Saturday, 15 September 2012

Chapter 1

It had been six weeks since the accident and this was his last appointment with the phisio. Susan had been a tremendous help, Dennis was at last able stretch to his full height. It was late afternoon and as he had been her last client they sat chatting after his treatment. It was then that Dennis revealed to her his plans for a shed.

Susan had never thought much about sheds but as Dennis described it her pulse began to quicken, “you will let me see it Dennis” she panted. “I’ll text you when the base is being laid” he replied. After he had left Susan began to daydream, she remembered how as a young woman she had been indifferent towards sheds and other sectional buildings but now...

Several weeks past until she received a text from Dennis, “it’s getting laid tomorrow” was all it said but Susan’s pulse was once again racing. She cancelled all appointments and as she drove the eight miles to Dennis’s house she imagined what it might be like. When she arrived work was already in progress, the massive ready-mix truck barely fitted in the narrow lane its huge bucket churning the heavy mix round and round with a relentless thumping, only to be interrupted by the occasional whoosh as another load gushed down the hopper and into a waiting barrow. “Hi Susan”, it was Dennis who interrupted her trance. “It’s a tight squeeze” she murmured still not quite recovered from her encounter. “It’s so big, how did you get it into the lane” she continued. “We trimmed back some of the foliage” replied Dennis, “gave it a real Brazilian”.

Dennis led her round the truck and she felt a shiver of excitement as the massive bucket brushed past her arm. As she approached the back garden she wondered how big the base would be. Dennis pushed back the gate and there it was, massive and glistening in the midday sun. At the far end it was like a rumpled sheet as the men used a wide tamper to smooth the surface. As the tamper was raised she could hear the suck of wet concrete clinging tightly to it followed by a resounding thud as it plunged back into the mix. This hypnotic rhythm was making Susan sweat, “are you ok” said Dennis as her offered her his hand.

He led her to the other end where the last few barrow loads of concrete was being dispensed. “It still needs tamping” said Dennis. “Oh yes” Susan responded, “oh yes”. She was fixated by the craggy lumps of concrete and marvelled at how they shuddered as another load was emptied in. “Can I touch it” Susan said and Dennis understood exactly what she meant. They kneeled at the edge of the base and she allowed his hand to guide her towards the tacky, moist surface. Suddenly she broke free of his grip and plunged her hand right into the mix. The cool, grey liquid engulfed her hand and arm as her enquiring fingers fondled the hard lumps of ballast deep below the surface. Soon she had plunged her other hand in too and in a rocking motion she thrust them back and forth.

Dennis remembered how with those same motions she had eased away his pain after the accident but now this was for her, this was for Susan. He watched as her blouse pulled loose and he could see her glossy flesh shimmering. But he knew that he was simply a bystander, Susan was mesmerised as the tamping came nearer it became louder and louder, now within inches of her fingers all she could think of was the rush that was about to engulf her. “Yes, yes” she screamed and she pulled both arms out of the mix. She held them out to Dennis in triumph; he understood. He lightly held her chilled, grey fingers and gazed at her face reddened and splattered with beads of concrete. Are you glad you came he whispered?