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   Descent BB Forum Index > The DBB Gallery > Another Short from Flabby (1,147 wrds) Post new topic   Reply to topic
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Flabby Chick

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:12 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Another short i wrote recently. I usually write horror but i shaved a hell of a lot off this so it's more speculative than pure horror. Also i don't particularly like gore. If you'll like this one, i'll put another up later. Feel free to criticize it if you don't like it, my on-line crit group has thickened my skin ten-fold in the last few years.

Sweet Corn

Maisie Beckett heaved open the front door and stepped out onto the veranda carrying a wooden tray laden with two giant steel coffee mugs. She placed the tray on the wicker table, flopped into her rocker and rubbed her wrinkled, but ample, palms together to ward off the chill of the approaching sunset.

"Just how you like it," she said. "Black and blind, same damn shade as yours truly—and I be damn well truly yours. Now get it inside you while it's still steaming, old man. I aint gonna fix you no more."

Skipper smiled, despite himself, and took a quick sip of the bitter brew. He'd heard the same joke about the colour of her skin and her fading eyesight for around forty years; it was long past being funny. But it was Maisie. And Maisie was comfortable.

The air was still. The crows, fighting over the dregs of the neglected cornfield opposite the farmhouse, were the only sounds competing with the silence on the veranda.

"You ok there, Skip'? Maisie said, putting her coffee down. "You been right quiet these past few days, and you n' quiet ain't never been too friendly. What you cooking up there, old man?"

Skipper stole a painful sigh. "Things are coming to a head, May."

"Really? You think I don't know you by now."

"This is different. This is not going to be easy to say."

"Well, silence and still water can both be poison, my mamma used to say to me, so I reckon you're gonna have to be out with it."

Skipper cradled his mug, the coffee half gone, as the sun dipped below the horizon and the temperature dropped a few more degrees. The crows, aware of the fading light, increased their racket over the scraps of corn.

"Those damned crows," Maisie snorted, "filling their lazy loud bellies with all my sweet corn, takin' free what aint theirs. Why, I'd kill every last one of them if I could move my fat ass. Makes this girl's black blood boil, it does."

Skipper giggled to himself. "What do you care, May? You've not harvested that field since the year we met. Let the birds work the corn. They don't do any harm to nobody"

"Birds can't work no corn." Maisie said, folding her arms.

"So who spreads the seeds for the spring?" Skipper asked. "Who strips the stalks for nests and who shits on the ground for food?"

Maisie pursed her lips. "They so busy getting fat on corn—my daddies corn—they don't see no weeds, Skip'. That there field is dying, and one day there won't be no crows, 'cause there won't be no feed. "

"Unlike us, the crows will always be here, May."

"Humph!" Maisie scowled. " 'spose you think you're akin to those flyin' black rats that’s eating my daddies corn every year." She reached for the hem of her apron, flattening out its imaginary creases.

Skipper paused, mid-thought, and contemplated what the old woman had said. "That's one of the reasons I've been with you for so long Maisie Beckett."

"Awww, now don't you go start drippin' honey on me now, I know you far too well for that."

They finished the last of the coffee in silence, as only complete partners could. No communication was necessary and no words were required to cast a spell of companionship between the soul mates. They just were.

The light from the sun slipped completely away and Maisie lit the kerosene lamps scattered around the veranda. The crows stopped cawing, and eventually the only sound came from the moths smacking into the hot glass of the lanterns.

"I've brought a boy, May."

Maisie Beckett's shudder at Skipper's words had nothing to do with the nip in the air.

"He's been waiting beyond the trees, I've called him over."

"But you said we'd finished with all that, that there weren’t no need…"

"—this is different, May. He'll come to no harm."

As if he were approaching the gallows, a young boy of around ten years of age stepped out of the trees, made his way past the cornfield and stood at the steps of the veranda, looking up into Maisie's eyes.

"Skipper, that's Carrie-lee's boy, George. You said never to no-one I knew. When you first came, you said. You promised." Maisie's voice upped a tone as a knot of panic twisted, within her.

"I have to leave, May."

"Leave? What do you mean leave? Where, you gonna go?"

The boy at the foot of the stairs whimpered— a tear welled in his eye.

"Who you talking to, Miss Beckett?"

"Be silent, boy." Skipper commanded, before addressing the woman. "It's time for me to move on. It might surprise you to know that I have been dreading this day for a long time. You've changed me May— in ways I don't understand."

"But where you gonna go?"

Skipper ignored her. "It's time to move on, May. You knew this time would come, it can't last forever."

Maisie's lips trembled, she knew he was right. "You been with me for nigh on forty years goddamit, that's almost forever right there."

Skipper darkened and spoke in a voice she'd not heard for a very long time. "Do not rile me, Maisie Beckett, your scars may have healed, along with your caution, but I can open them wide and jagged, just like the old days."

Maisie flinched. A distant memory flicked at her like a jockey's whip, stinging her soul. "Calm yourself down, old man," she whispered, " I'm just feedin' fear is all, I don't mean no ill"

George-Lee Junior stood in a puddle of steaming urine unable to move, the power of Skipper's command fixing him to the spot.

"Will it hurt him, Skip?"

"Did it hurt you, all those years ago?"

"Will you remember me, Skip?"

"No, it doesn't work like that, Maisie. Now go to sleep, old woman."

Skipper left Maisie and entered the boy, immediately intoxicated with the strength and the drug of the youthful soul. He roared with power and soared within the space of the new procession. He danced and laughed and flew and embraced.

And yearned.

And craved.

"Boy, my name is Skipper, and we are to be friends."

"Hello, Skipper."

"Good. The first thing we'll do is eat. Do you see the food up there lying on the veranda?"

The boy shook his head slowly. "No. I see crazy old Maisie Beckett. Is she ok?"

Skipper paused. He had memory? No, that couldn't be right, he had no such things. Did he? Yet there it was, birds…a memory of birds, fighting, squabbling…cawing over the last bit's of food.

Over the last dregs of…

"Sweet corn, George. That there be sweet corn lying there up on the veranda. Shall we go fill our bellies, boy?"

Paul 07

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:48 am View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

kept me readin'..not bad I'd say.


If you're gonna bluff, be prepared to, hard and often..leaving nothing undone.

RIP Dad Ben Thompson Jan.6,1941-May5,2009

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:10 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Well constructed. Never expected the last half. Continue on please.
Flabby Chick

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:06 pm View user's profile Reply with quote Send private message

Thanks Will, half the battle is to keep 'em reading. Wink

Cheers woody, i thought maybe i'd rushed it, but we'll see. I've subbed it out so i'll know as soon as the rejection slips start rolling in. Wink
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