Discover more from Three Minute Fiction
Short Story Day 18 of 365
The Nolans brought out the heavy green blanket at the beginning of December.
Prior to that, it just wasn’t needed in North Texas. Sheets, quilts, throw blankets, and light blankets would suffice eight months in the year, but from Thanksgiving onward to mid-March, it was green blanket or crank up the thermostat to 75.
They bought the blanket when they were young and poor. Now that they were old and poor, it was even more important to take care of that covering. They washed and dried it every year down town in the heavy duty machines because their normal, humble machine just wasn’t big enough.
“They say it’s gonna drop into the 30s tonight. Time for the Green Machine?”
“I’d say,” Mrs. Nolan said. “Just make sure we have more than a sheet under it because if for some reason I get to sweating, I’m tossing it.”
The Green Machine was pure blanket. It easily weighed 15 pounds dry and served the same purpose those heavy pellet-filled blankets serve: mainly, it keeps anyone who’s under it warm.
“Where’d you store it,” he asked.
“Um, in with the Winter clothes. It’s in a large black plastic bag, one of those contractor bags in the garage.”
Nolan went to the garage and on the top of several plastic tote containers was a large plastic bag.
He got the step ladder to reach it and then just tossed it onto the garage floor until he got off the ladder. The chill in the garage was now apparent; they would definitely need the blanket tonight.
Grabbing the bag and turning out the garage light, he took the bag into their bedroom.
“The moment of truth…” he said as he untied the knot in the top of the bag.
Before he could see or feel anything in the bag, the odor was pungent. Musty. Moldy.
He pulled part of the blanket out with two fingers and could see a faint light green substance growing on the outside of the blanket and was distinct from the dark forest green color of the blanket.
His wife asked what the smell was.
“Take a look, Hon.”
“Eew. Gross. How’d that happen? Did we put it away wet?”
“Or something. And I don’t want to try to clean it this year. Let’s splurge and get a brand new one, one that’ll last us into our retirement years.”
“Okay, but we’re already there, Sweetie. We’re already there.”