Tess: A Fiction Friday Series IV
Jane picked a sliver of glass from the sleeve of her cotton dress. She turned the jagged piece between her fingertips, ignoring the tinge of pain she felt where the sliver pricked her fingertip. The droplets of blood quickly turned the transparent object the color of strawberry jam.
Jane crossed the grungy linoleum that coated the kitchen floor and dropped the sliver into the trash. She sucked on her throbbing finger, dismissing the familiar coppery taste, and reached down to pull a wet spaghetti noodle from her dingy slipper. The noodle clung to the matted faux fur before reluctantly letting go. It snapped back against her hand, making a quite slapping sound against her skin. Jane peeled the noodle from her skin and dropped it in the trash with the sliver of glass.
She looked around the cluttered kitchen. Cooked pasta and shattered glass made an abstract design across the green-patterned floor. A small hunk of her last piece of Pyrex Flameware was still sitting on the burner. She picked her way across the mess and turned off the gas under the broken cookware. The red sauce was still simmering on the burner next to it. Jane could see a few large chunks of glass simmering between tomatoes and lumps of ground beef. She used her wooden spoon to fish out the large pieces and then turned the gas off on that burner as well.
Jane reached inside the pantry and retrieved the old straw broom and dustpan. She swept the mess, tapping the broom every now and then to loosen a sticky noodle from the bristles. When she had most of it cornered into a pile, she stooped to sweep it into the dustpan. The dirt covered noodles mingled with stray hairs and crumbs. Dust bunnies clung to the edge of the broom and she used her free hand to pull them free, dropping them into the dustpan. Jane dumped the whole mess into the trash and then turned her thoughts to finishing dinner.
Kadie wouldn’t notice the specs of glass that were undoubtedly in the sauce, but what would she serve with it? Jane opened the pantry and scanned the shelves. She grabbed the box of Saltines from the top shelf and filled the tin plate with the hot red sauce. She had to stop herself from instinctively licking the spoon. She crumbled the stale crackers over the sauce and fished a spoon from the drawer next to the stove.
Jane opened the fridge and perused the cluttered contents, trying to decide what she would serve Harry now that dinner was ruined. She would bake the chicken and broccoli casserole she had been saving for Sunday afternoon. They always had a nice casserole after service. She would just have to prepare another before the weekend. Jane turned the nob on the oven to 350 before heading downstairs to deliver the meal.