He should have stayed away for good. Instead, Asa set his traveling bag down and resumed life as though he had never traveled half way around the world, spending the last three months living in a thatched hut on a beach along the Andaman Sea skin diving, fishing, eating, and entertaining lonely female travelers on their way to other places.
On his first day back, Asa found the three chords of firewood he cut and bucked last spring more than half gone. “Someone helping themselves I see. And they parked right in front for easy loading.” The tire tracks were fresh; the tread pattern rigid in the mud along with tiny boot prints. “At least she left me some kindling and an ax.”
It was a silent give and take between them, but mostly it was her taking what she wanted and him making up the loss. Neighborly with an edge he put there when he took what she was offering not bargaining for the price he’d pay.
Asa discovered the empty water tank on his second day back. He gathered his tools and hiked up the narrow canyon to the spring two miles away Water, like a road, will turn neighbor against neighbor and turn and honest neighbor into a thief.
Clearing away rocks and sediment at the spring box, Asa walked the waterline through the brush watching the weight of water pull the line down. He looked for signs of rats; he looked for the line pinned beneath a fallen tree or rocks. For three days Asa hiked the canyon uncoupling and coupling the water line.
On the fifth day, Asa uncouple the waterline to clear it of debris at the pump-house, and that’s when he saw it. So simple it made him laugh out loud as he push the valve open and watched water gush beneath the pump-house door. Someone had unbolted the pump leaving a note: “Thanks!”
“Life’s a bitch,” he said as he closed the valve.
The Trifecta Challenge: Write 333 words using the word and this meaning– something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant. Add your link here.