Saturday, June 07, 2008

I almost forgot today's installment!

I got caught up writing a story I've had percolating in the back of my mind for some time. I did it for The Flash Factory over on Zoetrope. It's a good place to work out first drafts and they give me a weekly prompt that sometimes pulls these stories I keep tucked away in hidden folds of gray matter forward. Anyway, one reviewer already picked up that the story was begging to be longer and I'll probably expand it. Maybe even beyond flash format, but the limit was 750 words.

Anyway, the story I got caught up in today was tailor-made for Anne Johnson. It's about an Appalachian kid who comes home from Tibet to die and has his best friend take him to the summit of Clingman's Dome for a sky burial. Yes, Anne--it's a thinly veiled buzzard worship story. Anne has like a buzzard costume she dresses up in. Crazy about them she is.

Lest you think it unbelievable that a Cocke county native might be in Tibet--we do have world class mountain climbers from here who've been there. Read about them in the paper--Appalachian folk get around. We got opera singers too. So there.

I almost subbed a story to a London group that does readings but the thought of London actors trying to wrap their mouths around this dialect gave me the shudders. The only person there I know who could handle it would be Buffy Holt, and damn--she should be reading her own work. I'm actually quite pleased I've gotten the jump on subbing to journals before Buffy--umm--cause--she's going to wipe the floor with me when she starts subbing. She's my favorite Appalachian writer out in the blogosphere.

Well, let's check in with Lucius and Kelly, shall we?

They stayed at the Happy Mount Hotel, a seedy strip motel, where Lucius kept a room. The neon sign had burnt out in spots so at night it flashed, “Happy Mo--Ho--”.

The cache of sixty hydrocodones did not last long. Kellie held the bottle of hydros to the light and gave it a shake. It was time to get back to “work”. She made a few calls and prepared to take off for the hills in the beat up Fiesta to pay a few visits to some old folks. Lucius kissed her before she left, pulling her to him.

“Baby, you knows I love you!”

“You be good, while mamma’s gone.” She grabbed his crotch and left him standing there, twitching.

Lucius watched some TV in the room. Damn, he loved AFHV. He liked to watch the bits where guys got hit in the nads. Damn, he thought, they just never saw it coming.

With his mood restored and the promise of his girl coming back with some drugs and money, he wandered over to the manager’s office. He had not checked his mail in a few days.

Rupert Mims reclined behind the shabby counter topped with cracked green linoleum. He had dozed off to the buzzing whine of the NASCAR race on his small television set. NASCAR memorabilia decorated the walls with a special place of pride given to a large portrait of Dale Earnhardt with Jesus. Jesus towered in the background with his arms out, embracing the grandstand and track of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dale stood in his racing regalia in front of Number 3. The caption read, “God’s Own Driver, The Father, The Son and The Intimidator”.

Lucius banged on the counter. Rupert gave a snore like a chainsaw failing to start and blinked up at Lucius through eyes buried in the fat of his cheeks. He tugged his shirt down to cover his wide expanse of furry belly and rocked his chair up from a reclining position.

“What’chu want, Lucius? You got some money for me I hope?”

“Not yet, but I’ll have it in a few hours. It’s on the way!”

Rupert gave a snort. “Well, it better be. I can’t keep giving you extra time; it’s not fair to the other tenants who do pay on time. I got a few working girls who’d be glad to have that room of yours.”

“Don’t worry, Rup! Look, have I got any mail?”

Rupert shuffled under the counter for a moment and came up with a bunch of junk mail and one letter.

“Here you go. L. Mantooth Productions…is that you?”

Lucius frowned and accepted the letter. “Yeah, that’s me.”

He looked at the return address. “Yep, it’s from my Momma.”

“Well, good,” Rupert said, “It’s nice to see your old momma writes you now and again. Just make sure you have that rent money in here by tonight.”

Lucius nodded and left the office. He felt a bit of dread as he always did when his mother contacted him.


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