A utilities shut-off notice

Day 14 #iWriteDaily

I don’t usually write much fiction, which is why I’m not getting ahead in the mystery I hope to write. But this came to me this morning at my weekly writing group, to the prompt: A utilities shut-off notice. Here goes.

She knew the gas company was serious when she’d received the shut-off notice in the mailbox. She’d hoped to push the payment out just a little farther until … until what? She wouldn’t be able to pay it even a month from now.

Sometimes she wondered whether she could make it without their damned gas. And electricity. It was still fall, not yet winter, although close; and the chill in the house only ever got really bad deep in the night. It would be cheaper to buy more blankets — she’d already looked at Goodwill for free ones — than pay the bill, which was now more than $700.

She’d already checked with all those “community agencies“ that were supposed to provide a safety net for people like her. One told her they could give her 20 percent of what she owed, the rest said they were out of funds for utilities. Now, if what she needed was help with rent, they could assist.

But she didn’t need rent money. The house was hers, along with all the repairs she didn’t have the money to make. What had happened to her, and all those dreams she’d had before cancer had come along and put big black X’s through every one of them?

The doctors were insisting on being paid, too. She was sinking here. She’s always been a good swimmer, but these tides were pulling her under.

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