3.20.2013 Journal Prompt

marcello smokingMarch 20, 2013: He told stories.

2 thoughts on “3.20.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    He told stories. He kept ‘em in a jacket pocket and he could pull ‘em forth like a conjuror pulling white rabbits from a hat, and we’d all listen entranced. And when one was told we’d always want a second and a third.

    He was Cole Brennan and he was a friend of our mam’s. We was to call him Uncle Cole and some nights he stayed over, nights when he had a drink on him and he couldn’t drive. Mam made a bed up on the sofa downstairs, but that was just for show. We all knowed Uncle Cole was sleeping in mam’s bed. We didn’t mind, cos of the stories.

    I can picture him still, sitting in front of the log fire and his face all flushed from the drink and the heat and from mam’s cooking, and a held cigarette making ghosts out of the smoke, and he narrowed his eyes and began in a whisper, like it was a secret. From out of his pocket he’d take something – a button or a bus ticket or a two-headed coin – and he’d spin a whole story out of what he had.

    He was always the hero of his own stories, I remember that, and mam laughed and shook her head and said she’d never known such a fantastic liar. Maybe she spoke truth in that, for he lied his way into our lives and he made promises that he never kept and when he left we missed the stories and we missed the things he said we’d have one day.

    I remember one night above the rest. They thought we was all sleeping and Cobb was and so was Elsie; but I was awake and retelling myself a story about a bus ride to hell and back. They came up the stairs and I could tell mam was a little drunk too, and they looked in on us just to make sure; I kept my eyes closed and so they thought I was sleeping too.

    Then theyy crept to mam’s room and I heard ‘em through the wall. He was telling our mam a story and I heard every word. He said she was beautiful and her hair was soft as feathers. He said how her tits were all perky and like puppies sitting up and begging to be kissed. And he said how one day they’d be married and they’d grow old together and be always happy. He had this story of a place out west that they’d buy, a gablefront house with a white picket fence and a yard out back with pigs and chickens to tend. It was a pretty picture and I could see us all there and I think our mam could too – that’s why he let her do what he did, the kissing and the touching and all.

    But they was just stories and stories is just lies when it comes right down to it. He took every penny we had and he left us poor as church mice. Our mam was cussing his name for years afterwards, and she scowled if ever we mentioned him or his fucking daft stories, and so Uncle Cole became a secret that we told each other in the darkest of nights and told in whispers under the bed covers and we added to his stories through the years and the lies became more obvious the more we told ‘em.

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