Mar 27, 2009

A new blog, another commitment, another long-armed reach through the ethernet. Here's a snippet of my baby, my first. Enjoy.

Kathryn Lacy


Out of the darkness, jagged electrified spears slammed into a dogwood tree. Flames in the night filled the hollow with a burnt char. The boy woke, frightened by an enormous crash of thunder that shook the car where he slept. Rain and wind blocked his view through the windows. The Man must have left him here.
He was hungry. Cold and hungry. He needed to pee. He lay down under the quilt again, afraid to move. There were rules for leaving the car, and he knew better than to break the rules. On the back of the driver’s seat, a shadow flickered. A red light blinked through the rain, on and off, on and off. What was it? He leaned over the back seat and spied a sign. S-k-i-l-l-e-t.
Skillet. Chicken. If he hurried, he could be back before the Man was finished eating. He pulled up the hood of his jacket, scrunched up the blankets and pillow, slipped out of the car, and ran along the building to the back. Garbage cans. He was a good scavenger.
Halfway into a tall aluminum can, grabbing bits of bread, chicken, and finger scoops of mashed potatoes and gravy, he stopped to shake the rain out of his hair. The Man would be proud of him for feeding himself, as long as he came back to the car quickly and didn’t whine about being wet. He knew how to be quiet. He knew the rules.
Grrrrrrrrrruff!” A monster jumped up, hairy paws on the edge of the garbage can, teeth bared. The boy leaped back out of the can and cowered against the ground. Covered his head with his arms. Played dead. It worked before. After awhile, dogs always left him alone. Rain trickled into his jacket, along the exposed skin on his back, down behind his ears. Cold. He shivered and waited. A hot raspy tongue licked his left hand. He jerked it into the sleeve. The tongue licked his right hand smeared with gravy. When he tilted his head up, the tongue slapped against the mess on one cheek. No monster. A big shaggy, hungry dog who liked potatoes and gravy.
Reaching deep into the garbage again, the boy grabbed chicken and steak bones, a hunk of what looked like chocolate cake, and a plastic cup to scoop more potatoes, gravy, and a biscuit. He followed the dog to a wooden shelter and spread the feast out to share. When the rain slowed to a light strumming against the metal roof of the dog house, they were best friends and sound asleep.
The Man slung himself into the car, revved the engine to warm his feet, and pulled into the night. He had a long way to go before morning. Good thing the kid was still out cold. After a few miles, he opened the take-out box. You snooze, you lose. Smacking his lips, he ate the chicken and fries. Couldn’t let food go to waste, and a kid who didn’t wake up and ask for it, didn’t deserve it. Let him sleep.

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