Darlene

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: General Erotica  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group


Darlene

 

I walked through the door and saw Darlene feigning sleep on the couch. We’re both fakes. She doesn't pay her rent. I pretend not to notice. I hate her guts because she gave Lester a heart attack. She pretends not to notice. We share that. 

I headed for the kitchen. String beans needed cutting up. Darlene said she’d pickle them when she got around to it. I dumped them into a colander and ran the tap. A yellow worm crawled on one of the beans. Its head looked like a tiny marble. I poked it in half and watched the pieces dance. They petered out.

I wanted Darlene to go away. My dog Rufus went away, only that was one piece at a time. He took himself to the coyote holes, where they put him out of his misery when he had nothing left.

If Maxwell were here, he'd give Darlene a choice: go to the holes or take a bus out. I'd tell Darlene myself, but I'm just a shitkicker with crooked teeth. 

The wind loaded up on the foothills an hour ago. It kicked the hell out of everything. The barn doors started slamming, so I went out and secured them. On my way back, the wind blew my hat off. I peeled it off the fencing and pulled it back on.  I looked in the sink window and saw Darlene lighting a cigarette.

Two years ago, Lester took a chance on alfalfa. He worked day labor and put enough together for seed. He said we could get three cuttings and bale them for horse hay, and then we could make it through winter on a profit.

I fixed the center pivot and cleared the ditch out to the reservoir. I told Lester one of the culverts looked bad, and the corrugated pipe had rust. He rolled the dice, and we drilled the seed. It was up two inches when the culvert blew open. Two days later, the sprouts keeled over. After that, Lester couldn't afford his heart medication. I told him he might as well sell off Maxwell's arrowhead collection, but he said it'd be a cold day in hell before he'd do it. He put Maxwell's room up for rent instead. That’s when Darlene showed up.

I grabbed my pool cue and my keys. Darlene had her glassy eyes fixed on a game show. Her slip had smudges. The cigarette had a lipstick filter. I glared at her. I wanted her to know what I thought. I wanted her to know how I resented that she'd fucked my dad to death. She smiled at me like she already knew, then tugged one of her slip straps down and studied my eyes. I wasn’t going to fall for it. But my eyes dropped, and I couldn’t get them back. She had me figured out. She pulled the strap back up and adjusted herself, and then she looked at my pants and said, “That looks like a big one, Louis. I didn’t say anything.

I headed for town; nothing but corn stubble and fracking riggs lay along the road. A train crossing shut me down for better than ten minutes. I killed the engine and watched graffiti boxcars, tankers, and flatcars with barbwire rolls. When the gates went up, I glanced in the mirror, no one behind me. A couple of minutes later, I met my friend, Lea, a proud man, an Ogalala Sioux, and a high-rise steel worker whose body got its scars from knife fights on the reservation. We drink together, and we don’t need to talk much. He was staying in a room above the Exon station.

I pull up in the Silverado. Lea was sitting on a bench holding a kitten. He said, “You need rings for that truck, Holmes. She’s got blue smoke. Probably the valves are shot, too.”

And then he put the kitten’s head in his mouth. A couple of seconds later, he popped the kitten’s head out. I asked, “Why are you doing that?”

Lea said, “The kitten is my brother, Holmes.”

“Ok, but let it go before you kill it.”

Old Corbin came out from the Exon Bay. And then he sold us a case of beer. He sat down and drank a good share of it.

We sat around drinking, waiting for gas customers, dust devils, and sunset. I stood up when I’d had my fill of Corbin’s yammering. Corbin said, “Don’t forget your beer. I told him to keep it. He smiled his green tooth smile, and I wanted to kick his teeth out of his head. It was time to get along.

Lea and I went to Shannon’s, a working man’s bar that lights up at night with live music and a colorful clientele. A thick-boned mountain man named Sam let us in the door.  Amazon Judy was working the bar. Her worshipers strained their necks to get an eyeful of her beauty. The band got loud. Lea met a woman and disappeared. A brawl broke out, and I jumped in. The police arrested me along with a few other unlucky bastards. It wasn’t my first time. They processed me, took away my shoelaces, and dressed me up in one of their monkey suits. They assigned me a cot in a large room with fifty other prisoners. I sat on the cot, looking at a man on the next cot. He was curled up and facing away. He turned toward me. He looked scared. He asked me if I’d walk with him. I said, “Ok.” I don’t know why.

We walked together. The circle around all the cots and prisoners. He was a young man, but he looked terrible, jaundiced as fuck. He tripped, and I grabbed his arm. He started crying. He said, “I don’t have long to live,” Then he coughed blood on my face. Nobody knew that it was esophageal varices. His liver was a stone. The veins in his throat burst like water balloons. He took a few running steps and then fell to the floor. I don’t know if he’d burst an artery, too? But the bleeding was profound, and I turned away from seeing it play out. His blood was on my shoes.

I bailed out on my recognizance, then scared up my truck. On the way home, I smoked many cigarettes. Darlene saw my face. She went to the kitchen and put her elbow on the table. She didn’t have panties. I got behind her, and she jerked her ass to get it faster. She got a warm grip on me, and I knew how she’d done Lester. I knew what killed Maxwell, too. I'd popped the clutch on our tractor. He'd tumbled off the fender and disappeared under the cultipacker.

 

End

 


Submitted: May 17, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Laird. All rights reserved.

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