Current Issue

In the Heat of the Night

Dawn DeBraal

In the heat of the night on a hot August day, Murielle found herself in a compromising position. She did not own an air conditioner. I know you thought I was going in a different direction with this story, didn’t you? I know you did!
The night was stifling no matter how many windows were open. Murielle had one of those fancy oscillating ones on a pedestal in the house. Murielle’s daughter Arielle, told her she’d read somewhere that if Murielle drank something hot, she’d feel cooler. Murielle put the tea kettle on the stove to heat up some water for hot tea. The hot tea did not make her any cooler. Murielle took off the last thing she could take off and still be decent. Arielle remembered it was the other way around, drink something cold so your body will heat up when it’s cold out, sorry. Murielle and Arielle decided to vacate the house for the front porch. Murielle turned on the ceiling fan. It was a bit cooler out there, but they had to turn the lights out, the mosquitos were looking for easy prey. That night with the bare minimum on, they were exposing themselves as if they had painted targets on their bodies. 
Switching back to the iced tea, Murielle told her daughter it was silly that Arielle suggested the hot tea. Murielle was even hotter now. What a miserable night. Arielle said she read about taking a bowl full of ice and putting a fan behind it. This had the same effect as air conditioning. Arielle opened the freezer and filled up a big stainless-steel bowl with ice and put a window fan behind it. They waited for the air conditioning effect, that never came. Well, maybe it got a little cooler than blowing hot air around. Murielle told Arielle to stop coming up with these silly ideas. Tempers flared, both mother and daughter clashed with one another, hollering at the top of their lungs in the heat of the moment. The neighbor came from next door asking them if there was a problem. Both of the ladies stood silent nodding their heads no. The neighbor said 
“Goodnight then.” Walking away leaving them behind. Murielle whispered to Arielle,
“Did you see that? 
“What?” Arielle asked
“He was packing heat!” Arielle sharply drew her breath. 
“Do you mean a gun?” Murielle shook her head “yes.” 
“Did you notice something else about our neighbor?” Arielle asked her mother. Murielle shook her head no.  
“If that’s our new neighbor, I think he’s pretty hot!” Murielle looked at her daughter and started to laugh. Tonight, there was no way they could cool themselves down with so many kinds of heat out to get them.


Bio

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two rat terriers and a cat. Recently retired she has discovered her love of telling a good story can be written.

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