It’s an Herb Thing #1

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Every week in Tuesday Tales, several of us write to a word prompt. I’ve been writing my historical Vintage Daze Short Stories, adding to them each week as we go along. Until we got to April and the A to Z blog Challenge arrived. I realized that I’d plotted out a short story for my Vintage Daze blog, going from A to Z that conflicted with my Tuesday Tales post.

So, for April, I’m writing a short story on Herb Thyme, since Herb Thyme isn’t participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. For the next five weeks, join Jessica and her desire to work with herbs in this new short story – It’s an Herb Thing.

This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘alone.’ You can check out the other wonderful snippets at Tuesday Tales here.

It’s an Herb Thing

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“Are you out of your flippin’ mind? You can’t quit your job. We need the money.” Peter pounded his fist on the table to emphasize his declaration.

His anger wasn’t a new response. Jessica was rather used to his tirades when life didn’t go according to his plan. Before, she’d always meekly demurred, but after twelve years of marriage it was starting to wear on her and she was beginning to push back. “If we need the money so desperately, why don’t you get a job? How many months have you been on unemployment now? And how much of those meager checks are going to buy beer? And how-“

“I have been looking for a job. Construction is slow right now.”

“Yeah…your one phone call a week? Just enough so you can write something down on the form and you can-“

“Don’t even go there.” Peter grabbed the van keys from the table and stormed out, slamming the front door behind him.

Their arguments always went in one of two directions. They either escalated to World War Three pitches, or he left – off to spend time with his friends and consume more beer.

Jessica was glad the kids were spending the afternoon with their grandmother. Allen and Christie didn’t need to hear yet another one of the familiar arguments. She didn’t know whether to sob or to fume. Some days she thought she’d be better off alone, instead of feeling trapped in what their marriage had become. So, she did the next best thing and made a quick call to her best friend, Laurel. Within an hour the Calvary had arrived and the two besties were sitting on the back porch sipping sodas and munching on the fresh cinnamon rolls Laurel picked up at the bakery on her way to Jessica’s house.

Laurel popped the last bite in her mouth and licked the creamy frosting that had run down her thumb. “So – what do you want to do, instead of working in an office?”

“I’m not exactly sure. Something with herbs.”

“Growing them?”

“No. I love growing them here.” Jessica trailed her hand through the air, highlighting the mounds of fragrant lavender, peppermint, lemon balm, and rosemary that surrounded the patio. “But for a business, no, not growing them. I’d like to work with them in some fashion though. Maybe crafting with them. I think I’d really love to have a small little herb shop, filled with fresh and dried herbs, and pots and birdhouses, books about herbs, soaps…you know, things like that.”

“So why don’t you?”

“Right! On what money? I’m robbing the kid’s piggy banks this week to keep the electricity from getting cut off. I can’t open up a shop with no money.”

“So, start off on the side. You make all those lovely soaps that I just adore getting for Christmas and birthday presents. People would buy those. Do a few weekend craft fairs. Put it out on Facebook. You’d get orders.”

Jessica looked out in the distance as if she could see an answer floating in amongst the fluffy clouds drifting overhead. “I could. I wouldn’t want to do just soaps though. I’d get bored doing one thing.”

“But it’s a start. You could branch out from there. I was just thinking about the soaps because you make such nice ones. Hey, I’d buy them from you.”

Tears misted and threatened to spill down Jessica’s cheeks. “Thanks. You’re the best friend ever. But there’s only one problem with that plan. Back to the money issue. It takes cash to purchase supplies and get table space at craft fairs.”

Come back next week for more It’s an Herb Thing.

You can check out the other Tuesday Tales snippets here.

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