#Finish_That_Thought Week 52 : Boom!

The massive 2:00 AM explosion jolted the town awake. Lights came on in every house. People staggered outside wearing robes, to see if they could figure out what had happened. Neighbors met outside, wondering what had happened, as they watched the inferno at the Eastern edge of town.

Everything went as I’d planned.

I walked along the streets, a gun in each hand, with eight spare clips ready for use. Each time I saw a white man standing, watching, I shot him. And I know, not one of them went to heaven when they died.

I shot the Sheriff and his deputy, then the mayor, the judge, the doctor, the lawyer, the pastor, and the deacons of the church. I shot them all.

Mrs. Simmons took her daughter and left town when the pastor’s son got little Sally drunk, then got her naked and had fun with her, showing of the pictures of what he did. And the white men made sure Tommy’s future wasn’t wrecked by what he’d done.

Mrs. Waters hadn’t slept at night, since Deputy Bob gave Beverly that glass of tea with Ecstasy in it. Bob and Sheriff Don decided she liked two men at once. Now Beverly spends nights naked, in front of her Webcam, putting on a show, and you can watch her all you want for $9 a month. She’s slit her wrists twice now, and someday, everyone knows Mrs. Waters won’t find her soon enough.

I could have written stories about those evil men. About the girls they ruined, and the families they destroyed, but that wouldn’t have accomplished anything. They’d still be unpunished for the things they’d done, and they’d ruin another mother’s daughter, just to have some fun.

But the day we put Lenora in the ground, I’d promised her those men would never hurt another girl again.

Lenora had loved flowers, cats and dogs, and horses too. But those men never got over how she once had been a boy named Leonard, so they tortured her no end. Bobby shot her dog one day, for no reason he could explain. And they let their sons push her around, knock her down, and beat her. And the doctor wouldn’t have, “one God Damned thing to do with that thing,” named Lenora.

I told her we’d leave town soon. At the end of the school year. Two days later she climbed a tree, tied a rope around her neck, and a sturdy limb, and escaped the torture they made her live in.

After I shot everyone I could find that night, I stood before Lenora’s tombstone, at her grave site. “I got them all, sweetheart. They won’t hurt you or anyone again.” I let the fingers of my hand trace the outline of my daughter’s face on the cold, hard granite stone. “And soon, now, you won’t be alone.

I put my last clip in my last gun and knew I’d never see the dawn.

492 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Week 52 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.

#MWBB Week 2.1 : Sally MacLennane

Once a year, on March 17th, those of us who haven’t died yet, celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the Sally MacLennane. This year was no different. My grandson wheeled me in, “Now, Grandfather. You know you’re not supposed to drink.”

“On this day, I drink, and you know it!”

Jamie, Liam, Conner and Dillon all raised their tankards and belted out, “Hear! Hear! We’ll drink to that!”

“I see Ryan’s not here this year,” I observed, as I studied the room.

“He took the train to Dublin three weeks ago,” Liam took another chug. “Should be with the others now.”

Dillon hollered at the barkeeper, “Bring Gavin his first round!”

“I’m on it! I’m on it!” came the answer.

Conner raised his drink, “Aye! Won’t be long before we’ll be joining them!”

Ah, I wished I were 50 years younger when the barmaid handed me my drink. She was grandly built, and my old eyes followed her as she walked away, her little kilt barely covering anything as her hips danced the way a pretty woman’s always had.

Jamie roared, “I see you’ve noticed our dear new friend!”

“I’ll drink to that!” I tipped my drink, and let the brown pour. “Well, Ryan, the least you could have done was drop a postcard in the mail when you got there.”

We drank away the night, into the early dawn. My Grandson joined right in, it wasn’t like he had a choice. We told the stories once again, of our wives, and sons and daughters, and of all our friends now gone, all gone, on the train to Dublin and beyond.

“Was Eathan that left first, as I recall.”

“Aye, he did,” Dillon agreed. “And we all cried like little girls that day, we did.”

Liam set his drink upon the table, “It was the first time one of us left.” He stared into his drink, “The first time.”

Conner shook his head, “He could have told us he was leaving. Going to Dublin and beyond.” He raised his drink and drained some more, “Was rather rude of him, you know. Not telling us about the train.”

And as the dark began to fade away, falling before the sun, we sat there at our table with our drinks, and remember every name.

What does it mean, when ancient men like us, get sloshed on Saint Patrick’s Day, you might wonder. It’s what old men do to live with the memories of all the friends and loves long gone, so we don’t feel so alone. And we never say they’re dead and gone, buried in the cold hard ground. That would be so permanent. It’s better, don’t you know, to leave hope and dreams alive. And say they’ve caught the train to Dublin and beyond. And someday know our turns will come, and we’ll ride that train, and join them.

In Dublin, and beyond.

480 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for Year 2, Week 1 (Week 2.1) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.