These were more than echoes, the soft sounds I was hearing from the rear of the barn sitting back from Route 182 in Franklin, Maine, half a dozen fat pigs to one side, corn as deep as Iowa on the other side, and the terrain across the road flush with blueberry bushes until a slow rise tipped the landscape in its favor… and in mine. In my son Tim’s favor, too. He lives by this barn. Perhaps I had lived waiting for its sassy voices.
Pineapple yoghurt. Trifle. The last few months he wanted milky things. I bought a bottle of Rémy Martin. He took a sip, made a face. ‘It’s too much now, too strong. I’m sorry,’ he said.
“… bled all over the counter, staining my hands and the floor before I could get it cleaned up,” finished the lanky, slightly dirty, anemic-looking kid ringing me out, unaware, or perhaps undaunted, by the fact that I hadn’t been listening to him.
“One dollar,” young Earl C. Calder said and looked at the farmer before him transfixed on the small the blue vial Earl held in his hand.
Earl didn’t blink in the mid-day sun, all 110 pounds of himself holding steady next to Ida. The vial of elixir they had emptied the night before still floated through him, but he didn’t flinch, not Madam Wilma T.’s son, born in a brothel and groomed for greatness.
‘I need a lift you see.’
My voice strains to be heard outside Mike’s house. There’s a hot stink of ale chasing him out the door, a cigarette resting along his ear, and a slapped cheek look about his face. He looks down from his considerable height, bolstered by the chunky doorstep. He is a statue on his plinth and I’m a beggar with a crutch.
I was thinking this week about quitting.
As always with me this started out as something positive but it sort of declined. It’s a bit like when an elderly person is ill and you use the old remedy of putting goose fat on their back. You then watch them going downhill quickly. (Thank you Mr Milton Jones for that one!)
Alicia snapped awake. There was a fine silk cobweb covering her face. It felt as if she was suffocating. She reached out, clawing at her face, scratching off the surface texture. She was down to the scars when the blood started to flow.