right." Lee disappeared from view and Amanda shook her head. Every time she thought he was starting to actually tolerate her, something like this happened. With the way things were going, she just knew that her association with him would be very short lived.