Untitled for now . . .

This is in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done. I actually cheated a little bit. The first two paragraphs were already written before I saw the prompt, but the rest of it fall into the 10 minute guideline. I did some editing, but there’s still more to do and the story isn’t anywhere finished.

Constructive criticism is always welcome.

It was all that I we had left to remember her by. A multifunctional tool, used to swat the flies that insisted on lingering around the hut, a duster for when the dirt, dust, and sand spilled in from the hillside, and a disciplinarian stick to us children in line. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

I’m the oldest. The woman of the house now and I have to take care of the little ones. Well, there not so little. William is a year younger than me, 19, but he still acts like he’s the baby or rather he still wants to be treated like the baby. And he was for most of his 19 years, until mom had Clara and Tanya. They’ll be eight in a few weeks.

Now that momma’s gone, I worry about them up there on that hill. Dad calls it a mountain. He was born and raised there and that’s where  we were born and raised. Momma may have had a chance if daddy had come down off the mountain and seen the doctor in town. I was able to get a doctor from town to go, but daddy ran him away saying, “I aint gonna have no part in that voodoo medicine.”

So, here we are and momma’s dead. Enlarged heart that just gave out or it could if been the pneumonia or it could have been the gang green that was in her foot or it could have been this or that.

I wonder if daddy’ll let me take Clara and Tanya to town to live with me. I doubt it. He blames me for breaking up the family and putting ideas in their head as he says, “that just ain’t right.” He swears that folks that live in the city are the devils spawn. I tell him for the most part they aren’t, but there are some that’ll make you drop to your knees right where you are and pray for their souls.

I took momma to town once to see my apartment, where I worked and went to school and she was in awe of how much it had changed since she was last there — when she married daddy. Her parents decided when she was about Clara and Tanya’s age to move to the mountain hill because they wanted to live off the land. But from time to time grandaddy would take her and granny into town and splurge on new dresses and take a look around town or to the doctor. But it’s been over 20 years now since momma left that hill, at least until now. I insisted that her body be handled with care instead of being buried in a shallow grave that the animals would dig up sooner than later.

Clara and Tanya were awed by all the hustle and bustle, annoyed by all the noise — horns honking, people yammering on their cell phones and the general lack or cordiality. By the time all the arrangements had been made they couldn’t wait to get back up on that hill. I hoped they would see an opportunity, but they didn’t.

Every couple of weeks, I go to check on them and daddy’s not doing so well. He misses momma a lot. The house hut is starting to fall into disrepair, not that it wasn’t a sad excuse for a house before. Clara beams when I come and asks me all sorts of questions about living in the city, at least until daddy comes around.

Maybe she’ll come.

I want her to and Tanya and William and Daddy. Not just for me but for them too. We could move to the suburbs — it’s quieter out there.

William is an excellent carpenter and there are some really good carpenters in town. Actually, I think he’s better than some of them. Daddy can rest and the twins can get a good education and maybe go to college, too. Tanya is so smart. She catches on super fast. She’s not as curious as Clara though. Clara wants to know everything. Before you’ve finished answering her first question, she’s asking you another.

Maybe I’ll ask him on the next visit. He doesn’t seem much in the mood for talking.


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Lay it on me

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