The back screen door creaked open and slapped shut with a thud. Mary bolted straight up in bed. Looking at the glowing red numerals and the sleeping form of her husband, she realized a stranger was rustling around the house.
"Larry," whispered his wife. "Larry," she repeated, more urgent.
"Larry," she hissed.
Mary jabbed a bony elbow into her husband's midsection. Larry moaned and rolled over, oblivious to his wife's pleas. Mary stared at the snoozing silhouette, noting the steady rise and fall of satin sheets with each whistling breath.
"Dog gone it," she mumbled, "are you deaf?"
Mary threw another elbow. "Honey," she rasped desperately, "I'm pregnant."
Larry launched upright, eyes large as saucers. He fumbled on the nightstand for his teeth, shoving them into a pair of empty gums.
"Huh? You're what?"
"Shhhhh," she warned through a single finger crossing pursed lips.
"It's a miracle of God. Doc said he tied double knots. And that was how many years ago? Twenty?"
"Thirty," she seethed. "Now simmer down and listen."
With a single clap, a lamp blazed to life.
"Larry, what are you doing? You're gonna give the intruder a target."
"Mary this news is of Biblical proportion." Snatching a Bible from the night stand, he rifled through Genesis, stabbing the spot. "Right there. Just like Abraham and Sarah."
"Honey, just settle down. I'm not really pregnant."
"I had to say something to get your attention." She clapped. Darkness swallowed the couple. "There's someone banging around in the other room."
Larry ignored the strange noises. "You're not pregnant?" he asked, obviously disappointed.
"Dear," she soothed, "we've raised three great kids and have a passel of grandchildren. I would say we've been blessed, wouldn't you?"
"And it's kinda nice to have the house to ourselves. We don’t have to lock the bedroom door anymore," she said, winking.
“Don’t you like having the house to ourselves?”
He clasped his wife’s hand, smiling shyly.
Marry pulled his face close. "Well, that’s the way we have it…except…for…the… prowler…in…the…other…room.” Mary shoved her husband out of bed. "Get in there and see what's going on," she ordered pointing to the hallway.
"Honey," he began nervously. "Now I've got some big news. I was expecting..." Larry cleared his throat wishing for a glass of water. "I was expecting...mother."
"Huh? Your mother is here?"
"Yes. She called and asked if she could come and visit. She knew her flight would get in late, and said she'd grab a cab. I told her I'd leave a key in the mailbox. She wanted to keep her visit a secret. How do you feel about her little surprise?"
"I think I'd rather give birth." Mary clapped flooding the room with light. "Why does she have to be so noisy?"
"You know mother. She's probably giving the place the old white glove treatment."
Mary collapsed onto her pillow, burying her head under the comforter.
"Well," Larry began, stretching, "since we're up, we might as well say hello."
The covers shook back and forth. "No way."
"Because, Larry. I haven't given this place a good dusting in a couple of weeks. I'm too tired to face your mother's disapproval."
"Okay." He bent to peck his wife on the cheek. "I'll just tell her not to be too hard on you because you're exhausted." He smiled broadly. "Expectant mothers need their rest, y' know."
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