Title: The Beneficiary Genre: Women's Fiction Rena Harding slapped the invoice stamped “Past Due” on the table and peered out the window to the sign someone had staked into the mud flats. The next item on her list would be to march down and yank it out. She’d do that as soon as she figured out how to deal with the electric bill.
It was June. Plenty of kerosene in the shed. She and Will could fire up the old hurricane lamps. She’d use the electric stove as little as possible. Instead, make it fun. Cook using driftwood on an outdoor fire. Cold-water washes in the set-tub, sheets flapping on the line. They’d be okay here on the island. They knew how to toss a hook—Will had been fishing since he learned to walk. Besides, a few jabs in the mud with a clam fork or a trip to a populated rock and they’d have all the shellfish they’d need. Sautéed mussels. Mussel stew. Clam chowder, cakes, stuffed. She’d mix it up. Flavor things with onion, dill, a potato or two. A few extra shifts at the diner and they’d make it—through the summer, anyway.
Lord, the sign out there annoyed her. It was one thing during election season. But now? Why would anyone bother to put one out here? Rena tossed the bill aside. Letting the screen door slam behind her, she weaved through the reeds, skirting the patch of eel-grass flowing down to the harbor. There, she discovered real trouble.