C. Rutherford

Jill sat, but without a chair, without a surface, and without even a true name. Her sister-in-law’s name was not being used at the time, so she decided to borrow it, but for too long.

The debt collection agency was already at the door, its headquarters already constructed in the front yard within a week.

She crept out from the backdoor, past the haggling press, and swore she would never again pet sit in a house with no pets. Besides, the resident, George, was always present. He treated her like a window pane and never even payed her.

On the journey to the bus station, she came across either a chef or an alligator. Whoever it was tossed a wink at her like a pancake. She pulled out a bottle of maple syrup, but the bottle was empty, except for a beetle inside named C. Rutherford.

The bus sped by without a door. Where the bus stop canopy once stood, there now was a boot the size of a horse. It even neighed.

With no bus in sight, Jill walked to her destination, three houses down. Because the beetle led the way, she arrived the following morning.

“Back again ‘ey?” voiced George in his new sand pit.

A minute later, Jill crept out from the backdoor and past the haggling press.

On her way to the train station, she gazed at a pair of abandoned crutches, till a crutch caught her foot, and tumbled her down to sleep. There was even a pillow for her and maybe even a nurse.

She dreamt of an hourglass and nothing more.

Upon awakening, she found a cup of coins in her hand.

As soon as she shook it, a girl scout crawled from the bushes and stole the change. The scout needed the money to raise taxes.

At the train station, Jill bought the soda she came for and returned to George’s house to put some clothes on. But already, George had hired a new sitter.