A Confluence Of Misfortunes – Part 1

swimming_gatorGodless Monkey will be away on a photo expedition of Mexico, Central America and Columbia from March 19th to April 20th. I’m running some of my old stories in my absence for your enjoyment.

I reckon as how I ought not to be telling y’all about this thing, but I’m fixin’ to go ahead and do it anyway, on account of it needs to be told somehow, so I figure what the hell. Prolly burn in Hell when I go, so it don’t much matter either way. My name is Jed, and this here is what happened.

It wasn’t my idea in the first place. Abe was the one that come up with it, and when Abe gets an idea in his head, well, there just ain’t no tellin’ what might come of it if’n he don’t get to try an make it happen. That’s just how Abe is. Anyway, we was fishing down at the pond out back of old man Webster’s place. Now everybody knows there’s alligators in that pond, but they don’t usually mess with fishing lines and the water at the edge of the pond is real shallow, so they can’t sneak up on you no ways.

The fish weren’t bitin’ and we got restless and started lookin’ for stones to skip and that’s when we found the gun. Can’t hardly believe we’d never seen it before, it was just layin’ in the grass and all, so I think it couldn’t have been there too long. It weren’t rusted or nothing. Abe allowed as how he reckoned it must a been thrown out of a car since it wasn’t far from the road.

Anyway, we look it over and it’s got two bullets in it. We both been raised with huntin’, and I’ve used my daddy’s .22 rifle lots of times. He took me out the first time when I was nine, so I reckon I been huntin’ for five years now. Abe too, but he’s a year older ‘n me, so he’s been huntin’ a while longer. But this here was differ’nt. Neither of us had been allowed to use a handgun, though I know my Daddy keeps one under the seat of his truck. He told me ifn’ I ever touched it he’d whup the tar outta me, and I knowed he would, so I ain’t never gone near it.

Abe kept on hoggin’ the gun, wouldn’t let me hold it for long. I swear he done fell in love with that thing that day. That’s how it all started. I told him we should probably give it to old man Webster or something, but he just laughed at me. I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. Hell, I didn’t want to give it up any more than Abe did, truth be told.

After awhile Abe starts clownin’ around, actin’ like he’s a big shot and all, wavin’ that pistol around. Says we got some authority and all. I ask him what authority means and he says it means when you got a gun people got to do like you say. I reckon I didn’t know what he meant by that, but I sure found out quick smart. Abe starts talkin’ about how we should get ourselves stuff we’d been wantin’ for awhile. I thought he meant he wanted to sell the gun so I asked him who would we sell it to.

Abe looked at me funny and then busted up laughin’. I asked him what was so funny and he stopped and looked at me like I was dumb or sumthin’. Then he got all serious lookin’ and he leaned in close to my face.

“Jed,” he said, “Ain’t nobody ever gonna give us nuthin’ in this world. This here is a sign, Jed.”

Then I swear he kissed the barrel of that gun and rubbed it on his cheek. I knowed right then Abe had him an idea, and like I said, when Abe gets an idea, well, it’s just how Abe is.

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