Betsy’s heart raced as she swiped at her cell’s screen. A puddle of smelly, linty, sparkly water grew at her feet. Finally, her fingers selected the No Bummer Plumber icon.
“Next on National Public Radio,” Betsy heard the device in the laundry room. “Trump’s budget slashes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.”
“Cool Mom! Can I play in the water?” Toby’s eyes locked on the flood overtaking the basement and began peeling off his socks.
The familiar pain started at the base of Betsy’s neck and jolted down her arms. She reached to activate a pressure point, held her phone in the other hand and muttered, “no, no, no!”
“What, you don’t need a plumber, lady?” The course Brooklyn accent crawled through the phone.
“Yes!” Betsy’s jaw tightened, “I need a plumber!”
Toby’s toe touched the glittery wave. “No!” she hissed at Toby.
“Seventeen, Cherry Tree lane.”
“Ok lady, we’ll be there sometime between nine this morning and nine tonight.” Click!
Betsy’s arms throbbed with pain. “Mommy’s heart hurts Honey. Go get some towels.”
Toby nodded and raced back up the stairs. Betsy pressed her fingers into her forehead, as she watched the glitter creep across the floor.
The sparkle show was the result of Betsy volunteering to do laundry for Toby’s preschool. Stinky towels covered in paint, glue, and glitter came into the house. Clean towels were returned back to the preschool.
The glowing wave grew, then began to swirl. Betsy shook her head with disbelief as the glitter clumped into the strange recognizable shape of Donald Trump’s face then ballooned into a nuclear blast. It formed a mushroom cloud.
“No!” Betsy clutched her heart again.
“Here Mom!” Toby’s handed his mom a pile of towels. She moved between Toby and the sparkle apocalypse so he could not see the terrifying image. Betsy hurled the towels at the Trump explosion, grabbed Toby’s hand and ran upstairs.
Hours later, twilight crawled into the windows as Jack returned home from work. Stomach growling, he sniffed trying to identify what was for dinner and came up with wet towel.
Toby opened the closet door. “Hi Daddy! Mommy and I played ‘closet camping’ today!”
Jack’s eyes widened as he took in the scene. Water bottles, lanterns, and woodland stuffed animals filled the closet. Toby handed his dad a partially crushed graham cracker with marshmallow oozing out of the center.
“Want some? I toasted it with my mouth!” Toby smiled.
“Yum!” Jack popped the mess into his mouth and exclaimed, “delicious!”
Jack held his wife’s hand. “Another panic attack today, sweetie?” Betsy nodded and put her face in her hands. She mumbled, “and the plumber never came.”
“Is it time to make some changes?” Asked Jack gently.
Three weeks later Betsy and Toby camped in a real tent in the living room.
“Why pink and princess, Mom?” Toby glanced at the pink tent walls covered with the faces of Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle.
“Because pink is good for Mommy’s heart. It’s called color therapy and pink is a color that makes people feel happy.”
“I hate the princesses,” Toby muttered under his breath.
Betsy popped a GABA tablet in her mouth and sprayed lavender oil into the air.
“These books make mommy happy too.” Self-help titles filled the tent. She read them off to Toby:
It’s Never Too Late for Never Again
One Day at a Time, or Die Trying
Daily Incantations for Relaxation, Entertainment, and Dismemberment
Getting From OMG to OM
That night over a steaming hot three course dinner Jack asked, “How was your day?”
“Fine,” Betsy smiled. “But, I feel so guilty about quitting my volunteer job at the preschool.”
“That’s alright, let some other sucker wash towels for awhile.”
“Well it did give me time to write two letters to congress and call our representative Diana Gegette in support of keeping our National Parks.”
“No panic attack for three days now, right?”
“Yes, somehow taking on the man instead of towels was just what the doctor ordered.”
Suddenly from the basement, Toby’s high-pitched scream split the air, “Mom, Dad! The glitter is back and it looks like Cinderella!!”
The pen is mightier than the sword if you shoot that pen out of a gun. – Steven Colbert