A Summer to Remember – Part 6

Carter had been working on the garage for most of July and now he was halfway through the floor to ceiling boxes. He was starting to look forward to the days his dad asked him to work in the yard or mow Mr. Stalnaker’s yard. It broke up the monotony and gave him some time in the sun.

Rock music blasted through the cul de sac from the open window of the Brockett house. It drove Mr. Stalnaker crazy. It started at exactly 6:45 am every morning just before the construction crew showed up and didn’t stop until after they left. If they wanted him to stop peering at them through his binoculars, they were going about it all wrong.

As Carter stepped out of the garage to break for lunch he noticed there was a man laying on the neighbour’s grass sprawled out on his back. At first he wasn’t sure if he should call an ambulance or if the man was simply sleeping.

He started walking down his driveway to investigate when Mr. Stalnaker appeared out of no where and said, “Man’s just sleeping. I saw him lay down earlier.”

“Who sleeps in the middle of someone else’s lawn?” Carter asked.

“You can sleep when your boss is the owner’s son. It’s Jeffery’s landscaping business.”

Carter turned away from the sleeping man to look at Mr. Stalnaker. “Oh yeah, I think my dad said something about him when they first moved in,”

“Your dad was going to hire them?” Mr. Stalnaker asked.

Carter laughed. “No, he said, ‘what do I need a landscaper for?’ he has me.”

“He’s lucky,” Mr. Stalnaker said. “My friend down the street hired them. They destroyed his yard. The yard is dead. It’s a wasteland and then they just dropped him saying it was his fault because the drainage was poor. You’d think seeings as he’s her son she’d have known not to hire them.”

Carter shrugged, “Maybe that’s why she hired him.”

“You didn’t see my friend’s yard. Even my son wouldn’t be allowed near my yard if that was the kind of work he did.”

Suddenly a loud scream shrieked through the music.

“What was that?” Mr. Stalnaker stood upright with attention his binoculars pressed to his eyes again.

“I think it was just the music,” Carter said, trying not to laugh. “It’s heavy metal. They send to scream.”

“No, there was a face! See look!” He handed his binoculars to Carter frantically and pointed to one of the upstairs windows.

Carter hesitated then took them with a sigh. All he saw was a window reflecting back the sunshine. “Sorry,” he said, handing the binoculars back to Mr. Stalnaker.

Mr. Stalnaker glared at him and took a step towards him so suddenly it caused Carter to stumble backwards. For a second, he was afraid Mr. Stalnaker might hit him.

“No one believes me, but there is something going on over there and I’m going to find out what it is. Then all of you will be sorry you didn’t listen,” he huffed, then stomped back to his yard.

The next time Carter saw him was after lunch when he noticed Mr. Stalnaker tip-toeing by the still-sleeping landscaper as he made his way around to the back of their house.

Carter groaned. “What are you doing now old man?” he muttered. He thought about going after him, but instead returned to work on the garage. What was the worst that could happen? Besides, he was determined to finish the garage so he could to Mason’s cabin at the end of summer like his parents promised.

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