Hosepipe

In Lahaina, Maui 2019

In Lahaina, Maui 2019

Writing Prompt No. 94

The hose lay in a tangled heap on the new lawn.

Twenty-five metres worth of new pipe to water the turf laid four days ago. Peter was not going to let this go.

“You could’ve rolled it back up into the wheel. That’s what it's there for,” he said gathering the pipe into large loops over his forearm.

“I watered it.” Peter’s son, Larry, pushed the hosepipe left on the ground with the toe of his trainer.

“You can’t just leave it on the grass like this. It’ll kill whatever’s underneath. Make it yellow.”

“It’s only grass.”

“It’s a thousand pounds worth of turf is what it is,” said Peter stopping to untangle a particularly untidy three metres. “Where’s your mother?”

“Dunno.”

Peter continued to loop the pipe over his arm until the whole twenty-five metres was in a neatly wrapped pile.

“I’ll sort it out in the morning. You can help.”

“I can’t,” said Larry in a breezy fashion. “I have my driving test.”

“Really?” said Peter raising his eyebrows. “You’re not getting a car you know.”

“I will pass.”

Peter didn’t reply as he shut the door on the shed and turned the key in the lock.

“Why d’you lock it?” Larry said.

“What?”

“The shed door. Why lock it? No one’s going to nick anything around here.”

“Badgers,” said Peter.

There was a pause.

“Badgers?” said Larry with some surprise. “Badgers are going to get in and steal all your tools?” He started to laugh, rolling his shoulders up and holding his hand over his mouth as if he could catch his giggling.

Peter gave him a sideways look. After a moment or two, his shoulders started to shake, his eyes creased into a smile and then a loud snort burst out of his nose. By the time Miriam came out to see what all the noise was about, father and son were clasping their sides, leaning against each other for support and crying with a soundless laughter.

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