|Chainsaw picture from Mike's Garden Blog|
Rory shuffled into the kitchen, poured himself a glass of orange juice and took it into the den, where he plopped down onto the couch and picked up the television remote.
“Mom, the TV’s not working.”
“I know. The power’s out. That’s why I’ve been outside getting wood.”
“Oh.” He put down the remote and picked up a video game.
Jess’ phone rang and she excused herself to answer it. While she talked, Jake looked over at her son.
He was taller than his mother, and looked pretty healthy. Why was he sitting there on the couch while his mom did all the work?
The boy's fingers stopped, but his head didn't move. It was difficult to see his eyes through the hair covering his face. He'd just have to assume he had the kid's attention.
"Your mom's been working pretty hard out there. Why don't we help her out?"
The boy didn't move for a while, and Jake wondered if he'd overstepped. Finally the boy shrugged, and stood. Jake stood almost eye-to-eye with him. He wanted to shake the kid and ask why he would let his tiny mom work so hard, but held himself back. He didn't have the right. Better to just suggest strongly and hope the kid got the message.
"If the power is out for a long time, you two will need a lot of wood. More than what she has out there. I'll start cutting, and you can bring it to the side of the house. Okay?"
His words were again met with a shrug, but at least the kid was up. Jake wondered what it would take to elicit a verbal response, but decided a shrug was better than a refusal. Best to pick his battles, he supposed.
He held his tongue again when the boy grabbed a sweatshirt before following him to the shed. Did he really think a sweatshirt was good enough to protect him from the sub-zero temperature? Well, the boy was old enough to know better.
Jake found the chainsaw and got it to work. He and Rory went around to the north side of the house.
Hearing a door open, he turned and saw Rory go back inside. He took a deep breath to calm his anger. How had Jess saddled herself with such an irresponsible punk? Grumbling to himself, he pulled the chain and started to cut. He had a dozen or so pieces cut when a pair of gloved hands picked one up. Ah. The kid had finally realized he needed to dress for the weather. He now sported a snowmobile suit and a pair of boots.
The suit was a few sizes too large for the boy. It must have belonged to his dad. But though it hung loosely, the arms and legs were just the right length for him. Rory apparently had his father's height. Must be the dad’s boots, too. Poor kid.
He went back to cutting wood.
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