Later Summer’s Eve

Write at the Merge, Week 39 gave 2 photos. One was of bread and the other of a box of apricots or peaches. Trifecta, week 96 gave the third definition of the word:  ANIMAL (noun)

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Be sure to check out the two sites for some great writing and maybe to prompt your own writing. I went a bit overboard on the word animal. I was trying to juxtapose the three characters of Paulie, Eve and the Dad. I wheedled it down a lot, leaving out a lot about the narrator. Hope it makes sense as it stands.

Late Summer’s Eve

I rolled the peach I had nicked from the counter without Mamma seeing between my palms.  I wondered if I could hit the car coming up the road when it stopped in front of the house.  I bit into my peach and saw that boy, Paulie, getting out of the car.

He took my peach, bit into it and talked with his mouth full.  Just like some kind of animal.

“Where’s Eve?” he asked wiping juice from his chin.

“How should I know?”

“You’re her sister, ain’t ya?”

“It’s what I been told, but I ain’t her keeper.”

He had pretty eyes, like that sunset behind him. The muscles in his back stretched his T-shirt in just the right way as he walked.  His car made a curtain of dust as it left.

Eve missed Mamma’s peach pie, made from scratch with love as always. Daddy wasn’t happy. After dinner, daddy watched  TV. Mamma and I were cleaning up and Bobby was up in his room doing whatever it is he does up there. Eve slipped in through the back door.

“Where you been girl?” Mamma hissed.

“I stayed late to help Mrs. Thompson,” Eve’s hands wrung her neck as she spoke.

“That Paulie boy was up here earlier asking for you.”

I almost dropped the plate I was washing when I heard Mamma say this. How’d she know? I didn’t tell. I looked at Mamma who was looking at Meg who was looking at the door to the living room.  Hopefully, he had fallen asleep.

Not even a half-a-minute passed after Eve left the room, when we hear growls of rage. Then, Eve’s whimpers of conciliation. Mamma rushed into the other room.

I go over by the threshold. Eve is on the floor and daddy is kicking her like an animal. Mamma’s frantically pulling at daddy’s shoulders. This is our lives. We take to heart the saying: let sleeping dogs lie. Daddy is an animal when he is woken.


16 thoughts on “Later Summer’s Eve

  1. Yikes. This sounds like a tough place to grow up. I like the details you slipped in that gave a real authenticity to the whole family. For example: “Bobby was up in his room doing whatever it is he does up there…” Spoken like a true sister! You were worried it wouldn’t make sense, or that you left out too much – I don’t think so at all. I think you captured it very well.

  2. Whoa…this was a tough read, but well done. I liked how you created tension with this line: “I looked at Mamma who was looking at Meg who was looking at the door to the living room. Hopefully, he had fallen asleep.”

    I was slightly confused about how Meg was, but it didn’t really matter as you caught the looks of fear and concern about the father/animal waking up..

    The closing lines were also stark, but real.

  3. There’s a very real carelessness to Paulie, the peach, the impertinent questions… he’s a vivid spot in the story’s landscape, though for the good or bad, I’m not sure.

    Just a heads up, your link with WoE didn’t work, but I found you via your main page.

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