Dancin' in the Rain.
Come join us to read great writing or post your own.
For this week I've chosen to post a piece I wrote in 2009 for a Faith Writer's challenge.
I've dusted off this short story and re-wrote it.
A fine line? What were they talking about? A fine line between what?
“Sorry, Cyrus, but not much I can do to get your chickens back.”
My father was a proud man. I saw the anger swell inside him. He wiped his mud encrusted hands on his dirt covered overalls and spat tobacco onto the red Alabama clay. My father barely missed the white deputy's polished ebony shoes.
Deputy Owens jumped back.
“Look here Cyrus, you calm down now,” he poked my father in the chest.
I didn't want to witness what might happen next, so I ran behind the chicken house and hid. I could
still hear the angry words above the buzzing bees that flew around the wild flowers.
“Them chickens is all we'z got. I sell them eggs at the market. I gotta feed my family.”
“I'm really sorry Cyrus, but it's your word against his.”
The deputy was right. My father's word didn't amount to much in these parts, not when your a poor black man living in rural South Alabama.
Without those chickens, we wouldn't have eggs for market, without eggs, we wouldn't eat.
“You get my chicken's back!”
“Look here Cyrus, you don't make demands. We'll do the best we can.”
“Your best ain't good enough.”
My dad got angrier and louder. His voice echoed to where I was still hidden.
“That Morgan boy took my chicken's!”
“Cyrus, that Morgan boy is white. You can't just go around accusing a white man of taking your chickens.”
“Why? Because I'm black.”
“For God's sake Cyrus, it's 1963 and this is the South. We've got enough trouble as it is without you
stirring up trouble.”
“I ain't stirring up trouble. I just want what's rightly mine.”
I heard a car door slam and tires screech on the gravel we called a driveway. I peeked from around
the corner of the weathered chicken coop. Deputy Owens was gone.
Fear rose in my throat along with bile. I knew my father wouldn't let it go.
“Willie J, where you at boy?”
I scampered from the safety of my hiding place. “Here I is pa.”
“Fetch me my shotgun boy!”
Beads of sweat formed on my forehead, my mouth parched like a shriveled cotton boll festering in
the hot Alabama sun. My father intended to kill Billy Morgan. I couldn't breath. The air in my lungs
pounded against my chest.
“Pa,” I pleaded with my father. “ Whatcha fixin' to do?
He looked my square in the eyes. “Willie J, I's goin' to get our chicken's back from that mangy no
good Morgan boy.”