3.10.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from Little Children
Image from Little Children

March 10, 2014: He lived with his mother.

One Reply to “3.10.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. Simple as sums is and all his words like water that’s put through a sieve, all silver spittle twist and thread, runnin one into the other so he don’t never make no sense. Name’s Mallet, on account of he’s hard as nails. At school boys used to punch his face, takin turns to, and his skin broken and bruised, but it made no nevermind to Mallet. Hard as nails, like I said, but soft, too. Soft as puppies or kittens and that’s the god’s honest truth.

    Mallet, old enough now he should have a house of his own and a wife and a couple of littluns runnin ‘bout the yard and callin him pa. But he ain’t like other guys, see. He gets confused real easy and he don’t know who to trust and so he needs his mom. Grey in her hair already and she walks with a stick and she walks bent, but still she takes care of Mallet – only sometimes he’s out of her reach.

    She pulls him from sleep of a mornin, his clothes clean and pressed flat, and laid out on a chair by his bed for him to dress, and she says he oughta wash behind his ears and mind, she’ll be checkin ‘fore breakfast. He works at the grocery store most days, liftin sacks of potatoes up from the cold dark of the cellar for old man Kerrigan, and bagged flour and bottled beets and oi in wooden barrels. And Mallet stacks the shelves with tins, all their labels arranged neat and just so they can be seen. And some days he makes deliveries, too, carryin as much as any horse.

    If’n you look at him right, squintin some and with the sun behind him, and he don’t speak none, well I swears you’d think him handsome, and he has somethin in his blue eyes that might be taken for wise if you got an imagination. And one day I called him into the house and he set the groceries down on the table in the kitchen and I poured him some lemonade in a glass and he was real grateful. I asked him if he thought I was pretty and he blushed and stammered, and I took his hand, big as a spade, and I put it flat to my breast.

    Like I says, he gets confused easy, and so I sang to him soft as whisperin, soft as lullaby song. And he smiled and his hand was warm and still pressed to my breast, soft as kitten-pressin. And I kissed him, lordy I did, kissed him and he moaned a little and it was the sweetest sound, like the sound of puppies in sleep. He wasn’t smart and I don’t think he knew what was what in this world and so I had to tell him all that was to do but he was a good listener.

    Afterwards, I had to fasten the buttons on his pants, ‘cause he didn’t know how, and I swore him to church-silence on what we’d done. And as he left he said thank you for the lemonade, except his words was all stitched together so I didn’t unpick the sense of what he was sayin till after he’d gone.

    That was a year back and I think maybe I was the bigger fool in what we did and a part of me is real sorry. I’ve met him in the street since and he knows me and he smiles and he thanks me again for the lemonade. I don’t think he remembers anythin else and so I hopes and prays there aint no harm done.

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