by DS Levy
After Dick Wilson retired, he and his wife Glenda visited Open Houses on Sunday afternoons. They took the realtor’s card, listened to the sales pitch, then strolled room to room.
‘I’d take you in this Jacuzzi if it was ours,’ they’d whisper, or ‘That’s a king-sized bed to tumble on.’
Dick and Glenda had lived in their comfortable Cape Cod home for forty years. They loved their neighborhood, had no intention of moving. They’d paid their mortgage off years ago. But Sundays were sloggy, Open Houses entertaining.
The Wilsons, real pranksters, hid little green combat men with plastic weapons in closets and dresser drawers. They left behind soldiers tossing grenades on top of washing machines or between jars in the kitchen.
Salt of the earth citizens, Dick read the New York Times and watched the PBS News Hour, while Glenda deaconed at the church and volunteered at the animal shelter.
‘What if we get caught?’ Glenda muttered one Sunday afternoon as they left an elegant two-story Tudor in the better part of Glennhaven.
They squatted into their Ford Focus, shut the tinny doors. It was the end of summer, ninety in the shade. Glenda had left a little trooper beneath an ivy plant in the kitchen, as though he were in a jungle with his backpack radio, calling in an airstrike on the granite island tabletop.
‘I think we should have a plan,’ she said, ‘don’t you?’
Dick wove the car through the upscale neighborhood, humming West Side Story.
‘When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way,’ he belted. ‘From your first cigarette, to your last dyin’ day. Guess where I left my man.’
‘By the stereo?’
‘Nope.’ He smiled impishly.
The Tudor receded in Glenda’s rearview mirror until it was toy-sized.
Dick turned the corner. Their Focus sped along a road that merged onto the highway. He grinned, his eyes darting as he enjoyed prolonging the suspense.
‘Their cigarettes,’ he said finally. ‘An opened pack of unfiltered Camels in the bedroom drawer. You gotta be nuts to puff those. A little man will be pointing his gun when they find him. A subtle warning.’
‘Oh, Dick! You’re so clever!’
They both laughed.
‘You know, I’m hungry,’ Dick said. ‘How about some ice cream?’
‘Your cholesterol,’ Glenda said soberly. ‘You know what Dr. Manila said.’
He steered them onto the highway, punching the gas as they merged into traffic. ‘Dr. Manila’s a kill-joy. Last week I left a little something for him too. A sharp-shooter on his stomach, peering through his scope.’ He paused. ‘Get this, I left him next to the anoscope!’
Glenda howled, ‘Oh, Dick. You didn’t!’
‘I want a hot fudge sundae,’ he said.
‘Me, too. And look…’ From her coat pocket she removed a little man with a hand grenade. ‘I’ll shove him in my sundae and accuse them of trying to—’
The Wilsons roared ahead as their stomachs longed for ice cream, their fingers itched for plastic.
DS Levy’s work has been published in Little Fiction (nominated for Pushcart), the Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, South Dakota Review, Brevity, The Pinch, and others. Her collection of flash fiction, A Binary Heart, was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press.