Sunday, March 8, 2015
FREE SHORT STORY FOR YOUR CONSUMPTION!
Holy hell, it's been a while hasn't it? I've neglected this blog for quite some time. Not just the blog, but writing in general. Real life has gotten in the way a lot over the past many months, and I really would like to rectify that.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me to write a little something for a project he's working on. So I did just that. Churned it out fairly quickly, and I'm here to present it to you, FOR FREE.
It's short, it's sweet, and it may make you squirm.
Written and created by Nick Durham
I remember once back in ma' youth that this seemed ta be easier than I thought it'd be. Maybe that was 'cause I was young and Pa did all the big work while I watched. "Watch 'n learn boy" is what he'd say. And I did. I did watch and I damn sure did learn from seein' him work. If he saw me now he wouldn't be too happy with me at the moment.
I'd been lookin' for this boy for a while now. It ain't like he coulda gone far. My own damn fault I guess if I was bein' honest. Trouble is he's small, which means he's fast too. And I been doin this shit for so long now that youth just ain't on my side no more. He's gotta still be here, ain't nothin else around here for at least 20 miles. He gotta still be in the barn. I can almost smell him I think.
Just a couple hours ago him and his momma had their "car trouble", just like they always do this time of year, and found me close by, just like they always do too. It been a long time since there been a young'n that got caught too, but I wasn't gonna complain. When I saw the boy I forgot just how sweet the young'ns could be. His momma was pretty sweet too. Sweet and stupid. Too damned stupid to have seen the poppers I put on the road that made her spin out. Broad fuckin daylight and the bitch didn't see shit. I knew this was gonna be a okay day.
When my daddy showed me how to do all this he always told me there was two kinds of folk in this world: one's that were too smart for they own good, and the ones that were too goddammed stupid to live and live right. He always said that by the grace of God we'd be lucky to get the stupid ones. The smart ones we'd never get if we were lucky. I remember I asked him why we did what we did, why he did what he did, and he gave me the answer that I ain't never forgot in all this time: "because it was right 'cause his daddy 'fore him taught him to do it, told by the good Lord."
We needed the blood. That's all there is to it. We need the blood to continue. Years and years back when the earth dried up and the ground weren't fertile no more, my grandpappy said somethin' happened. He said that the ground was alive but it was dyin from how much use we were gettin' out of it. With all the crops and work we done for years and years it messed everything up. The ground needed blood to live. It needed blood to make things grow again. My grandpappy knew this when he seen his cousin get in an accident with the mower. He watched his blood soak into the dirt...and the dirt spoke to him. It was the Lord he said. The Lord told him what he had to do to live. What he had to do to help the dirt live. We needed the dirt to live, and the dirt needed us to live. There's a word for that I know it, I just don't know the word.
So my daddy done kept doing the same thing grandpappy did. And Pa taught me the same. I'm supposed to pass it down to I guess, but I ain't gettin any younger and I got no woman. That boy's momma sure was sweet, but I don't think she woulda been interested in me. Seemed like a city broad.
But the boy. The boy. Maybe I could teach the boy. He's young. I can mold the boy. Yes I can. I can keep this going. It's the Lord's work. We keep things goin with this we can save the dirt and ground and earth. We can do right. But first I gotta find the boy.
I got the blade in my hand just because I guess. The momma's blood still on it. I can still smell the momma. Her scent still strong, and the smell of her blood. I strung her up and bled her into the dirt. I swear I can feel it under my feet, feel the ground breathe and live. This is what real ranchin and harvestin is now. It's the best for everyone. Just gotta accept it.
I hear one of the barn doors swing open. He got out. It don't matter. Like I said before, he ain't gonna get far. But that kid got guts. I'll give him that. I get to the door and swing it open but I don't see the boy outside. I figured I'd see him runnin but nope, nothin. I shoulda known better right then and there. Like Pa said, "the smart ones we'd never get if we were lucky"...and the boy was smart.
I feel the sharp stab in my calf and go down hard. I don't know where the little fuck hid but he tricked me, and now he got one a my blades straight through the back of my fuckin leg. In them few seconds I think about beggin for my life, but I feel that ground move again underneath me. My blood's drippin in it now. Last of my family line gonna be sucked up into the earth. I know there's a word for that too but damned if I know what it is.
I give that boy one last look. He look like he doesn't know if he should do it or start cryin. Not that I blame him. When I was his age I cried at my first time too. I just gave him a nod and I let my blade fall outta my hand. Last thing I see is his knife come down straight on to me. Last thing I feel is my blood, my life, go leakin into the ground.
I ain't mad that this how things went. It's ranchin and harvestin in a new world. It's what needs to be done. That's all there is to it. The look in that boy's eyes looked so...familiar. And in the end it just looked so damn right I guess. I think maybe he gets the point. If that be the case, I didn't have to teach him shit. The Lord and the earth done did it for me. That's life.