a Women Writers' Showcase
Nesting Instincts
by Marti Parker

I alphabetized David’s allergy medications in the medicine cabinet and wiped the smudges from the mirror before easing back into bed. The room felt hot and stuffy. I fluffed my pillows and threw back the covers, but it no use. I couldn’t turn on the ceiling fan. David had disconnected it, claiming I was trying to freeze him to death. He looked to be sleeping just fine. I couldn’t stand it any longer. If I had to be miserable, he was darn sure going to be miserable with me.

“David, wake up,” I said, nudging his shoulder.


“I can’t sleep. It’s hot in here. Come for a walk with me?”

He rolled over, raised his head in the direction of the clock and grunted, “Are you crazy? It’s four o’clock in the morning! I’ve got to get up for work in two hours. Go by yourself.”

“You’d make me go out at this hour alone?”

“If you’re worried, take Clyde.” He yanked the comforter over his shoulder and curled up tight.

Frustrated, I managed to scoot myself out of bed and slip on my blue terry cloth robe. David rolled over and snuggled his nose into my pillow.

“Butthead,” I mumbled, sliding into my purple fuzzy slippers.

After fumbling with the belt on the robe, I finally realized there was no way that sucker was going to fit around me. I waddled down the hall and into the living room. Clyde was stretched out on the fringed Persian rug in front of the couch. His head lifted. When I reached for the leash on the hook beside the front door his ears perked up.

“Want to go with me, baby?” I whispered.

We were quite a pair walking out into the sharp twenty-eight degree November morning. A regal 100-pound Blue Doberman leading a Volkswagen-shaped housewife dressed in a powder blue bathrobe and purple fuzzy slippers. Ha! Who would bother us?

Clyde didn’t seem to mind the cold drizzle beginning to fall. I was in my ninth month, ready to pop any day. My hormon es were in orbit, so the icy winds felt wonderful. I started thinking about our living room. It was the only room in the house that I had not yet rearranged.

Would the couch look better in front of the window or against the far wall? Where would the television go? My Boston fern would look better hanging in the right corner. Get rid of that blue vase Aunt Della gave us for a housewarming gift. I never liked it anyway and it doesn‘t even match my color scheme. Or would the sofa look better facing the door?

My mind was reeling with ideas.

We were in mid walk when an internal kick to the bladder signaled it was time to head for home. Quickly. Between worrying about getting to the bathroom and where I wanted the sofa to go, Clyde could barely keep up.

After taking care of the call from Mother Nature, I entered the living room and looked around. It just wasn’t right, not sure why, but it just wasn’t. I was experiencing what mother referred to as ‘nesting instincts.’ She told me that she once rearranged all the furniture, the dishes in the cabinets and the food in the refrigerator. Mom said it nearly drove my poor father crazy. He never knew where anything was anymore.

Hmm, if dad can handle it, David can too.

So, I proceeded to rearrange everything. Not having thick plush carpet made sliding the couch, coffee table and recliner rather easy. I disconnected the TV, stereo and VCR and pushed the wall-sized oak entertainment system across the room. A daunting task, even with the coasters on the bottom.

All the electronics were reconnected, and I had just finished the last of my redecorating when the automatic timer buzzed. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee began to fill the air. David's alarm clock went off. Screeching guitars and head-pounding drums echoed down the hall. I went into the kitchen to pour David a cup of coffee.

The brightness of the bathroom light illuminated the short hallway and a small portion of the living room. What the sound of flushing water does to a pregnant woman is absolutely cruel. Feeling the urge again, I put the cup down and toddled into the living room. David staggered down the hall and into the living room.

“Dammit!” He cried out, banging his knee on the corner of an end table.

Before I could warn him, he stumbled to the left and fell over the wingback armchair and knocked my favorite lamp off into the floor. Clyde started barking ferociously when the light bulb shattered.

“Good grief Becky! What the hell?” He grumbled, rocking on the floor clutching his bruised knee.

“I told you I couldn’t sleep. Maybe next time you’ll reconsider taking a walk with me.”

“Yeah, to make sure you get too tired to come back and set up an obstacle course.”

“Your coffee is ready. I have to go pee.”

I brushed past him on my way to the bathroom.

“Want me to fix you a cup, too?” He offered in a semi-sympathetic tone.

“Nope. I’m tired now. I’m going back to bed.”


Marti Parker is a transplanted Texan living in rural Mississippi with her husband and two teenage children. After working twenty years in cramped “politically correct” office environments, she works at home and has reclaimed her creativity. She is a novice writer who enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Marti is also currently working on her first novel, a paranormal thriller. Contact Marti.