Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 113

"She lets her property get run down and she needs to be more considerate of her neighbors. That's all I'm saying, Joe. Why, Mr. Johns, the developer, says her home brings down the resale value of every house on this street."

A day when Mena was feeling better and not coughing so much her mother let her and her favorite doll, Baby Carol, sit in the front yard on a lawn chair so the sunlight could give her vitamin D and make her healthy. Mena accidentally dropped Baby Carol the day before and her arm broke. Later that night the arm fell completely off. Her mother wanted to throw Baby Carol in the trash and promised to buy Mena a brand new doll. A “Betsy

Wetsy” from Montgomery Wards. When Mena refused to hand over Baby Carol her mom called her a big baby.

Handicapped now, Baby Carol could no longer hold her own bottle in place. While feeding her doll Mena noticed Mrs. Sousa peering out from the screen porch at her. Then she got an idea.

Mena made sure her mother was busy crocheting then she looked both ways for cars and ran across the street holding Baby Carol in one hand and the doll's limb in the other. Mrs. Sousa was waiting for her at the front door.

"Why, Mena, what have you got there?"

"My mom said you are like a nurse and I thought you could heal me and my doll."

"Well, come on in, then, and we'll see what I can do."

They walked through the cluttered front porch into a room with so many chairs, tables, and cabinets they stood in each other's way.

“The finest view in the house you will find in this room,” Mrs. Sousa told her. She drew the curtains apart and pointed to a silhouette of trees against the sky. The old floor creaked when Mena walked on it and the chair she sat down on seemed to squeal. On the center of the wall hung a painting of a beautiful young girl dressed in a blue velvet dress with puffed sleeves and old fashioned lace up shoes on her feet. Next to the picture a grandfather clock, the pendulum swinging back and forth, hands moving slowly around,