Sara swore under her breath as she headed downstairs. House duty. This meant sweeping the paths, among other things. It had been raining and storming all week, and of course it would be one giant mess. As if she didn't have enough stupid chores already!
She almost fell down the basement stairs, retrieved the broom from its closet - full of spiders, and she hated spiders - and returned upstairs.
The catch felt sticky. Probably the Myer's little one had been playing in the corridor with his peanut butter sandwich again. He was a cute kid, but he left his marks everywhere. Of course his parents did not feel the need to clean up after him. "He is only a little boy, and we can't believe he made this mess anyway. You sure?" was all they usually said when confronted with peanut butter, jam or chocolate spread on stairs, walls and doors. Great, one more thing Sara would have to do before she could return to her desk.
She took the time to button up her old, unfashionable coat - it had been green once, but you needed lots of imagination nowadays to see that in the worn-out fabric - and knot her dull brown hair into a tight bun at the back of her head. Then she opened the door, wiped her now sticky hand on her coat and went outside.
The wind hadn't given up. Of course not. Swirls of yellow, brown and red leaves were dancing on the streets, and a steady rain of more leaves was coming down from the trees. It didn't make any sense to sweep the sidewalk anyway, Sara mused. But if she didn't do it on Friday afternoon, as the lease demanded, the old lady living at the top pf the house would immediately report her to the landlord. Obviously she didn't have anything else to do. Unlike Sara, who had a job and a little nephew she had promised to watch after this weekend, which would take so much of her energy that she didn't even dream of finishing her project in the night hours while Toby was asleep.
The leaves fought a nasty battle. They clearly didn't want to be sweeped and thrown into the trash can. Sara couldn't blame them, being honest, but she hated them for making her day even more difficult. As soon as she had cleared a section of the sidewalk, there would either be another rain of leaves - like shiny butterflies, tumbling down from the trees and catching the sparse rays of sunlight on their dance down.
Or another gust of wind would promptly undo her work. Sara cursed under her breath. It was like a bunch of children racing around excited and urging her to come along and play for a while.
"But I don't have time to play", Sara mumbled, then shaked her head. "Great, now I'm even talking to myself. I'll end up as crazy cat lady." She smiled at the thought. "If only I were a witch, the work might be done at the blink of my eye. Stupid reality..."
The wind died down for a moment, and she hurried to sweep up a big heap of leaves. Just as she was about to drop them in the trash can, a heavy burst of wind snatched them from her head. One moment she bent over the trash can, busy and far away with her thoughts, and the next moment she was at the centre of a red and yellow leaf storm.
"What the hell?!"
Sara started laughing. Since being angry didn't help, she decided, she could as well have some fun. She grabbed her broom, hopped on it as if it was a hobby-horse, and galopped down the sidewalk. "Wooo-hoooo!!!"
As she turned around, she saw the old woman practically hanging out of her window to find out what was going on downstairs. "What was that terrible noise?" she shouted in her high-pitched old-woman voice.
Sara smiled at her brightly and shouted back in a high sing-sang voice, "Oh, that was just a bunch of witches passing by. They wanted to know if I would join them." She imagined hearing kids giggle under the wind.
The old woman shook her head and closed the window with a loud pang. What would she think of Sara?
Oh, screw it! Sara laughed delightedly. Crazy old girl. Do what you want. For me it is - off to the Blocksberg!