Salamander in the Basement, part 2

If you missed the beginning of this short story, you can read it here.

Lollipops, Garlic, and Basement Salamanders“You don’t have to go down there today,” Mom urged at breakfast. I frowned at her over a slice of cold apple pie. What had I come home for if not to tackle the laden basement?

“We could go to the park instead. See what frogs are there in daylight….” she tempted.

“This afternoon, maybe,” I replied, attracted by the reprise of the cold-blooded singers but unwilling to forgo my task. “I want to see what I can get done this morning.”

Back in the basement, I decided to go about it scientifically. A box for Goodwill donations, another for trash. A box for Mom to go through, full of lone wooden clogs, cracked doll heads, and other items with less than obvious personal significance. Boxes for books and fabric and yarn. My own old boxes I sifted through ferociously, pulling out old paperwork and odds and ends to feed the trash bin.

The job was easy at first. Lone socks hit the discard pile, empty jars and bottles of all sorts were set aside to be recycled. I held up an old pair of my own underpants with holes large enough to pass my fist through, and decided that Mom had plenty of rags without this ignoble contribution.

But as time passed, the dim basement light began to get to me and the hoarding instinct trickled in. What lovely cloth! I thought, spreading a sparkling bolt of fabric between outstretched hands. Surely I’ll use that someday….

Shocked by my own mental meanderings, I dropped the fabric into the dust of the floor. All of those empty shampoo bottles could come in handy someday too, I berated myself. When pigs fly!

The bolt of linen safely stowed in the Goodwill box, I clambered over the raised lip of the door and squinted up into the sunlight. Once my eyes adjusted and my head felt clearer, I headed for the house.

“Alright, Mom, I’m ready for a break!” I called. “We can go as soon as I grab my binoculars.”

Stay tuned for part three, coming soon!