Dale was warned about Betty Lynn's spending habits
Everybody said, “Dale, you’re going to kill yourself some day, you gotta slow down.”
Maybe today is the day. I can’t let myself pass out.
He figured everybody was right, but what are you going to do when you have five hungry kids at home and the bills keep coming; like water over a dam. Keeping the kids fed and clothed wasn’t the reason he worked two jobs though.
Thank God! The bleeding stopped.
Along with the entire population of Greenville, he knew why he worked night and day. It was that damn woman of his. For every two dollars he made she spent three. He wasn’t the smartest man in Tennessee but he knew that was bad arithmetic.
Damn! I’m not sure I can take much more pain. If only I would have taken more time. “Slow down son.” Isn’t that what they all said?
He still remembered the words her father said the day he married her. “Dale, I hope you know what you are getting into because Betty Lynn is just like her ma and doesn’t know the value of a dollar.” Well, that was twelve years ago and he found out her daddy was right. A month after their wedding vows she spent two hundred dollars on French perfume.
I have wood blocks, why didn’t I put them under the axle? Why did the damn jack slip?
Betty had a closet full of shoes and dresses she had never worn. She had all the newest kitchen appliances, but never cooked. A fur coat hung in the hall closet and she never wore it out of the house. Spending money was what Betty got excited about.
I shouldn’t have had my leg under there. Why was I so foolish? I’ve changed hundreds of flat tires; nothing like this ever happened before.
He had to moonlight to support his wife’s spending habits. Custom hay bailing for area farmers was good money and didn’t interfere with his full time job.
What are my options? My pocket knife would never cut through skin and bone... If I stretch I can reach the jack and start over. My mouth is so dry; a drink of water would sure taste good.
Betty liked her girl friend’s ‘in house’ parties. She was spending the afternoon at Cindy Sue’s Tupperware party. The woman had a terrible fondness for owning lots of plastic dishes.
No use yelling for help. Nobody would hear me. I might die, right here, pinned under this hay bailer. I can see my water jug from here. It’s right there hanging on the fender of the tractor. If I could just get a drink, maybe I could think straight.
“You can pick up your Tupperware a week from Tuesday.” Cindy explained as she handed the invoice to Betty.
“I can hardly wait that long,” Betty giggled. “I ordered all that for only $118.69.”
Betty left the party smiling and carrying her free plastic cheese knife.
This has got to work. I need to get home to my kids. An inch at a time is all I need. It’s working. Got to be careful now and pray the jack doesn’t slip again.
“I’m sorry I’m so late sweetie, how much do I owe you for watching the kids?” Betty asked the sitter as she reached for her checkbook.
“Well, you were gone all day, Mrs. Raine, is $30.00 to much?” the sitter shyly asked.
“Heavens no, here’s a check for $40.00, can you stop by tomorrow around 4 o’clock? I have a hair appointment."
I’m free. Jesus that hurts! Now what do I do? I can tie part of the jack to my leg and crawl to the tractor. Got to, it’s the only way I’m getting out of here. Bailing wire might work. Sure it will.
Betty Raines put her kids to bed, looked at the clock and poured bubble bath into the tub.
If I get to the highway I will get help. I got to hold on a little longer. It’s no use; I can’t get on the tractor. I better start walking. Half a mile…mile at the most.
Harvey Miller rose at 5 o’clock every morning and drove the ten miles to his job at the dairy. Three miles from home something lying next to the road caught his eye. At first he thought it was a deer.
He soon realized it wasn’t a deer but a man. Even from his car and the dim morning light he recognized the man lying face down. It was Dale Raine.
With Harvey’s help, Dale got in the car and they rushed to the hospital.
Dale told his story as they rode.
“My God, man, how did you ever walk that distance? It must be over a mile to that hay field.”
“A few times I had to stop and retighten the wires but this metal splint I made out of the jack helped me walk. As long as I didn’t try to move too fast, it looked like it would hold.”
Everyone was asleep at the Raine home when the phone rang.
“Betty, this is Dale. I’m over here at the county hospital. I had a little accident, maybe you should come over. The doc says they have to amputate my left leg from the knee down.”
“I will be there as quick as I can and don’t worry, I’m sure your insurance policy pays out $5000.00 for every loss of limb. Is it only your left leg, Dale?”
Prompt: “As long as I didn’t try to move too fast, it looked like it would hold…” 1000 words or less