She decided to take a walk, to clear her head. She locked the door to the building and slipped the key in her pocket. She headed north towards town, away from the river, away from her two-story, somewhat historic building.
“The world is a big place,” she thought, feeling small and lost. She walked out of the sun and passed under the oak tree. The shade offered some coolness but no relief from the June humidity.
She tripped on a crack in the sidewalk; stumbled but didn’t fall. Over the years, the oak’s root system had shifted, cracked and raised a portion of the concrete. Kate paused and watched the row of ants pouring forth from the crack where she’d disturbed them with her near fall.
“Ants! One thing leads to another,” Kate said out loud to no one. “The root sends out a shoot. The sidewalk cracks. The ants move in. The world’s a big place with so many tiny components”, she thought, “tearing down what we–I–build up.”
She resumed her walk. She passed the library, closed now on a Sunday. She stopped and looked in the consignment store window, also closed. Rows of clothes, shelves of knickknacks, outdated electronics, used books. Sweat ran down her back. She rounded the corner and sat down on a bench under two trees–a reprieve from the heat.
A mockingbird fussed overhead.
Kate looked up. “Not to worry,” she said. But the bird continued its chatter.
“Yep, I get it,” she said. “You can’t be certain of me and my intentions, what may or may not happen.”
She looked down and saw a mosquito land on her arm. She swatted it. It left a bloody streak on her arm. She shuddered? “Just whose blood is this you have siphoned off?” she asked as she used her finger to wipe it away. “Yuk,”
“The world’s a big place but the tiny things are my problem,” she told the bird who was still fidgeting in the branches. She rose from the bench. She looked up. “I’m just hoping that the winged-ants I spotted are truly ants and not termites, taking tiny bites out of my building–my brick building no less.
Kate pulled her phone from her pocket to dial the pest-exterminator. A second later, she put it back, remembering that it was Sunday. She scratched the whelp on her arm, left by the mosquito bite.
© Glenda Kotchish
June 10, 2018