4 Replies to “7.28.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. He came out of nowheres. Like storms does sometimes, smashin the air to sparks in a dry heat and then gone. That was what it was like with him. Nobody knowed who he was or where he come from. He just appeared.

    He said he’d lost his way, by which I think he meant more than just the wrong road he’d taken. We don’t get many passin by here. We is on the road to noplace and nothin here to bring ‘em visitin. He said his name was Peck and we had no reason to doubt what he said.

    We gave him somethin to eat on account of the hungry he looked, like a bear when it comes down from the hills at the end of winter and the skin is loose on its bones and it snuffles through the garbage at the backs of houses and frightens chickens in the sheds and once it broke into the cold store at Sal’s Market. Peck ate like that bear, or like a dog and it eats so fast it don’t hardly taste the food at all.

    He wanted to know if there was work hereabouts and we could sure use an extra pair of hands and so Pa said as how he could pay him a dollar a day and feed him and a place for him to sleep in the barn if that suited. A dollar aint much and so we expected him to move right on along. Peck stayed.

    He was a good worker for his size and he was quiet and kept to hisself and Pa liked that. Pa said the boy had backbone and he had spunk. Did the work of two men, is what Pa said, by which I reckon he was really sayin something against our Richie. And maybe that’s why Richie took against him and they was fightin some nights and blood on the floor of the barn and Richie with his knuckles all bruised and nobody sayin nothin to Pa.

    He didn’t eat with us, ‘cept on Sundays. Peck said he wasn’t clean enough to sit at no table, not durin the week. So it was my job to take a plate of food out to him in the barn and to fetch the dishes back when he was done.

    Some nights I stayed while he ate. He didn’t mind. I asked him stuff, but he wasn’t one for answerin so soon enough it was just me talkin for the both of us. Got so as I looked forward to my time with Peck and I made an effort to look nice for him and to speak nice, too. Once, I sat next to him on the floor, close enough I could smell the man and close enough I could speak in just whispers. I told him he could kiss me if he liked, and any time he liked, so long as Pa wasn’t by; and he did and his kisses tasted of Ma’s cookin and his hands were under my dress some evenins and we was sometimes blowin air like horses after a hard run and he said my name back to me and it was the sweetest thing.

    Like I said, he just appeared, out of nowhere, like a blue-white storm in a dry heat; and then as suddenly he was gone. I think about him some nights when I’m lyin in my bed and my hand’s between my legs, just touchin. And I whispers my own name, pretendin like it’s him. And I miss him then and it don’t make no sense that he just upped and left without a word and without the twenty dollars Pa owed him.

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