WENDI Chapter 4
R. D. Ice
Wendi had been staying with Little Nancy and her children, for almost two years now. Wendi still could not stand the children. They yelled and screamed and ran through the house! But what other choice did she have. She could not live by herself anymore, in that converted chicken house. She was in her eighties, and that did make a difference.
The children ran screaming through the house for the umpteenth time. The little three year old boy threw a ball that bounced off her head.
"Dang children!" Wendi shouted. "Can't you do something!"
"Now, Wendi," Little Nancy said softly, "children will be children. I'm trying to keep them quiet."
"I'm going for a walk," Wendi said. As she went down the street she thought about Maude McDaniel. Maude ran that rest-home. Maybe she could get back in with Maude. They hadn't parted on very good terms. But it didn't hurt to try. There surely wouldn't be any children there.
Wendi walked on down the road. She turned as she heard a car. She waved her hand.
"Wendi. Where are you going?"
"Herb, gimme a ride out to Maude McDaniel's. I got to talk to her today."
"Climb in. I'm going near there anyhow."
He dropped Wendi off at the driveway to Maude's house. Wendi walked up through the trees, and pounded on the door.
"Wendi! What are you doing there?"
"Now Maude, I got to find a place to stay and I'm coming back to live with you. Those children are about to drive me batty! I got to get another place to live. So I'm coming to live with you."
"You are not! No way! I won't go through that again. You were mean to Aunt Lea. And everything went into your pockets. I just won't put up with you again!"
"Now, Maude, have pity on an old lady like me."
"You had your chance. I kept you here several months. And I ain't going to do it again! You hear!"
Wendi tried to push on into the house past Maude. But Maude grabbed her and shoved her back."
"You let me in, Maude! You hear! I got to have a place to stay!"
"No you don't! Get out of here, Wendi! I ain't going to let you in! You go on down the road!"
Wendi waved her fist at Maude.
"I'll get you, Maude McDaniel! You just wait! I'll put a spell on you! I'll turn you into a snake or a dog or something!"
She turned and walked away, back to Little Nancy and the children.
The three children ran screaming through the house. Wendi put the pillow over her head and tried to go back to sleep. Finally she just got up.
Wendi came into the kitchen and sat down. Little Nancy was just taking a pan of sourdough biscuits out of the oven. [Sourdough biscuits can be made with flour and water and the sourdough yeast that was kept in a little stone pot. Little Nancy made these when there was no baking powder nor shortening to make regular biscuits. They were tough and hard, but nourishing.]
"Gimme some breakfast!" Wendi said, pounding on the table.
Little Nancy set a biscuit in front of her.
"Is that all you got! Sourdough biscuits again! And we ain't got any butter!"
"I'm sorry. This is the end of the month. We are out of everything. We're lucky to have flour to make sourdough biscuits."
"I suppose you ain't got any coffee either?"
"You can have hot water tea."
Little Nancy set a cup on the table, and filled it with hot water from the teakettle.
"This is the best we can do 'till your Social Security check comes Monday. You're getting what me and the kids eat. Be thankful."
"Hmmp," Wendi said. She broke a piece off the biscuit and dunked it in the hot water to soften it. Then she chewed on it fitfully.
The children came running through, screaming with glee. The little three year old boy grabbed up Wendi's biscuit and ran.
"Dang children!" Wendi said. "Why don't you do something!"
"Children, go out and play. Watch your little brother. Don't let him get in trouble."
The children went out the door and then began banging the porch swing against the house.
Wendi snorted. But she thought to herself, she better be careful. She had to have a place to live. Dang this being old and feeble.
Little Nancy gave Wendi another sourdough biscuit. Wendi finally ate it, then went into the front room and turned on the TV.
"Wendi! Today is Social Security day!"
"Hmmp. It's about time. I gotta have some real food!"
But the mail would not be here for a while. Wendi ate her sourdough biscuit and drank her hot water.
"The mail man is coming!" The children came in shouting and jumping up and down.
They heard him come up on the porch and open the letter box. Reba, the oldest girl, ran out to get the mail. The other children followed.
"It's here!" she shouted, as she came in waving the letter. "We can go to the store! We can get chips and dip and pop!"
"And baking powder and lard!" Little Nancy said. "We can have real biscuits again!"
Even Wendi was excited. "And a bottle of whiskey to put in the coffee!" She got herself up from the chair and hobbled out to the car. They were going to Shop & Save.
They stopped at the Bank Drive-in first so Wendi could cash the check.
When they got home they made pigs of themselves with chips and dip and all the goodies.
"Oh, my stomach!" Little Nancy said. "I surely ate too much! But it's so good to have food again!"
"Take a few spoons-full of that whiskey," Wendi said. "That'll help your stomach. I do it all the time."
Little Nancy got the whiskey and took a big swig. Then she went to lay down on the bed. She hoped her stomach would settle down soon. It pained something fierce.
The children continued eating chips and dip and drinking pop. They also screamed and ran around the house gleefully. But finally they quieted down and went to bed.
After a while they woke up and started again.
The three children came screaming into Wendi's room!
"Wendi!" Reba screamed. "I can't get Mommy to wake up!"
"What're you talking about? Can't you let a body get any sleep!"
"But something's wrong! Mommy just lays there, and she's cold!"
"Cold? What are you talking about, cold?" Wendi struggled up out of bed and hobbled into the other room.
"Oh my Lord!" Little Nancy was cold and stiff. The whiskey bottle lay on the side stand, empty.
"Reba, dial 9-1-1! Get an ambulance out here! Get the Emergency Squad! Tell them to get here quick! And call your Granddad!"
Reba ran to the phone and the others followed.
"It's my mother!" she screamed into the phone. "Get here quick! Something's wrong with my mother!"
Then Reba dialed her grandfather, Emerson Scott.
"Granddad! Something's wrong with Mommy! I called 9-1-1! Please come and see!"
In just a few minutes Emerson Scott arrived.
"In here, Granddad!" Reba said.
Emerson Scott rushed into the bedroom. Little Nancy was lying on the bed.
"Oh, Lord! What has happened?" He went to the bedside and put his hand on Little Nancy's head.
"She's stone cold dead! How can it be!"
The ambulance from the Emergency Squad slid to a stop out front.
Wendi held the door open. Sam Johnson and Sue Wright came into the house.
Wendi led the way into the bedroom.
Emerson Scott stepped back, out of the way. Sam got down beside Little Nancy and began checking her vital signs.
"I don't get anything at all!" he said.
"Do you know what happened?" asked Sue Wright.
"The children came running in and woke me up," Wendi said. "They said their mother was stone cold and they couldn't get her to wake up. I told them to call 9-1-1."
Sam called in on his cell-phone. "I got a woman, in her thirties, no response, body is cold, apparently deceased. From her color it might be her heart."
"Sam, transport to the Hospital. You can't make the diagnosis. The doctor will check. 10-4."
Sue brought in the stretcher. She and Sam put Little Nancy's body on it, then took her to the ambulance. They sped off to the Hospital.
"Granddad, what'll we do now?" Reba asked.
"You all come home with me," Emerson Scott said. "Me and your Grandma will figure it all out. I can't believe Little Nancy is dead! Surely it's all a mistake!"
Nancy Scott just came in the house from the store. [She was Big Nancy.]
"Emerson Scott, what is going on? What is Wendi doing here? Where is Little Nancy?"
"Little Nancy is dead! I can't believe it! But the Emergency Squad people said it is so!"
"Emerson Scott. Are you out of your head? What are you telling me?"
"It's true, Grandma," Said Reba. "We couldn't wake her up and she was so cold!"
"She dialed 9-1-1 and the emergency squad came and took her to the Hospital," Wendi said.
"Emerson Scott! Why are you still here? Get in that car and we'll all go to the Hospital. We've got to find out what is happening!"
Big Nancy led the way into the Hospital. Wendi followed them.