This time, Cormac gave us a list of words to incorporate instead of a starter sentence:
I dedicate this short story to the Coaster Punchman. He'll know why...
Mrs. Kravitz twitched her chintz curtains to get a better view of the street below. She peered through the long, thin gap between the two panels to get a view of her neighbor, Mrs. Stevens, as she maneuvered her grand, wood paneled station wagon into the driveway. She watched as the young woman parked her car then leaned over the console to check her makeup in the rear view mirror. She preened at her volumes of golden locks and turned her head from side to side to get a better view of herself in the small landscape the car's mirror provided. Satisfied with what she saw, she pulled the keys out of the ignition and dropped them in her purse. She opened the car door and let one long leg out after the other.
Mrs. Stevens strode to the back of the wagon and opened the hatch as Mrs. Kravitz's eyes bored into her. She reached into the back end and extracted four shiny pink bags. With the bags hooked on her left arm she reached up and closed the hatch.
"That woman has no shame," Mrs. Kravitz tsked.
"What is it now, Gladys?" her husband asked from his easy chair, his mouth full of cashews.
"She went shopping again at that new ladies' department at Macy's. Who needs that much lingerie, I ask you?!"
Mrs. Kravitz took a mental snapshot of the brazen woman as she headed to her front door. She planned to add the details of what she saw to her growing cache of dirty secrets for use later. She would need to ask her Bible study group to pray for Mrs. Stevens. She would make an impassioned plea to them and warn them about turning a blind eye to the beginnings of oversexualization in the marital bed. She had read about the dangers of this somewhere. She wouldn't worry about the research now. The Spirit always led her when she took her place at her own informal pulpit in the fellowship hall at the church. She would find the words to convince them that they must save that woman's soul or to turn their backs and eschew her. Actually, Mrs. Kravitz thought, either way worked for her. If a woman was unwilling to conform to the Lord's Way, then she might as well be dead in Mrs. Kravitz's book. But that scarlet woman certainly couldn't be allowed to continue to strut around in this manner any longer.
"Oh, she's young, Gladys, why don't you leave it alone?" Abner whined.
"Someone's got to keep an eye on these things, Abner!" she huffed. "I'm only trying to do my duty as a Deacon's wife. Besides, you don't want her to burn in hell, do you?" Mrs. Kravitz turned from the window and a put her hands on her hips, arms akimbo. She gave her husband a look that would fry eggs.
No, but you do, thought Abner with some disgust. He grunted and shrugged. He set the nut bowl on the end table and dusted the salt from his hands. He decided to dodge this particular argument and sought cover behind a wall of newspaper. Personally, he thought Mrs. Stevens was a bright new addition to their community and her angel food cake was out of this world. He didn't think she needed to change one blond hair on that pretty little head. And what happened in other people's marital bedroom was none of his concern. He knew better than to take the fight bait his wife was laying before him like an Easter ham.
"Honestly, Abner, you used to be vigilant about maintaining community standards. What happened to you?" But Gladys could see she had lost him for the moment and turned back to the window. She could nearly see the Stevens' upstairs bedroom window from this position, but not quite as well from her own room. Curiousity burned in her heart. She knew her drive to gather knowledge about all the people in her community was her spiritual gift straight from Jesus and she never ignored the urge to witness. God put her here to watch and report and lead those sinners to salvation.
She threw one hmfph towards Abner and turned on her sensible heel towards the bedroom to get a closer look.