This sounds like a brilliant title for an erotic novel, not the story of a near death experience. As it turned out, it was a little of both.
Layce was in the kitchen wearing nothing but her apron. Okay, okay, she also had pants and a shirt on. She was rummaging around in the cupboard. “Do we have any cough drops? I think I’m coming down with a sore throat.”
“Yes, they’re on the top shelf,” I said, pointing because I can’t see or reach the top shelf in our kitchen without a step stool which we don’t have so I just point when I need something up there. She located the cough drops and popped one in.
Emma came racing through the front door. “I ran all the way home from school.”
“Are you in training?” I asked, pouring myself a cup of coffee.
“No, I just get bored walking. It’s slow and slow things are boring. Think of sloths. I’ve been watching them on Youtube. Hold on,” she said, and disappeared into her room.
“Is this going somewhere?” I asked.
“Yes, I think we’re going to get a lesson in sloths,” Layce said, the cough drop clicking against her teeth.
“Maybe I should pull up the Webster’s definition of sloth so I can add to the discussion and lead it around to the fact that having a messy room is a prime example of slothing.”
“I don’t think that’s a word.”
“It should be. Slothing as pertains to the rooms of certain teenage humans who will do just about anything not to clean their rooms. That would be my definition.”
“Yes, it would.”
Emma returned with her Kindle. “You’ve got to see this video about the flying sloth. Hold on while I find it.”
I usually try to sneak out of the room at this point so as not to be barraged by thirteen-year-old humor that I do not understand. It was a fortuitous thing that I didn’t.
“I have a pulse in my pants,” Emma said.
My head whipped around. Had our little girl just had a sexual awakening and experienced her first quivering of adolescent lust?
There was a gasping noise. Layce had swallowed her cough drop and was making death rattles in her throat. She did the universal signal for choking – clawing at her own throat. Emma, who has been trained in CPR and the Heimlich, was right on it. She gave her mother a good whack on the back. The cough drop became a projectile missile aimed right at me. I ducked and narrowly avoided losing an eye.
When Layce could speak again, she asked the question on both our minds. “A pulse in your pants?”
“Yeah, you know like the one in your neck only it’s in your leg.”
“You mean your femoral artery?” I asked.
“Yeah, when I ran home I could feel it pulsing. It was really neat.”
“Oh,” Layce said.
“It was a good thing you saved your mom because it would have haunted you for the rest of your life knowing that last thing you said to her was ‘Have you ever had a pulse in your pants?’” I said.
I looked over at Layce just in time to see her pluck the cough drop off the back of the sofa and blow on it.
I gasped. “You are not going to put that back in your mouth, are you?”
“Look! Layce said, pointing to Emma’s Kindle. “Is that sloth really flying?”
When I turned back to Layce the cough drop was gone and she was smiling slyly. “Is that a pulse in your pants or are you just glad to see me?” she asked with a wink.
“You guys are so gross,” Emma said, slamming her bedroom door behind her.
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