6.03.2008

New Book Idea

An excerpt from:

More Than a Little Love
Chapter 1

Cindy walked into work early Monday morning. It was a day that had started out like any other. She had gotten up, showered, dressed, and eaten a small breakfast. One of the downsides of standing 4 feet, 1.5 inches, is that you have to stay on a calorie-restricted diet in order to maintain a reasonable body wieght. Cindy always had to be careful; it was so easy to gain weight, and so difficult to exercise and lose weight with her build. They don't make little exercise bikes or little elliptical trainers - things people of taller heights took for granted. Very rarely, on rough days, she would cry into her spinach frittata without cheese (a mainstay of breakfasts for Cindy). Luckily, this morning wasn't one of those mornings. This morning she had mixed fresh strawberries and plain non-fat yogurt with Fiber One cereal. She felt satisfied and content. The sun was shining, and she was wearing her very favorite Land's End flat front khaki pants with a hidden elastic waistband in the back and custom hems. She felt like a million bucks.

Plus, she had recently used some of the money she had tucked away to purchase a brand new custom-fitted silver Toyota Prius. The state had paid for the custom part of the car, which had been a tremendous help. When she was driving, she looked like everyone else. No one could tell from outside the car that her gas pedals were situated quite a bit higher to make them easily in reach for her short legs. Sometimes, at a stop light, she would catch a man looking at her just a moment longer than necessary. She would hold his gaze as long as she could manage and then look down at her legs; her cheeks burning in self-awareness.

But this morning was different. This morning, Cindy could smell anticipation in the air. She had a spring in her step that didn't come just from Fiber One, a new car, or fancy pants.

Across town, this same morning, Mark was whistling to himself as he stocked soup cans in the Piggly Wiggly. Today was THE day. He had finally saved enough money to put a good-sized down payment on the mechanical tree planter he wanted to purchase to start his own business. He had starved for, lived for, and dreamed of the tree planter for nearly 3 years. He had contracts with the town of Grand Rapids and also with several private land owners in town to plant trees in the next couple weeks. He was hopeful that as word got out, these jobs (well done) would lead to more contracts.

It was his ticket out of the PW. Not that the grocery store wasn't a great place to work. His boss, Henry, was fair and generous. His co-workers were respectable and he even had a couple of buddies he could call when he felt like going fishing or hunting with someone in the evening. But to have his own business and to be his own boss - that had been his goal for as long as he could remember. He stood up from his crouched position and stretched to his full height - a whopping 4 feet, 5 inches. Just about average for a little person.

Henry came by to drop off some more boxes full of Progresso soup, and stood there for a moment waiting to catch Mark's attention. Henry wasn't a tall man, but stood a full 18 inches taller than Mark. "So today's the day, huh?"

"Yep", replied Mark

"We're going to miss you, buddy" said Henry, first with a grin, then with a sober look on his face. "You're always welcome back, you know, if this tree-planting scheme doesn't work out."

"Thanks," said Mark, opening another box of soup. "But its going to work. It's got to work. Although, I would like some hours in the winter. Can't plant trees when there is 4 feet of frost in the ground and a foot of snow up top".

"I'll make sure you get the hours you need" said Henry. "Come see me before you leave."

"No problem." Mark smiled at Henry and shook his hand. He was going to miss old Henry.

The day finished quickly for Mark, and he was almost giddy as he drove over to the Farm Equipment dealer to pay for the machinery and sign papers. He had worked the early shift so that he would have time in the afternoon to take care of the necessary paperwork involved in the big planned purchase. After an hour of applying for the title, and filling out the necessary loan application, Mark drove over to the State Farm insurance office to get coverage for the tree planter.

He jumped out rather nimbly from his Ford F150 for a person with legs his height. It was the climbing back in that was hard; luckily his truck had a custom built step to make it easier. He walked in, and smiled at the lady sitting at the front desk. He didn't remember seeing her before, and felt sure she must be new since his last visit. He wouldn't have forgotten a beautiful face like that. He looked at her name plate sitting on the desk. "CINDY", it read.

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